SONY DSCJanelle Monae at the 2012 Afro Punk Festival. Image via ourstage.com

Ring in the end of summer with the return of Afro Punk Fest, city-wide deals on National Thrift Shop Day, yoga at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Battery Dance Festival, and  Time Out New York’s 2015 Battle Of The Burger.

Monday, August 17th

The Urban Park Rangers are hosting weekly obstacle-challenge Adventure Courses in Queens’ Alley Pond Park, for people of all ages and physical ability. The next outing takes place on August 23rd and registration opens August 17th.

The Museum of the City of New York presents Life Along the Curb: Inside the Department of Sanitation of New York, part of Garbage and the City: Two Centuries of Dirt, Debris, and Disposal.

It’s National Thrift Shop Day! Go out and find a deal using our guide of the 43 best vintage, consignment, and thrift shops in Manhattan.


JazzAgeLawnParty-Orchestra-NewYork-Untapped-Cities-AlexWallach-010The 2013 Jazz Age Lawn Party 

Though New York remains hot and humid, there are still a few good weeks of summer left, with Willie Nelson at Celebrate Brooklyn!, drinks and drawing lessons from the Museum of the City of New York, the International Fringe Festival, and the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island.

Monday, August 10th

This Monday, visit the Lilac, a Lighthouse tender launched in 1933, for Lilac X Green, a showcase of artists who use disposables to create paintings, photography, collages, and sculptures. LILAC is a nonprofit aimed at restoring a vintage steam ship.

The Urban Park Rangers are hosting weekly obstacle-challenge Adventure Courses in Queens’ Alley Pond Park, for people of all ages and physical ability. The next outing takes place on August 16th and registration opens August 10th.

Books Beneath the Bridge, a story-telling and reading performance from local authors, will take place outdoors at Granite Prospect in Brooklyn Bridge Park


McKim Mead White Pennsylvania Station-NYC-Vintage Photo-3

Our tour of the Remnants of Penn Station has been one of those unexpected hits. When we first launched it in partnership with the play The Eternal Space based on one of our articles, we knew that as city and architecture buffs, we’d be the types of people who might spend two hours on a Sunday exploring the most hated station in the city, if not the country. We’ve been honored and humbled that since February we’ve hosted hundreds of likeminded explorers on this tour–and we ourselves keep discovering new remnants of the original Pennsylvania Station each time we visit.

As reviled as the station may be, its complex and labyrinth nature tells so much of how the original was demolished and the new one built, and why there’s so much left to see for architectural hunters like yourselves. As plans for a new Penn Station are underway, awareness of these remnants will be the only thing that may save the original station from a second destruction.

After more than a year of readings (like at the Center for Architecture), and a successful Kickstarter campaign, the play The Eternal Space will have a run of 25 performances at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row in New York City from November 13 to December 6, 2015. In celebration, we’ve announced tour dates of the Remnants of Penn Station through December. Our October tour will be particularly special, coinciding with the date when demolition commenced.

The Remnants of Penn Station are led by Justin Rivers, playwright of The Eternal Space, using some never before seen photographs of Penn Station sourced from the play and Tamara Agins from the NYC Department of City Planning, who addresses the present and future plans for the station.

Get tickets for our upcoming tour below, with the option to also purchase a discounted combined ticket, which includes a ticket to The Eternal Space play on a date of your choice during the Off-Broadway run between November 14th and December 6th, schedule here).

Did you know there is a tennis court inside Grand Central? Or that the ceiling is backwards? Untapped Cities is bringing back our popular “Secrets of Grand Central” tour led Tamara Agins from the New York City Department of City Planning and author of our popular series on the secrets of Grand Central. Bonus: the tour ends at the Campbell Apartments, the Gilded Age office and salon of tycoon John W. Campbell, now converted into a soaring hidden bar where you can stop in for a cocktail.

Join us on Sunday, August 16th at 1:30pm, tickets are limited:

The story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it.  It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises.  On this tour, we will tell you these stories – about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore Grand Central as preserved icon of past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future. We will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Together, we will explore the interesting and unique spaces produced for and by it. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or it’s your first time in the Beaux Arts beauty, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.

Check out more Untapped Cities events here, including tours of the Remnants of Penn Station as well as an exploration down into the underbelly of the Woolworth Building.

Woolworth Building-Lobby-Interior-Irving National Bank-Vault-Cass Gilbert-NYC

Our acclaimed Untapped Cities behind-the-scenes tour of New York City’s Woolworth Building is returning for the fall on September 16th, and tickets are nearly sold out! The tour features an hour-long walkthrough of the historic skyscraper’s gorgeous lobby as well as its expansive basement, areas normally closed off to the public.

The Woolworth Building, built in 1911, is one of those few New York City icons of the past century that has stood the test of time. While so many early 20th century buildings are currently dwarfed by the city’s modern skyscrapers, the Woolworth remains one of the 20 tallest buildings in the city. Once called the ‘Cathedral of Commerce,‘ the building’s unique Gothic-inspired architecture is a sight to behold, both inside and out. This Untapped Cities exclusive tour, exploring areas of the building not on any other public tour, will take visitors deep within the skyscraper’s foundations.

The tour will be led by Lisa Renz, a preservationist working directly on the Woolworth Building and Roy Suskin of The Witkoff Group who manages the building. In addition to a guided visit through the spectacular lobby, we will also visit the cellar level where the bank vault is located and where the former entrances to the subway are, the sub-cellar jam-packed full of machinery, and the boiler room, an immense space that one housed the engine room that once powered and lighted the building.

See more images of some of the great architecture you’ll see on the tour. See our full list of Untapped Cities events here.

GeneralWinnerShianneDierkes_000The New York Renaissance Faire. Image via renfair.com

August is in full swing next week with events from the Museum of the City of New York, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros at Celebrate Brooklyn!, the New York Renaissance Faire and a cabaret boat tour.

Monday, August 3rd

The Museum of the City of New York presents Noxious New York: Race, Class & Garbage, part two of a series on urban development and pollution: ‘Garbage and the City: Two Centuries of Dirt, Debris, and Disposal,’ led by historian Julie Sze.

The Urban Park Rangers are hosting weekly obstacle-challenge Adventure Courses in Queens’ Alley Pond Park, for people of all ages and physical ability. The next outing takes place on August 9th and registration opens August 3rd.