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Mention “Itaewon” to anyone—Korean or expat—who has lived in Seoul for a while, and the name will elicit a knee-jerk reaction triggering some cautionary tale regarding the drunken debauchery which takes place there after sunset. Located near the U.S. Army Base, Yongsan Garrison, the maze of bars and nightclubs which comprise the hub of this Seoul neighborhood has historically suffered from a shady reputation. Night spots primarily frequented by GIs in particular are seen as seedy pick-up scenes and places where only “bad girls” would dare to venture.  (more…)

telescope cards-fun maps-untapped cities-nycPhoto via Twitter user @Rue_Gabrielle

On your next trip abroad, or even in your own backyard, these pocket city guides by Telescope Cards provide a small local map right in the palm of your hands. There’s no longer a need to fumble through pins on an electronic map when you can have your own collection of cards with your favorite locations to help you plan impromptu trips from your assorted choices. Using this interactive site, you can even link it to your Foursquare “To-Do” list and finally get to those authentic international restaurants you wanted to try or remember where all those quirky specialty shops are located.  (more…)

Welcome back to our Untapped Cities series on NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods, where we delve into long standing ethnic enclaves.  

roosevelt avenue-jackson heights-little india-micro neighborhoods-nyc-untapped cities-brennan ortizLively Roosevelt Avenue. Photo via Netizen.

Little India
Jackson Heights, Queens

Jackson Heights in Queens epitomizes the city’s most ethnically diverse county when judging by the countless cultural distinctions of its residents. Though the neighborhood has a large population of South Americans and East Asians, it is the concentration of South Asians who comprise the majority. Here, the heap of Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have founded a home of their own. To those paying attention, Jackson Heights will prove an authentic slice of South Asia in New York City’s largest borough.  (more…)

Hannah Duke for Untapped Cities - Hosier Lane - Laneways - Melbourne

Open any guidebook on the Australian city of Melbourne and it will no doubt tell you to explore its “famous laneways.”

The Central Business District of Melbourne is a tightly-packed grid: officially named the ‘Hoddle Grid’, after its designer Robert Hoddle. He surveyed the “town” of Melbourne and drew up the plans in 1837. (Melbourne is a very young city!) Hoddle’s plans, and the subsequent expansion of the city included laneways, originally intended as service laneways for horses and carts. Many in the northern section of the CBD were associated with the slums of the Goldrush era.  (more…)

Sochi Olympic Fever: How to Have a Russian Day in NYC

02/19/2014 at 12:00 pm

Posted In Guides, New York

by spencer cohen">spencer cohen

3-Russian Tea Room untapped cities russian day in nyc
Photo via The Russian Tea Room 

In honor of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games held in Sochi, Russia, we decided to compile a list of places where you can enjoy a day of Russian culture and food in New York City. The largest enclave of Russian immigrants in NYC is centered around Brighton Beach–recently described in our micro-neighborhoods column–which is home to many of the places listed. In addition, various enclaves of Russian culture are scattered throughout the city, from a museum on the Upper West Side to a restaurant sporting the grandeur of Russia in Midtown.

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We’ve been noticing a trend lately of places that double as coffee shops and some other kind of shop. It got us wondering, is a good old cuppa joe not enough anymore? Are people so busy that they need to get their coffee and their floral arrangements in the same place? Or are shop owners just so ambitious that they can’t satisfy themselves by only focusing on one thing?

Whatever the answer, we have to admit that these shops are doing something right, and presenting us with some fun and quirky new ways to caffeinate ourselves. From a surf shop/coffee shop to an art gallery/coffee shop, here are 8 of the most interesting examples in NYC. If you know one that isn’t on this list, leave us a comment!

1. Surf Shop/Coffee Shop: Saturdays Surf NYC

saturdays-surf-nyc-coffee-garden-oasis-untapped

If you happen to need a surfboard along with your espresso, Saturdays Surf NYC in Soho is the place to go. Their coffee counter is right next to a display of surfboards. The shop also sells men’s clothes, surf gear, accessories and books. In the warmer months, grab a macchiato and head out back to sit in the courtyard. Saturdays also made our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Manhattan (for Design Buffs). They’ve got a West Village location too.  (more…)