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The Warriors-NYC-Untapped Cities-BAM-Retro Metro-BrooklynThe Warriors (Film Still via The Symmetric)

Stepping into a train car in New York City can do more than just get you to your destination, it can serve as a way for you to see how the identity of the city is transforming before your very eyes. We all know that NYC has been the inspiration for many great works of cinema and through these snapshots in time, we are able to see how the city has evolved. From street cars to graffiti canvases, the NYC subway has a long history, one that has been captured on film for many decades.

From September 26th to October 5th, you can personally see how the NYC subway system has evolved by checking out the newest film series by BAM titled Retro Metro. 16 films, each showcasing a different era of the NYC subway will be shown. The line up includes cult films from the 70’s like The Warriors and the The Taking of Pelham 123. As well as films like Style Wars, Wild Style and Beat Street; tributes to the graffiti and street art culture that began in the 80s.  (more…)

The New York City subway carries many secrets, like any extensive system that was built over time. But the NYC subway also comes with it quite a bit of lore–from its urban explorers who have explored every nook of its vastness, the technological feat it was to build in some of the toughest Manhattan schist, and its evolution from high-class experiment to mass ridership.

No list of subway secrets can be complete, so we see this article as an evolving entity. We’ve started with our favorite secrets but encourage you all to comment and Tweet at us (@untappedcities) with other hidden gems. Special thanks to Matt Litwack, author of Beneath the Streets: The Hidden Relics of New York’s Subway System for contributing his finds to this piece.

1. The Many Abandoned Levels and Platforms of the NYC Subway System

Disused platform and subway entrance at Chamber Street

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repeated-street-names-nyc-broadway-park-ave-st-marks-place-untappedcities-nick-reale-9Image Source: Flickr user Pete Bellis

Several street names are repeated throughout NYC–sometimes more than twice. Why is this? New York has amassed its size through the annexation of smaller towns, the streets of which were laid out and named in similar ways to those on Manhattan. In some cases, the names were intentionally repeated for clarity’s sake, even if that doesn’t quite make sense today. We decided to round up all these confusing repetitions in the hopes that taking Rockaway Parkway to Rockaway Boulevard to Rockaway Point Boulevard on the way to Rockaway Freeway will be less confusing when all you wanted was a nice day at the beach. (more…)

Look-State of Subways-NYC

With much speculation and hype, the State of the Subways Report Card is the NYC transit equivalent of the State of the Union Address–with the former evoking just as much backlash in opinions from people with conviction as the latter. Nonetheless, the Straphangers Campaign has released their Summer 2014 version of the report card, complete with a mixed bag of surprises and ratings that challenge users’ preconceived notions of certain services. The big one this year: the 7 train tops the list of 19 services, while the C has moved on up from its nearly guaranteed position at the bottom of the barrel to the glorious rank of 18.

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Out of the DarkImage Source: Flickr.com by Eric

Daily NYC bike commuters‘ fragile existences hang in the balance of which route they choose to take. Quick and efficient routes depend on a number of factors, including directness, traffic volume/flow, safety, time of day, and the overall nature of the neighborhood. Below, we recommend both five routes you should start taking advantage of and five routes you should drop like a bad habit. We assume that you’ve already learned that the Hudson River Park Bikeway is awesome and the Brooklyn Bridge is, well, not, and hopefully you’ve taken in our top 10 tips for biking in NYC.

Routes You Should Utilize

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Nicholas Reale, the Untapped Cities resident biking expert, tour guide for Get Up and Ride and former bike messenger, shares his Top 10 Tips for biking in NYC, if you’re looking to move from the intermediate, post Citibike stage to expert urban cycler. 

top-tips-for-biking-in-nyc-4Image Source: Flickr.com by Eric Konon

With a burning desire to elevate your NYC bike lifestyle to the next level, you’ve made the $150 investment for some endearing hunk o’junk (which you will soon christen as Betsy, or whatever) from that ex-hippie that sells bikes street-side on Avenue A. It would be incorrect to call you a “newbie,” but just the same you’re not quite the “expert” yet. Below, we detail some of the top habits and tips to get acclimated with, if you wish to make biking in NYC a daily part of your routine. We’ve intentionally excluded the obvious things like, “Wear a helmet!” and, “Get a bell!” assuming that you have a functioning brain and want to keep it that way.

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