Posts by michelle young:

Articles By: michelle young

Michelle is the founder of Untapped Cities. Michelle can usually be found in New York (where she grew up), Paris, backpacking in South America or Southeast Asia, or in-transit between. She’s traveled to 40+ countries, has an obsession with buses and shoots with a Canon SLR camera. She is an author of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library and is currently working on a book on the history of Broadway for Arcadia. She holds a masters in urban planning from Columbia University, where she is an adjunct professor, a B.A. from Harvard in the History of Art & Architecture, and is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. Follow her on Twitter @untappedmich.

Green Roof-Barclays Center-NYC

The 135,000 square foot green roof atop Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is taking shape (despite an extensive delay) and we recently got a nice note from our friends at Architects Newspaper that they got an exclusive look at the construction. In the video, Linda Chiarelli, Deputy Director of Construction for Forest City Ratner, explains that the roof trusses were not designed to hold the green roof so a “whole new roof structure was installed.”


Traboules-Lyon-Passageways-Alleys-Courtyard-UNESCO World Heritage Site-Vieux Lyon-Croix-Rousse-France-006

New York City has its hidden alleys, Paris its passages, and Sydney its laneways. But Lyon, France has something even more astonishing perhaps–the traboules. These medieval/Renaissance architectural gems hidden behind closed doors are part passageway, part tower, part courtyard. Predominantly located in Vieux Lyon (old Lyon), the Croix-Rousse, a hillside area that dates back to the Roman period, and the Presqu’île neighborhoods, traboules are examples of urban architecture that are both functional and symbolic. The official number of traboules in Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, vary from 230, as specified on Lyon Traboules to 500.


In partnership with The Eternal Space, a play about an untold story of the destruction of Penn Station, we have added another slot of our special tour of the remnants of Penn Station on May 31st with Tamara Agins, tour guide, project manager at NYC Department of City Planning, and author of our popular article on the Secrets of Grand Central and Justin Rivers, playwright of The Eternal Space.

Weaving in moments from the play, which features over 1,000 never before published photographs of the station by renown photographers Norman McGrath, Peter Moore, and Aaron Rose, along with the work of railroad aficionados Alexander Hatos, an employee of Pennsylvania Railroad and Ron Ziel, a railroad historian, the tour will also cover the past, present and future plans for the central transportation hub in New York City, accompanying a hunt for the remaining pieces of the grand McKim, Meade & White station.

A portion of the tickets supports The Eternal Space, which has been previewed at The Center for Architecture. The event includes an optional drink afterward and conversation with the tour leaders and The Eternal Space creator at Tracks bar in Penn Station, which has some remnants of its own.

See Your City-NYC & Company-Remko Heemskerk

Last October, New York City’s tourism agency, NYC & Co. released a series of vividly colored posters and neighborhood guides by artist Remko Heemskerk highlighting areas like Long Island City, “Where Art Goes for Fresh Air,” Harlem, “It’s What’s Up,” St. George Stsaten Island, “Sail away from it all,” and Dumbo, “Manhattan Looks Better From Here. Following the success of the campaign, the agency has featured 10 more neighborhoods, some which are “untapped” in their own right. Here are the posters from the recent reveal, with the “punny” tips for each neighborhood taken from the NYCGO website (some links swapped with Untapped Cities articles on the topic):


Theatre for One-I’m Not the Stranger You Think I Am-Arts Brookfield-NYCTheatre for One in NYC. Photo by Darial Sneed.

We have to admit this is pretty clever–a theater for one in a traveling theater, supposedly the smallest theater in New York City at 4 feet by 8 feet. It’s all part of “I’m Not the Stranger You Think I Am,” from Theatre For One, presented by Arts Brookfield. Until June 6th, they’ll be giving plays for one person at a time in Arts Brookfield spaces like Winter Garden (May 18-24), Zuccotti Park (May 27-31) and the Grace Building (June 2-6).


Rat Map-Rat Reservoir Program-311 Rat Sightings-Meredith Myers-NYC.05 PM

Rats are a fact of life in New York City and if you’re like us, maybe you’re even a little bit fascinated by them. It seems like others are too, with every few months another rat map appearing. This latest heat map by Meredith Myers (via The Verge), part of the Rat Reservoir Program even automatically updates with the latest open source data on 311 reported rat sightings. Here’s a closer look by borough of the last 10,000 rat sightings: