Author Thomas Rinaldi, who wrote the book New York Neonis our tour guide for our upcoming tour of Greenwich Village’s Disappearing Neon Signs on October 19th. Here, he shares about the origins of the famous neon sign at the White Horse Tavern.

Greenwich Village has seen a number of great old signs disappear in recent years to make way for facsimiles. Fedora, the Village Vanguard, the Waverly Restaurant… some of the replacement signs are better than others. But the lovely old swing sign at Casa Oliveira Liquors, at 98 Seventh Avenue South, seems likely to be with us for some time to come, thanks to a new coat of paint applied over its old sheet metal work a few years back.


all-seeing-trump-trump-zoltar-fortune-telling-machine-misfortunes-columbus-circle-trump-international-nyc_3Misfortune telling machine Trump Zoltar appeared on the streets of NYC yesterday and today

[Update: We have new photos from today’s appearance of the All-Seeing Trump at Trump International Hotel at Columbus Circle. Here’s a Facebook live video we took, also embedded below.]

The internet pretty much exploded yesterday after Gothamist reported that an all-seeing Trump Zoltar machine, akin to Grandma’s Predictions out on Coney Island but much more vulgar, was spotted on street corners around New York City from a mosque in Queens, and a Mexican restaurant in Greenpoint, to the sidewalks in front of the Trump Tower in Midtown, the New York Times building and NewsCorp.

Then yesterday afternoon, Untapped Cities received a curious message from a non-press partner of ours: “A friend of mine from work did this yesterday,” with a link to the news coverage on the Trump Zoltar. Speaking to one of the artists through this proxy, they informed us that the Zoltar would be moving around indefinitely. As of 5:36 pm yesterday, they told us “Planned Parenthood just happened not sure what’s next.” They noted that last night would be dedicated to editing a video (now below) and that they planned to become “more friendly with press tomorrow.”


Photo via Flickr: Anthony Quintano

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    “Why is everyone in costume today?” A cab driver asked us on our way to the Jacob K. Javits Center Saturday afternoon. He must be new to the city, because for the last six years, October has meant one thing to a section of people in New York City: Comic-Con. It’s an event we look forward to mostly because of cosplayers who spend all year crafting incredibly detailed costumes. Last year, we shared with you 10 Great Cosplay Moments from the 2015 convention and this year we are sharing 10 more. If you missed out on Comic-Con, here are some photos to inspire you to make next year’s convention and perhaps to make some cosplay of your own.



    A few years ago, we highlighted a portion of the Bloomingdale’s department store uptown, on the 60th Street side, that was a remnant of an earlier store. The French-inspired design had a mansard roof with neoclassical details and the words “Bloomingdale Brothers” still visible. As we pointed out then, Bloomingale’s hasn’t always been too detailed or consistent about its own history, location wise.

    Now, Untapped Cities reader Cathleen Mayrose sent us a photograph showing that Bloomingdale’s is painting over that section and the neighboring section in black, further hiding it from obvious view. She tells us, “Personally, I find this deplorable, along with with the other ridiculous changes they have made including the purple neon lighting around the upper floor windows.” 



    On an unseasonably warm October day, we headed to Lot Radio – an independent radio station spinning out of a reclaimed shipping container in an empty lot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, just a short walk from McCarren Park. The music streams 24 hours a day online, where you can also see what’s happening inside the DJ booth and can be heard through speakers on the lot itself. The pebble-filled lot is surrounded by a fence, but is activated through a counter coffee kiosk on one end of the container, where you can buy drinks and pastries. Then, you can sit on the chairs and tables (or lounge in a hammock), in the lot.