The West Village’s curving and twisting streets lend itself well to many small alleys that are either hidden or extremely subtle. These small alley ways and courtyards and unique to the West Village and there is no concentration of them as great as in this area.  There are also countless beautiful private streets, many lined with houses originally built as stables for the grandiose townhouses in the area.

1. Grove Court

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Fulton Center Transit Hub-MTA-World Trade Center-Sky Reflector-Net-James Carpenter-NYC-002

There’s been a lot of hype around the new Fulton Center Transit Hub that opened this morning at 5 A.M. Senator Charles E. Schumer proclaimed that it was a “a metaphor for a revitalized downtown.” MTA Capital Construction President Dr. Michael Horodniceanu effused “Magical wouldn’t be too strong a word” for what officials are calling New York City’s “next great public space.” For years, the MTA had on its website that the Fulton Center hub would “immediately take its place among New York City’s great public spaces” when opened, akin to “a downtown Grand Central.” At the opening, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said “Forget the Grand Central clock. They’re going to come here.”


Temporary Disaster Housing Unit Prototype-NYC-Office of Emergency Management-Cadman Plaza

We took a visit inside the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) again last week, one of our favorite city agencies because it looks just like NASA inside. On the agenda for this visit included a look at the city’s Temporary Disaster Housing Unit which is currently being tested by OEM employees, who live inside one week at a time. It’s actually the nation’s first urban post-disaster housing prototype, a direct response to the challenges faced after Hurricane Sandy.


We did an Instagram roundup on photos from the roof, and now it’s time to check out photos pointing at higher elevation! Hashtag #UntappedCities on Instagram and Twitter if you would like to have one of your photos entered in the running for our weekly “Best Of”column. Also, you can keep an eye on what contributors and readers are checking out by browsing the live feed.

 New York by Gehry building by bhushan_nyc

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Wyndclyffe Mansion-Hudson Valley-Rhinebeck-Will Ellis-abandoned-nyc-1The abandoned Wyndclyffe Mansion broods over the Hudson River in Rhinebeck, New York. Photo by Will Ellis/Abandoned NYC

The Hudson River Valley is home to more than its share of formidable ruins, but few match the spooky appeal of Rhinebeck’s Wyndclyffe Mansion. Its beetle-browed exterior is blessed with that beguiling combination of gloom, ornamentation, and extreme old age that only the best haunted houses claim, and there’s no better time to witness them than late October, when autumn breezes send yellow leaves eddying through the hills and hollows of the old estate. It seems that the only thing this “haunted house” is missing is a good ghost story…


The Croton Distributing Reservoir in the process of demolition, Image via the New York Public Library

Before 1842, fresh water was a luxury that only the New York City elite could afford. Epidemics like cholera spread through the rivers and springs of Manhattan, leaving New York City’s ever-growing population at risk of disease. Buildings and businesses caught fire and burned to the ground without a reserve of water to put the flames out.  The Croton Aqueduct changed all that, providing a 32-mile gateway for a steady supply of clean water from Upstate New York to downtown Manhattan.