Becky studied urban history as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania and for her master’s at the University of Leicester, UK, researching nineteenth-century city planning and its social implications. In New York, she co-wrote a history of liquor distilling in the city and discovered musty secrets for guides in Time Out. A freelance writer, she primarily covers travel for publications like New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, and the Washington Post. The coolest place she’s been in the city: behind the clock above Grand Central Terminal.
A specialist in Renaissance and Baroque art, Irina Oryshkevich teaches art and architectural history at Columbia University where she also earned her PhD in 2003. She has published numerous articles in her field, worked for several New York Old Master galleries, and received fellowships for her academic work from the National Gallery in Washington, the Fulbright Foundation, the Getty, the Society of Fellows and the Italian Academy (both at Columbia) and the American Philosophical Society. In addition to teaching in her area of specialization, Irina, a native New Yorker with a deep interest in local history, has been offering a class on the architecture of New York City at Columbia for the past four years.
Ben Rubin holds a bachelor's degree from Hanover College, a Master's from Western Carolina University, and is completing his Ph.D. at Drew University. He is also a graduate of the Cornell School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University. His work has been published in the Journal of Backcountry Studies and in Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution. In addition to academic experience, Ben worked as a docent at the Biltmore House in Asheville, and as a whitewater raft guide on the Nantahala River.