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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.


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The Four Seasons Restaurant, in its iconic original incarnation at the Seagram Building closed on July 16th. Tomorrow at 10am, Wright’s auction of its mid-century interior decor and serving items will begin in the Pool Room of the restaurant. Fortunately, because the building is an interior and exterior landmark, the interior will remain in its fundamental form.

The interior of the restaurant was designed by Philip Johnson with tableware and cookware by Garth and Ada Louise Huxtable, special-ordered Knoll furniture, and custom designs by Johnson, Eero Saarinen, and Mies van der Rohe, who designed the Seagram Building.

Here are some highlights from the upcoming auction:

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The Museum of the City of New York will present an extensive new exhibition, New York At Its Core, this fall and one of the first launches in connection with the exhibit is an update of the film Timescapes: A Multimedia Portrait of New York, 1609-Today that has been playing a the museum since 2005. The 28 minutes film covers over 400 years of New York City history and now includes the era after 9/11. One of the coolest aspects is how the film melds vintage photography into present day scenes. It’s hard to get a true preview of the film because it’s projected across three screens simultaneously in a theater custom designed for the film, but the museum has generously lent us some images and clips that combine the reels.

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Governors Club-Governors Island-Water Taxi Beach-NYCGovernors Island beach. Image via Goldstar

New York City may have once had a natural coastline but it was primarily marshland. Today, with continued human intervention on the landscape of the New York City waterfront, you can find some great beaches, albeit man-made. From Governors Island to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and two under-the-radar spots in the Bronx, here are seven man-made beaches to check out:

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Dry Dock 6-Brooklyn Navy Yard-NYC

Yesterday, we got a unique chance to see the dry docks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from a unique angle: via the water. Most ferry boats and pleasure cruises rarely turn into the Navy Yard Basin (also known as Wallabout Bay), sticking to the most efficient path on the East River. But we were being taken to see the working waterfront in New York City aboard the historic Fireboat John J. Harvey, as part of the project to rehabilitate the S.S. Columbia, a passenger steamship from Detroit that will be making its way down the Hudson River to New York City next year.

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Some of the Untapped Cities core staff has been on their annual electricity-less, internet free vacation on remote islands in Brittany, France so we missed this video in our inbox. But we’re back and want to share this dramatic drone video of the always mysterious North Brother Island, the abandoned island in New York City’s East River. We’ve previously covered its historical secrets and shared photographs from photographer Christopher Payne, a collaborator of Untapped Cities, who wrote the book  North Brother Island, The Last Unknown Place in New York CityWe’ve even visited the island ourselves, on a surprise stop with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and are anxiously awaiting the study that’s exploring the opening of North Brother Island to public access.

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In 2012, we visited the first iteration of the Lowline – an exhibition in an Essex Street warehouse that showed the possibilities of the world’s first underground park that could be built in New York City in the abandoned Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal on the Lower East Side. A little less than four years later, city government has given the project official approval. The Lowline will not only bring an innovative new green space to the neighborhood but will also provide a “community-oriented public and cultural space,” the NYCEDC announced last week.

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