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Posts by kellitrapnell:

Studebaker Factory Columbia administrative building Harlem NYC Untapped CitiesManhattanville’s former Studebaker automobile factory breathes new life as Columbia University’s Human Resources building. 

If you’ve ever worked for Columbia University, you probably hate this square, brown building with a weird tower on it. It’s the Human Resources building and everyone on Columbia’s payroll eventually has to make the trek out to 615 W. 131st street to file their tax forms and the like. Though the building’s function today is not very exciting, the history behind it is pretty surprising.

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BeachhouserooftopThe rooftop house on E. 1st and 1st Ave gives new meaning to the phrase “moving on up.” Source: Nick Carr, of Scouting NY.

Talk about raising the roof! Next time you find yourself strolling around the East Village, stop by the intersection of East 1st Street and First Avenue, and look up. There, perched atop a brick red apartment complex, sits an entire two-story East Coast beach house, complete with horse-topped weathervane, spotted by Nick Carr, of Scouting NY.

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sleeppodsNYCThe MetroNaps facility was on the 24th floor of the Empire State Building. Source: NY Times.

For all the talk about NYC being the city that never sleeps, we were surprised (and delighted) when we discovered that there used to be an entire floor of “nap pods” in the Empire State Building. At MetroNaps on the 24th floor, tired New Yorkers could kick back in a space-ship-like chair to catch some much-needed zzz’s in twenty minute intervals. Sadly, the location closed in 2008 before the franchise could expand (due to a change in  visitor policies at the Empire State Building), but MetroNaps still rents out its “EnergyPods” to businesses like Google, and spas.

The pods at the Empire State Building, which looked look like something out of Star Trek (or maybe more like something out of Brave New World) were essentially cushy grey chaise lounges with a white, plastic base that swoops up into a bassinet-like hood; the chairs provided varying degrees of darkness and a choice of ambient sounds (think chirping birds, ocean surf, that kind of thing) with which to lull their occupants to sleep during their weekday lunch or coffee breaks.

metronapEach twenty-minute nap in the plastic sleep pods costs $14. Source: The Morning News

 Get in touch with the author @kellitrapnell.

Who doesn’t like a party? These five traditional night-time festivals are representative of cultures around the world, and each city or country are well worth a visit–from celebrations of life and rebirth to sacred rituals of cleansing and purification, we bring you some of our favorite international nocturnal festivals. (Special thanks goes to one of our favorite online magazines, NatGeo Traveler, who recently posted about their favorite post-nightfall festivities–we loved their list, but we also had our own picks to add.)

NochedeBrujas

Once a year, shamans and healers from all over Mexico travel to Cerro Mono Blanco in Veracruz for Noche de Brujas, a mass purification ceremony and a cultural celebration of the magical. Source: Christine Delsol, for SFGate.com, photo credit: Sectur Veracruz.  (more…)

Each week, we’ll feature one of our popular lists on Foursquare (or exciting additions to them). Check out our Foursquare page and follow us for tips on the go by downloading the app.

SubwayArt4SqList

The vibrant colors of the naturalistic mosaic that coats the walls at the Essex & Delancey subway station brings a splash of color to subterranean New York. 

Long hailed as one of the most artistic cities in the world, New York City certainly is home to many beautiful art museums and galleries (check out our list of NYC’s Must See Galleries from last week). But even below NYC’s teeming sidewalks and traffic-packed streets, art abounds in the form of murals, mosaics, and sculptures which span the depths of the extensive MTA subway system. In this week’s featured Foursquare list, we bring you Subway Art in NYC, our definitive guide to the city’s truly underground art scene, taken from Untapped Contributor Kristin Gaylord’s column, Transit Talk.

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Recently, an Untapped reader asked us to help him find a tiger in New York City. If anybody knew the answer, it would be us, they wrote. Other specifications: they wanted it alive, stuffed would be second best. Absolutely “no half tigers,” the reader requested.

Naturally, our first impulse was to check the Central Park Zoo, but as it turns out, Central Park is only home to one big cat: a snow leopard. Close, but not a tiger. So we checked with the Bronx Zoo, which is much larger. Et voila! A tiger, a lion, and even a bear. Oh, my! BringingUpBaby

“Hello, Peter Luger? Yes, I need a porterhouse steak delivered, as rare as you can get it.”  (more…)