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United Palace Theatre-Washington Heights-175th Street-United Palace of Cultural Arts-NYCPhoto by United Palace Theatre 

We’re excited to announce a new behind the scenes tour of the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights, the last of the five Loew’s Wonder Theatres in the New York City metropolitan area. The opulent and stunning theater was opened in 1930 as the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre and stands today due to its conversion in 1969 into the church of Rev. Ike. At 3,400 hundred seats, the United Palace Theatre is Manhattan’s fourth largest theater, with more seats than the recently renovated and reopened Brooklyn Kings Theatre. The New York Times described the United Palace as a “delirious masterpiece,” a “feast” of ornamentation.

In 2012, Xavier Eikerenkotter, the son of Reverend Ike, created the United Palace of Cultural Arts, a non-profit dedicated to utilizing the theater as an arts and cultural center, including the restoration of United Palace to one of its original functions: as a movie theater. The Palace is host to a variety of great programming, including the upcoming Women of the Fox Film Festival, a collaboration with the Fort Lee Film Commission; Monster Movie Mashups with live musical performances and a Hip Hop Nutcracker.

Our October 11th tour, starting at 3pm, will be led by Mike Fitelson, Executive Director of the United Palace of Cultural Arts, who will share the backstory of the theater, its revitalization and its future while we visit the grand foyer, the theater, the mezzanine, the loge and a sneak peek inside the former men’s smoking lounge.

The tour tickets include entry to the October 11th screening of “Down Argentine Way,” as part of the “Women of the Fox Film Festival.” Down Argentine Way stars Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda, the latter in her first Hollywood picture, a love story set in Argentina.

The lights are on #mysilenttny

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As New Yorkers return to the city after Labor Day, it may be hard to choose from all the great events launching in the city. Here are some highlights and bonuses for this week.

Monday, September 7th

It’s Labor Day, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do. Head over to Plaza33, the new pedestrian plaza at Penn Station on 33rd Street to take in  the first day of live broadcasting of the US Open from 10am to 10pm. The broadcast will continue every day this week until the end of the tournament.

Tuesday, September 8th

At the Museum of the City of New York, author and model Beverly Johnson and Andre Leon Talley will talk about face, race, and power in New York’s fashion industry.

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Public Theater-Lafayette Street-Astor Place-New York Symphony-Film Locations-Mozart in the Jungle-Amazon

The show Mozart in the Jungle, a commissioned series by Amazon for Prime Instant Video will return for a second season this fall starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Lola Kirke and Jason Schwarzman. Based in New York City and inspired by the book Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, a memoir by oboe player Blair Tindall, the show is set in New York City and follows the trials and tribulations of Hailey, an oboe player and her encounters with Rodrigo, the international superstar who is the new music director and conductor of the troubled (and fictional) New York Symphony.

Beyond an entertaining, binge-worthy first season, Mozart in the Jungle features some wonderful film locations, which urban explorers will recognize. It’s clear the film scouts on this show knows their stuff about New York City and its alternative side. Here are some highlights of New York City film locations from the first season:

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art-of-style-kit-mills-eyebrows-untapped-cities

As a person grows older, certain things about their appearance become more prominent. For some, it’s centered around clothing. The fedoras and high-waisted trousers that were once the sartorial status quo are eye-catching relics of a bygone era when worn in 2015. For others, it’s etched in the body, like an interesting pattern of deep wrinkles or an impressive nose that has only grown in size and character with age. For this gentleman I saw reading the newspaper, it is his eyebrows. They grew like luxurious caterpillars out of his forehead, gently waving in the breeze as he frowned at the latest reports of economic disaster.

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Uke-Hut-Ukelele-Queens-Astoria-Untapped Cities-Nasha Virata

Uke Hut is one of the latest additions to the ever-growing roster of New York specialty stores that sell just one type of item. Billed as the “first ukulele store in New York,” Uke Hut is also the only ukulele specialty store in the city. Located on a nondescript block of Astoria, the tiki lamp and the musicians frequently seen performing at the entrance make it hard to miss.

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George Washington Bridge-Dave Freider-Pedestrian Path-Toll-Washington Heights-Panorama-NYC-2

The 2010s have been the era of the teenage urban explorer, all motivated by many different reasons. Some for sheer brashness, some for Instagram fame, some for architectural preservationist reasons. It is also a response, we believe, to the shrinking numbers of places in New York City to explore without rules and regulations. With social media, we have seen more entrants into the urban explorer community, the expected clash between old school and new school, and a faster rise in awareness for the savviest of urban explorers.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is photographer Dave Frieder, also known as “The Bridge Man.” Over the last 22 years, he has been patiently documenting New York City’s bridges using film, predominantly from foot tingling perspectives up top. In 2013, we accompanied him to his favorite bridge, the George Washington Bridge, where he recounted the long quest to get his work known.

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