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.
With the advent of Netflix (and the interim stage, Redbox), the neighborhood video store has been rapidly disappearing. But right at the beginning of Bedford Avenue in Greenpoint is the Film Noir Video Store, a small one-room shop that’s been in business for nine years. Owner Will Malitek says that Film Noir is “dedicated to classic and obscure music and movies” and on our recent visit, it was abundantly clear he is equally versed in both. The narrator of this short video on Film Noir describes the shop as a “Definite destination. You can come in and have a conversation about good film and music,” which is exactly what we experienced.
It’s amazing to us that we’re about to welcome our sixth internship class here at Untapped Cities. Are you interested in how it all comes together? Journalism, blogging, photography, social media, advertising, business development? Our interns get to do it all, writing published articles from day one, managing their own columns, exploring the city, and covering events. You don’t need to be a journalism major, just have a passion for cities and writing–we’ll teach you the rest! We’re currently accepting applications for interns for Spring 2014:
Editorial Internship: The editorial interns will work directly with Untapped Cities’ founder and managing editor on determining the publication schedule, proposing new articles, networking with our publication partners, writing their own regular column and feature pieces.
Recently, we took you inside the music shop Retrofret in Gowanus which specializes in rare and bizarre instruments. What we didn’t share with you yet is that one floor below, connected to Retrofret is an organ workshop! The shop not only repairs organs for such venerable churches as Trinity Wall Street and St. Thomas on 5th Avenue and 53rd Street, but used to build them from scratch too.
It may surprise you, but the annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is a must-visit for architecture buffs, as well as kids. All of the city’s main architectural landmarks (current and long-demolished) are present and they’re all made from plant parts! Untapped contributor Ben Huff recently went to check it out and shared with us his photographs. Scroll through to see places like the Guggenheim Museum, Yankee Stadium, and the George Washington Bridge on display at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
Recently, Untapped Cities reader Rachel Potter submitted the following preservation query to our mailbag:
I have a question about landmark preservation rules – recently I saw the article about the ‘64 World’s Fair [in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park] and the decision whether to restore or demolish them. I also learned that JFK’s Pan Am Worldport is being torn down. I’m confused though, since both of these sites have historic landmark status, how is it possible to demolish them? Isn’t the point of landmark status to ensure their preservation in the midst of projected redevelopment?
Yesterday, just as we were publishing about the return of the MTA’s vintage “Nostalgia” trains and buses, we caught sight of the Omnibus in Midtown on 3rd Avenue with a sign “Keep Back: BUS IN TOW.” The service started yesterday along 42nd Street, so its possible the bus might need some maintenance. This exact bus (#2969) was also featured at the MTA Vintage Bus Festival and a very observant reader noted via Twitter that this is the same as type of bus Rosa Parks was on when she refused to give up her seat.