Posts by nikkilohr:

Articles By: nikki lohr

Nikki is a native New Yorker and recent Russophile. She likes E.B. White and Vladimir Nabokov, the New Museum and the Russian Museum. She has written about contemporary art for the New York Observer and about local news for DNAinfo New York. Her twitter is @NikkiLohr.

Zacharevic-NewYork-UntappedCities-NikkiLohr-001“Lil Crazy Legs” on 110 E 7th Street, Manhattan. 

On a sunny day last fall, a man strolled down Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. As he approached Harman Street, he noticed some children scaling a black, chain-link fence. “Someone should stop those kids climbing those fences before one gets hurt,” he told a fellow passerby. The passerby nodded in agreement, but inside he smiled. The kids climbing the fence weren’t real – they were wood and paint, and the passerby was Ernest Zacharevic, the artist who made them.


UntappedCities-NewYork-PMNewYorkDaily-NikkiLohrPM newspaper’s fake cover, a cautionary tale during World War II

What do Dr. Seuss, Ernest Hemingway and Dorothy Parker have in common? They all worked for PM, a highly progressive New York newspaper that covered local and international news. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t be surprised. The paper ran for just eight years from 1940-48, and circulation never exceeded 200,000 (by comparison, the New York Herald Tribune‘s daily circulation was about 350,000). PM has sadly disappeared over time.


BrooklynInProcess-Jeffrey Man.-002jpgMcCarren Park Pool model. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Jeffrey Man, courtesy of Usagi NY Gallery.

New York City’s landscape is constantly changing. Everyday we walk under scaffolding, around boarded-up sidewalks and through a symphony of jackhammers. But for those who want a closer look at what happens before the bricks pile up, there’s a new architecture exhibition that’s not to be missed. It’s called “Brooklyn in Process” and will be at Usagi NY Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn until March 12th.



The tsars are remembered for their lavish palaces – monuments of decadence that encouraged peasants and factory workers to take up arms in the Russian Revolution. But Peter the Great, the tsar who built St. Petersburg and put Russia on the path of Westernization in just 30 years, did not live in the lap of luxury. His first palace in Petersburg was a mere 710 square feet, smaller than the average one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

Today, this palace is most likely the smallest palace in the world.



In New York City, most subway stations are only a few stories below ground (although some of course do go down further, as we’ve shown). In St. Petersburg’s subway, getting from the street to the trains can take up to five minutes. Or at least it does at Admiralteyskaya station, the deepest subway station in Russia and among the five deepest metro stations in the world.

With the typical platform lying 187 feet below ground, St. Petersburg boasts the deepest subway system in the world. Admiralteyskaya is 282 feet deep. For some perspective, this is about a fifth of the height of the Empire State Building. And it is almost a hundred feet lower than New York City’s deepest subway station.



In cities, courtyards are often places to wind down or discover hidden nuggets of local history. In St. Petersburg, they’re a space for imagination.

Venture into the alleys between buildings and every so often you’re rewarded with a garden of art. The interior walls of buildings are covered in colorful mosaics or four-story paintings. Sculptures of characters from classic Russian fairy tales stand impishly in flowerbeds.