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Norma Devine is Sammy’s Mae West, 1944, © Weegee / International Center of Photography

Press photographer Weegee’s Bowery was a Skid Row of derelicts and drunks – a world away from the boutique hotels and hipster joints that line the street today. In the ’40s and ’50s, it was notorious for fleabag hotels, flop houses that offered 25-cent-per-night beds, and crowded all-night missions that provided food and shelter to those who could afford neither.

We previously shared the news that a new exhibit Weegee’s Bowery, curated by the International Center of Photography would be at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey. We are pleased now to show additional photographs that shed led on this underclass of transients, who huddled in the shadow of the Third Avenue elevated railway, and were caught by Weegee’s lens.

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Tropical Birds-Tatiana Arocha-Colombian Birds-Brooklyn Navy Yard-Queens Botanical Garden-NYC-001Photo via Tropical Birds

In December 2015, the tropical Painted Bunting bird appeared in Prospect Park to much media frenzy – thanks to its colorful rainbow-like feathers and the fact that it was far off course from its expected migration. Usually birds like the painted bunting go as far north as Florida (or to Mexico and the Caribbean) but sometimes they will venture far afield. According to the Audubon Society, “it’s not uncommon for this migrating species (and migrating birds in general) to get a little off-course,” though they admit we may see more of this phenomenon, known as vagrancy, due to climate change.

The appearance of the painted bunting inspired New York City-based, Colombian born artist Tatiana Arocha to create the art project Tropical Birds which we came across by surprise in the Brooklyn Navy Yard this past weekend. Sitting on a bench, we suddenly heard the sound of birds (and these weren’t pigeons, which are also roosting at the Navy Yard for Duke Riley’s Fly by Night).

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Mary-Lindley-Murray-Park-Ave-Plaque 36th St-Murray-Hill-NYC-2Plaque commemorating Mary Lindley Murray’s contribution to the Revolutionary War.

In a traffic island at the intersection of Park Avenue and 37th Street, recent gardening work has a revealed a forgotten piece of colonial era history: a plaque commemorating Mary Lindley Murray, whose family the neighborhood Murray Hill is named after. Recently, writer Laurie Gwen Shapiro pointed us in the direction of the recently revealed memorial which honors Murray’s service during the American Revolution, using cake and tea, as the story goes.

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MemorialDayTopTenFlag unveiling aboard USS Intrepid, plus more off-the-beaten path activities to do in NYC for Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day in New York City marks the beginning of summer with rooftop barbeques and cornerstore beers sitting in a cooler of ice. People often forget the historical and cultural significance of this federal holiday. But if you want to break away from the norm, here are 10 unconventional ways to enjoy your three day weekend in NYC.

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AmericanMuseumofNaturalHistory-Crocs-Manhattan-5African Dwarf Crocodile at the American Museum of Natural History exhibit, “Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World”

The American Museum of Natural History is opening their newest exhibit, “Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World” this week on May 28th. The exhibit, which we previewed this morning, details the lives of crocodilians from their ancient beginnings 0ver 200 million years ago to the present day. But the unique highlight of the exhibit, is the presence of twelve live crocodiles across four species: the Siamese Crocodile, American alligators, the African Dwarf Crocodile and the African Slender-Snouted Crocodile.

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Pavilion of Fun-Steeplechase Park-Coney Island-Fred Trump-Demolition-Coney Island History Project-NYC

The Coney Island History Project will launch the timely exhibit “50th Anniversary of Fred Trump’s Demolition of Steeplechase Pavilion” this Friday, May 28th. Untapped Cities’ tour guide, Justin Rivers, who leads our “Secrets of Coney Island Tour” says, “Like father, like son,” describing the tragic story of the historic Steeplechase amusement park, demolished by Fred Trump, the father of Donald Trump, using tactics that will seem familiar to those following the Presidential race today.

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