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In this above video, meet Charlie Pellett, a news anchor and reporter for Bloomberg Radio for over 20 years. He’s also the voice of the New York City subway system, most famous for “Stand clear of the closing doors please.” Pellett’s voice was used as a recording on the newest line of subway cars, the R142A series which came into service in 1999.

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We recently received a “Christmas gift” of photographs from an anonymous group of urban explorers who had recently made it into the Second Avenue Subway construction. At Untapped Cities, we’ve been going down into the subway construction (legally) and photographing the progress since 2011. You can track how the subway tunnels looked at 96th Street as Phase One construction ended in 2011, the new connection being built at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue in 2012, into “The Thunderdome” below 86th Street in 2013 and the latest progress this May. According one of the photographers in this anonymous group, “It was an amazing experience seeing the tunnels in its raw form & a once in a life time experience being able to see it.” Read on for more photos:

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Untapped Cities 3D Sketchfab Scan-NYC3D selfies of the Untapped Cities Team by Sketchfab: Catherine Mondkar, Rachel Fawn Alban, Christopher Inoa, Michelle Young, Augustin Pasquet, Marta Elliot, Luke Kingma, Alexander McQuilkin and Bhushan Mondkar.

2014, you’ve been a great year. A big thank you to all our new and old readers for coming with us on the ride. In March, Redditors pushed our Top 10 Secrets of Grand Central Terminal to the top of the list. In October we were the first to break the news about the insane Instagrammer that climbed to the top of 432 Park Avenue while under construction. In November, readers obsessed over the 9 places to get Unlimited Food and Drink Deals in NYC. You can see more of our top 10 articles of 2014, but we’re also proud of the content we’ve put out there not because it was going to be popular, but because we believed it should be covered.  These include The Front Lines: Poverty and Homelessness in Southwest Yonkers, an op-ed from Susan Bernofsky about the controversial renovations to the New York Public Library Main Branch and How Citi Bike Could Expand to Serve Low-Income New Yorkers. We’ve been proud of the movement to help preserve the NYPL stacks for a future generation, similar to how we showcased the TWA Flight Center with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to push forward momentum for its adaptive reuse in 2012. The year was also punctuated by sadness, with the loss of our beloved columnist and illustrator, David Cessac at the age of 39.

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Welcome back to our weekly Instagram roundup of great photos hashtagged #untappedcities. As its Christmas eve, we’ve rounded up the images readers have submitted of the holidays in NYC and around the world. Hashtag #UntappedCities on Instagram and Twitter if you would like to have one of your photos entered in the running for our weekly “Best Of”column. Also, you can keep an eye on what contributors and readers are checking out by browsing the live feed.

Christmas Lights from Afar by denn_ice

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We last caught up with puppet Johnny T and his hilarious video about New York City subway etiquette. Now, The New York Times interviews him about the latest MTA campaign against “manspreading.” Seeing the word “manspreading” on the homepage of the Times is awesome enough, but then with Johnny T? We had to share.

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Image via Before Last Call

New Year’s Eve in New York City is one of those polarizing events for residents. Many will proclaim to hate it, which is why we’ve rounded up a list of alternative New Year’s Eve plans to ring in 2015 that are a step above the house party (which we also love, don’t get us wrong).

Manhattan

1. Capitale on the Bowery. In Stanford White’s 1893 Beaux Arts 40,000 square foot party wonderland, you’ll find two ballrooms, three VIP rooms, six hours of open bar, a full buffet, and a live DJ. Celebrate a glamorous New Year from 8 pm-3 am. 130 Bowery. $99.

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