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Floating food forest. Image via Swale

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

1. The Man Who Used His Nose to Keep New York’s Subways Safe [Atlas Obscura]: Leaky. Smelly. The Sniffer. These were all nicknames for one of the more unusual figures in New York City’s history, James Kelly. For decades, “Smelly” Kelly walked the tracks using his seemingly superhuman senses, plus a handful of homemade inventions, to track down hazards, leaks, poop, and eels in New York’s sprawling subway system.

2. The places where Americans are dying faster than they’re being born [The Washington Post]: In over 1,200 American counties, people are dying faster than they’re being born. These numbers, recently released by the Census, show that in 2016 deaths outpaced births in a variety of regions all over the country.

3. In Brooklyn’s Kosher Pizza War, Modern Tastes Battle Ancient Law [The New York Times]: In a city as pizza-crazed as New York, pizza wars erupt with some regularity, from dollar slice joints battling for customers in Manhattan to a Mafia-tinted dispute over a stolen sauce recipe between a pizza shop in Brooklyn and another on Staten Island.

4. With Floating Farm, New York Looks to the Future of Public Parks [Bloomberg]: Come April, a farm full of fruit trees and other crops will float to locations in three New York City boroughs, and visitors will be invited to enjoy nature by literally picking, snipping, and sowing to their hearts’ content. Located on a 5,000-square-foot barge, “Swale” will include 4,000 square feet of solar-powered growing space, including a perennial garden, an aquaponics area, and an apple orchard sponsored by Heineken USA’s Strongbow Apple Ciders atop a large man-made hill. (The hill allows deeper root space for fruiting trees.)

Today’s popular Untapped Cities reads:

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