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Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of seeing eight of the best street artists in NYC, duke it out in Little Italy. The battle was put on by the L.I.S.A Project, in celebration of their second year bringing street art to Manhattan’s Little Italy. Currently in the midst of a controversy concerning the hashstag #TakingBackTheStreets, the L.I.S.A Project has seen much success in transforming Little Italy into a street art hot-spot, joining the ranks of Welling Court in Queens and The Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn.
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Recently, we put together our top 10 picks for an off-beat Halloween in NYC this year. One of those picks was spending Halloween in a crypt, with a Roaring ’20s band and unlimited alcohol. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, in partnership with New York Adventure Club we’re doing a giveaway for two free tickets to the event.

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The annual CMJ Music Festival is in full swing, and while they’re are plenty of buzz bands to see, our Untapped focus is on the overlooked band “S” fronted by Seattle’s Jenn Ghetto who plays the Sub Pop/Hardly Art Showcase at the Knitting Factory this Thursday the 23rd.  Jenn got her start with Carissa’s Weird, another somewhat obscure but seminal acoustic act out of the Pacific Northwest.  There’s nothing showy in “S”‘s music–it’s simple, slow, driving, and sad.   Yet she charges her songs with an earnest electricity and, as any good artist knows, the truth captivates, especially live.  We asked Jenn a few questions about her new record Cool Choices (produced of Death Cab for Cutie’s longtime guitarist Chris Walla) and about how her city reflects her music.

How does your city/location influence your music? 

Seattle—what can I say? (more…)

Lego Statue of Liberty-Madison Square Park-NYCImage via Trevor O’Brien

In celebration of the new LEGO store in the Flatiron, there’s a 20-foot version of the Statue of Liberty in Madison Square Park, built over the course of four days with the help of passerby, children and tourists. Three master LEGO builders were on hand for the project. What’s even cooler is the backstory (we’re not sure if this was conscious on LEGO’s part, however). When the Statue of Liberty first arrived the United States, its torch was displayed in Madison Square Park to raise money for the construction of the pedestal. It sat near 25th Street across from General Worth Square. As the story goes, French politician Edoard Labouaye in 1870 proposed the statue as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries but Americans were critical of it, claiming that the U.S. shouldn’t have to contribute to a gift meant for them. `

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These days, timeless literature set in New York City makes people think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, so we’re suggesting some other works with an NYC setting. We’ve picked our favorite classics, and thrown in some more recent or lesser-known fictional works that use the city as more than just a backdrop for a story– New York becomes an integral element of these writers’ works.

1. Let the Great World Spin Colum McCann (2009)

1-books-nyc-untappedImage via Tumblr: A Book Cover a Day

Let the Great World Spin offers a very real representation of a gritty New York in the ’70s, using the great tightrope walk by Phillipe Petit as a unifying event. Colum McCann weaves the stories of multiple protagonists into a web centrally focused on the city and the very real lives of the people in it.

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This week, we are excited to explore the Met’s new plaza, a green design boat cruise, and sausage-making, while the weekend will be filled with cider appreciation, creative dog costumes, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

Monday, October 20th

At 12 p.m., guides from the architecture firm OLIN will be giving a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s David Koch Plaza as part of Archtober, a month-long initiative of The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation. The David Koch Plaza is finally open after a two year construction period, and according to the Museum’s website, boasts “completely new fountains, paving, and facade lighting, along with allées and bosques of trees leading to the Museum’s entrances from north and south, and seating areas for visitors.” Register on Archtober’s website, and read our other top picks of the festival’s events. (more…)