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.

Matthew Arnold-Topography is War-Libya-North African Landscape Photography-Happy Lucky No 1 Gallery-Crown Heights-Brooklyn-NYC-016

Last week, a new gallery, Happy Lucky No. 1 opened on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights – on a stretch becoming increasingly peppered with new coffee shops, bars and businesses. The new space, designed by Honest Buildings, is both gallery and event space, with a green wall and green roof. The first exhibit, Topography is Fate, with images by New York City-based photographer Matthew Arnold, is even more timely now given the recent current events. Arnold’s beautiful large-format photographs belie a darker history – 70 years ago this North African landscape was the scene of carnage during World War II.


1 WTC-Paris Terrorist Attacks-Lights-France-NYC-World Trade Center-20151 World Trade Center via EarthCam

Here at Untapped Cities, we have strong ties to both New York City and Paris. As the founder of Untapped Cities, I was born in New York but lived in Paris in 2010, and my husband Augustin Pasquet, who manages partnerships and advertising for Untapped Cities, moved to New York City from Paris in 2012. Many of our contributors live in Paris and for many years we ran a subsite, Untapped Paris as well. This year, part of our team spent all of April and May living and working in Paris, and a large portion of August.

There is a kinship between New York City and Paris – so different physically, even culturally, but similar in spirit. When I was married, I thought long and hard about whether to change my last name. In the end, I kept both, and I’m glad because today I also feel French. It is with sadness that I see what people are willing to do to the places that so many call home, places that have such rich history and culture, whether New York City or Paris, or elsewhere. But we cannot succumb to fear. Cities like New York City and Paris must continue to be melting pots, to welcome the world to its doorsteps and to invite them in – porte ouverte.


Astolat Dollhouse Castle-8.5 million-Most Expensive-Columbus Circle-NYC

Dubbed “The World’s Most Valuable Dollhouse,” and certainly the city’s most expensive piece of “real estate” at the moment, The Astolat Dollhouse Castle is appraised at $8.5 million dollars and for almost a month, it will be on view inside The Shops at Columbus Circle. The privately owned dollhouse is being shown to the public on a world tour to fundraise (via donation at the display) to children’s charities.


"I Scrubs," Little Katie from the W. 52nd Street Industrial SchoPhoto by Jacob A. Riis. Image via Museum of the City of New York, Gift of Roger William Riis

Today, most people probably know of journalist and social reformer Jacob A. Riis through the photographic collection he left behind. But perhaps the most surprising thing you’ll learn about the Danish-born, New York transplant in the new Museum of City of New York exhibit Jacob Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half is that photography was merely a supporting part of Riis’ larger journalistic legacy. In fact, while Riis kept careful documentation of his written work – manuscripts, correspondence, clippings, annotated notebooks – he left the photographs in the attic of his house in Queens.

By deconstructing the prevailing myth and narrative that surround Riis, curator Bonnie Yochelson reveals not only the other half of New York City during the late 19th century and early 20th century, but also the other sides of Riis himself. While Riis’ photographic collection belongs to the Museum of the City of New York, this is the first ever exhibition of Riis’ archive, which belongs primarily to the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library.


SS Columbia Project-Buffalo-NY-Hudson Valley-NYC

In September 2014, we reported on the S.S. Columbia Project, an initiative to bring America’s oldest surviving passenger steamship to New York. While it served its previous life in Detroit as one of the Boblo Boats, it will get new life reinvigorating the Hudson Valley‘s connection with its river and will serve as a floating mobile museum and cultural space along the Hudson River. Over the last year, the S.S. Columbia moved from Detroit to Toledo, where it wintered and had its hull repaired with 3,791 square feet of new steel welded below the waterline. On September 2nd, 2015 it arrived in New York State and will be docked at Silo City on the Buffalo River for the upcoming winter, before more rehabilitation is done to the boat next year.

A new video shares beautiful footage inside the S.S. Columbia and tells an oral history of the ship’s role in Detroit’s cultural memory.


Master of None, released Friday November 6th on Netflix, has quickly become an over-weekend sensation (we admit, we binge watched the whole first season). The New York City-set comedy stars Aziz Ansari with a cast of hilarious regulars like Noël Wells from SNL, Eric Wareheim, Kelvin Yu, and Lena Waithe, and guest stars like Claire Danes, Busta Rhymes, Noah Emmerich, and Colin Salmon. Attacking relatable subjects like dating, immigrant parents, children (or lack thereof) and more, the show brings a levity to even difficult subjects clearly close to the hearts of creators Ansari and Kevin Yang, from debates about minority casting in television to politics (even finding a way to cleverly diss Bobby Jindal in a funny way).

Equally fun for us has been tracking down the film locations in Master of None, featuring some of our favorite spots in New York City. Whatw we love about the Master of None locations are that they all feel like neighborhood spots Ansari and his team probably already hang out at, rather than some all out film scouting affair. Without further ado, here are the locations in season one: