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The annual CMJ Music Festival is in full swing, and while they’re are plenty of buzz bands to see, our Untapped focus is on the overlooked band “S” fronted by Seattle’s Jenn Ghetto who plays the Sub Pop/Hardly Art Showcase at the Knitting Factory this Thursday the 23rd.  Jenn got her start with Carissa’s Weird, another somewhat obscure but seminal acoustic act out of the Pacific Northwest.  There’s nothing showy in “S”‘s music–it’s simple, slow, driving, and sad.   Yet she charges her songs with an earnest electricity and, as any good artist knows, the truth captivates, especially live.  We asked Jenn a few questions about her new record Cool Choices (produced of Death Cab for Cutie’s longtime guitarist Chris Walla) and about how her city reflects her music.

How does your city/location influence your music? 

Seattle—what can I say? (more…)

Lego Statue of Liberty-Madison Square Park-NYCImage via Trevor O’Brien

In celebration of the new LEGO store in the Flatiron, there’s a 20-foot version of the Statue of Liberty in Madison Square Park, built over the course of four days with the help of passerby, children and tourists. Three master LEGO builders were on hand for the project. What’s even cooler is the backstory (we’re not sure if this was conscious on LEGO’s part, however). When the Statue of Liberty first arrived the United States, its torch was displayed in Madison Square Park to raise money for the construction of the pedestal. It sat near 25th Street across from General Worth Square. As the story goes, French politician Edoard Labouaye in 1870 proposed the statue as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries but Americans were critical of it, claiming that the U.S. shouldn’t have to contribute to a gift meant for them. `

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These days, timeless literature set in New York City makes people think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, so we’re suggesting some other works with an NYC setting. We’ve picked our favorite classics, and thrown in some more recent or lesser-known fictional works that use the city as more than just a backdrop for a story– New York becomes an integral element of these writers’ works.

1. Let the Great World Spin Colum McCann (2009)

1-books-nyc-untappedImage via Tumblr: A Book Cover a Day

Let the Great World Spin offers a very real representation of a gritty New York in the ’70s, using the great tightrope walk by Phillipe Petit as a unifying event. Colum McCann weaves the stories of multiple protagonists into a web centrally focused on the city and the very real lives of the people in it.

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This week, we are excited to explore the Met’s new plaza, a green design boat cruise, and sausage-making, while the weekend will be filled with cider appreciation, creative dog costumes, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

Monday, October 20th

At 12 p.m., guides from the architecture firm OLIN will be giving a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s David Koch Plaza as part of Archtober, a month-long initiative of The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation. The David Koch Plaza is finally open after a two year construction period, and according to the Museum’s website, boasts “completely new fountains, paving, and facade lighting, along with allées and bosques of trees leading to the Museum’s entrances from north and south, and seating areas for visitors.” Register on Archtober’s website, and read our other top picks of the festival’s events. (more…)

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Opening yesterday at 345 Broome Street, British street artist Nick Walker‘s first solo show in years All I Ever Wanted Was My Name On Fire is a showcase of new works by one of the originators of the British graffiti movement. Walker’s work has been seen around NYC for years; you may have noticed seeing a sinister looking man in a dark suit and bowler cap on the walls of Chinatown and the LES. Walker’s art constitutes a mixture of styles: stenciling, graffiti and dark humor, which has gained him a much deserved following around the world, especially in NYC.

His new works continue the style he has perfected since the early 90s. It also serves as a continuation of the Vandal (the dapper character of his artwork) storyline. The show is also promoting the newest book by the artist and his collaboration with London based tableware company Royal Dulton. The show is running for only one week so we suggest you find some time to catch one of the globe’s most popular street artists latest works and prints. (more…)

Broadway Stages-Greenpoint-Newtown Creek-Oil Spill Remediation Project-The Good Wife-Royal Pains-NYC

On a recent OHNY tour of the Greenpoint Oil Spill Remediation Project run by ExxonMobil and the Newtown Creek Alliance, we were also shown Broadway Stages, a film studio within the spill zone. The buildings in this area of Newtown Creek were once home to 50 oil refineries, tanneries, gas plants, metal manufacturers and other businesses, and an extensive oil spill underground is the result of a century of accumulated contamination. The oil companies were eventually consolidated, but of the buildings in the area were unused and certain stretches lacked basic infrastructure–like sewers, electricity and sidewalks. Moreover, the streets were used essentially as dump sites.

Broadway Stages came in to change that, and with the partnership of ExxonMobile, who has sought to be a good neighbor during the remediation process, installed lights and created sidewalks. In 2010, the road was paved for the first time in 50 years. Broadway Stages is now one of the largest film production companies in New York City, with shows like The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and Royal Pains filmed there.

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