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.

Jefferson Market Library Interior-Greenwich Village-19

The landmarked Jefferson Market Library that sits between Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Avenue and Tenth Street had a fascinating prior life. The building was formerly a courthouse, with a prison next door where the garden is today, itself replacing a dingy police court over a saloon and a wooden fire tower. In 1967, just under a decade after being saved from demolition through community efforts and years of renovation, the building was reopened as a New York Public Library branch.


190 Bowery-First Show Last Show-Art Exhibit-Vito Schnabel-NYCFIRST SHOW / LAST SHOW at 190 Bowery. Photo via artnet

A few days after the epic announcement that the elusive 190 Bowery would open for the art show FIRST SHOW / LAST SHOW, the opening was abruptly cancelled (presumably to keep out the crowds, which showed up anyway, but others believe it was all to drum up hype). Nonetheless, the show was accommodating visitors by appointment and artnet snuck some photos inside the exhibition during the first weekend.


Fear City - Boston 1993 Cover and back pagesFear City, Boston Version from 1993. Scan courtesy of John Landers, of Brooklyn NY

Untapped Cities readers may remember the 1975 anti-tourist pamphlet released by the New York City Council for Public Safety, the cover emblazoned with a scary skull and the bold capital words: WELCOME TO FEAR CITY. This was the New York City of a different era, and the pamphlet was part of a Council scare tactic to keep tourists away–all in retaliation for a slew of layoffs that shrunk the city’s police force and other public agencies. Yesterday, Untapped Cities reader John Landers from Brooklyn, NY shared with us scans of the much lesser-known Boston version, from 1993, which he has a copy of, which was timed with the Boston Centennial.


NYC US Parking Tickets by State-Fun Maps-2

I Quant NY has a new map, as quirky as always, looking at the distribution of parking tickets in New York City by state. Using the city’s Open Data, he uncovered that parking tickets are charged to residents in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Mexico and eleven out of thirteen Canadian provinces and territories. Not surprisingly, New York state ranks #1 in terms of total fines, but you might not know that it accounts for over half a billion dollars. Following New York is New Jersey, Pennsylvania and then Connecticut. Ben Wellington, of I Quant NY, also notes that Canada contributes a little under a million dollars year.


SoHo Memory Project-Kickstarter-Yuki-Ohta-NYC-2

SoHo native Yukie Ohta and founder of The SoHo Memory Project is hoping to create a mobile historical society to chronicle the evolution of the neighborhood from rural farmland to the high-end retail hub it is today. As she writes, “SoHo currently has no neighborhood society dedicated to preserving its history, and I think it deserves one.” She’s working with the Uni Project, and fundraising on Kickstarter, to create a pop-up learning experience using non-traditional media, like Viewmaster finders, 3D printed miniatures, and a smell station, along with vintage ephemera. The end goal is to place current day SoHo in the context of New York City’s history, something Ohta feels is obscured in its landscape today.


190 Bowery Exterior-Abandoned-Graffiti First Show Last Show Vito Schnabel-NYCPhoto by frankwza for Untapped Cities/BigScreenNY Competition

An art show opening Saturday inside the elusive 190 Bowery building brings together what New Yorkers love best: abandoned/inaccessible buildings, street art (on the exterior), and art. The group exhibition, entitled , is presented by Vito Schnabel and Aby Rosen, the latter who bought the building last year. As Schabel writes in his invite (as seen on Lo Down NY), “I grew up in New York City, walking by the former Germania Bank countless times. I always wanted to go inside, thinking it might be a perfect place for an exhibition. This is the first time this 1899 landmark building will be open to the public since the bank closed in 1966 and it became a private residence.”