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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.


Broadway Stages-Greenpoint-Newtown Creek-Oil Spill Remediation Project-The Good Wife-Royal Pains-NYC

On a recent OHNY tour of the Greenpoint Oil Spill Remediation Project run by ExxonMobil and the Newtown Creek Alliance, we were also shown Broadway Stages, a film studio within the spill zone. The buildings in this area of Newtown Creek were once home to 50 oil refineries, tanneries, gas plants, metal manufacturers and other businesses, and an extensive oil spill underground is the result of a century of accumulated contamination. The oil companies were eventually consolidated, but of the buildings in the area were unused and certain stretches lacked basic infrastructure–like sewers, electricity and sidewalks. Moreover, the streets were used essentially as dump sites.

Broadway Stages came in to change that, and with the partnership of ExxonMobile, who has sought to be a good neighbor during the remediation process, installed lights and created sidewalks. In 2010, the road was paved for the first time in 50 years. Broadway Stages is now one of the largest film production companies in New York City, with shows like The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and Royal Pains filmed there.

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See the City-NYC & Company-NYCGo-Tourism Board-Harlem-Long Island City-St.George-Dumbo-Van Cortlandt

New York City’s tourism agency is hoping that these vintage-inspired, stylized new posters will encourage New Yorkers to go explore their own city. Here at Untapped Cities, we certainly support that message. After all, our long-standing tagline has been “Rediscover your city.” As The New York Times describes, the “See Your City” campaign from NYC & Company “spotlight sections of all five boroughs that might appeal to adventurous local residents.”

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There are many, many secrets to Grand Central Terminal as you may have read in our ever popular article on the Top 10 Secrets of Grand Central. One we haven’t mentioned before is the access to the famous Tiffany Clock, which is the largest Tiffany clock in the world at 13 feet in diameter. Our Instagram friend, darkcyanide, has been exploring some incredible spaces around New York City and recently shared his visit inside and atop the clock.
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5Pointz-Interior Demolition-Rooftop-StreetArt-Long Island City-Queens-Urban Exploration-NYCFall 2014-0185Pointz from 3rd floor of demolition. Photo by franklyfrank

The last time we heard from urban explorer __Macgyver and his crew, they were creating pyrotechnic fire art in New York City’s abandoned subway stations. This time, they’ve hit up the demolition at the beloved street art haven, 5Pointz which was whitewashed last year. In an evening raid, __MacgyverMr_Dume, Jenyc_photography, _Fabricios_franklyfrank and thompsonlxs_ capture what they describe to us as “a last hoorah” for 5Pointz. According to __Macgyver, 5Pointz “literally looked like it was blown away by a tornado.” Yet some of the street art was still intact. With a central building already down and the rest prepared for the wrecking ball, it is likely that 5Pointz will come down imminently.

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Ansonia Apartments - New YorkThe Ansonia about 1904, image via Library of Congress

If there is one building that epitomizes the Upper West Side’s bohemian origins, it just might be The Ansonia with its rather scandalous and off-beat reputation. The Ansonia has been home to such a wide range of characters–from Babe Ruth to Igor Stravinsky to Natalie Portman–that it’s not surprising what an illustrious backstory it has. We decided to take a look back at a wonderful feature from New York Magazine in 2005 that revisits the ups and downs of the historic building (which had 1,400 rooms and 320 suites!) and share with you some of the most wild facts about the building.

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Bitcoin ATM-The Yard-Williamsburg-NYCBitcoin ATM at The Yard in Williamsburg. Image by Alban Denoyel of Sketchfab

We have a history of reporting on fun ATMs, from the Gold ATM on 57th Street, the Cupcake ATM from Sprinkles, and even some for bike parts. Yesterday, the CEO of Sketchfab, a platform for 3D models based in New York City, showed us the latest Bitcoin ATM he came across at The Yard in Williamsburg, a co-working space. There are now at least three Bitcoin ATMs in New York City, with the first at Flat 128 in Greenwich Village and at Bitcoin retailer, Coin Cafe on Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint which has it in an old-fashioned phone booth.

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