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.
Our exclusive Untapped Cities Woolworth tour has been so popular, we’re offering more chances to check out the off-limits building this summer and fall. Although our July 17th tour is sold out, we’ve got dates for August 23rd (just a few tickets left), October 9th, November 8th and December 4th . This intimate, hour-long tour is led by Jason Crowley, a preservationist and architectural historian who is working to digitize and catalogue the New York Historical Society’s extensive collection of Woolworth Building archives.
Jason will lead us across the street to City Hall Park where we’ll examine the highly ornamented exterior of what was once the tallest building in the world. After discussing the Woolworth’s crucial importance to the development of the skyscraper and the New York City skyline, Jason will take us into the lobby, where he’ll share commentary on the vaulted ceilings and sculptural details, and into the bank vaults of the basement.
Following the tour, there will be an optional cocktail hour at Fraunces Tavern where you can mingle with other members of the Untapped community. Buy tickets here:
On the plaza of Lincoln Center until Monday, there’s a Japanese artisan village set up in conjunction with Heisei Nakamura-za revival of a rarely performed 19th-century kabuki ghost story at the Rose Theater. Built of wooden stalls in Japanese nagaya style—traditional bungalows built in rows–artisans are making specialty crafts on the spot. These include Nihon Ningyo (hand-painted dolls), Tenugui (fine cotton towels), Kanzashi (hair ornaments). There’s also a fun display of sake barrels.
If there was anywhere to travel half way around the world for, it just might be The Rock in Zanzibar, Tanzania. This restaurant, perched on a rock in the Indian Ocean, seems dropped from a fairy tale. During high tide, it becomes a veritable island with a wooden boat taking you the short distance to shore. In low tide, you simply walk across the seaweed strewn beach to get to this magical place. Both methods will take you to a rickety wooden staircase and into the restaurant, built in the local Zanzibar architectural style with a Makuti palm tree roof. In the back, there’s a beautiful patio where you can grab a cocktail surrounded on three sides by the turquoise seas. Inside, there are 12 cozy tables for lunch and dinner.