New Arthur Ashe Stadium Roof. Photo by Steve Ryan via amNY.
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The Peking. Photo via Flickr by David Yu.
Last November, I read a long New York Times piece about the return of the Peking to its country of origin, Germany. The square-rigged sailing ship at South Street Seaport was slated to leave sometime in 2016. Cash-strapped South Street Seaport Museum staff feared that their ship, which had stood tall at Pier 16 for four decades, had to be scrapped after she weathered damage from Hurricane Sandy, but the German government saved the day, allocating 30 million euros for a journey to return the Peking to their protection.
Last week, the Seaport Museum posted on social media that these were the final days to step aboard one of the last great merchant windjammers. No way was I going to miss this farewell, even if I took a familiar friend for granted: I remembered from some fold in my brain that in her heyday she had an acre of canvas, with 32 sails.
Many of you have asked and we now have an answer: our Secrets of Grand Central Terminal tour returns with a vengeance starting in September (tickets below). We have four dates a month, all on weekends. The tour is led by Tamara Agins, a project manager for the New York City Department of City Planning who is one of the city’s verifiable experts on Grand Central Terminal.
On this tour, you will see the hidden tennis courts, locate the lost armchairs of Grand Central, see the remnants of a lost movie theater, peek into the entrance of the glass walkways and more.
The story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it. It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises. On this tour, we will tell you these stories – about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore Grand Central as preserved icon of past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future. We will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Together, we will explore the interesting and unique spaces produced for and by it. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or it’s your first time in the Beaux Arts beauty, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.
Here are some reviews from previous guests:
“Super informative tour guide. Learned so much about the terminal‘s history and architecture. We even got to explore parts of the building I didn’t know existed – like the tennis courts!” – Anne G
“I live in NYC and completed two visits with Untapped Cities Tours so far (Grand Central and Brooklyn Army Terminal) that were amazing! The guides were NYC employees working directly on the buildings covered by the tour. They were very knowledgeable and funny.” – Matthieu C
We hope you’ll join us on one of the dates this fall on September 24 and 25, October 22 and 23, November 5 and 6, with more dates in future months coming soon.
This summer, artists have been hard at work addressing social issues through art in New York City’s parks, on walls, and even on lamp posts. September brings a host of new works: The Studio Museum extends outside of its walls in Harlem to bring site-specific art installations to four parks from 113th Street to 145th Street. We hunted down glass pigeons on lamp posts throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, works which harken to those of Mosaic Man, who also recently brought back his work to the East Village, and checked out mural works throughout the city.
Here are 12 outdoor art installations not to miss in September:
Earlier this year, we wrote an article about the subway line that ran just for the 1939 World’s Fair and a reader commented that he had a model of the subway car and wanted to know more about it. Looking at the photographs he sent, the reader’s model actually appears to be the subway cars used for the 1964 World’s Fair, which were painted an aqua blue color in line with the branding for the event. His subway cars are the R33 WF (World’s Fair) model, of which 430 were commissioned for the event.
Image via Circo’s Pastry Shop
In the past, Untapped Cities has explored some of New York City’s oldest bakeries. This year, peppered by comments and suggestions from our readers, we decided to take a deeper dive into family owned and operated bakeries and patisserie spots that bring a sense of history and ethnic flavor to specific neighborhoods throughout our five boroughs.
Here are 23 old world bakeries in New York City, organized from oldest to newest: