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.


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!



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:


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.


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


Gastro Architecture-Nihcolas Blechman-NY Times-Tropicana Tower-Chrylser Building-NYC

Nicholas Blechman, the art director for the New York Times Book Review has a really fun new series on landmark architecture as food, called Gastro-Architecture. While many of the drawings are from all around the world “The Gherkin” in London and “The Bottle Opener” in Shanghai, several are of New York City. The Apple Store as an Ice Cube, The Chrysler Building as orange wedges (aka “The Tropicana Tower,” The San Remo apartment towers on Central Park West as “Salt and Pepper Shakers, and “The Tostito,” a current project by Blarke Ingels for Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.