Russos-East Village-NYC-Untapped Cities Tours
On Sunday August 21st at 12pm, join James and Karla Murray, authors and photographers of the critically acclaimed books, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New YorkNew York Nights and Store Front II-A History Preserved on this walking and tasting tour of some of their favorite East Village food establishments. Discover the food, history and diverse culture of the East Village while tasting delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops.

Many family-run businesses started out as traditional mom-and-pop stores passed down from generation to generation, and defined their neighborhoods. Not only are these modest small businesses falling away in the face of modernization, gentrification, and conformity, the once unique appearance and character of New York City’s colorful streets suffers in the process.

On this tour you will learn about the diverse German, Italian, Jewish and Ukranian history of the East Village and try some fresh homemade Italian mozzarella, drink an authentic New York City egg cream or have a freshly roasted cup of coffee, taste a hot Ukranian potato pierogi with toppings, sample a freshly baked Jewish sugar cookie, enjoy an authentic New York hot dog and tropical drink and taste a freshly baked Italian cannoli.

Enough food will be sampled so that for most people lunch afterwards is not needed.

Below are a few more photos from James and Karla Murray of places we will discover on this tour:


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On Thursday, August 25th at 6:30pm, join us for a Behind the Scenes NYC Tour of the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, a state-of the-art recycling facility located at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT). The facility is the result of a public-private partnership between New York City and Sims.

Completed in 2013 using sustainable design practices, the reactivated site processes all plastic, metal, and glass collected by the Department of Sanitation and helps traffic the City of New York’s recyclables while creating jobs for the local community. Eadaoin Quinn, Education Coordinator at Sims, will take Untapped Cities readers behind the scenes of the recycling plant, which currently occupies 11 acres of SBMT. Join us for a 90-minute tour and get a insider look at the City’s recycling process. Tickets are limited.

Operated by Sims Municipal Recycling, the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility is New York City’s principal recycling center receiving approximately 20,000 tons of residential metal, glass, plastic and paper every month. The facility features advanced sorting equipment, award-winning architectural design, interactive educational displays, a 600kW solar panel array and NYC’s first commercial-scale wind turbine.

The Untapped Cities Behind the Scenes NYC Tour Series is produced in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to provide special access to some of the city’s most exciting development projects.

Here is an aerial picture of the SIMS recycling facility:

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Check out more Untapped Cities Behind the Scenes tours.

carlos davidPhoto via Friends of the High Line/Carlos David

In the hit Broadway show “Hamilton,” Aaron Burr says “There’s nothing like summer in the city,” and he was definitely right. Summer in New York City is full of activities for people with a range of interests, and Untapped Cities has curated the perfect list for you. Here are the top ten events happening in New York City from July 18th to the 24th.

Monday, July 18th

Outdoor movies are a summer staple in New York City and the city’s parks across the five boroughs are host to some of the best outdoor film festivals. On July 18th, there will be a screening of “The Omen” at the HBO Bryant Park Film FestivalThis 1976 film stars Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as Robert and Katherine Thorne. The couple lives in London with their son Damien, but they are soon surrounded by an unfortunate series of deaths. Is their son to blame? The screening is presented by Bank of America and is free to the public. The movie starts at around 8 or 9 pm, but the lawn opens at 5 for laying out blankets and picnicking. For more information and to see the full list of movies playing this summer, visit bryantpark.com/plan-your-visit/filmfestival.html.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park annual literature series Books Beneath the Bridge continues on July 18 on the Granite Prospect Steps. For six weeks, an author representing local, independent bookstores in Brooklyn will read excerpts from their works and participate in a Q&A and book signing. This week’s installment of Books Beneath the Bridge features authors representing WORD bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. At 7 pm, author Emma Straub and Rumaan Alam will present their respective novels “Modern Lovers” and “Rich and Pretty.” This event is free and open to the public. For a full list of authors participating in this series, visit brooklynbridgepark.org/event-series/books-beneath-the-bridge.


Rooftop-Reds, Winery, Brooklyn-Navy-Yard, Brooklyn, New-York, Wine

On one of Untapped Cities’ featured tours, we got a special look at Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This establishment is the first “commercially viable rooftop vineyard in New York City,” according to the company’s website.



New York City is known for its skyscrapers and industrial landscape. But it’s also the prime location to see the naturally occurring phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge. Twice a year, in June and July, the sun lines up perfectly with Manhattan’s East-West numbered streets and creates a cinematic spectacle. On Tuesday, July 12, the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium is hosting a special one-night event to explain the history and astronomy behind Manhattanhenge. Before gathering on the city streets, join astrophysicist Jackie Faherty at 7 pm for a special presentation, followed by a group viewing on 79th Street.


Rediscovering the Forgotten History of Little Syria, NYC_exhibit 4_NYC_Untapped CitiesImage via New York City Department of Records

By Abdessamad Kharmaj
Community Associate at NYC Department of Records

In recent years, “Syria” and “Syrians” have become associated with destroyed houses, refugees, war crimes, and terror. Luckily, this was not the case at the end of the 19th century in New York City, where immigrants from the Middle East established the first vibrant and productive community of Arab Americans in the United States called “Little Syria.”