Monorail-New York City-City Island-New Haven-Popular Science-NYC

Imagine if New Yorkers could commute by high speed monorail? A monorail, which would have had the capability of whizzing across the country at 150 miles an hour, was proposed on a smaller scale first in New York City. Officials considered building a 200 horsepower monorail line “which would run at forty-five miles an hour, in an outlying borough.” This plan detailed in Popular Science in October 1930 would have completed the patchwork system of subways and elevated railroads that dot the outer boroughs.



On Quora, we came across a great Cities 101 question about the logic behind the selection of Manhattan’s Cross Streets (and one of our photographs of Columbus Circle in the answer). In a thorough recap, Raj Bhuptani, a ’13 Statistics graduate from Harvard and a Quantitative Research Analyst at Two Sigma Investments, provides an answer which he has allowed us to republish here (additional hyperlinks added by us).

Question: What’s the logic to the selection of Manhattan’s major cross streets (14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th, 59th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 96th)?

Raj’s Answer:


Dewey Arch-Madison Square Park-Victory Arch-NYC

Today, the book Broadway by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young launched, published by Arcadia and featuring nearly 200 vintage photographs chronicling the history of the world-famous street, along with contemporary photographs by Untapped Cities contributors. We’ve asked Michelle to share with us 10 of the most surprising vintage photographs she came across in her research. Check them out here and buy the book on Amazon. Join in for a book talk and signing in New York City at WeWork with Michelle on May 26th, free tickets here.


Verandah Place-Cobble Hill Park-NYC-Untapped Cities-Jeff Reuben-1

Verandah Place in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Historic District is a charming little street that seems to transport one back to the neighborhood’s mid-nineteenth century origins. Rather than being frozen in time, however, its attractive character is due not only to the small scale of its quaint rowhouses, but also to the adjoining park that was created in the 1960s and which both altered and enhanced its historic context.


Queensboro Bridge-Hakimms-Urban Exploration-NYC-2Atop the Queensboro Bridge. Photo by @hakimms

Bridges have always been popular amongst New York City’s urban explorers, but the recent frequency of expeditions is noteworthy, and has even caught the eye of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Urban exploration has became a rite of passage of sorts for certain New York teenagers and Instagram has given them an outlet for creative expression, along with the fame associated with such public declarations. The arrest of @Demidism for his photo atop the construction of 432 Park, seems to have only encouraged more to emerge.


PopUpForest_Times Square_Untapped Cities_bhushan-catherine mondkar-001

Times Square will soon be adorned by a forested landscape nestled within its brightest urban-scape. A wildly successful Kickstarter for a PopUp Forest aims to transform Times Square into an urban oasis in the summer of 2016, with towering trees, native wildflowers, and ferns installed overnight amidst the glitter and glow.