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We recently went on an extensive hard hat tour of the abandoned Ellis Island Southside Hospitals, looking for a lot of of the JR artwork that hasn’t really been photographed or seen. In fact, our tour guide from the National Park Service came across JR pieces even she hadn’t seen before. The hard hat tour is sold out until March, but there are still dates available in March, April and May. The tours are a fundraising mechanism to rehabilitate the hospitals, once one of the most advanced healthcare facilities in the world.

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Chris Ofili’s “Lime Bar” (2014) and “Cocktail Serenade” (2014), the New Museum

What are we to make of the artist Chris Ofili? Acclaimed by critics worldwide, awarded Britain’s Turner Prize in 1998 (its first black winner), denounced by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1999 for his Holy Virgin Mary ornamented with elephant dung, chosen as Britain’s representative at the 2003 Venice Biennale, where he collaborated on the British Pavilion with architect David Adjaye, and given a renowned show at the Tate in London in 2010. Now he has a spectacular show at the New Museum, called “Night and Day,” where crowds of people murmur quietly while respectfully examining his appealing paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

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It is said that New York City is home to eight million stories. 22-year-old Bronx photographer Dondre Green’s newest photography exhibition Bronx Narratives at The Point (a community arts center in the Hunts Point section of The Bronx) focuses on the stories he has personally heard from natives and visitors about his home borough. For the last few weeks, we have been seeing Green upload photos through his very popular Instagram account: portraits of people talking about their experiences living and visiting the home of the Yankees, Hip Hop and some of the best pizza in the entire city. Some were positive: messages with the intent of dispelling old stereotypes about the Bronx; others were defensive, calling for change and attention to be paid to the city’s northern borough. (more…)

The holidays are upon us, which means you are probably stressing out over what gifts to get your parents, kids, life partners and not to mention the office Secret Santa, which you joined against your better judgement. Well put your mind at ease dear reader; we here at Untapped have a selection of awesome items for that one person spending their first Holidays in NYC or for all of us who love this crazy, wonderful city of ours and want to have just another little piece of it in our lives.

And just for Untapped Cities readers, use code UNTAPPED22 for first free delivery of your gifts via Parcel, the first service to facilitate off-hours package deliveries in NYC.

1. Adopt-a-Building at the Queens Museum

Queens Museum-Adopt A Building-Flushing-NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via The Queens Museum

You may not be able to get your partner the apartment or house of their dreams here in NYC, but the Queens Museum can get you the next best thing. A donation to the museum can get you a deed to one of the many buildings or commercial estates inside the enormous and glorious model of the city housed in the museum. With adopting a building you may provide the museum with a message that will be placed on the museums website.  (more…)

Image via Vegan Shop-Up

Don’t be daunted by the cold weather! Bundle up and head outside for performances, tours, and the quirkiest holiday markets you’ve ever been to, all inside one amazing city.

Monday, December 8th

In a response to the recent police shootings in the U.S., Willing Participant (with members fro Elastic City) will be leading a “disarm,” a performance that peacefully engages New York City police officers in a dialogue. The performance begins at 7pm at the SE corner of 49th Street & 6th Avenue in Manhattan. More information is available here.

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Ah, early December. It’s dark. It’s cold. There is slush falling from the sky. Somehow, this is worse than the frigidity of the true depths of winter—our bodies haven’t had time to acclimate to these new and terrible conditions yet. These are hard times, my friends. This is the era of clicking “no” on an event invitation after glancing out the window. This is the time of blanket nests and Netflix.

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