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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.


Finback Brewery-Ridgewood Queens-NYC Microbrewery-Brewery-Beer

Last night, we headed to Finback Brewery for the Untapped Cities Holiday Happy Hour and Tour, a reader suggestion from our piece on the top microbreweries in NYC. Finback’s tasting room in Glendale, Queens is a hidden gem. You’d never guess from the street (unless it’s summer and they have the garage door open) there that there would be a warm and inviting bar and beer hall inside this nondescript warehouse building tucked within a residential neighborhood.

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Ellis Island-Southside-Landfill-NYC-NJ-Immigrant-Aerial ViewImage via Michelle Henry 

On a tour of the abandoned south side hospitals on Ellis Island to track down the work of artist JR, National Park Service Ranger Mandy Edgecombe gave us lots of fun facts about the island most commonly associated with immigration.

1. Ellis Island used to be privately owned

The owner of Ellis Island, which he called Oyster Island, was Samuel Ellis. In 1785, he tried to sell it and even advertised it as a “pleasant situated island” in Loudon’s New York-Packet but there were no bites. The city leased the island for military purposes starting in 1794, upon the death of Ellis and buys it from the family in 1808 for $10,000.

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JR Ellis Island-Unframed Ellis Island-National Park Service-Save Ellis Island-Art-NYC-003

We recently went on an extensive hard hat tour of the abandoned Ellis Island Southside Hospitals, looking for a lot of of the JR artwork that hasn’t really been photographed or seen. In fact, our tour guide from the National Park Service came across JR pieces even she hadn’t seen before. The hard hat tour is sold out until March, but there are still dates available in March, April and May. The tours are a fundraising mechanism to rehabilitate the hospitals, once one of the most advanced healthcare facilities in the world.

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United Nations Delegates Dining Hall-Manhattan East Side-42nd Street-NYC

As you may have caught with some of our behind-the-scenes photographs, the United Nations recently underwent a huge renovation–the first since the complex on Manhattan’s East Side opened in 1952. Quietly reopening, and as under-the-radar as it has always been, was the United Nations Delegates Dining Room in the General Assembly Building. Unlike what its name suggests, the restaurant is also open to the public (non delegates) with advance reservation. The buffet format at the Dining Room means that you’ll be brushing past and sitting amidst ambassadors, dignitaries and delegates, all while taking in impressive views of the East River, Roosevelt Island and Long Island City.

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Maille-Mustard-Shop-On Tap-Columbus Avenue-68th Street-Upper West Side-Lincoln Center-NYC-002

Maille, the French vinegar purveyor has been around longer than the United States has been a country, but they just opened up their first shop in America on Columbus Avenue and 68th Street, and it has mustard on tap. Maille, founded in 1747 in Dijon has served as the official supplier to King Louis XV of France, Queen Victoria, Catherine II of Russia and King William IV of England.

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Assassin's Creed-Paris-French Revolution-Damien Hypolite-Bastille-Notre Dame-9

It’s often said (and most often by Parisians it seems) that Paris is its own museum, frozen in time. For preservation and cultural memory, this is a wonderful thing–though the architecture can make the city feel less progressive at times. One thing this level of preservation does assist–before and after photography. The latest Assassin’s Creed video game takes place in Paris, but the Paris of the French Revolution when heads were being guillotined and there were barricades in the streets. Damien Hypolite, the chef de projet infographie at Sciences et Avenir, matched up the images from the game to present day. Here’s are the images of the famous landmarks side-by-side:

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