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We’ve been noticing a fun trend recently. Plays, as in theater pieces, particularly about urban history and transformation. First there was The Eternal Space about the demolition of the original Penn Station. Now, the ever creative Jeff Stark behind Nonsense NYC and Empire Drive In movie theater, is doing a site-specific work about the Gowanus Canal. And it’s ever so timely because big changes are coming to Gowanus as it transforms from artist hotspot amidst industrial warehouses to superfund site with a newly renovated subway station at Smith-9th Street, a forthcoming “Sponge Park” and lots of development underway.


Steven Speilberg-Untapped Cities-NYC-DUMBO-Film-Film Locations-Production-Brooklyn-003

Academy Award director Steven Spielberg, the man who gave birth to the summer blockbuster and has given us Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T, Jurassic Park, and many more classic characters and films started production on his 28th feature film in Dumbo this past weekend. Instead of trendy coffee shops and unique boutiques, we saw vintage street signs and advertisements. While we don’t know if Spielberg showed up to block and direct actors, or this was the work of a second unit, seeing the production team remove video cameras and paste advertisements that resembled the time period was a little glimpse at how the magic of movies are made.

The film, a cold war drama (provided with a script co-written by none other than the Coen Brothers) is based on a 1960 U-2 incident when an American spy plane was shot down over Soviet soil two weeks before a summit was to be held in Paris. The U.S tried to cover up their intentions to the Reds but the plot was soon out in the open when the plane and its pilot, CIA Agent Francis Gary Powers was found with photos of Soviet military bases.


Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading in the HQ today:

NYC-Camouflage-Trina-Merry-bodypaint-series-UntappedCities-Central Park-001  Central Park, image via Trina Merry

Trina Merry, a painter and photographer from New York, just released a striking series of photographs that feature female subjects painted and positioned to camouflage seamlessly into iconic New York City backdrops. As featured on Refinery 29the artist has the following motive in “New York City Camouflage”:

“My series is an homage, and a challenge, to Big Apple women who feel the need to blend in with everyone else in Gotham. I think many women move here hoping to live ‘Sex and the City’ lives when the reality is most women have to ditch their fancy designer heels on the subway for more practical sneakers.”




Twice a year, Fashion Week descends upon New York like a swarm of well-dressed bees. There are clothes! There are models! There are famous people! There is media attention! Here’s my brief brush with fame for the week: on my way to sketch night on Tuesday I was annoyed to find my path blocked by a herd of excited people staring at the door of the Belstaff store on Madison Ave. Uggghhh, I thought, get out of the waaaay. A small army of photographers were laying in wait with cameras at the ready, each of them dressed in black. Which celebrity was about to grace us with their anointed and highly-paid presence? And out sauntered a grinning David Beckham in a leather jacket, followed by a trail of lesser-known models, also in leather. It was a really nice jacket.