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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.


Citywide Ferry System-NYCEDC-New Website-Portal-Mayor Bill de Blasio-NYC

In March, we took a deep dive into the Citywide Ferry system that will open (partially) in the summer of 2017, the first citywide ferry in one hundred years. Yesterday, the NYCEDC and Hornblower, the selected operator of the ferry system, launched an official website in advance of the launch. The Citywide Ferry system will have a total of six routes, which will run in addition to the existing East River Ferry. The price however, will be the same as a Metrocard swipe ($2.75). Through the new website, you can explore the routes and see how long segments will take.

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We’re of the opinion that if you’re a die-hard New Yorker, you kind of love pigeons (or at least have a morbid curiosity about them). We’ve been on a pigeon-themed landmark tour of the city and hung out with artist Mother Pigeon. Now, arts non-profit Creative Time, behind some of the most stunning art installations we’ve seen, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard will present the public artwork Fly by Night by artist Duke Riley. Each Friday through Sunday evening from May 7 to June 12th, thousands of pigeons will be released from a converted historic boat in an orchestrated performance. Leg bands on the pigeons, used historically to carry messages, will be replaced by LED lights controlled by remote control.

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Weegee's Bowery-International Center of Photography-ICP Gallery Mana Contemporary-Exhibit-NYC1Under the Third Avenue El, 1943-45, © Weegee / International Center of Photography.

The International Center of Photography (ICP) holds more than 20,000 images by the legendary New York City press photographer, Weegee. Weegee, whose real name was Arthur Felig, was a New York City character unto himself who shot unflinching photographs across all the levels of New York City society. A master of myth building and of sensationalism, Weegee became known for his crime photography and had early access to crime scenes thanks to his relationship with the police force. But his photographs of daily life in the 1930s and ’40s are often what resonate with viewers today – whether of unknowing filmgoers, of families sleeping on fire escapes, or if the gritty Bowery, the subject of an upcoming ICP exhibit, Weegee’s Bowery. This exhibit will launch for the June opening of ICP’s downtown location at 250 Bowery.

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Misplaced-Guggenheim Museum-NYCAll renderings via Misplaced

In the photography series Misplaced, interactive designer Anton Repponen takes iconic New York City buildings and landmarks and situates them in desolate environments. Repponen, who has a background in architecture, is clearly interested in urban space, exploring how the removal of urban fabric changes our perception of buildings. As described on the Misplaced website, “Concrete behemoths and steel-and-glass towers rise from sand dunes and rocky cliffs, inviting viewers to see them as if for the first time. Out of context, architectural forms become more pronounced and easily understood.”

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Deep below Grand Central Terminal, there’s a hidden power station known as M42 that does not appear on a single map or blueprint. In fact, its very existence was only acknowledged in the late 1980s and its exact location is still not public information. Nonetheless, unpublicized special tours have allowed the curious to head down there in the last five years or so. We can’t share all the details of how we landed on the coveted visit, but we were given the opportunity to explore this and other off-limits places in Grand Central Terminal recently – and took photographs.

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Citizen Bridge-Nancy Novacek-Governors Island-Red Hook Brooklyn-Buttermilk Channel-Pedestrian Bridge-Kickstarter-NYC

Maybe it’s a natural human tendency to want to build bridges, at least in New York City. There have even been plans to infill the Hudson and East Rivers so we could just walk over to New Jersey. Then there was “Lolo,” a proposal to fill in the land between downtown Manhattan and Governors Island. Thankfully, in real life, particularly after Hurricane Sandy, we’re learning that it’s better to let nature reclaim our waterfronts.

On a more temporary scale, Citizen Bridge, a project by artist Nancy Nowacek, hopes to raise enough money via Kickstarter to create an ephemeral pedestrian bridge between Governors Island and Red Hook, Brooklyn.– a reference to a 19th-century land bridge used farmers to move cattle at low tide across the Buttermilk Channel.

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