Selected interviews and articles



Under Manhattan by Erling Kagge

Amazon link:

This is a wonderful book by a man who is a wonderful adventurer, thinker, and writer. And it is full of my photos as well!

Erling Kagge has spent much of his life on expedition-style adventures such as multi-month unsupported trips to both the north and south poles. (He and his expedition partner were the first to make it to the north pole unsupported-- carrying and pulling all their supplies the whole way-- and Erling then went solo to the south pole, becoming the first person to make it there on an unsupported trip as well.

A few years ago, Erling came to me with the idea of spending a week in the underground of New York City, trying to make it across as much of the city as possible entirely underground. His example as an explorer, and the chance to get to know him, have been great privileges in my life. Because of the nature of New York's underground and the size of the city, we skipped around during our week as troglodytes, coming above-ground repeatedly between stints through sewers, train tunnels, and a birthday party with mole people. Erling uses this as a basis for the sort of thoughtful and thought-provoking storytelling that he has previously written in his narratives of polar exploration, and I love this because I think we SHOULD treat urban environments the way we generally treat "natural" environments: as landscapes to be explored, appreciated, inspired by, and loved.

A few years later, I would use Erling's inspiration for similar, if shorter, expedition entirely across Paris underground, leading a large group (myself and five other people) through catacombs, quarries, utility tunnels, and historic sewers for three days and two nights. (See link below for that story-- this book only came out in the english translation in 2015, although our expedition was in 2011.) I can only say thank you to Erling for helping me see the value of immersive, expedition-style adventure and for giving me a wonderful example of what it means to be a good leader and a well-balanced explorer. And of course I recommend to you that you buy his excellent books!

Camping underground in Paris, along the buried Canal St Martin

Camping underground in Paris, along the buried Canal St Martin

"Going Souterrain" (Will Hunt, The Economist's 1843, Nov/Dec 2012)


This is the story of one of my favorite adventures I've ever been on, a multi-day trek underneath Paris from one edge of the city to the other.


The former Sunswick Creek, now a mainline combined sewer running underneath Queens

The former Sunswick Creek, now a mainline combined sewer running underneath Queens

Urban Omnibus: "Undercity: The Infrastructural Explorations of Steve Duncan"

Thank you to Cassim Shepard for interviewing me and editing it down beautifully. This interview explains many of the issues that are most important to me, with a little more brevity than I usually achieve on my own.

On NBC's Today Show, Jan 28, 2011

With Andrew Wonder, interviewed by Willie Geist

Interview on the Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC

"Urban explorer, historian and photographer Steve Duncan talks about traversing the city underground with the polar explorer Erling Kagge. His travels have taken him from the sewers and subway tunnels, up the cables to the tops of bridges in an attempt to experience the complexities and dimensions of the city."


On the cover of the Village Voice!

May 24-30, 2006 edition

(That's me paddling in the back of the canoe)



The very first time I appeared in the New York Times!