Posts by mattnestor:

IMG_0274 copy-002The author puts his guide to the test

We here at Untapped love all of DOT’s ventures, especially those pertaining to two-wheeled transportation. In our eyes, bike lanes are the bee’s knees and Citi Bike’s a triumph, never mind the latter’s losing money faster than your aunt playing slots.  We have to admit, however, that the department may have stumbled when it published the uptight and naive Bike Smart Guide. How many real New Yorkers are going to Stop at all red lights and stop signs“? Save that kind of talk for downtown Des Moines.

Though Untapped would never condone bicycle rule-breaking, we are, if nothing else, a practical gang. Temptation lurks at every traffic stop, and sooner or later even the best-bred cyclist skirts the letter of the law. So why not sin in style? Untapped proudly presents a biking guide for real New Yorkers.


dia-beacon-new-york-datesRelaxing near On Kawara’s Today series

New York City is so flush with museums and galleries that the art lover may well despair of catching every good exhibit. Perhaps the best defense against art show anxiety is simply skipping town altogether. A breezy eighty minutes on the Metro-North, along the broad grey Hudson and past the tremendous ruins of Bannerman Castle, takes you to Beacon, New York and the magnificent Dia: Beacon(more…)

egg-downtown-battery-park-new-yorkJoyce J. Scott’s Egg, #87

Untapped Cities favors the historic and authentic, but we always love public art, no matter who’s behind it. Fabergé, the once legendary house of makers of jeweled eggs and trinkets, is now a private firm pushing its way back into the consumer awareness bubble. With the help of a few charities–and a few hundred designers–they’ve laid more eggs in New York City than this year’s Knicks. Meet the 275+ spheroids of #thebigegghunt.


Guggenheim-under-construction-nycThe Guggenheim Museum under construction, via LOC.gov

Museums are lightning rods for criticism. The most public of all buildings, they’re also the most vulnerable, and even long-accepted classics faced scorn in their infancy. Today we’re taking a look at vintage photographs of New York City’s famous museums while under construction. It’s hard to believe now, but Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum endured fusillades of derision. Before it was finished in 1962 (six months after Wright’s death), it was called “the building that should be put in a museum to show how mad the 20th Century is.”


norman-mailer-election-day-new-yorkMailer and Breslin, via Ephemeral New York

The next time you’re thinking of impressing your friends with that cool idea you had–”NYC should be its own state!”– take a second to remember that you’re not being terribly original. First, in 1861 there was a motion for Manhattan to secede from the Union. Then there was Norman Mailer,who not only had the notion of a 51st state but ran for mayor on it.


goodbye-church-new-york-floatingThe last of the floating churches was towed to pasture in 1910, via seamenschurch-archives.org

Drinking, cussing, and raising Cain: where have all the mariners gone? The pretty boys who come aboard during Fleet Week are so polite. But Manhattan’s no longer a port city, and the containerization of shipping has kidnapped shore leave: loading and unloading is so fast, seamen barely have time for the line at Starbucks. Untapped Cities mourns the old days, when carousing bands of sailors were still a threat to pure womanhood, and the only way to keep an old salt in line was with the dreadful terror of God. Meet the Seamen’s Church Institute and its floating churches.