Top on any urban explorer’s (and Untapped reader’s) list is getting to see the inside of the Washington Square Park Arch. Occasionally, press get access but as the story goes, we have Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, painter John Sloan and their buddies to thank for the closure. In 1916, they climbed to the top, cooked food, lit Japanese lanterns, fired cap pistols, launched balloons and declared it the independent republic of New Bohemia. Citizens were outraged and the interior door of the arch was sealed.


3-Top 10 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Mishaps_Kermit the Frog_1991_tear_balloon_Untapped Cities_NYC_Stephanie GeierA deflated Kermit the Frog at the 1991 Thanksgiving Day Parade. Image via deseretnews.com

With less than a week before Thanksgiving, many are eagerly anticipating what kinds of diverse floats and balloons the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature. While these larger-than-life balloons of our favorite characters have been a Thanksgiving tradition for 89 years, there have been quite a few shocking, incidents that occurred at past parades. While we’re not expecting anything to happen this week, it was a fun project to research vintage photographs and learn about various safety measures that resulted from the accidents.

From plane crashes to deflations, read about these crazy mishaps (and hope that none happen this year).


Constructed in 1887, the majestic Eldridge Street Synagogue has been a staple institution in the Lower East Side for 128 years. At Untapped Cities, we’ve learned that any New York City landmark that has been around for over a decade is bound to be filled with plenty of secrets. For example, did you know that the chandelier in the synagogue is actually upside down? And that no one knows what the original stain glass looks like? On December 9th, discover even more about this stunning structure’s architecture, embellishments and history on our new after-hours tour, in partnership with the Museum at Eldridge Street, where we will unveil the building’s other hidden gems.


Lowline Lab

Here’s what the Untapped Cities Staff is reading in the HQ today: 

Today’s most popular articles:

Image via Print Magazine

This week’s Untapped events will be sure to get you ready for Thanksgiving. Besides the Macy’s Day Parade, we’ve got a Seinfeld Thanksgiving trivia, a Thanksgiving cheese event and ways that you can provide Thanksgiving feasts for New York City families in need.

This Month’s Featured Exhibit:

Jacob Riis-Aninated-banner-MCNY-Museum of the City of NY-Ad-728x90 animated

Also check out Affordable Housing: A New York Legacy

Monday, November 23rd

“My father was a stern man. He forbade us to participate in any activities that he thought were associated with the common man. The Thanksgiving Day Parade was first on the list.” If you’re a Seinfeld fan, show off your knowledge at Slattery’s Midtown pub for their “Seinfeld Thanksgiving Trivia.” You can prepare for the event by studying this list of Seinfeld film locations.

The Fraunces Tavern Museum is hosting a dinner honoring those involved with achieving American Independence. The British Army evacuated America on November 25, 1783, thus the event is appropriately called, Evacuation Day DinnerIt will be hosted by The Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York.


Manhattans-French-Quarter_Boulangerie-Francaise_Green-Street_bakery_NYC_Untapped-Cities_Stephanie-GeierA former French bakery on Green Street. Image via Scribner’s.

New York City is currently home to several ethnic enclaves, but did you know that there also used to be a “Little France” in Soho? According to a recent post by Ephemeral New York, from the 1870s until the 1890s, Soho, specifically in the area between Washington Square South and Grand Street, and West Broadway and Greene Street was home to somewhere between 20,000 and 24,000 French immigrants.