Michelle is the founder of Untapped Cities. She can usually be found in New York (where she grew up), Paris, backpacking in South America or Southeast Asia, or in-transit between. She has an obsession with buses, shoots with a Nikon SLR camera, and destroys cellos on stage with her indie rock band. She’s traveled to 35 countries, including working for earthquake disaster organizations in Peru and Sumatra. She is an author of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library. She holds a masters in urban planning from Columbia University, 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.
After we published our article on 5 types of historic lampposts in NYC, we heard from the veritable Robert Mulero, who has been documenting the city’s lampposts since the 1970s. He wrote us, “I was called from The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in March of 1997 to testify for these old lampposts. I have photos of old and new lampposts going back to 1977.” Mulero was born on the Lower East Side and tells Untapped that he had “this love for street lights” since he was 5 years old. He remembers distinctly in 1962 when the lights on his street were removed and replaced by modern ones.
Yesterday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the new series of sculptures by artist Alice Aycock on the Park Avenue Mall between 52nd Street and 57th Street. Entitled Park Avenue Paper Chase, the monumental pieces really play on the whimsicality of paper objects and the materiality of aluminum and fiberglass.
Today, we profile Helen Post Curry, who runs the tours of the Woolworth Building we have been part of at Untapped Cities. She’s also the great-grand daughter of architect Cass Gilbert! We have 3 spots left for our April 12th Woolworth Building tour, and you can also get tickets to the ongoing Woolworth Tours (which have less access in the building than the Untapped-exclusive tour).
On Court Street in Brooklyn in the middle of 3rd and 4th Place in Carroll Gardens, is an abandoned storefront where you can still see the remnants of a shoe-shine shop from the dusty windows. Carroll Gardens, and much of Court Street, has historically been a strong community for the Italian immigrant diaspora and you can see a good number of Catholic items inside, like a photo of the Pope on the wall, a cross and a shrine.