Roy Colmer 1976 Photo Project Doors of nYC

This is a Fun Maps and a fascinating photo series on New York City, as seen on Vanishing NY and Curbed NY: one man photographed 3,200 Manhattan doors in 1976 in his conceptual art piece Doors, NYC. Roy Colmer died in February 2014, but the New York Public Library mapped out his body of work with images of the doors attached to each pin on the map.

Here’s some background on Colmer and the project itself, along with some of his most intriguing photos from the New York Public Library Digital Collection.



Whenever I see a person reading a book out in public, I always feel compelled to find out what it is. This compulsion does not usually extend to opening my mouth and politely asking the person what it is they’re reading. “Hey, is that any good?” from a stranger while I’m engrossed in a book gets my attention, albeit warily—I like to recommend things and yammer away about whatever book/media I’ve been consuming, but I also think it’s a bit rude to distract a person who is clearly busy and probably not looking for a conversation. Even worse, it might just be a disguised pickup line.

So instead of risking the ire of fellow bookish strangers by speaking to them, I covertly stare at the covers of books in hands and on laps until they’re raised enough for me to make out the titles. Come to think of it, maybe this is actually worse. Oh well.



On Halloween Saturday, at 10 minutes to two, nineteen New Yorkers — mostly 40-something film buffs — met under the Washington Square Arch and a cerulean sky.  We maneuvered around the miniature “Elsas,” “Minions” and assorted ghouls, waiting in anticipation for our walking tour of Greenwich Village with Timothy “Speed” Levitch, the former Gray Line guide who achieved cult status after appearing in the documentary, The Cruise.


castinindia-manholes-nyc-untappedcities-001Still from film “Cast In India.” Image via The Drive

New York City is covered in hundreds of manholes that we pass every day without taking more than a second to think about. While we’ve created a list of the city’s most unique and attractive manholes, it’s easy to literally look past the plainer ones that simply say “N.Y.C. Sewer, Made in India.” However, it’s the second part of the manhole lettering that caught the eye of filmmaker and anthropologist Natasha Raheja, whose new documentary “Cast in India” was recently covered in Gothamist. The journey begins as Raheja ponders where these “iconic and ubiquitous part[s] of New York City’s urban landscape” (as she termed in an interview with National Geographic) actually came from.


storefront-little india-jackson heights-micro neighborhoods-nyc-untapped cities-brennan ortizA shop in Little India in Jackson Heights, Queens. Image via NY Daily News

Chinatown and Little Italy are probably the first locations that come to mind when you think of New York City’s diversity and immigrant history. However, there were several other immigrant groups that migrated and clustered into various neighborhoods, forming smaller ethnic enclaves that also contribute to New York City’s identity as the “melting pot.”

Last year we published a series called NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods, which had more in-depth articles on specific ethnic communities. To provide you with a thorough guide to New York City’s diverse areas, for this list we combined neighborhoods mentioned in NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods with an additional 10 more to check out. Enjoy!


Astolat Dollhouse Castle-8.5 million-Most Expensive-Columbus Circle-NYC

Dubbed “The World’s Most Valuable Dollhouse,” and certainly the city’s most expensive piece of “real estate” at the moment, The Astolat Dollhouse Castle is appraised at $8.5 million dollars and for almost a month, it will be on view inside The Shops at Columbus Circle. The privately owned dollhouse is being shown to the public on a world tour to fundraise (via donation at the display) to children’s charities.