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On October 28th, Eric Owen Moss, the celebrated Los Angeles architect and Director of Southern California Institute of Architecture will be awarded one of the highest honors in American Art and Architecture, when the National Academy in New York City honors him as a National Academician. Untapped Cities had the privilege of speaking with him about his fearless architecture and the neighborhood he has diligently transformed.

Eric Owen Moss_Culver City_LA_Untapped Cities_Bhushan Mondkar-028The Samitaur Tower stands at the entrance of Hayden Tract and symbolizes the advent of this significant urban development.  The five twisted screens display culturally meaningful content, along with art and graphic presentations. Photo courtesy: Tom Bonner and Eric Owen Moss Architects.

Industrial tracts are going through a renaissance around the world. One in the midst of a dramatic urban transformation in Los Angeles began nearly three decades ago. Hayden Tract, a former industrial zone of Culver City has cycled back to glory, after going down the assembly line of destruction in the seventies. Spearheaded by the creative genius of architect Eric Owen Moss and the bold vision of developers Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith, the ongoing architectural experiment has transformed a group of decaying industrial warehouses into radically contemporary buildings, collectively known as Conjunctive Points. This innovative neighborhood in west LA, is now home to some of the most creative film, media and advertising studios.

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Rachel Fawn Alban_Untapped Cities_Shepard Fairey_THE LISA Project 2014 12

Last week, Shepard Fairey created a new mural at 161 Bowery, near the corner of Broome Street in Lower Manhattan. This massive project was organized by L.I.S.A. Project NYC, the non-profit which has been bringing wonderful street art to Little Italy and the surrounding areas, creating downtown Manhattan’s first mural district. We had the opportunity to shoot these photos of Fairey and his team at work.

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ganesh hindu temple-nyc-flushing-queens-vegan-canteenGanesh Temple in Flushing, Queens. Image via Flicker: Carol Vinzant

Last week we took you to Smile of the Beyond, a low-key luncheonette in Queens run by the disciples of the late spiritual master Sri Chinmoy. As fascinating as it is though, Smile of the Beyond only scratches the surface of what this city has to offer. When it comes to spiritual eateries in New York, there are plenty of small, local favorites that are tucked away in every borough. So, for your convenience, here’s our list of the best spiritual restaurants, canteens, and cafes to check out in New York City. Enjoy!

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Read our top ten events of the week. Learn about the history of Martin Greenfield Clothiers, learn about preservation attempts in Greenwich Village, and go on a walking tour and learn about the historic East Village libraries this week. You can also tour the Woolworth Building lobby with Untapped Cities, listen to a song based on a book, attend a competition of puns, and more.

Monday, August 18th:

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Icy & Sot Source:  The Water Tank Project

Icy & Sot. Source: The Water Tank Project

As Untapped Cities readers, you probably know we are really obsessed with water tanks, from our top 10 list of the most unique water tanks in New York City to a look at how they work. We’ve often wondered why water tanks are not used very frequently as a canvas for art but that’s about to change.

Art often collides with social issues and this summer The Water Tank Project project will appear in all five boroughs, bringing us an important message. It is the brainchild of Word Above the Street and documentary filmmaker Mary Jordan. Their message is simple and hugely important.  “Put Water Above All.”  The program is an effort to call attention to the global water crises.

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Jim Power, the Mosaic Man, tearing down his beloved mosaics from the lampposts around Astor Place.

Jim Power, the Mosaic Man, tearing down his beloved mosaics from the lampposts around Astor Place with a hammer and a chisel.

We were saddened when the news broke that Jim Power, the famous  “Mosaic Man”  of the East Village has begun tearing his mosaics down.  Today, he explained that he is removing them before the city has a chance to, as Astor Place continues its redesign“This is Mosaic Massacre, 2014,” said Powers.  “They are planning to move them to Queens, or all over the city – who knows where. They called them ‘historic artifacts’. Well, they weren’t made to be artifacts in Queens.”  Yesterday we had a chance to photograph Jim Powers in action as he removed his works from the Mosaic Trail

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