It’s been a fun year for “untapped” quirky news, and our readers proved to us the range of their urban interests, from abandoned locales, hidden restaurants, judgmental maps, urban planning projects to street art. Here are the top 10 articles on Untapped Cities in 2014!
Rendering of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center
If we were the betting kind, we’d wager that soon people will be saying that the Bronx is the new Brooklyn. Or the new whatever is the latest neighborhood. Untapped Cities readers proved they’re ahead of the curve with the popularity of this policy article about 5 big urban planning projects in the Bronx.
Lois Lane, via Google Maps
There’s no Clark Kent nearby, but there is a Lois Lane in New York City. That is, there’s a lane named Lois, on Staten Island. In 2005, the New York Times dug into this fun occurrence, uncovering that it was named by developer Richard Nicotra for his wife, Lois. As Nicotra recounts, “My wife is named Lois, and I own the street, and I am no Superman, but she is my Lois Lane.” He renamed the street in about 2005, after purchasing the land in Bloomfield which as formerly a horse farm. Today, there’s a Hilton Garden Inn, the offices of Nicotra’s company, The Nicotra Group, a Pearson VUE location and the Kiddie Academy of Staten Island along this road. No office for The Daily Planet in sight, however.
New York City’s prison population is the lowest it has been in 10 years–10,923 inmates as of September 2014. But still, an ongoing question for the NYC Department of Corrections is where to house the inmates in a city as dense as New York. It might be surprising to some that the city’s prisons are generally, right among us–some look just like the apartment buildings next door except for some barbed wire windows. Prisons used to be organized along district lines, particularly before the 1898 consolidation of the five boroughs. They were attached to or near the courts and were little more than holding cells.
Here below are 15 of NYC’s former prisons, many which are still standing:
In 2010, the Ridgewood Intermodal Terminal opened at Myrtle-Wyckoff station on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, line facilitating subway to bus transfers along the L and M lines. The project from the MTA was completed at a cost of $4.5 million, bringing together the numerous bus lines in the area into a small stretch on Palmetto Street, which is open to buses and deliveries only. Much like the newspaper stand that mimics the original Heins and LaFarge fare control station on 72nd Street, the dispatcher booth is a miniature house that is in the same aesthetic as the main house, just across the street.
It’s been a while since our last Untapped Mailbag in which we answer questions from readers, submitted via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail. But we received quite a challenge from reader Hanna, who wanted to know which restaurant was featured in the season 1 finale of Broad City on Comedy Central. Nearly the entire episode, entitled “The Last Supper,” takes place in inside, where the main characters Abbi and Ilana head to the fictional “Octavia,” a fancy restaurant for Abbi’s birthday. Ilana gets a near fatal allergy to seafood and Abbi accidentally injects herself with the Epipen. We usually send these queries to our team at Untapped Cities and collectively try to hunt down answers.
Last night, we headed to Finback Brewery for the Untapped Cities Holiday Happy Hour and Tour, a reader suggestion from our piece on the top microbreweries in NYC. Finback’s tasting room in Glendale, Queens is a hidden gem. You’d never guess from the street (unless it’s summer and they have the garage door open) there that there would be a warm and inviting bar and beer hall inside this nondescript warehouse building tucked within a residential neighborhood.