Untapped Global Team


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Our contributors in:  New York  |  Paris  |  Los Angeles  |  Global

Jakob Straub, global editor/Berlin: An avid traveler, Jakob is based in Berlin, Germany, where he works as writer for bread, rent, and pleasure. When he’s not involved with various ambitious literary projects, taking part in poetry slams and readings, he enjoys rock climbing and cooking. He hasn’t yet sold his soul for a publishing deal, but his chance will come.

Emily Baillie, Toronto: Emily is a writer and photographer based in Toronto, Canada. She was bitten by the travel bug after living in Ireland for a year and has since visited and photographed destinations around the globe, from Paris to Peru and Morocco to Miami. When she is not writing or taking photos she can be found at a local pub, planning her next trip, or some combination of both.

Josie Baum_Untapped CitiesJosie Baum, London: Josie spends her days on Soho Square in London, working as a Strategist at the innovation agency Bow & Arrow. Without having to venture far from the workplace to find interesting characters, and phenomenal historical architecture, inspiration for Untapped is never too far away. Josie has a BA in Land Economy from Cambridge University and an MSc in Urban Planning and International Development from Columbia University.

Vanessa Chan_Untapped CitiesVanessa Chan, San Francisco:
Born in Malaysia and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Vanessa lives in San Francisco and makes a yearly pilgrimage to visit her restaurateur family in Melbourne, Australia. Vanessa moonlights as a dancer, an off-key karaoke singer and a documentarian of provocative human exploits. On off nights, she can be found sipping a gin and tonic in a Tenderloin bar or curled up in bed with Somerset Maugham.

Sam Choudhury Profile_Untapped CitiesSamantha Choudhury, Melbourne:  Samantha was born in London from Bangladeshi parents and raised in Melbourne, Australia. Sam has a BA in Urban Planning & Development and  Masters in International Development from the University of Melbourne, and has also studied at Columbia University GSAPP.  Sam has an avid passion for cities, cultures,  trends, food and design and can be found wondering around laneways and nooks in various neighbourhoods or eating a big bowl of pho.

Eude de Montgolfier_Untapped CitiesEude de Montgolfier, Berlin: A born and raised Parisian, Eude lives in Berlin where he works as a communications consultant for a gallery. Addicted to rail science and Asian food, he loves to travel aimlessly on both old metro cars and state-of-the art high speed trains all over the world. He graduated a B.A. in History, then a master’s degree in International Relations at the Sorbonne University in Paris and worked previously in marketing for leading public transport companies.

William Feuerman_Untapped Cities_SydneyWilliam Feuerman, Sydney:
Billy is a “New Yorker”  via Los Angeles and San Francisco, who is currently living in Sydney, Australia. Billy has his own design practice, Office Feuerman, and is faculty at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He received a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University and a Bachelors of Architecture from the California College of the Arts. He has taught in architecture programs at Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania and Pratt Institute.

Hayley Flynn, Manchester: Hayley is the creator of Skyliner, a Manchester-born blog that is dedicated to the pursuit of rare and fascinating art, architecture and histories. A lover of opening closed doors, microfilm, and architectural drawings. She fled the confines of an office job to work in the arts and spend more time exploring the secrets of cities, Hayley is now a tour guide, location scout and researcher but above all things – a professional dilettante.

Laura Itzkowitz headshot 2 by Melissa ItzkowitzLaura Itzkowitz
, managing editor:
 Laura is a writer, editor and translator based in Brooklyn. She has an MFA in creative writing and translation from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, a BA in French from Smith College, studied in Paris for a year, and lived in Rome for two years. In addition to her regular contributions to Untapped, Laura’s writing has been featured on Fodor’s Travel, PolicyMic, Architizer, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, The Culture-ist, Word Without Borders and others. She has been featured as a New York City expert blogger on Time Out New York and named one of Hotel Club’s Top 20 NYC bloggers.

Alley Lyles, Austin: Alley is an Austonian–a Houston and Austin hybrid. She now resides in New York City after traveling throughout Europe. Alley is a second year graduate student in Columbia University’s urban planning program. In the past, Alley worked at Socialmetrix and NYC Digital. She listens to jazz and big band in Brooklyn, and thinks the subway train is an awesome cheap rollercoaster.

Matthew Parker Man from Marseille_Untapped CitiesMatthew Parker, Marseille/London: A film maker from London, Matthew fled his rain-soaked city in 2012 in pursuit of Vitamin D and new adventure. Now in Marseille, he write The Man From Mars(eille) which documents the unique quality of the city through writing, photography and film.

Alice Perez_Untapped CiitesAlice Perez, Portland (OR):  Alice is not your typical California girl. She has an adventurous spirit, enjoys exploring new place and ideas and knows there is always something more to discover. She attends Portland State University, studying Communications and Writing. On her down time, she enjoys going on long runs among the tall Douglas fir trees of Portland.


Léa Plourde-Archer, Montreal: Léa was born in a small town but always dreamed of becoming a city girl. She moved to Montreal 5 years ago to pursue a degree in Communications and Art History at UQAM and never looked back. Her passion for travel has taken her to 11 countries so far, which is too little in her opinion. When her bank account doesn’t let her go very far, she’s just as happy exploring her city and its endless supply new things to discover. She blogs at www.astorytellinghome.com.

Jenn Yoo, San Francisco: Even after living in New York and London, Jenn would find big cities daunting if there weren’t so many nooks and crannies to explore and make her own. She’s new to SF, but soon enough she’ll be able to recommend where & what to eat by category, cuisine, neighbourhood, price range–without consulting Yelp. She blogs, she tweets, she misses London.

Charlotte Vallance, London/Amsterdam/(Art)chitecture columnist:  Charlotte is an illustrator and printmaker, sometimes at the same time, sometimes separately!  She loves travelling, bunting and elevenses.  She spends one weekend a month in Amsterdam and is always interested to try new things and meet new people.  She find buildings fascinating and captures them for her blog.

Heinz von Eckartsberg_Untapped CitiesHeinz von Eckartsberg, Melbourne:
 Heinz grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and has a master’s degree in urban design from Columbia University. He previously worked with the New York Department of City Planning Brooklyn Office and the Urban Design Lab at Columbia University. A fast walker, he has travelled extensively, from the  megablocks of China to a tiny village in Ghana.

 Michelle Young
, Untapped Cities founder:
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 Nikon SLR camera. She is an author of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library.  She holds a masters in urban planning from Columbia University, a B.A. from Harvard in the History of Art & Architecture, and is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music.

Tracy Zhang_Untapped CitiesTracy Zhang, Toronto/Global: Tracy is a Canadian travel photographer currently based in Toronto Canada. She specializes in capturing the natural beauty and cultural essence of a destination. She has travelled to 30 countries, been an expat two times, and once hitchhiked across international borders. Read her travel blog: www.justintimetravels.com.

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