On July 31st, join Untapped Cities and the non-profit NYC H20 on a special tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir, built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water. The system became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950s and was decommissioned in the 1980s. Since then, nature has taken its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin, forming 50+ acres of a natural oasis on the border of Brooklyn and Queens.
The tour is led by Matt Malina, the director and founder of NYC H20. NYC H2O’s mission is to educate and inspire New York’s citizenry about its incredible water system. The remnants of the Ridgewood Reservoir experiment can still be seen within Highland Park, land purchased in 1891 to protect Brooklyn’s water system. A few years ago, walking paths were installed around the basins, two of which have been drained. Along this walk, you will discover the brick foundations that supported the walls of the reservoir and a former gatehouse. You can also find the abandoned force tubes that once pumped water from various collections points up into the reservoir.
We’ve got an exciting month ahead for tours and events – and are excited to reveal new tours for August soon! Here’s what we have in store for you this month, ranging from an exclusive visit into the Gilded Age mansion that houses the Irish Historical Society and a tour of the West Village’s disappearing neon signs to our classic and most popular tours like the VIP tour of the Woolworth Building, the Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam tour, and our wine tasting and tour at Rooftop Reds.
Here’s what’s coming up:
Photo via Facebook/Midsummer Night Swing
Here are the top ten events happening in New York City from July 4th to the 10th, 2016. Choose from Broadway hits at Bryant Park, a French street fair, a kite festival at Socrates Sculpture Park and more.
The 4th of July in New York City brings to mind a plethora of grilled food, refreshing drinks and the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Macy’s tradition, which will feature an impressive display over the East River. There are a number of great viewing spots around the city, including locations around the FDR Drive, Center Boulevard and Vietnam Memorial Park which are official viewing spots listed on the Macy’s website. Some great unofficial viewing options are Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. See a full list of official and unofficial viewing spots and also spots that are wheelchair accessible. The fireworks start at 9:25 pm and will run for approximately 25 minutes. Be sure to secure your spot early!
Image via Museum of the City of New York
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of New York City’s zoning resolution, which has shaped the way our city functions in the present day. To celebrate, the Museum of the City of New York and Open House New York is hosting the Zoning New York Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, July 9. Players will be taking photos in front of key zoning sites using hints provided in the game. The scavenger hunt is a lesson on how zoning has shaped the city in ways both seen and unseen, and explores the themes of the museum’s upcoming exhibit, ‘Mastering the Metropolis: New York and Zoning, 1916-2016.’
Broadway and 42nd Street circa 1947 – Courtesy of MCNY
Photographs have the ability to capture the zeitgeist of an era and transport the viewer from the present to a completely different time. The Museum of the City of New York is hosting an exhibit called “Lost in Old New York.” The series of eight interactive black and white photos gives a glimpse into New York City in the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibit also gives museum guests a special chance to win a year of free admission at the MCNY. To enter the visitors must take a selfie or ask someone to take their picture in front of the photographs and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #LostInOldNY. The museum will choose a winner every month from now until the exhibit closes on October 1st.
“Lost in Old New York” is a precursor to the museum’s first ever permanent exhibit “New York at Its Core,” a three-gallery exhibition that tells the story of New York’s 400-year history. “New York at Its Core” will open on November 18, 2016. Preview the pictures for “Lost in Old New York” below.
Photo by Mark Shelby Perry
Lavish, eccentric, mysterious, and exclusive is what someone would call The Illuminati Ball. Recently, Untapped Cities had the opportunity to step into the secret world of one. The Illuminati Ball, a production created by playwright and director Cynthia von Buhler, was inspired by leaked photos from the infamous Surrealist Party hosted by the Baron and Baroness de Rothschild in 1972. A night of immersive theater, von Buhler describes the play as “a surreal, bourgeois dinner party filled with power struggles, morality tests, and anthropomorphic escapades.” (more…)