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.

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Frustrated with the New York City subway in general? Or afraid of L-magaddon, the 2019 shutdown of the L subway line from 8th Avenue to Bedford? You can escape into urban planning fantasy with the website, “Brand New Subway” and build your own system. If building an entire transit system seems daunting have no fear. You can start with the existing system today and go from there. You can fast forward to 2025 with its proposed changes. You can go back to 1972, with the map by Massimo Vignelli. There’s a 1936 map that can’t be selected yet, but we assume is coming. Or you can start completely from scratch.


August 1, 2016

190 Bowery has been quite the subject of conversation over the last few years, once rumors of renovation at the graffiti hotspot started. For decades it was owned by one person, photographer Jay Maisel, who rented it to artists like Roy Lichtenstein. Afterwards, it became a single-family house for Maisel and his family, the largest in New York City with 72 rooms.


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Amidst the country fair atmosphere at today’s thoroughbred horse races, it can be easy to forget the sheer amount of history at the country’s racetracks. Many of them are an easy trip on public transit from New York City, including Belmont Track, home of the Belmont Stakes, and Monmouth Park, on the Jersey shore. On Sunday, we made the 90 tminute train ride to Monmouth Park to catch the Haskell Invitational, a $1 million purse featuring the the Exaggerator, the horse than won the Preakness this year and Nyquist, this year’s Kentucky Derby winner.


This November, the Museum of the City of New York will open the exhibit New York at Its Coreusing its entire first floor to tells the history of New York from Dutch to today. The Museum will release a series of teasers in anticipation, which has already included an updated short video Timescapes that melds old and new over 400 years of history. The first trailer video was just released at last week’s Uptown Bounce event at the museum. The video showcases an historic item, an apple peeler, to tell the story of the third portion of the exhibit from 1898 to 1912.


The MOL Benefactor, Largest Ship to Ever Arrive in NYC Harbor. Photo by Georgia Ports Authority by Stephen B. Morton.

There have been changes going on to keep New York City’s harbor competitive internationally, particularly with expansion at the Panama Canal. The upgrades in the New York area will have a price tag of $6 billion, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and include raising the deck of the Bayonne Bridge nearly 65 feet. Larger ships can now traverse the expanded Panama Canal, carrying 1.5x the previous capacity. The new ship size, dubbed the New Panamax, was developed in direct response to the new dimensions of the locks built in the canal.

On July 7th, with very little fanfare, the MOL Benefactor, the first of the New Panamax ships and the largest vessel to ever visit New York City arrived to the Global Container Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey. GCT Bayonne is the only metropolitan terminal in the area that can accommodate the New Panamax ships, and as the Waterfront Alliance reported on July 22nd, “All other area terminals either do not have the capacity or would have required the ship to pass under the too-low Bayonne Bridge.”


It’s rare that a single flower gets this much media attention but the Corpse Flower, aka the Amorphophallus titanum, only blooms once every four to five years. Native to Sumatra, there’s one at the New York Botanical Garden, which they’ve been tending to with care for a decade, which is how long it takes for the plant to store enough energy to bloom.

The plant, the largest “inflorescence in the Plant Kingdom” gets its corpse flower nickname from the smell it emits when it blooms, similar to that of “rotting flesh,” or a “dead animal” writes the NYBG. Its Latin name is derived from Ancient Greek roots: amorphos, “without form, misshapen,” phallos, “phallus”, and titan, “giant”). So, a misshapen giant penis.