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sage radar tower montauk ruins of long island-NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via Ty Wenzel for The New York Times

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

 

Today’s Popular Articles:

2 world trade center-NYC-Untapped Cities2 World Trade Center. Image via popularmechanics.com

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels is most notable to New Yorkers these days as the designer of 2 World Trade Center, the final building slated for construction that will overlook the former Ground Zero in the new World Trade Center complex. His body of work, however, is growing in New York City with the Dry Line and the unique residential building in Hell’s Kitchen,VIA 57 West. His firm BIG is one of the hottest in the industry right now, translating the wacky and intricate modern designs Ingels is known for in Europe to the New York stage. There’s also a project, nicknamed “The Tostito” coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

In a new interactive and video from The New York Times, Ingels notes how Manhattan has welcomed him since moving a branch of his Copenhagen firm to New York in 2011. Ingel’s redesigned 2 World Trade Center, conceived of as a leaning stack of sharp-edged boxes, with outdoor terraces on the 80th floor and above, should be one of the more interesting sights in the Financial District, along with being the fifth tallest building in New York City. An interactive 360-view of the planned building can be seen here.

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We live in the golden age of patterned fabrics. Yesterday in New York City I saw a man wearing an oxford shirt with tiny hamburgers embroidered all over it, and I’ve already discussed the prevalence of botanical prints in a previous column. Sometimes popular fashion seems to reflect a certain collective sobriety in subdued colors and tasteful patterns, but at other times there’s a sort of zeitgeist of… whimsy. Lately it seems like people are pretty into wearing things that look like they’re patterned with a standard set of stripes or diamonds from a distance but upon closer examination turn out to be a string of curses in tiny font, or a field of corgis.

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The New York Subway system opened to the public for the first time on October 27th, 1904 and changed the face of mass transit in the city forever. Today, it takes no less than 40 minutes to travel up Manhattan from South Ferry to Washington Heights two hundred blocks away (that is, if you take the right train), a journey that would would normally be five times as long on foot.

It’s a 24-hour system that ferries you and millions of New Yorkers around the city every day, but you may be unaware of the technology behind it. Did you know one of the main subway traffic controllers is housed in the West 4th Street station? Did you know that much of the machinery used to monitor the trains dates back to the 1950s and earlier? In an exclusive video exploring the antiquated system behind subway control, the MTA showcases its very old, very outdated, but still effective technology, and looks to the future of the subway commute with a brand new method of monitoring traffic. That method is called communications-based train control, and, once implemented in trains all over the city, will finally modernize the subway.

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Yesterday was National Hot Dog Day and we randomly caught the unveiling of the latest Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, this one a miniature version of the large touring hot dog shaped vehicle. Spotted in Hudson River Park, the remote control “Weiner Rover” (with license plate WNR ROVR) was actually getting its own video shoot. The Weiner Rover opens up to reveal, you guessed it, hot dogs. There were even some slots for those necessary condiments, ketchup and mustard.

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plaza hotel secrets theplazany.com-NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via theplazany.com

At the corner of Central Park sits a French Chateau. At least, that’s what the original developers of New York City’s Plaza Hotel, Bernhard Beinecke, hotelier Fred Sterry, and Harry S. Black, President of the Fuller Construction Company, intended when they spent $12 million building a 19-story ‘skyscraper’ hotel near the Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan. The Plaza Hotel, the only hotel in the city to be named a National Historic Landmark, opened in 1907. Papers hailed it at the time as the greatest hotel in the world. It was certainly the most luxurious, boasting its breathtaking glass-ceilinged Palm Court, its 1,650 crystal chandeliers, and its gold-encrusted china, the largest order from L. Straus & Sons in history.

The Plaza Hotel is one of the oldest and most famous buildings in the city, now over a hundred years old. For decades, it was the meeting place of Manhattan’s wealthiest socialites, and still remains, in some part, today. Most interesting to us though in its 100 year history are some of its most eye-catching secrets. Here’s what we dug up:

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