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William Shakespeare is not only one of the most widely read English authors, but also one of the most easily recognizable, with his beard, mustache, and oblong shaped head. As a result, he has been commemorated and memorialized throughout New York City. Below, we explore some of those many places where you can find references to the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

1. Shakespeare Garden, Central Park

Shakespeare's Garden Central Park-NYCImage via Wikimedia by Ingfbruno

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New York City’s prison population is the lowest it has been in 10 years–10,923 inmates as of September 2014. But still, an ongoing question for the NYC Department of Corrections is where to house the inmates in a city as dense as New York. It might be surprising to some that the city’s prisons are generally, right among us–some look just like the apartment buildings next door except for some barbed wire windows. Prisons used to be organized along district lines, particularly before the 1898 consolidation of the five boroughs. They were attached to or near the courts and were little more than holding cells.

Here below are 15 of NYC’s former prisons, many which are still standing:

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Ellis Island-Southside-Landfill-NYC-NJ-Immigrant-Aerial ViewImage via Michelle Henry 

On a tour of the abandoned south side hospitals on Ellis Island to track down the work of artist JR, National Park Service Ranger Mandy Edgecombe gave us lots of fun facts about the island most commonly associated with immigration.

1. Ellis Island used to be privately owned

The owner of Ellis Island, which he called Oyster Island, was Samuel Ellis. In 1785, he tried to sell it and even advertised it as a “pleasant situated island” in Loudon’s New York-Packet but there were no bites. The city leased the island for military purposes starting in 1794, upon the death of Ellis and buys it from the family in 1808 for $10,000.

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The holidays are upon us, which means you are probably stressing out over what gifts to get your parents, kids, life partners and not to mention the office Secret Santa, which you joined against your better judgement. Well put your mind at ease dear reader; we here at Untapped have a selection of awesome items for that one person spending their first Holidays in NYC or for all of us who love this crazy, wonderful city of ours and want to have just another little piece of it in our lives.

And just for Untapped Cities readers, use code UNTAPPED22 for first free delivery of your gifts via Parcel, the first service to facilitate off-hours package deliveries in NYC.

1. Adopt-a-Building at the Queens Museum

Queens Museum-Adopt A Building-Flushing-NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via The Queens Museum

You may not be able to get your partner the apartment or house of their dreams here in NYC, but the Queens Museum can get you the next best thing. A donation to the museum can get you a deed to one of the many buildings or commercial estates inside the enormous and glorious model of the city housed in the museum. With adopting a building you may provide the museum with a message that will be placed on the museums website.  (more…)

White Horse Tavern-Greenwich Village-NYC

Where do you go if you’re a starving artist in New York City? You can’t just sit in your apartment being creative, because your apartment will be the size of an elevator and will only have one never-cleaned window that looks on to a dark air shaft. So you need to get outside and throw yourself into the arms of the city. You’ll spend a lot of time wandering the streets thinking of ways to make money by selling your art…or by selling anything.

Eventually, you’ll have to spend your dwindling savings on food. You obviously can’t cook in the apartment; your ‘kitchen’ is in the living room and comprises a dirty microwave with a frayed flex, an A4-sized sink, and absolutely no preparation surfaces. You do not want to chop onions on that floor.

Here is a list of places where you can get cheap food and drink, as well as hang out at for protracted periods enjoying someone else’s heating/air-con, while you wonder what the hell you’re doing with your life.

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Brooklyn Bridge-NYC-Benjamin Waldman-Untapped Cities

A walk over the Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City’s most popular past times for tourists and residents alike. It’s hard not to be amazed by the granite and limestone structure, now 131 years old. But beyond its stately exterior lie many secrets. So the next time you find yourself at the bridge, remember back to these secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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