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Completed in 1189, the exterior of this landmark Romanesque Revival-style firehouse remains intact

Completed in 1889, the exterior of this landmark Romanesque Revival-style firehouse remains intact

We have often wondered about the status of the abandoned firehouse located at 120 East 125th Street in East Harlem and today we got our answer. Due to the tireless efforts of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, this firehouse is one of five that was saved from the auction block, and will be converted into a cultural institution.

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The Warriors-NYC-Untapped Cities-BAM-Retro Metro-BrooklynThe Warriors (Film Still via The Symmetric)

Stepping into a train car in New York City can do more than just get you to your destination, it can serve as a way for you to see how the identity of the city is transforming before your very eyes. We all know that NYC has been the inspiration for many great works of cinema and through these snapshots in time, we are able to see how the city has evolved. From street cars to graffiti canvases, the NYC subway has a long history, one that has been captured on film for many decades.

From September 26th to October 5th, you can personally see how the NYC subway system has evolved by checking out the newest film series by BAM titled Retro Metro. 16 films, each showcasing a different era of the NYC subway will be shown. The line up includes cult films from the 70′s like The Warriors and the The Taking of Pelham 123. As well as films like Style Wars, Wild Style and Beat Street; tributes to the graffiti and street art culture that began in the 80s.  (more…)

The New York City subway carries many secrets, like any extensive system that was built over time. But the NYC subway also comes with it quite a bit of lore–from its urban explorers who have explored every nook of its vastness, the technological feat it was to build in some of the toughest Manhattan schist, and its evolution from high-class experiment to mass ridership.

No list of subway secrets can be complete, so we see this article as an evolving entity. We’ve started with our favorite secrets but encourage you all to comment and Tweet at us (@untappedcities) with other hidden gems. Special thanks to Matt Litwack, author of Beneath the Streets: The Hidden Relics of New York’s Subway System for contributing his finds to this piece.

1. The Many Abandoned Levels and Platforms of the NYC Subway System

Disused platform and subway entrance at Chamber Street

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Urban_Foraging_NYC_Untapped Cities_nasha

We’ve eaten in parks before but eating with “Wildman” Steve Brill is a slightly different experience. The self-titled “Wildman” leads foraging tours of New York area parks, part of his mission to promote urban agriculture and sustainable eating.

Brill came to the public’s notice in the 1980s. Arrested by NY Parks Rangers for eating a dandelion, he parlayed the charge into a full-time job as the official Parks Department naturalist, leading the same tours that led to his arrest in the first place. Since going freelance in the ’90s, the “naturalist and science geek” continues to lead tours, both to the public and for school field trips. He’s also published three books on wild eating, consulted for the Parks department and advised several New York chefs on sustainable ingredient choices.

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Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading in the HQ today:

Untapped Cities_Downtown Doodler_Daily News Building_Archidoodle_640

Nestled in the heart of midtown, the Daily News Building was once the center of the news world, housing newspapers as well as TV and radio stations. Named for it’s main tenant, at the time of completion, The Daily News had the largest circulation of any newspaper in America.

After successfully designing the Chicago Tribune Building, Raymond Hood focused his efforts on changing the skyline of Manhattan. First designing the American Radiator Building near Bryant Park, then daringly agreeing to design a building east of the Third Avenue El. At the time few people wanted to develop anything in that area, but The Daily News required a place to run their noisy presses. In 1930, the 37-story building was completed. Raymond Hood was also the chief designer for Rockefeller Center a few years later, in 1933.

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