04/24/14 2:00pm
College of St John the Evangelist taken from the Chapel Tower, Cripps Building in distance

College of St John the Evangelist taken from the Chapel Tower, Cripps Building in distance

How is it that nearly a century after its birth, pure architectural modernism can still shock—and even repel—sophisticated urban dwellers? We pondered this question recently while wandering around one of our favorite small cities—Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Home to the University of Cambridge, which was founded in 1209, Cambridge had been settled centuries before by the Romans and then the Saxons. It was conquered in the 9th century by the Vikings, who brought trade and wealth, and by the Normans in the 11th century.

Yet this ancient town today hosts a surprisingly large collection of modernist and post-modernist buildings, some of which stand in stark hostility to their surroundings while others are beginning to blend into the landscape, much as their forebears have.


04/24/14 12:00pm

MonthofScorsese-Martin Scorsese-Goodfellas-Robert De Niro-Film Locations-Untapped CitiesMarin Scorsese Directing Robert De Niro (Photo Via Phaidon)

For our last installment in the #MonthofScorsese film location series, we cover the film that many consider to be  his magnum opus: The 1990 classic mafia film GoodFellas. Based on NYC crime reporter Nicolas Pileggi’s non-fiction novel Wiseguy, the book focuses on the rise and fall of The Lucchese Crime family. The film – written by Scorsese and Pileggi – follows the life and exploits of one of their associates, Henry Hill, who was fundamental in dismantling the crime family, when he became an informant for the FBI.

Scorsese became obseesed with Pileggi’s novel while working on The Color of Money; feeling that it was the closes anyone else has come in terms of writing about the life of a mobster. Scorsese wanted the film to start slow, and build up as the story progressed- like one large trailer. Like the first three installments, Scorsese films primarily in NYC, with locations that have changed dramatically in the twenty years since the films release.  (more…)

04/24/14 10:00am

If you did not have the opportunity to go on the great Fabergé Big Egg Hunt and track down the 260 eggs scattered around New York City, now is your chance to see them. Until tomorrow, the eggs will be located at Rockefeller Center. There, New Yorkers and tourists alike will have the opportunity to see eggs created by some of the world’s leading artists, designers, photographers, architects and other creatives. Presented below, are five of our favorite eggs.

1. Statue of Liberty Egg

statue of liberty faberge egg rockefeller center


04/24/14 9:00am

North Brother Island

Unlike other photographers of the abandoned, the work of Christopher Payne has always been about the delicate balance between human presence and physical structure. His study of the Steinway Factory in Astoria, Queens was simultaneously a conceptual exploration of abstraction, an architectural analysis, and how Steinway workers factor into the production space. Each of the workers he photographed had a story, and together, making a piano was like a choreographed dance.

Payne’s recently released book, North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City is clearly an evolution of Payne’s particular type of photographic discovery. Of course, there are the perfectly framed images of North Brother Island’s infamous crumbling hospitals and of its industrial gantry. Then there are the interior shots of medical rooms whose ceilings look like they might fall any second.


04/23/14 4:00pm

Map of Where to Drink in NYC Untapped CitiesImage Credit: Pop Chart Lab

Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading today!

New York City

04/23/14 2:00pm

Wyndcliffe-Rhineback-Abandoned-Mansion-Hudson River-NYCImage via Flickr by Joseph

This article is from our partner, Urban Ghosts, a website on hidden history and offbeat travel. 

The abandoned mansion known as Wyndcliffe stands on the eastern bank of the Hudson River near Rhinebeck, New York. Built in 1853 at a time when new rail links made it possible for wealthy merchants and bankers to work in the city but live in the countryside, this Norman-style brick-built villa originally called Rhinecliff and set amid 80 acres of land, was designed by George Veitch with construction led by John Byrd.