Celebrate the first full week of fall by visiting The Metropolitan Opera on its opening night, catching one (or more) films at two NYC film festivals or by partying it up on the Wavertree!

Monday, September 26th

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2016-17 season begins on Sept 26th, which also happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its home at Lincoln Center. This year’s line up will feature 26 operas, including the Met premiere of composer Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin. Opening night will kick off with Mariusz Treliński’s new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at 5:00 p.m. Purchase tickets here. 

Tuesday, September 27th

To kick off its 2016-17 season, The Joyce Theater will be transformed for the NY Quadrille, a two-week dance program created by choreographer Lar Lubovitch. A specially constructed stage will allow the performance, featuring choreographers—Pam Tanowitz, RoseAnne Spradlin, Tere O’Connor, and Loni Landon – to be viewed from four sides. Tickets start at $35.00.


This image of Nathan Hale is viewable in City Hall Park on the Membit app. Membit is a new augmented reality app that gives you a way to share the past with the present and a way to share the present with the future. It’s so new it isn’t even in the App Store yet, it’s in beta. If you would like to try it out before everyone else, click here

Untapped Cities is excited to announce our partnership with Membit, a geolocative photo sharing app that allows pictures to be placed and viewed in the exact location they were captured. Membit’s patented Human Positioning System (TM) allows for markerless Augmented Reality to be used anytime, anywhere, by anyone. We’ll be using Membit on our Throwback Thursday column (formerly This Week in NYC History), and we’ll be launching the technology in person at upcoming tours of the Remnants of Penn Station in October, part of a month-long programming that will culminate in a summit on the future of Penn Station at Cooper Union on November 2nd. We are working on this new tool from Columbia University’s GSAPP Incubator

On September 22, 1776, Nathan Hale, legendary spy and American hero was executed by British forces in New York City.

After a miserable defeat at the Battle of Brooklyn, George Washington found himself stuck in Lower Manhattan and desperate for intelligence on the British army’s imminent invasion. He called for volunteers to gather information behind enemy lines on Red Coat positions and numbers. Nathan Hale, a Connecticut-born Yale grad and school teacher from the 7th Connecticut Regiment, was the only volunteer.


new-york-public-library-nypl-new-book-train-stephen-a-schwartzman-buiding-research-milstein-stacks-bryant-park-nycPhoto by Jonathan Blanc/NYPL

We’ve come a long way from the plans to completely destroy the stacks under the New York Public Library‘s Stephen A. Schwartzman Building at 42nd Street-Bryant Park. Not only are those 125 miles of stacks staying put, storage is actually being expanded and the Rose Reading Room is about to complete a comprehensive restoration. There will also be a new book train system, developed by the design and architecture firm Gensler and built by the New Jersey-based firm, Teledynamic. It’s intended to deliver research materials from the Milstein Research Stacks–now with a capacity of four million volumes–to the first floor and the Rose Reading Room.


fraunces_tavern-george_washington-headquarters-financial_district-historic-nyc-copyFraunces Tavern, a major setting in Hamilton: An American Musical

We ran into New York City-based writer B.L. Barreras at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where he was promoting his recently self-published book Where Was the Room Where It Happened? The Unofficial Hamilton: An American Musical Location GuideThe guide is intended to offer expanded information on locations included in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton.


spook-a-rama-virtual-reality-joel-zika-coney-island-brooklyn-nyc-untapped-cities-shervinImage via Joel Zika/Dark Ride Project

The click, click of the rails rings ominously in your ears as your cart approaches the foreboding doors of the entrance. The doors creak open, and you enter a spooky realm where darkness and dim lights permeate every corner of your surroundings. Over the course of your ride you will encounter a motley of ghouls and spooks that will elicits gasps and shrieks; ghosts jump out from behind walls, monsters lurk around corners, vampires emerge from coffins—all part of the dark rides of amusement parks.

Once a cornerstone of amusement parks around the world, the number of haunted house rides has drastically dropped from the 1,700+ rides that existed globally in the mid to late 20th century; currently, only 18 of those original rides exist, with many more closing each year.

Australian university lecturer, Joel Zika, who has studied amusement park dark rides for the past decade, and is working on the Dark Ride Project, employing virtual reality to capture these rides all around the world. Using a 3-camera rig mounted to the carriage, Mr. Zika has filmed historic haunted house rides in Australia, Florida, West Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, and Delaware—thus allowing people to experience these rides through the wonderful technology of virtual reality.

Up next on Mr. Zika’s list is the Spook-a-rama at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park on Coney Island.


Ben took thisBuffalo and Eagle found on Broadway at 40th Street

A flight of whimsy arrived on the Broadway Pedestrian Plaza in the Garment District yesterday. Titled A Fancy Animal Carnival, these eleven large-scale, colorful sculptures were created by the Taiwanese artist, Hung Yin. Each of the whimsical sculptures reflects folk culture as well as region, and represents a narrative expressed through traditional Taiwanese symbols, which are believed to bring luck. They also represent the artist’s view of everyday life.