On May 6, 1626, the Dutch purchased the island of Manhattan from a local Native American tribe for $24. Or did they?

There are dozens of articles online about the purchase of Manhattan, yet few paint a coherent narrative about what actually took place or properly acknowledge the limit to which we will ever be certain of key details. This is my attempt to tell the true story of how Manhattan was acquired. It gets a little messy, so I’ve conveniently added a “Too Long / Didn’t Read” section at the end. I’ll only be a little offended if you skip ahead. (more…)

Rent-Broadway-Untapped Cities-NYC“Rent” Original Cast (Image via Emertainment Monthly)

Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything  is a weekly podcast whose eponymous host tries to connect people and events together, around a certain topic. For the past three weeks, Walker has focused his show on life in New York City. The series, New York After Rent is made up of three parts, and its a mixture of recorded interviews, live performances and readings from people living in NYC before, during and after the final performance of the Broadway musical Rent. It’s not only just about life in NYC post-Rent, the three part series is also a look into the ever changing identity of NYC and the use of it’s space. (more…)

Zeigfeld Theater-Untapped Cities-Zeigfeld Museum-NYC-Midtown-Manhattan

Inside the Ziegfeld Theater, one of the only remaining single screen movie theaters left in New York City, is a museum dedicated to its history. The movie palace (one of the last built) currently stands on 141 West 54 street, a two minute walk away from 1341-47 Sixth Avenue, the home of the original Zeigfeld Theater. Beginning on February 2, 1927 till it was demolished in 1966, the theater premiered everything from Broadway productions to feature length films. (more…)

New Installation

While we wait for the seven Calatrava’s to arrive on Park Avenue at 52nd Street, we can rest our eyes on a new (or rather, another) Urs Fischer piece currently being installed on the plaza at 345 Park Avenue – the Seagram Building.  Meet Clay 3. (more…)

dna info map of nyc bike violations manhattan untapped cities linkagesMap image via DNAinfo

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Spirit of East HarlemSpirit of East Harlem on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 104th Street.

This past weekend, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) hosted Jane’s Walk weekend with more than 100 free walking tours.  We decided to take the tour given by MAS and East Harlem Preservation, aptly named “Lost and Found Murals of East Harlem – Buildings on Canvas”.

While the East Harlem of the 1930’s was predominantly Italian, after the first World War, East Harlem welcomed a vibrant Latino and Puerto Rican community that brought with them a wealth of culture in their art, food and music.   (more…)