911 Memorial-World Trade Center-Downtown Manhattan-NYC

The National September 11 Memorial opened in downtown Manhattan in 2011 to honor the 3,000 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon, along with the six people who were killed in the World Trade Center bombings in February 1993.

We bring you the top 10 secrets of the memorial, ranging from the design, the costs, to the rules & regulations. When you’re done, take the official guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial for more. (more…)

American Irish Historical Society-Headquarters-AIHS-991 Fifth Avenue-Townhouse-80th Street-Mary King Townhouse-NYC

The American Irish Historical Society (AIHS) is housed in a magnificent Gilded Age townhouse on Fifth Avenue, across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The society has an active schedule of public art and music events which provide the curious a glimpse into this stunning building. We recently took a grand tour of the townhouse as preparation for the next Brownstone 360 from the Metropolis Ensemble, an immersive food and art event to take place this upcoming Monday, was underway. Through our visit, we discovered the many secrets of this historic building at 991 Fifth Avenue, part of the Metropolitan Museum Historic District.

Sign up for advance notice for an upcoming Untapped Cities tour of the Historical Society:


Gowanus Canal-Secrets-History-Kayaing-Industrial-Superfund Site-NYC

The Gowanus Canal conjures up many aspects of New York City, from a celebrated Revolutionary War history to a less glorious industrial past that renders itself visible in the superfund site the canal is today. It’s also a site of rebirth, where the emergence of off-the-beaten path art galleries and small manufacturing shops have been followed by an influx of luxury condominiums. It also plays a forgotten but important role in the Prohibition era for bootleggers and was a convenient locale for the activities of the Brooklyn mafia. 

This Thursday at the Museum of the City of New York, writer Joseph Alexiou, author of Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal will join Hannah Frishberg, reporter at Brownstoner, in a conversation about the changing landscape of the Gowanus Canal. Alexious sees the canal and its environs as a microcosm that tells the story of New York City, and explores in the book how the changing reception of the word Gowanus tells us a lot about the transformation that has taken place there since the earliest days of the colony and before. Our list of Gowanus Canal secrets below is derived predominantly from the very entertaining book by Alexiou.

Tickets for the event can be purchased for the talk ($16 for adults, $12 students/seniors) or for talk + book ($40).


125 East 36th Street-FDR and Eleanor Apartment-1904-NYCPhoto via Sideways NYC

The Roosevelts’ lineage and history are intrinsically tied to New York’s narrative. Most notable are the legacies of Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Roosevelts’ many public contributions, private property endowments, and pioneering governmental policy work, all serve to immortalize them as one of the most eminent names in United States history.


The Roof Garden Psycho Barn Untapped Cities AFineLynePsychoBarn, the house from the movie Psycho is recreated on the rooftop of the Met Museum

May is the month to get back out into New York City’s parks (if you haven’t done so already), with a plethora of exciting art installations from Brooklyn Bridge Park to the High Line to Harlem. There will be pieces to see in plazas and public spaces from The Battery to 59th Street; from the roof garden at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center. Also don’t miss some of this past year’s best outdoor installations which will be coming down in May and June.

Here are 16 art installations not to miss this upcoming month!


detail-rko-keiths-theater-queens-nyc-untapped citiesImage via After The Final Curtain

Once upon a time, opulent theaters built for the masses and the elite alike were the main destinations for entertainment. The theaters showed more than movies – it would be an all-day entertainment extravaganza from live music, dance performances, vaudeville, comedy to films. As we wrote in a previous exploration of the Loews Wonder Theatres, the most grand of them all in the New York City area, “in an era before television and with radio just a novelty, Americans could spend upwards of five hours or more in these theaters.”

Many theaters in New York City and New Jersey began as live performance theaters, and when vaudeville was on the decline, conversion into movie theaters became a more profitable option. But maintaining these grand film palaces was expensive and proved difficult to keep operational.

We bring you now 10 movie theaters in the New York City area that have stood abandoned for decades, falling into disarray as they became nothing more than warehouse spaces and retail store fronts.