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.

David Bowie-Lazarus-NYCDavid Bowie in New York City, photo via Hollywood Reporter

Performer David Bowie, a longtime resident of New York City, passed away on Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer. Born in London in 1947, Bowie calls New York City the place he “had fantasised over since my teens.” In a look back, here are 5 iconic Bowie moments and locations which show his passion for New York as a city.


Hole in the Wall-Crown Heights-Chicken-Jamaican-Carribbean Food-Papa-Kingston Avenue-St Johns Place-Brooklyn-NYC

We thought we were well-versed in the world of New York City’s hidden restaurants (after all, we wrote a whole book about it). But nothing quite prepared us for the awesomeness of this hole in the wall in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, near the Untapped Cities office. And when we write hole in the wall, we mean it literally. There’s no name, no sign, no hours, no menu, no door to walk through. Just a rectangular cutout from a storefront grate, just by the intersection of Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place, behind which a man from Jamaica is serving up delicious Caribbean food.


Suspended Forest-Knockdown Center-Maspeth Queens-Brooklyn Christmas Trees-Michael Neff-NYC

What happens to all the Christmas trees that get thrown out after the holidays? Besides city-wide sponsored mulchfests (this weekend) and curbside collection by the Department of Sanitation, whereupon it gets turned into compost, some Brooklyn trees have the distinct honor of becoming part of the Suspended Forest, a site-specific installation by San Francisco-based artist Michael Neff.


In 2015, we hosted over 10 sold-out experiences of the original Untapped Cities-developed tour, The Remnants of Penn Station in partnership with The Eternal Space, a play about an untold story of the destruction of New York City’s famous transportation hub. Led by Justin Rivers, playwright of The Eternal Space, the tour covers the past, present and future plans for Penn Station, accompanying a hunt for the numerous remaining pieces of the grand McKim, Mead & White station that are hidden in plain sight. Our 2016 tour comes with new remnant discoveries and a special reproduction ticket for each guest of the first commuter ride into Penn Station on September 2nd, 1910, months before the public opening.


Savoring Gotham Book Cover-Launch-NYCSavoring Gotham. Photo via Oxford University Press blog

A new book from Oxford University Press, Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City is a veritable encyclopedia of food terms, all distinctly New York. The book, with almost 570 entries written by nearly 180 food experts, is a celebration of the diversity of food and cultures in the city. Learn what a bialy is, recall the days of the automats, or go back in time when oysters were so abundant in the New York Harbor they cost only 5 cents. Even the oft-forgotten Native Americans get their due. The forward is written by Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver and in advance of getting your own copy, take this quiz from the Oxford Dictionary team:


On New Year’s Day January 1st this year, our very own Erica Price went to document the annual pilgrimage that is the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. Organized by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, which has its own street named after it, the group is the “oldest winter bathing organization in the United States” as its claim to fame.