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.

Hell Bridge-East River-Urban Exploration-Bronx-NYC-5Photo by @hakimms

Hell Gate Bridge is one of those urban explorer favorites–possibly because it includes an added level of danger: it’s not a pedestrian bridge but an Amtrak one that carries the train company’s electrified services to and from points north of New York City. Instagrammer @hakimms recently shared with us his photographs atop the unique bridge.


World Trade Center WTC Transportation Hub Santiago Calatrava-NYC-2Photo by Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork

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AINT WET-Guerilla Street Art Marketing-NYC-001

No, you didn’t read that wrong. AINT WET is a guerrilla marketing campaign for the rather bizarre clothing company of the same name run by one Abraham El Makaw. Over the last few months, we’ve come across a few of the signage he’s posted all over the city. His Instagram account, also the official AINT WET account, has a penchant for dead birds, dead fish, roaches, dead rats and marsupials, often smoking cigarettes amidst found trash. Nothing is beyond the limit, with two bottles of pee photographed to mark his 24 hours spent underground.


NYC Subway Map Public Competition-1964-R Raleigh D'Adamo-Gary Lloyd-Reka Komoli-2Submission to the 1964 NYC subway map competition by Raleigh D’Adamo, original design, reconstructed by Reka Komoli

Ever wonder why the 1/2/3 lines are red, or the N/Q/R yellow? Curbed NY has an article that explains it all. We first have to begin in the era when the NYC subway system was really three different systems–the IRT, the BMT and and the IND. Sometimes you can still see the tiles in the underground that reference the old terminology. It seems like New Yorkers like to hang on to old things, as these colors stayed even a couple decades after the unification of the systems in 1940.

On the subway map even in the 1960s, with 34 at the time, it wasn’t the clearest maps. And so in 1964, there was a public competition for the redesign.


We know what New York City’s famous buildings look like, but what do they sound like? In the new exhibit Soundscape New York at the Museum of City of New York, visitors can experience an immersive sound and visual project of five iconic New York buildings: Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, New York Public Library Reading Room, the Guggenheim Museum, the and Seagram Building lobby. Four of the videos are embedded in this article.


NYC Interior Landmarks Ne w York School of Design Exhibit-Manhattan-Brooklyn

In landmarking, there’s a distinction between interior and exterior designation in New York City. Now, the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) has as a wonderful web resource with beautiful photographs of the interior landmarks of the city, launched in conjunction with the school’s exhibit “Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Interior Landmarks.”