Louis Armstrong-Secret Reefer Marijuana Tapes-Louis Armstrong Museum-1

In one of our favorite lesser-known museums in New York City, the Louis Armstrong Museum, are secret tapes of the music legend talking about being busted for smoking pot, and telling his manager he will refuse to play unless he fixes it so he can smoke as much as he wants without going to jail. The tapes were recorded by Armstrong himself on a reel-to-reel recorder at his home in Corona, Queens. From December 1950, until his death in 1971, Louis documented his life ‘for posterity’ on to 750 tapes, totaling thousands of hours of recordings, now owned by Louis Armstrong House Museum. He tells dirty jokes, rails against racism, practices his trumpet, and fights with his wife. And he talks at length about his regular marijuana use.


Hot Tea-UUGGHH-Street Art-Untapped Cities-NYC-Art-Installation-Bowery-Jay MaiselHot Tea’s UUGGHH (Screenshot via Vimeo)

NYC street artist Hot Tea—an artist whose work mostly consist of forming geometric words and shapes using yarn—is not happy with the rapid change that has come to New York City. He is tired of seeing historic buildings transformed into condos, and he is tired of the city’s identity being tossed away like yesterday’s Jets roster. One night walking through the city, the artist walked past the historic building on 190 Bowery owned by art collector and photographer Jay Maisel, and made his opinion known: “UUGHH” read on the exterior.


Rachel Fawn Alban_Untapped Cities_ 5Pointz Whitewash Memorial_November 2014_3b

Last year, on November 18, 2013, New Yorkers woke up to the news that Long Island City street art haven 5Pointz had been whitewashed, following a long effort to save the building and get it landmarked. This past Tuesday night, 5pointz organizers hosted “5 POINTZ Art is life… You can’t trademark the people!” a memorial event to mark the first anniversary of that day.


Podcasts-Radio Days-Untapped Cities-NYC-Woody Allen-Radio Days.mp4 - VLC media player 11202014 123913 PMRadio Days (Screenshot courtesy of MGM)

Talk radio is a staple of many of our childhoods. Think back to all the road trips and vacations we took with our families, and remember listening to the voices coming from the people on the radio–the ones who read the news calmly and composed and the sports announcers, who practically shouted their emotions through the airwaves. Those voices made those seemingly endless drives bearable and those voices stuck with us, long after the family vacations were over.

With technology changing the way we consume media now, a lot of us don’t really use radios anymore. Ask anyone when was the last time they purposely listened to the radio? It’s awesome that we live in a world where we can control what we listen to, but what about those voices, filling our minds with information, exposing us to new discussions and opinions, where could people who yearn for those voices find them in the digital age?

Podcasts, a digital medium that has become very popular over the past decade has filled that hole, with NYC becoming a hub for interesting, thought provoking and entertaining podcasts. For the podcast obsessed, or for those wanting something fun to listen to on the long commute to work, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best NYC Podcasts, from the most notable to the most controversial.


Gowanus_Wild_Egret_untappedcities_annabrownImage by Miska Draskoczy

Gowanus is a neighborhood of inconsistencies: its booming real estate market makes it the next hot destination in Brooklyn, while its polluted canal could give a person ecoli, dysentery, and cancer. Upscale restaurants and art galleries are popping up on its streets, yet two blocks away one finds garbage piled up against corrugated tin walls, demarcating a warehouse or a car yard, or maybe the next big housing development.

Miska Draskoczy revels in the area’s contradictions in his photography series “Gowanus Wild.” His photos, taken over the course of two years, try to find the beauty in what many consider to be an industrial wasteland. Draskoczy writes:


Coney Island Creek

Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading in the HQ today!

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