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Lego Statue of Liberty-Madison Square Park-NYCImage via Trevor O’Brien

In celebration of the new LEGO store in the Flatiron, there’s a 20-foot version of the Statue of Liberty in Madison Square Park, built over the course of four days with the help of passerby, children and tourists. Three master LEGO builders were on hand for the project. What’s even cooler is the backstory (we’re not sure if this was conscious on LEGO’s part, however). When the Statue of Liberty first arrived the United States, its torch was displayed in Madison Square Park to raise money for the construction of the pedestal. It sat near 25th Street across from General Worth Square. As the story goes, French politician Edoard Labouaye in 1870 proposed the statue as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries but Americans were critical of it, claiming that the U.S. shouldn’t have to contribute to a gift meant for them. `

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The Herald Center on 34th Sreet in Herald Square is getting an all new look. The blue, glass facade is being replaced in what seems like an attempt to make the often-overlooked Herald Square more glamorous like Times Square. As reported by Ephemeral New York, with the work underway, the original 1902 building has been revealed under the sheets of blue glass.

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There’s something about architects and businessmen wanting to live in the places they create. And we’re not talking about a live-work studio. We’ve been noticing a historical trend of apartments in grand civic spaces–from apartments atop the Eiffel Tower, Radio City, Bergdorf Goodman, the second Madison Square Garden–to more modern-day expressions of exclusivity–a cabin in a loft in Brooklyn, suburban houses plopped atop existing apartment buildings, an Fifth Avenue apartment full of secret riddles and compartments. Here’s a little about each of these idiosyncratic apartments.

1. Stanford White’s Seduction Lair at Madison Square Garden

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Coming in at number two on the Great Locations to Check Out During 2014 OHNY the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT), has been well covered historically on Untapped Cities, including a series on its myths. During a trip this prompted us to explore a little bit further. What we found while exploring the grounds was a rock solid ping-pong table at the north-west corner of Building B. This recent addition to the  to the property fits right in due to its cement construction and industrial metal net with a custom BAT cut-out. Just as the rest of the terminal is, this table is built to stand the test time.

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These days, timeless literature set in New York City makes people think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, so we’re suggesting some other works with an NYC setting. We’ve picked our favorite classics, and thrown in some more recent or lesser-known fictional works that use the city as more than just a backdrop for a story– New York becomes an integral element of these writers’ works.

1. Let the Great World Spin Colum McCann (2009)

1-books-nyc-untappedImage via Tumblr: A Book Cover a Day

Let the Great World Spin offers a very real representation of a gritty New York in the ’70s, using the great tightrope walk by Phillipe Petit as a unifying event. Colum McCann weaves the stories of multiple protagonists into a web centrally focused on the city and the very real lives of the people in it.

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Last month, Brooklyn real estate broker Dan Levy proposed a system of gondola lifts to ferry people between Manhattan and quickly growing waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. Dubbed the East River Skyway, the proposal is modeled as a sort of juiced up Roosevelt Island Tram. Levy envisions the system connecting South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan to Dumbo and the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, up to Williamsburg and across again to the Lower East Side, and a final stretch extending the Roosevelt Island tram over to Long Island City in Queens. He estimates the entire project could cost $225 million to $375 million, and could transport 5,000 commuters per hour per direction, with cars arriving every 30 to 40 seconds.

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