01/16/14 11:00am

Workers demonstrating against prohibition in the streets of New York, Photograph, Around 1933The famous “We Want Beer” Prohibition protest in New York City featuring Mayor Jimmy Walker. (Image Courtesy Associated Press)

On January 16, 1919 in New York City history, one of the largest social experiments came into effect: Prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the constitution was ratified on this date and made it illegal to manufacture, sell, or transport,  “intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.” In New York City, the mayor sent all his constituents instructions to make their own wine, as was still allowed for “religious purposes.” It wasn’t until later in 1919 and onward that law enforcement was able to prosecute violators of the prohibition laws, which led to the arrest of over 7,000 people in NYC between 1921 and 1923. (Only 27 of these arrests resulted in convictions.) (more…)

01/15/14 2:00pm

Though New York is often dubbed as the “city that never sleeps”, only a handful of shops can truly pride themselves as a 24 hour destination — that is, a business that stays open for a consecutive 24 hours during the week. While there are countless eateries, food stands, and diners that always keep their lights on (like our favorites Wo Hop and Halal Guys), here are a few others you might want to explore on your next late-night odyssey.

Sightseeing & Entertainment

Elevator-Museums_New-York_Untapped-Cities_Sharon-Wong-1451

Museum on Cortlandt Alley – While the Museum does close it’s freight elevator doors every night like its much larger NYC museum counterparts, a conveniently located window allows passerbys to gaze at the art collection 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Check out a post from the last time we visited. (more…)

01/13/14 10:00am

Mast Brothers Chocolate Williamsburg Brooklyn NYC Untapped Cities

Walk into the Mast Brothers chocolate shop/factory in Williamsburg and the scent of dark, almost bitter cocoa hits you immediately. This is not a chocolate factory like Willy Wonka‘s. The only experimenting here is done with pure, preservative-free ingredients. Brothers Rick and Michael Mast have been making American craft chocolate since 2007.

What started as a tiny operation in the kitchen of their Brooklyn apartment has grown to the point that they’ve just opened a new production facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We went behind the scenes at their location on N 3rd Street in Williamsburg with Derek Herbster, the Mast Brothers’ Executive Manager, who gave us the lowdown on the bean-to-bar process of making chocolate and some exciting news about what the Mast Brothers have in store.  (more…)

01/06/14 10:00am

NY Distilling Company tour Williamsburg Brooklyn NYC Untapped Cities

The New York Distilling Company in Williamsburg recently celebrated its second birthday. It was founded by Tom Potter, who also co-founded the Brooklyn Brewery, and Allen Katz, Director of the Spirits Education & Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of New York. The distillery was opened on the symbolic date of December 5, 2011—the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

“In a way, we’re still suffering from Prohibition,” our guide Diane explained when we visited the distillery on Saturday. It wasn’t until 2002 that New York State lowered the price of a distilling license from $50,000 to $1,450, thanks in part to numerous appeals from Hudson Valley distiller Tuthilltown Spirits, which we visited previously(more…)

12/24/13 11:00am

New York City’s skyscrapers, flashy lights, and “go big or go home” mentality make it easy to forget sometimes that space is precious and scarce in the city. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that rent on East Village spaces under 1,000 square feet can often be $10,000 or less a month—a steal, considering a typical 1,500-2,500-square-foot retail space costs $15,000-$30,000. With the rise in rent is a growing number of tiny food establishments no bigger than a studio apartment. But what these seven places lack in size, they make up for character, from graffitied brick walls to pink naked lady wallpaper, and, of course, delicious food as well. 

1. Sel et Gras, 131 7th Ave: 32 seats, 225 square feet

sel-et-gras-untapped-tiny-restaurantsPhoto Credit: Sel et Gras

The name of this West Village wine bar/bistro translates to “salt and fat.” While there’s a lot of both in the rich French food served there, diners wouldn’t fit between the 14 tables if they ate there every day. The cramped space is livened up by graffiti-adorned brick walls, chalkboards, and a brightly-colored tile floor. According to the Daily Meal, it’s the smallest full-service restaurant in the city.  (more…)

12/13/13 9:00am

Sriracha Sauce-Shortage-Srirachalypse-Grocery Stores-Chinatown-Flushing-NYC

If you’re reading this, it may already be too late. When news broke that California’s Department of Public Health had halted production of Huy Fong’s legendary Sriracha sauce for the remainder of the year, our world changed. We changed, New York.

The ‘tomorrow’ we face will not be pleasant. Uncontrollable fires in the streets and subways will replace their equivalent in our mouths. Uncooked pork & chive dumplings will remain frozen through the winter. Shaky alliances will form, and enemies will be made. Worse yet, there is little any of us can do to stop it.

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