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The New York City subway carries many secrets, like any extensive system that was built over time. But the NYC subway also comes with it quite a bit of lore–from its urban explorers who have explored every nook of its vastness, the technological feat it was to build in some of the toughest Manhattan schist, and its evolution from high-class experiment to mass ridership.

No list of subway secrets can be complete, so we see this article as an evolving entity. We’ve started with our favorite secrets but encourage you all to comment and Tweet at us (@untappedcities) with other hidden gems. Special thanks to Matt Litwack, author of Beneath the Streets: The Hidden Relics of New York’s Subway System for contributing his finds to this piece.

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Urban_Foraging_NYC_Untapped Cities_nasha

We’ve eaten in parks before but eating with “Wildman” Steve Brill is a slightly different experience. The self-titled “Wildman” leads foraging tours of New York area parks, part of his mission to promote urban agriculture and sustainable eating.

Brill came to the public’s notice in the 1980s. Arrested by NY Parks Rangers for eating a dandelion, he parlayed the charge into a full-time job as the official Parks Department naturalist, leading the same tours that led to his arrest in the first place. Since going freelance in the ’90s, the “naturalist and science geek” continues to lead tours, both to the public and for school field trips. He’s also published three books on wild eating, consulted for the Parks department and advised several New York chefs on sustainable ingredient choices.

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

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Nestled in the heart of midtown, the Daily News Building was once the center of the news world, housing newspapers as well as TV and radio stations. Named for it’s main tenant, at the time of completion, The Daily News had the largest circulation of any newspaper in America.

After successfully designing the Chicago Tribune Building, Raymond Hood focused his efforts on changing the skyline of Manhattan. First designing the American Radiator Building near Bryant Park, then daringly agreeing to design a building east of the Third Avenue El. At the time few people wanted to develop anything in that area, but The Daily News required a place to run their noisy presses. In 1930, the 37-story building was completed. Raymond Hood was also the chief designer for Rockefeller Center a few years later, in 1933.

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Brooklyn Brewery-Williamsburg-Brooklyn-Interior-NYCImage via Flickr by Fabio Resende

The phenomenon of craft beer continues to sweep NYC, as more and more local breweries release bolder, richer, and more flavorful brews. Beer has become more than just a part of a meal, and drinkers have shown an increasing interest in who is making their brews and how. Breweries have become the houses of entertainment in ways similar to the bars they have distributed their products to, attracting people from all around. To help you with your brewery hop, we’re listing 12 of the craft breweries in New York City (with help from our readers!), with the hopes that you’ll be smart enough to take the subway or walk between them when hopping from one to the other. Special thanks to beer connoisseurs and Untapped readers Conrad Lumm and Mike Miles for assisting with this piece.

1. Finback Brewery

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Damien Mitchell-Wathaah Wall-Art-Street Art-Untapped Cities-Inwood-Manhattan-Bronc-NYC

Street art murals are not too common in Inwood, at the northern tip of Manhattan. There is plenty of graffiti, some made by artists who have been painting graff since the 70s. However, street artists have not made it up to the 200s, leaving street art fans and photographers to travel all the way down to SoHo or insert hip Brooklyn neighborhood here to catch street art. However, thanks to the partnership between street artist Damien Mitchell and the WAT-AHH! water brand, the Upper Manhattan neighborhood now has one of the largest and most striking murals in NYC.

WAT-AHH!‘s Taking Back The Streets Campaign aims to bring street art to certain neighborhoods around the country while also promoting healthy drinking for children–a less frightening version of the PSAs you see in the subway. The Campaign has given prominent NYC street artists like Icy & Sot, Fumero, Pose and others opportunities to paint large murals around the country for a good cause. This mural, the company’s second mural in NYC is their largest by far and took street artist Damien Mitchell ten full days to complete. (more…)