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Twice a year, Fashion Week descends upon New York like a swarm of well-dressed bees. There are clothes! There are models! There are famous people! There is media attention! Here’s my brief brush with fame for the week: on my way to sketch night on Tuesday I was annoyed to find my path blocked by a herd of excited people staring at the door of the Belstaff store on Madison Ave. Uggghhh, I thought, get out of the waaaay. A small army of photographers were laying in wait with cameras at the ready, each of them dressed in black. Which celebrity was about to grace us with their anointed and highly-paid presence? And out sauntered a grinning David Beckham in a leather jacket, followed by a trail of lesser-known models, also in leather. It was a really nice jacket.

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There is something magical about finding a place in Central Park where you can look all around you and not see any buildings poking above the treetops. It’s as if you’ve found a portal in the middle of the country’s biggest city. Such spots are surprisingly rare because of how narrow Central Park is and the height of its surrounding buildings, but they can definitely be found. We’ve listed seven of our favorites below. If you know of any others, feel free to add them to the interactive map above or leave a comment on the post!

1. The Loch

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Just below the Pool is a charming little manmade waterfall that flows into the Loch, which winds its way northward through a ravine. The Lochs course presents multiple opportunities for building-less spots because of its low elevation and overhead vegetation. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the scenery; you can make out a man painting the landscape on the far right of the above panorama.

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One of the most amazing things about New York City is its subway system, with 468 stations currently in operation. In the past, Untapped Cities has covered how New Yorkers have creatively occupied these spaces to provide unexpected services such as getting a hair cut,  or having keys made.

This week, we were excited to discover the Bushwick Ave-Aberdeen Street stop off the L train. Usually, small businesses house their services within the subway station. At this stop, the subway entrance itself is housed between two used car dealerships–Zaki’s Auto Land and Dawan Motors LLC. Digging into the history, the station was built in 1928, while the two car dealerships opened after.

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

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Ever wonder about the NYC’s subway signage? Most New Yorkers who use the subway daily have probably never heard of the design firm Unimark. In 1970, designers Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of Unimark created a language not only for how people would read subway signs, but also the way people would use the NYC subway for the next 44 years. The published document was a 13″ x 13″ Standards Manual held together in a 3-ring binder. And now, Pentagram is hoping to bring it back via a Kickstarter campaign that goes until October 8th. It’s been so popular that they have raised more than 5x the $108,000 goal so far.

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This article was also written in part by Samantha Sokol

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If you thought gardening was purely a white-fence suburban hobby, think again. These gardens scattered through Manhattan feature a diverse range of plants and flowers — one of them even has a pond! Check them out here. (more…)