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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.


Above the Line mural High Line Untapped Cities AFineLyne

On the rotating art mural along the High Line, a new work by artist Kerry James Marshall imagines New York City’s water towers as luxury condos and apartments. This isn’t a future that is too far off, with a speakeasy once built into a water tower and a steel tank converted into a rooftop cottage already in the city.

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Statue of Liberty Torch-NYCStatue of Liberty Torch. Photo via Wikimedia by Yuvraj Singh Babrah

For July 4th, we shared out Top 10 Secrets of the Statue of Liberty but there are so many fun facts and photographs about Lady Liberty’s torch alone we’ve decided to share them here.

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Racing Extinction-Empire State Building-Projection-NYC-Travis Threlkel-Louie Psihoyos-009Photo by Obscura Digital SF

Last night, 20,000 lumen projectors illuminated the south side of the Empire State Building with images of endangered animals for the installation Racing Extinction, a project that could not have been more timely following the shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, who got a special memorial callout. Here are some striking photographs from Instagram and the Untapped Cities community:

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Capuchin Monastery of St. John-Penn Station-31st Street-NYC

Monasteries may not be an institution synonymous with New York City, but as we’ve shown, they are certainly a presence. Still, most retain a bucolic presence, even within urban or industrial zones. One exception is the Capuchin Monastery of the Church of St. John which sits on 31st Street just next to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. In this ramshackle stretch of no man’s land you’ll find a loading dock to MSG, the forgotten power station of the original Pennsylvania Station, and an unabashed homeless presence.

Not surprisingly this portion of 31st Street has come up in the city’s redevelopment plans several times. As of January 2015, Amtrak hoped to demolish the entire block and replace it with a rail station for New Jersey commuters, to be called Penn South.

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Staten Island-North Shore Development Tour-New Stapleton Waterfront-Ironside Development-Untapped Cities-NYCEDC-NYC

Just days after the New York Daily News proclaimed that “Staten Island wants to be the new Brooklyn,” 20 intrepid Untapped Cities readers met at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island at 10 am on a Saturday for a Behind the Scenes NYC Tour of the borough’s north shore developments with the NYCEDC. It’s not lost on residents, community leaders and small businesses on this traditionally forgotten boroughthat Staten Island could be the new frontier. Combine rising rents in other boroughs with substantial city investment and redevelopments plans for Staten Island (plus space), and you’ve got the makings of a new destination, those involved hope.

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NYC-Diner en Blanc-2015-Hudson River Park-Pop Up White Dinner

At the 2015 New York City Dîner en Blanc this year, 5000 guests in white took over Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. Despite the fact that the location was geographically close to that of last year, in Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, there’s one very unique fact, as pointed out by Aymeric Pasquier, co-founder of Dîner en Blanc International: this was the very last event held on the empty Pier 26, before it’s converted into a mixed-use recreational facility.

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