07/24/14 10:00am

Wetzlar-Leitz-Leica Tunnels-Jewish Refugee-WWII-Dr Ernest Leitz-Mines-Germany-021

The town of Wetzlar, Germany recently celebrated the return of iconic lens and camera manufacturer, Leica, which was founded 100 years ago in this manufacturing enclave outside Frankfurt. The new headquarters, shaped like a camera lens, offers both a look behind-the-scenes into the intricate production process of Leica cameras, as well as an exhibition space that celebrates the company’s illustrious history.

While attending the opening of the new Leica headquarters, we also learned some of the secrets of the company from the staff. One, which particularly caught our attention, was the tunnel system in Wetzlar that enabled Jewish Leica (then the Leitz company) employees to escape Nazi-controlled Germany in the late 1930s. Known by Holocaust historians as the “Leica Freedom Train,” this initiative of Dr. Ernest Leitz II and his daughter Elsie Kuehn-Leitz have all the hallmarks of a Schindler’s List-like story, but remains mostly unknown to the global public. During our trip, we were able to visit the tunnels with a local tour guide.

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07/24/14 9:00am

Nicholas Reale, the Untapped Cities resident biking expert, tour guide for Get Up and Ride and former bike messenger, shares his Top 10 Tips for biking in NYC, if you’re looking to move from the intermediate, post Citibike stage to expert urban cycler. 

top-tips-for-biking-in-nyc-4Image Source: Flickr.com by Eric Konon

With a burning desire to elevate your NYC bike lifestyle to the next level, you’ve made the $150 investment for some endearing hunk o’junk (which you will soon christen as Betsy, or whatever) from that ex-hippie that sells bikes street-side on Avenue A. It would be incorrect to call you a “newbie,” but just the same you’re not quite the “expert” yet. Below, we detail some of the top habits and tips to get acclimated with, if you wish to make biking in NYC a daily part of your routine. We’ve intentionally excluded the obvious things like, “Wear a helmet!” and, “Get a bell!” assuming that you have a functioning brain and want to keep it that way.

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07/23/14 4:00pm

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

07/23/14 2:00pm

Veteran-Korean-War-Battery-Park-NYC-Untapped Cities-Nasha Virata

At 10am on July 27th, a sundial in Battery Park will pay tribute to the veterans of the Korean War. The Korean War Veterans Memorial, also a sundial, commemorates the official ceasefire declared at that exact time and date in 1953. A functioning sundial, the piece is filled as the sun shines straight down the center of “The Universal Soldier,” illuminating the plaque located at the foot of the statue.

Designed by Welsh artist, Mac Adams, the memorial sits slightly north-west of Fritz Koenig’s “Sphere“, a tribute to 9/11. The 15-foot obelisk of black granite contains a cutout in the shape of a Korean War soldier lit up by the sun and offering views of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

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07/23/14 12:00pm

Macstix Macbook Stickers-Decals-Brooklyn-NYCMacbook stickers by Macstix, Spotted in a coffee shop on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn

We’ve been spotting these neat Macbook stickers in coffee shops all around Brooklyn and Manhattan recently. And they’re not those big decals that take over people’s Macbooks, ruining the clean, sleek Apple design. These stickers transform the lighted apple, turning it into a lightbulb, the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, a banana and other fun icons.

Digging a little deeper, we discovered that the stickers are by a company called Macstix, based out of New York City. The stickers are designed and made by German architect Felix David who created them to counter the uniformity of the Mac. And with Apple’s latest advertising angle featuring Macbook stickers, along with this super fun video, Apple has given its seal of approval.

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07/23/14 10:00am

Death by Audio-Brooklyn-DIY Music Venue-NYCTenement performing at Death by Audio. Image by the band.

In spite of rent increases, robberies, and patterns of escalating police intervention, NYC’s DIY music scene continues to thrive. Whenever a much-loved performance space closes down, another one seems to pop up to take its place (which is definitely not the case in every major city). This may make it hard to keep up, which is why we’ve conveniently assembled this list of New York City’s top ten DIY venues. Each venue listed is still in operation and are not listed in any order of importance. Enjoy!

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