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2561659236_ed7b2030c6_zSource: Flickr.com by h008

Relied on by everyone and utilized on a daily basis, transit systems form the critical backbone for urban life. One would assume that most networks feature user friendly interfaces and streamlined routing, though this isn’t always the case. Below, we try to clarify some of the colloquial nuances of the world’s most well-known networks. Just remember: Subways are like Band-Aids.


londoncab-hackney-untapped-citiesA traditional London hackney carriage… Image Source: The Atlantic.

untapped-cities-nyc-yellow-taxi-1…Versus New York’s Yellow Medallion Taxis. Source: Wikimedia Commons

No two cities associate iconoclasm and uniformity with their taxi cabs like New York or London. While most assume the differences stop at color–yellow for New York, black for London–a stark contrast exists in who drives the cabs and what those drivers know. Prerequisites, the application process, the tools they use, and even the culture of the cabbies differ between the cities. We detail exactly where these differences exist–just remember that the word “knowledge” for a London cabbie is spelled with a capital “K” and is preceded with a definite article.


new-york-university-philosophy-stairs-untapped-staff-picksThe quirky stairs in NYU’s philosophy building. Image via 6sqft.

Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading at the HQ today!

New York


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1000 Londoners is a project of films and people–it’s like Humans of New York, but with videos, and all the speakers self-identify as “true Londoners.”  Anyone can be nominated and as such the interviewees reflect the colourful human landscape of London. This project is the brainchild of Mark Currie and Rachel Wang, the directors of Chocolate Films (a social enterprise film production formed in 2003).

‘The aim of the project is to get people in London talking, sharing their stories and understanding how everyone else lives.’ says Reece Lipman, one of the principal film makers. It was this diversity that triggered the concept of and commitment to the 1,000 Londoners project.


FranksPeckham_JMarkDoddsFrank’s Café and Campari Bar. Image Credit: J Mark Dodds

Whether it’s slurping on  hot noodle soup by a roadside in Thailand or grabbing a falafel from a street cart in New York, street food isn’t just about the food—it’s about transporting a sense of community to urban areas and creating an interconnected hub of public space and activity, for everyone. In London, the street food culture has been spurred on  by overcrowding and the need to put wasted space to good use. Not to mention it can also be pretty fun sampling some beer surrounded by sculptures in an abandoned multi-story parking garage in the back streets of London.  (more…)

London Bars-Foundation Bar-3-London-Untapped Cities-Dana Ter Concoctions at a masquerade ball at London’s Foundation Bar

London, England. The name conjures up a montage of old buildings and new neighborhoods, dry scones and wet weather. And let’s not forget the nightlife. Local pubs are a quintessential fixture of London after hours, as are uber-classy VIP venues. (In)famous multi-level techno powerhouses have been around for a while, leading Western Europe’s counter-culture-cum-hipster-punk scene. “Secret” underground parties from Great Gatsby-esque speakeasies to cozy parlors have also been analyzed, scrutinized and examined until they are no longer secret.

But for a global city that is constantly reinventing its vibe, there will always be new secrets to unveil. We’re letting readers in on another London secret—its student scene. University students are refashioning how Londoners party. For starters, about two-thirds of the student body at the London School of Economics (LSE) hail from outside the UK.  (more…)