Second Av Subway_New York_Bhushan Mondkar-006

Over the past four years we have steadily documented the progress of the Second Avenue Subway. On our annual pilgrimage into these surreal caverns, we once again descend into the “Thunderdome” 200 feet under one of America’s densest neighborhoods. Our tour was led by the MTA’s energetic President of Capital Construction Dr. Horodniceanu and Amitabha Mukherjee, Engineering Manager from Parson Brinckerhoff.  (more…)

Joe Evans-Metographie-Untapped Cities-Paris-France-Art-Nouvelor Ganon-Bastille-Paris MetorMetrographie Event Poster (Image via Nouvelor Ganon)

The Paris Métro system is one of the most celebrated transit systems in the world, serving not only as a transit service, but as a symbol on par with the city’s landmarks. Opening in 1900, the system is noted for its beautiful Art Nouveau design and for being the busiest transit service in Europe. Currently The Métro is under massive construction to further extend lines throughout the city.

Joe Evans, a graphic artist from Glasgow, Scotland who lives in Paris, has noticed that the signs accompanying the stations have not been changed in almost twenty years. He has been re-imagining the Paris Métro station signs with a new illustration daily since last fall.


time warner center-columbus circle-traffic circles-roundabout-nyc-untapped citiesColumbus Circle (a traffic circle, as shown by the walkways to access the center) viewed from inside the Time Warner Cable Building. (Image via Wikimedia)

This week we’ll celebrate Pi-Day on 3/14, so at HQ we’re thinking about circles. Did you know, the number of roundabouts and traffic circles around the world is in the thousands compared to only a couple hundred in the United States? The two things in the US refer to the same thing, generally speaking. Technically, the only thing that differentiates the two is the circle in the very middle. A traffic circle uses stop signs and/or signals to direct traffic, and allows people to traverse circular lanes and stop in the center. A roundabout on the other hand prohibits crossing to the center circle (as it is very dangerous) and only allows pedestrians to cross the streets that branch out from the circle. There are a few other technicalities left to talk about. (more…)

MTA ad takeover NYC Untapped CitiesPhoto via CBS Outdoor

An Untapped Cities reader recently contacted the Untapped Mailbag wondering about the full, advertising takeovers on the S trains in New York City.

The MTA has attempted to stretch its advertisements to cover every nook and cranny in the subways–even attempting to install advertisements on the floors of the Union Square Station. Perhaps the most aggressive of the MTA advertisements are the advertising takeovers completely covering both the interior and exterior of trains.

These ads are most visible, and were first implemented, on the historic Shuttle to Times Square (or the 42nd Street Shuttle), with each current shuttle sporting an ad. However, the MTA has recently expanded these type of ads on both the 6 and 7 lines. These ads have been in place since 2008, overwhelming the riders of select trains with an advertisement takeover by companies ranging from the History Channel to the Super Bowl.  (more…)

Roosevelt-Island-Tramway-Queensboro-Bridge-Manhattan-NYCImage via Flickr user scarlatti2004

While the Roosevelt Island Tramway only takes about 3 minutes to travel to and from Manhattan, it’s probably the most pleasant commute in the city. Even the abundance of subway art can’t compete with the tram’s view of Midtown East. This aerial tram has been in operation since 1976 and continues to make about 115 trips per day. The cars run frequently and remain open until 2 AM. The tram was also the last transit system to continue using tokens, switching to MetroCards only in 2004.  (more…)

Whirls and Twirls by Sol LeWitt in the 59th Street Columbus Circle Station

The network of artistic communities coursing through the five boroughs is wide and vast. Armory Arts Week, in celebration of these groups, is throwing open the doors in locations from the Bronx to Brooklyn starting today and going through Sunday, March 9th. We know, we know, it’s cold outside and you don’t really want to go far from home or spend time walking around in that thin jacket. Well, instead of going to see the art, Untapped will bring it to you, deep underground, on your next subway ride home.  (more…)