A graduate of Columbia University's Urban Planning program. Ben's interests include historical accuracy, post apocalyptic movies set in New York, being a coffee snob, and occasionally writing about something interesting.
The Last Bookstore. Thankfully this is not a true statement, but the provocative name and lettering on the sign are enough to make anyone wandering around Downtown Los Angeles curious. This might be one of the largest bookstores you’ll ever see, inconspicuously tucked away in a former bank on Spring street.
The store’s name is a play on words. The owners are well aware that the book selling industry is in a sort of crisis, but this never fazed them. The store’s first incarnation was a downtown loft in 2005, and when their online-only shop started to take off, they decided to find a brick and mortar space. They opened a shop on 4th and Main in 2009, but as the only store that bought used books, they quickly filled out their shelves. When that lease was up they moved into the current 10,000 square foot location. (more…)
He ran on a “Tale of Two Cities” platform, and when he enters office on January 1st, Bill De Blasio will have to put a lot of forces in motion to tackle the issue of homelessness in New York City. To continue to shed light on this subject The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs recently hosted a public forum featuring a mix of academics and scholars, all of whom work on this issue daily.
Over the weekend, Untapped Cities checked out the Waterfront Museum‘s barge, the Lehigh Valley No. 79 in Red Hook as the organization prepares to host a fundraising Pirate Ball on September 19th. The festive party is to kick off No. 79′s 100th birthday, and start an endowment to continue the mission and preservation of the boat.
On Saturday, 27 members of the North Brooklyn Boating Club completed a circumnavigation of Manhattan. This was the club’s first circumnavigation of Manhattan, and their flotilla included canoes, kayaks and a row boat. Fellow Untaped Cities contributor Charles-Antoine Perrault, was also present for this amazing trip.
You can get a glimpse of the Bloomingdale Trail, an abandoned railroad line in Chicago, on a Blue Line Train from O’Hare to the Loop. The Blue Line comes in to the city at an angle, and so you’ll only able to observe the verdant path for a few seconds before it disappears behind passing buildings. In a year though, if all goes according to plan, the trail will be open and accessible to the public. This month, The Trust for Public Land helped us get access to the trail to share this story with Untapped Cities readers.
As part of a Municipal Art Society Jane’s Walk with the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, we had a chance to check out the Navy Yard Hospital and the surrounding area. Our tour was led by Milton Puryear, lead planner and co-founder of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Michael Porto, an engineer and board member. This site, visible from the BQE, is one of the largest currently vacant parcels we have been to in Brooklyn. This section of the Navy Yard has been abandoned for decades and not used as a hospital since 1948, when the Navy Hospital was moved to a larger facility in St. Albans, Queens. The main building is made of pristine Tuckahoe Marble, while next door is the Surgeon’s house. Both gorgeous buildings, even in decay.