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.

World's Fair Subway Car-1964-Model-R33 WF-St. Louis Car Company-NYC-005

Earlier this year, we wrote an article about the subway line that ran just for the 1939 World’s Fair and a reader commented that he had a model of the subway car and wanted to know more about it. Looking at the photographs he sent, the reader’s model actually appears to be the subway cars used for the 1964 World’s Fair, which were painted an aqua blue color in line with the branding for the event. His subway cars are the R33 WF (World’s Fair) model, of which 430 were commissioned for the event.


This fall, we’ll be welcoming our 11th internship class here at Untapped Cities and we’re looking for some bright, motivated writers to join the team. Our interns get to do it all, writing published articles from day one, managing their own columns, exploring the city, and covering events.  As an Untapped Cities intern, you can learn how a web magazine really works, pitch your own ideas, have an article published within your first week, and, of course, re-discover the city you love.  If you go to school in New York City or if you’re just looking for journalism experience, we’re currently accepting applications to join our Fall 2016 class of interns in New York City.

As an added bonus, Untapped Cities is now part of the New Museum NEW INC Incubator so you’ll get all the benefits of working on a dynamic environment tailored for art, design, and technology companies. We’ll be producing panels and events at the New Museum and expanding our series of tours around New York City.

Editorial Internship:  The editorial interns will work directly with Untapped Cities’ Founder and Managing Editor on determining the publication schedule, proposing new articles, and writing their own regular column. Our editorial interns work on a full range of pieces such as our Daily Whats?!, features like this transit history of 5th avenue, and roundups, like the Top 10 Secrets of Grand Central. As an editorial intern, you will also gain experience with writing for search engine optimization and using social media to promote your own work. You don’t need to be a journalism major, as long as you’re a strong writer and can come ready with ideas for content.

To apply, send your resume and writing samples to info@untappedcities.com.

ConfettiWithTheBrickBats-Robert Moses-Power Broker Competition-Archival Historic Documents-NYC-5

We recently reported on the new fun tool to build your own subway system in New York City, which was an entry into the Power Broker competition which seeks to adapt the seminal biography on Robert Moses into game form. There’s another entry in this competition that caught our eye, called Confetti with the Brick Bats which uses actual historical documents on Robert Moses and asks the player to make a decision as the master builder. The creators of the game, Alexander King and Noca Wu are game design students at the NYU Game Center, partnering with NYU Stern MBA student Robert Heller who did the writing for the game.


Times Square With Love

Just open this morning at 11 am is the new installation “XXX Times Square with Love,” from Times Square Arts and J. Mayer H. Now, instead of hurrying through Times Square to avoid the tourists, you can literally lie down in the public space – that is, if you can get a spot. The X-shaped loungers, which can accommodate up to four people lying down, were inspired by the shape of the intersection at Broadway and 7th Avenue. Not mentioned in the press release, but an obvious reference, is the XXX past of Times Square, notoriously cleaned up in the late ’90s and early 2000s.


On September 15th, the 6th annual New York City Dîner en Blanc will be back in a yet-to-be-disclosed location. The first round of registrations began yesterday, which are open to guests who attended last year and the second phase, guests of sponsored guests from the first phase, will open on Friday. After that, the tens of thousands on the waitlist might get to sign up if the dinner doesn’t fill up before then.

Here at Untapped Cities, we’ve had a long history with this pop-up white dinner – from our attendance annually in the Paris Dîner en Blanc, the original incarnation of the dinner, to our role in organizing the dinner in New York City since its inception.

While we can’t share any secrets of the upcoming dinner, we thought it would be a great moment to look back at the previous locations and speculate about where it might be this year. Let’s go back in time first to the year 2011, when the Dîner en Blanc first launched in New York City:


1 World Trade Center via EarthCam

It’s the 100th birthday of the National Park Service and tonight, there are some fancy going-ons in New York City. Most exciting might be the ability to control the color of the spire of 1 World Trade Center using a giant digital circuitboard in Brooklyn Bridge Park. To change the color, participants have to collectively solve interactive puzzles. Even if you can’t make it, EarthCam will provide views of the New York City skyline from the Statue of Liberty.