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Articles By: samantha schnell

Samantha Schnell is a first-year MFA candidate in the Writing Program at Columbia University School of the Arts. After graduating from Amherst College, she spent a year teaching and tutoring in a 6th grade classroom at a charter school in the Boston area. Now, she has dreams of living and writing in New York or Paris, her two favorite cities in the world. In her free time, she likes to read, travel, drink lots of coffee and watch Downton Abbey.


Last month, Untapped Cities was lucky enough to snag a ticket to an exclusive tour of the Woolworth Building with the Skyscraper Museum. The tour, held in honor of the building’s 100th birthday, began in the lobby. With great satisfaction, we stepped past the sturdy “TOURISTS ARE NOT PERMITTED” sign and, under the guard’s watchful Read more. Read more.
In this week’s Vintage Photos post, Untapped Cities brings you New York City through the lens of the Wurts Brothers, one of the most prominent photography studios of the 20th century. Brothers Norman and Lionel founded the company in 1894, and it quickly became the go-to studio for photos of architecture in New York. The Read more. Read more.
Last month, the Hotel Pennsylvania Preservation Society finally breathed a deep sigh of relief. The historic Hotel Penn, across the street from Penn Station, has been denied landmark status several times in recent years and its owner, Vornado Realty Trust, planned to demolish it in order to build a new office complex in its place. Read more. Read more.
Summer is almost here; soon it will be time for New Yorkers to get out their bathing suits and head over to Coney Island for some sunshine and corn dogs. Despite the brutal damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy, our favorite spots on Coney Island–the Cyclone, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, the New York Aquarium, and more–have Read more. Read more.
New York is known for a lot of things—taxis, bagels, Central Park, the subway—but it is not known for privacy. Privacy, in fact, can be pretty hard to come by. Last month, BMW Guggenheim Lab launched “Public/Private,” a new interactive project that explores our individual and collective experiences of privacy in cities around the world. Read more. Read more.
Public pools always seem like a good idea; there’s nothing more refreshing than jumping into a rectangle of clear, blue water on a hot, humid day. In reality, however, public pools can be a crowded, smelly, noisy, dirty nightmare filled with chlorine (and, in all likelihood, urine). But luckily—even for those of us who can’t Read more. Read more.
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