W. Eugene Smith, [Loft interior]. ©1981, 2015 The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith.

The beige building located on 821 6th Avenue in Chelsea’s Flower District doesn’t look like much. It is trumped in height by the skyscrapers surrounding it and partially covered by a green construction scaffold – a seemingly ever-present fixture in New York City. A handbag store, with an orange awning, currently sits on the bottom floor of the building. Without knowing its history beforehand, no one would ever guess that between 1957 and 1965, it was a jazz loft, where music legends like Thelonious Monk and Hall Overton once came together to play.


nypl-bronx_spuyten-duyvil-library_giorgio-cavaglieri_1971NYPL Spuyten Duyvil branch. All photos by Elizabeth Felicella.

The new exhibit, Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City’s Branch Librariesopened yesterday at the Center for Architecture, featuring photographs by Elizabeth Felicella of all 210 of the New York Public Library branches. The extensive collection totals over 2000 images, ranging from expansive architectural interior and exterior shots to details. The idea, writes the Center for Architecture, is to invite the viewer “to appreciate the intricacy, complexity, and vast scope of these vital and evolving public resources.” The project took a total of five years and the images are organized in the Center for Architecture exhibit by date of the library’s construction.


Celebrate the first full week of fall by visiting The Metropolitan Opera on its opening night, catching one (or more) films at two NYC film festivals or by partying it up on the Wavertree!

Monday, September 26th

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2016-17 season begins on Sept 26th, which also happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its home at Lincoln Center. This year’s line up will feature 26 operas, including the Met premiere of composer Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin. Opening night will kick off with Mariusz Treliński’s new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at 5:00 p.m. Purchase tickets here. 

Tuesday, September 27th

To kick off its 2016-17 season, The Joyce Theater will be transformed for the NY Quadrille, a two-week dance program created by choreographer Lar Lubovitch. A specially constructed stage will allow the performance, featuring choreographers—Pam Tanowitz, RoseAnne Spradlin, Tere O’Connor, and Loni Landon – to be viewed from four sides. Tickets start at $35.00.


This image of Nathan Hale is viewable in City Hall Park on the Membit app. Membit is a new augmented reality app that gives you a way to share the past with the present and a way to share the present with the future. It’s so new it isn’t even in the App Store yet, it’s in beta. If you would like to try it out before everyone else, click here

Untapped Cities is excited to announce our partnership with Membit, a geolocative photo sharing app that allows pictures to be placed and viewed in the exact location they were captured. Membit’s patented Human Positioning System (TM) allows for markerless Augmented Reality to be used anytime, anywhere, by anyone. We’ll be using Membit on our Throwback Thursday column (formerly This Week in NYC History), and we’ll be launching the technology in person at upcoming tours of the Remnants of Penn Station in October, part of a month-long programming that will culminate in a summit on the future of Penn Station at Cooper Union on November 2nd. We are working on this new tool from Columbia University’s GSAPP Incubator

On September 22, 1776, Nathan Hale, legendary spy and American hero was executed by British forces in New York City.

After a miserable defeat at the Battle of Brooklyn, George Washington found himself stuck in Lower Manhattan and desperate for intelligence on the British army’s imminent invasion. He called for volunteers to gather information behind enemy lines on Red Coat positions and numbers. Nathan Hale, a Connecticut-born Yale grad and school teacher from the 7th Connecticut Regiment, was the only volunteer.


new-york-public-library-nypl-new-book-train-stephen-a-schwartzman-buiding-research-milstein-stacks-bryant-park-nycPhoto by Jonathan Blanc/NYPL

We’ve come a long way from the plans to completely destroy the stacks under the New York Public Library‘s Stephen A. Schwartzman Building at 42nd Street-Bryant Park. Not only are those 125 miles of stacks staying put, storage is actually being expanded and the Rose Reading Room is about to complete a comprehensive restoration. There will also be a new book train system, developed by the design and architecture firm Gensler and built by the New Jersey-based firm, Teledynamic. It’s intended to deliver research materials from the Milstein Research Stacks–now with a capacity of four million volumes–to the first floor and the Rose Reading Room.


fraunces_tavern-george_washington-headquarters-financial_district-historic-nyc-copyFraunces Tavern, a major setting in Hamilton: An American Musical

We ran into New York City-based writer B.L. Barreras at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where he was promoting his recently self-published book Where Was the Room Where It Happened? The Unofficial Hamilton: An American Musical Location GuideThe guide is intended to offer expanded information on locations included in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton.