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.

MTA Subway Map-Second Avenue Subway Line-Q-W Restored-NYC

Though not on the MTA website yet, the Second Avenue Subway line has been added to the subway map contained with the May 2016 MTA Board Action Items document released on Wednesday. The line is expected to open in December this year and there would be a few changes as a result, including a resurrection of the W line. Currently, the Q goes from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.


Queensway-Phase One Design-Metropolitan Avenue-Metropolitan Hub-Forest Park-Rockaway Beach Branch Line-LIRR-Abandoned-Queens-NYC-017On the QueensWay, a visionary rendering done prior to start of latest design phase

We recently took a trip to explore the potential QueensWay Park site with Andy Stone, director of the New York City program of the Trust for Public Land. While we have documented this former Rockaway Beach Branch line of the Long Island Railroad on numerous occasions previously, this visit showed the unique urban access challenges of the surrounding landscape and what the QueensWay Park hopes to address through the creation of the city’s next linear park.

Yesterday, the design process for the first half-mile of the Queensway Park was announced by the Friends of the Queensway, the Trust for Public Land, and elected officials that support the project.


Artist JR-Louvre Disappearing Act-Paris Museum-2016-France

Paris is full of clever trompe l’oeil but French artist JR has taken it to a whole new level, making the iconic I.M. Pei glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum disappear in the latest installation. Using the iconic large-scale, black and white print method he has utilized in the project “Unframed” around the world, JR plays on old and new in a clever way. The Louvre pyramid is one of the most photographed places in the world, and according to the Louvre the location of the most selfies. JR’s work “poses questions about artistic creation, the role of images in the age of globalization, and their widespread use, from intimate circles to mass distribution,” writes the museum.


Popular Dog Names-Map-NYC Health Department-2015

Map of 2015’s Most Popular Dog Names in NYC. Image via NYC Department of Health

Yesterday, the New York City Department of Health released the list of most popular dog names in 2015, based on the 85,000 licensed dogs on record. The most popular dog name for the last seven years has been Bella, which the Department of Health surmises is due the publication of the last Twilight book that year). Max, formerly the number one name prior to that still takes second. As the records show, there were 1,127 Bellas and 1,073 Maxs registered in New York City in 2015.


Other Islands_OHNY_North Brother Island_East River_Untapped Cities-3

On an Open House New York boat tour, Stuart Miller and Sharon Seitz, authors of the book The Other Islands of New York talked guests through the history of New York City’s other islands, of which there are many.

Miller describes on the tour how the islands reflect the story of the city as its priorities have shifted over time. Some were originally purposed as military protection from the British during the War of 1812, named later for the families that owned them, and transformed over time into places of leisure, of isolation, of residence, and often of heterotopia. We’ve compiled here other islands of New York City. (more…)

Tropical Birds-Tatiana Arocha-Colombian Birds-Brooklyn Navy Yard-Queens Botanical Garden-NYC-001Photo via Tropical Birds

In December 2015, the tropical Painted Bunting bird appeared in Prospect Park to much media frenzy – thanks to its colorful rainbow-like feathers and the fact that it was far off course from its expected migration. Usually birds like the painted bunting go as far north as Florida (or to Mexico and the Caribbean) but sometimes they will venture far afield. According to the Audubon Society, “it’s not uncommon for this migrating species (and migrating birds in general) to get a little off-course,” though they admit we may see more of this phenomenon, known as vagrancy, due to climate change.

The appearance of the painted bunting inspired New York City-based, Colombian born artist Tatiana Arocha to create the art project Tropical Birds which we came across by surprise in the Brooklyn Navy Yard this past weekend. Sitting on a bench, we suddenly heard the sound of birds (and these weren’t pigeons, which are also roosting at the Navy Yard for Duke Riley’s Fly by Night).