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The sun is out, your shirtsleeves are cuffed, a spring’s in your step, and you’re ready for your… first day of kindergarten?

Groupings of primary colors are forever associated in my head with children’s toys, color-coding, and the simple, friendly atmosphere of school classrooms for young children. Bright, uncomplicated reds, yellows, and blues felt condescending to me as a kid, like the world of package design was telling me that I wasn’t smart enough for more nuanced tones yet.

I don’t think this gangly adult human walking in front of me in New York City was deliberately trying to look like a small child, but that backpack looks like a prop from Sesame Street, or like what a performer at a drag ball would wear to accomplish “schoolboy realness.”
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Who doesn’t love old maps or vintage photos? What about a robust tool that will meld both? Back in February New York Public Library labs released their Space/Time Directory the platform that will eventually host the 21,000 strong old map collection, all to the same scale so you can literally slide through time. Now, they’ve launched OldNYC, a platform that maps the photographs from the library’s Milstein Collection. It’s goal, the website states: “to help you discover the history behind the places you see every day.”

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New York City has its hidden alleys, Paris its passages, and Sydney its laneways. But Lyon, France has something even more astonishing perhaps–the traboules. These medieval/Renaissance architectural gems hidden behind closed doors are part passageway, part tower, part courtyard. Predominantly located in Vieux Lyon (old Lyon), the Croix-Rousse, a hillside area that dates back to the Roman period, and the Presqu’île neighborhoods, traboules are examples of urban architecture that are both functional and symbolic. The official number of traboules in Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, vary from 230, as specified on Lyon Traboules to 500.

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Using a pulley system, the 10,000 pound bell about to be lowered into a crate

Earlier this year we watched as the scaffolding went up on the only surviving watchtower in Manhattan.  The Harlem Fire Watchtower, built between 1855 and 1857, is located in Marcus Garvey Park at the end of Fifth Avenue on 120th Street in Harlem. Over the course of the last few month, the tower, including the 10,000 pound bell, was taken down.  The following are photos we took over the past few months, during the dismantling.

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In partnership with The Eternal Space, a play about an untold story of the destruction of Penn Station, we have added another slot of our special tour of the remnants of Penn Station on May 31st with Tamara Agins, tour guide, project manager at NYC Department of City Planning, and author of our popular article on the Secrets of Grand Central and Justin Rivers, playwright of The Eternal Space.


Weaving in moments from the play, which features over 1,000 never before published photographs of the station by renown photographers Norman McGrath, Peter Moore, and Aaron Rose, along with the work of railroad aficionados Alexander Hatos, an employee of Pennsylvania Railroad and Ron Ziel, a railroad historian, the tour will also cover the past, present and future plans for the central transportation hub in New York City, accompanying a hunt for the remaining pieces of the grand McKim, Meade & White station.

A portion of the tickets supports The Eternal Space, which has been previewed at The Center for Architecture. The event includes an optional drink afterward and conversation with the tour leaders and The Eternal Space creator at Tracks bar in Penn Station, which has some remnants of its own.

Rooftop Films-NYCRooftop Films Returns, photo via CUArts

Monday is Memorial Day, so there’s a lot going on with the kick-off to summer in NYC. Begin with an Ice Cream Social Run on Roosevelt Island and end with our popular tour of the remnants of Penn Station (tickets still available for one tour slot).

Monday, May 25

Start off the summer right with an NYCRUNS 5K or 10K race around Roosevelt Island which ends with an ice cream social

Then, hit up the Might Get Weird Party from creative Brooklyn DJ collective the Deep, with early open bar from one of our favorite local distillies, Owney’s rum. RSVP to mightgetweird@gmail.com to get the still-undisclosed location.

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