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The Pierre Hotel Rotunda RoomRecently restored Rotunda room at The Pierre Hotel

The newly renovated Rotunda Room in The Pierre Hotel, was unveiled on July 12th. This oval, central room within the 86 year-old hotel has been used for everything from wedding ceremonies, film shoots, to afternoon tea. But it wasn’t until 1967, when The Pierre became a co-op with 75 full-time residences and a hospitality company running the 189 guest rooms, that artist Edward Melcarth (1914-1973) was commissioned to paint the famous trompe l’oeil Rotunda Room murals. His Renaissance murals had a few surprising images standing alongside mythical figures, and included prominent people in New York society, who were not all pleased with their image being painted on the hotel walls.

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Governors Club-Governors Island-Water Taxi Beach-NYCGovernors Island beach. Image via Goldstar

New York City may have once had a natural coastline but it was primarily marshland. Today, with continued human intervention on the landscape of the New York City waterfront, you can find some great beaches, albeit man-made. From Governors Island to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and two under-the-radar spots in the Bronx, here are seven man-made beaches to check out:

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Citroen parade on Bastille Day Untapped Cities

The Bastille Day Celebration, or La Fete Nationale, is a time-honored tradition in New York City that has grown to become a week-long celebration. It marks the anniversary of the French storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and the celebrations continue to this day, across the pond. From street fairs to chocolatiers, here are thirteen ways you can celebrate Bastille Day in New York City all throughout this week. Vive La France!

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10 Off the Beaten Path 4th of July Activites-Macys Fourth of July Fireworks-NYCPhoto via Flickr/Caruba

July 4, 2016 marks the 240th year that America declared independence from the British Empire (and of course, 2016 marks “Brexit,” the year the United Kingdom voted to break free from the European Union). Every year in New York City, celebrations are marked with the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show, backyard cookouts and beach trips. But if these yearly rituals don’t appeal to you, Untapped Cities has curated a list of ten off-the-beaten path ways to spend your July 4th holiday weekend in New York City.

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meat-espositos-nyc-manhattan-butcher shops

Some things are better when they’re new but most things just have that irreplaceable charm when they’re old, like these classic New York City butcher shops. NYC was once filled with meat markets on almost every corner, however, today only a handful remain and we’re lucky that they do. With authentic butchery techniques that are more than half a century old, quality meats and shop locations around the boroughs, there is no doubt that New Yorkers are continuing to support family owned businesses.

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8264611516_4321dd62a1_kPhoto via Yelp Inc on Flickr

Distilling in New York City has been going on since Europeans first arrived in the 1700s and after a big roadblock has finally continued to grow from there. In fact, the first distillery in the US was in Staten Island. However, on October 28th 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act or “The National Prohibition Act.” This law effectively made it illegal to produce, transport, buy or sell alcohol in the United States. This obviously put a chilling effect on the distilling of quality liquors all across the country. There was scarcely a trace of a distilling community in NYC until circa 2010, when a new boom in urban living sparked the start of a distillery revolution in North and Central Brooklyn.

Here are a few distilleries to check out in everyone’s favorite boroughs. Cheers! (more…)