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.
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.
In our series NYC v. Paris, we previously covered all the Statues of Liberty in both cities. Today, we’re looking at the Eiffel Tower. It might surprise you to know that New York City has its own Eiffel Tower replica. It’s pretty small, but it has a prominent location…just off the Long Island Expressway in Queens.
Did you know that New York City held the record for the world’s tallest buildings from 1890 to 1974? On April 27th, we’re bringing back our Untapped “tour and a cocktail” concept, led by Untapped Cities History Editor Benjamin Waldman. In Downtown Manhattan, we will delve into little-known facts and stories about some of the city’s landmarks. The tour will end with a cocktail at the historic Fraunces Tavern where you can mingle with other urban enthusiasts and the Untapped Cities contributor crew.
The tour will also explore the evolution of the city’s skyline from a single church spire to the skyscraper-filled skyline recognized worldwide today, and trace the transformation of the city from a classical European colony to a modern metropolis. Highlights will include the Woolworth building (exterior), Trinity Church, and the site of the Singer building, the tallest building ever peacefully demolished.
In addition to being the History Editor and a writer for Untapped Cities, Benjamin Waldman, has written for The New York Times, Columbia Magazine,and Curbed. He has lectured at venues around the New York metropolitan area on topics including “A Walk Through Parisian History” and “Edgar Allan Poe’s New York City” (which was part of a National Endowment for the Arts grant). Benjamin is a licensed New York City tour guide and leads tours through the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy for groups including the 92nd Street Y, Columbia University, and Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford.
See more from Untapped Cities events, including a tour of the inside of the Woolworth Building (3 tickets left!) and a tour and cocktail at an authentic speakeasy in the East Village.
At the intersection of Court Street and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway/Gowanus Parkway in Carroll Gardens sits a little traffic triangle that’s part of the Greenstreets program. Officially called “Cough Triangle,” this strangely named park even has it’s own listing on the NYC Parks website.
While most of Paris’ subway stations have been modernized with plastic “anti-homeless” chairs that replaced former wooden benches, you can still get a glimpse of the old Paris metro on line 12 and part of line 13. These lines were built by the Nord-Sud Company starting in 1904 and had more elaborate decoration and rolling stock than the other lines.
If you haven’t been by the Bowling Green subway station recently and you don’t have a fear of heights, prepare to be amazed by these series of “rooftopping” photographs of New York City by Navid Baraty.