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trinity church secrets wikipedia-NYC-Untapped CitiesTrinity Church circa 1900. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Churches all around the world bear the name ‘Trinity Church.’ The most unusual by far happens to be a small Russian Orthodox Trinity Church made of Siberian pine wood on the tip of King George Island in Antarctica. The most famous, arguably, is Manhattan’s Trinity Church. Once the tallest building in the city, the church, actually three churches of the same name that were built on the same ground, is one of the most well-endowed and recognizable sights in New York City. In another time, it was the first thing sailors and voyagers saw when pulling into New York Harbor. Today, though it is dwarfed by buildings, it holds a place in the Financial District that is closely intertwined with history. Here are 10 of the most enticing secrets we dug up about it.

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Capuchin Monastery of St. John-Penn Station-31st Street-NYC

Monasteries may not be an institution synonymous with New York City, but as we’ve shown, they are certainly a presence. Still, most retain a bucolic presence, even within urban or industrial zones. One exception is the Capuchin Monastery of the Church of St. John which sits on 31st Street just next to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. In this ramshackle stretch of no man’s land you’ll find a loading dock to MSG, the forgotten power station of the original Pennsylvania Station, and an unabashed homeless presence.

Not surprisingly this portion of 31st Street has come up in the city’s redevelopment plans several times. As of January 2015, Amtrak hoped to demolish the entire block and replace it with a rail station for New Jersey commuters, to be called Penn South.

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Staten Island-North Shore Development Tour-New Stapleton Waterfront-Ironside Development-Untapped Cities-NYCEDC-NYC

Just days after the New York Daily News proclaimed that “Staten Island wants to be the new Brooklyn,” 20 intrepid Untapped Cities readers met at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island at 10 am on a Saturday for a Behind the Scenes NYC Tour of the borough’s north shore developments with the NYCEDC. It’s not lost on residents, community leaders and small businesses on this traditionally forgotten boroughthat Staten Island could be the new frontier. Combine rising rents in other boroughs with substantial city investment and redevelopments plans for Staten Island (plus space), and you’ve got the makings of a new destination, those involved hope.

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empire state building endangered animals-NYC-Untapped CitiesAll images via Joel Sartore

From 9pm to midnight this Saturday August 1st, 375-foot images of the world’s most endangered animals will be projected onto the south side of the Empire State Building in the aptly titled, Projecting Change: The Empire State Building. The duo behind the project are Travis Threlkel, co-founder of Obscura Digital, a visuals and graphics firm and Louie Psihoyos, a filmmaker and photographer who directed the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, detailing the hunting of dolphins in Japan. In succession, their forty 200-lumen projectors will cast digital images of a snow leopard, a golden lion tamarin and manta rays, along with snakes, birds and various mammals and sea creatures onto a 33-story span of the building from West 31st Street rooftop.

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Interactive via WNYC

A few weeks ago, WNYC released a real-time ‘agony index‘ of subway station ambient heat throughout New York City. The index was quite nice to look at, provided you were safe in the air-conditioned sanctuary of the glorious indoors instead of actually out in the subways, but also offered an interesting visualization of exactly how hot the city’s subway routes became during the worst months of the summer.

This week, WNYC has taken another step and mapped its findings of ambient temperature in the city’s subway stations mostly in Manhattan and south of Central Park. Aiming a temperature sensor at the platform away from the air-conditioned train cars, they found that while some stations are rather bearable at 80 or even 70 degrees Fahrenheit, some stations were upwards of 100 degrees.

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