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kingston-hudson-valley-stockade-historic-district-collonade-wall-streetWall Street in the Stockade Historic District in Kingston

There’s something to be said about a city whose mayor gives historical kayaking tours in his spare time. Kingston, the latest “it” city in the Hudson Valley, is a showcase on how to seamlessly meld historical and hip. Preserved Dutch homes sit side by side with street art murals painted on former industrial buildings, and there’s a palpable buzz from the economic revival going on, much of which centers around the arts and food. But it’s a city that also never forgets its roots – with three landmarked historic districts and shipyards that are still active. It’s no surprise that New Yorkers, particularly Brooklynites, are flocking there in droves, perhaps looking for a version of New York City that once was.

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brooklyn-bridge-park-view-of-lower-manhattan-2Image via Brooklyn Bridge Park by Etienne Frossard

Once a bustling commerce site and entry point for immigrants, Brooklyn Bridge Park has since transformed into one of New York City’s most visited tourists attractions, boasting six piers and a wide array of recreational facilities. Today, visitors and locals alike revel in the panoramic views of the iconic skyline while strolling along the park’s famous promenade. It’s easy to be distracted by such a sight since Brooklyn Bridge Park does offer the perfect backdrop for photographs. However, it also holds a rich and fascinating history that’s worth exploring.

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wtc-performing-arts-center-world-trade-center-design-new-york-city-untapped-cities-susanxu
All images via Luxigon

Just before the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, plans to build a performing arts center at the World Trade Center site are moving full speed ahead. Propelled by a $75 million dollar donation from billionaire Ronald O. Perelman in June, officials recently revealed the new design of the complex, and announced singer Barbra Streisand’s election as the chairwoman of the board on Thursday.

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networks-of-new-york-an-illustrated-field-guide-to-urban-internet-infrastructure-ingrid-burrington-manholes-symbols-spray-paint-nyc_29

In 2015, artist Ingrid Burrington released a handy illustrated pocket guide to the cryptic symbols you see spray painted on the city’s streets. She raised money for its publication on Kickstarter (our team eagerly bought a copy) and the attention over the project led to a new edition under Melville House Publishing, titled Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure which was just released on August 30th.

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triborough-bridge-robert-moses-secrets-nyc-untapped-cities-susanxu12Aerial view of Randalls and Wards Islands. Image via Wikimedia Commons by Roy Googin

Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, once referred to the Triborough Bridge (known officially as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge) as “a traffic machine.” This nickname could not be more suited to the superstructure. Regarded as one of the most significant achievements of the Public Works Administration, R.F.K. Bridge is comprised of a complex of three bridges that connect the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Thousands of commuters speed over its roadways every day. Yet, despite its renown, it still holds many secrets.

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Robert Moses Jane Jacobs-NYC-A Marvelous Order-Opera

Much has been written about the “what” and the “where” of Robert Moses’ grand vision and achievements – the bridges, the parkways, the beaches, the pools, the dams, and the mass housing projects have all been thoroughly dissected by many authors and historians. However, much less has been written about the “how”, the “why”, and the “what if.” How was he able to be the most powerful unelected official in our country’s history? Why did he favor the automobile and turn his back on mass transit? What if he hadn’t built the infrastructure, for better or worse, that New Yorkers deal with everyday?

BLDZR: The Gospel According to Moses, is a rock musical that explores the intimate tale of this man, and through his triumphs, his loves, and his losses reveals a highly-intelligent, complex, yet deeply-flawed individual whose legacy in cement and steel will shape the New York landscape for years to come. Untapped Cities previously reviewed its first debut earlier this year, and we called is “supremely entertaining.” This fall, the show will return to the Triad Theater on West 72nd Street for a three night run on October 20th, 21st and 22nd. Tickets are available here.

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