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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.


D. T. Valentine's Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York Plan of the City of New York-Made and Swamp LandMap via Boston Public Library

Back it the early days of New York, Manhattan was narrower, swampy and full of things called slips, narrow slivers of harbor left for boats as landfill extended the coastline. This map from D. T. Valentine’s Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, currently on display at the Boston Public Library’s American Revolution exhibition We Are One: Mapping the Road from Revolution to Independence, maps the “made and swampland” of New York City and a bit of Brooklyn (then Long Island) in 1856.

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Grand Central Terminal Armchairs-Wing Chairs-Love Seats-Fiberglass-NYC

As part of the renovation of Grand Central Terminal, red and green armchairs were placed in the dining concourse in 1998, modeled after the luxury wingchairs on the 20th-Century Limited Trains. The insignia on the chairs were the original logo of the terminal, in which Cornelius Vanderbilt placed a secret reference. As reported by The New York Times, the letters GCT in the symbol are formed such that when upside, the T becomes an anchor–an homage to Vanderbilt’s start in the ferry and shipping business.

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Roy Lichtenstein Penn Plaza Untapped Cities AFineLyneRoy Lichtenstein sculpture at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street

Earlier, we reported on the construction progress of Plaza 33, a pedestrian plaza opened on 33rd Street next to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. Now open for a week, it’s become a popular lunch and hangout spot. With a view toward art, music and food, Vornado Realty Trust has put their best foot forward in creating a welcoming environment designed by New York City-based firm W Architecture for commuters, locals and tourists.

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FAILE-Times Square-Wishing On You-Wooden Canopy-Brooklyn Museum-NYC

Brooklyn-based street artists FAILE (the duo Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller), have brought a new piece Wishing On You to Times Square, part of the Times Square Arts program. More than just a temporary street art piece, this installation located between 42nd and 43rd Street, is a real thinking piece–a deliberate juxtaposition of traditional architecture and modern iconography. As the artists describe, “Wishing On You is an interactive installation that speaks through the district’s graphic language and invites visitors to explore the contemporary ideas of ritual, myth-making and worship in the commercial mecca that is Times Square.”

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Worldport Terminal (former Pan-AM Terminal) at JFK Airport

In the Jet Age, the world’s most famous architects were designing terminals for John F. Kennedy Airport. Many of these buildings would not have the same luck as the TWA Flight Center, the iconic, landmarked terminal that will be turned into a hotel after years of preservation activism and support from inside the Port Authority. It may come as surprise that airline companies have control over the fate of historical buildings, but such is the nature of airport architecture, which is perpetually looking forward to accommodate the new trends and demands of jet travel.

Like in the demolitions of Pennsylvania Station and the renovation of Grand Central Terminal, travel must continue undisrupted in any renovation or construction. As a result, for a period of time, new and old often sit by side at airports offering passengers and flight industry members a chance to reflect. Here are the lost terminals at JFK Airport:

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MoMA PS1- Samara Golden-The Flat Side of the Knife-Warm Up-Queens-Long Island City-Queens-NYC

One of the benefits of attending one of the Warm Up events at MoMA PS1, in addition to the live DJs, food from M. Wells and the booze, is that you can explore the exhibits inside while the party is taking place in the courtyard. It’s hard to believe Warm Up has been going on for 18 years now, but that’s a testament to its mission to provide experimental music and art across a range of genres. The building used to be the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and as its name suggests, it was originally the first public school in Long Island City.

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