Image via Wikimedia: David Berkowitz

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

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    We’re all guilty of resorting to Wikipedia whenever we need to write a history report or organize a presentation. Instead of pulling your information from a questionable source, why not speak with a librarian from the New York Public Library? In this video on Great Big StoryLibrarian Serena Jimenez talks about the help-line that answers more than 30,000 calls a year.


    traffic-care-accidents-map-app-nyc-open-data-portal-columbia-universityTraffic Accidents in NYC by Area cluster 

    As New York City’s Zero Vision policy comes under fire after a recent release of hit-and-run data, the Columbia University student project “Traffic Care” is more than timely. It uses data from New York City’s open data portal from 2013 to 2016 to visualize accident data by area near a user supplied location. Within this geographical frame, data such as number of accidents, number killed, vehicle type, time of accident and live traffic cams can be viewed. The app also forecasts the incidence of future casualties. The students who produced this project,  Chencheng Jiang, Yiwei Sun, Skanda Vishwanath, Guanzhong You and Yunyi Zhang, write that it is “aimed at helping policy makers to make informed decisions.” 


    mount-vernon-hotel-nyc-untapped-citiesPhoto via Dmadeo

    Whether it’s through an intimate family meal or a large social gathering centered around a dinner, food has the power to bring people together in the most unexpected ways. Even during the earliest days of American history, when politics revolved around powerful men who held office, women were able to participate in political culture by baking creative desserts such as “Election Cake” or “Jackson Jumbles.”

    For some time, Montana State University Assistant Professor of History, Emily J. Arendt, has studied this unique intersection between food history and women’s involvement in politics in nineteenth-century America. Her research will now be the focus of Food and Partisanship in the Early Republic, an upcoming event at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden.


    newton-creeek-exxon-mobil-brooklyn-nyc-untapped-cities-shervinImage via Wikimedia Commons by GK tramrunner

    While most New Yorkers are familiar with the Gowanus Canal – the pollution, and the ongoing discussions concerning its cleanup efforts – less are aware of the equally (if not more) polluted Newtown Creek. Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, this three-and-a-half-mile-long estuary used to be one of the most heavily used waterways in the country, making it one of the most polluted as well. In fact, the creek is the site of one of the largest oil spills in U.S history – the culmination of decades of oil leakage. The creek is currently undergoing cleanup efforts after it received a Superfund from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010. As the clean up efforts continue, EPA contractors are sure to dig up some interesting, and potentially disturbing, facts from the creek’s past.

    In the meantime, here’s our own list of secrets about Newtown Creek:



    London is one of the largest and most popular cities in the world. Every year it is visited by 16 million tourists from foreign countries. Many of them travel to London to visit only the most visited tourists’ destination and repeat the same mistakes. What are they?