TatsCruTatsCru at work on mural for #NotACrime Mural Project

In an effort to raise awareness about human rights abuses, religious persecution, and denied access to higher education, the organization Education is Not A Crime will be putting this agenda front and center when the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, arrives in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 13. The campaign, known in social-media as #NotACrime, will be comprised of fifteen murals painted on walls all over Harlem and East Harlem.

The murals are curated by the New York based group, Street Art Anarchy, in partnership with the #NotACrime campaign, and have brought to this project street artists from all over the World, as well as renowned artists in our own backyard – with names like TatsCru, Astro, Franco the Great, Alexandre Keto, Ricky Lee Gordon, Rone, and Elle.


Funeral Pic
President Grant’s funeral processional marching up Broadway on August 8, 1885. Picture via Smithsonian Magazine.  

On August 8, 1885 New York City played host to a grieving nation as nearly a quarter of million people turned out for President Ulysses S. Grant’s funeral procession.

Considered to be one of the greatest American war heroes and an accomplished president, Grant spent the latter half of his life investing in risky business propositions that nearly left him penniless. It was during this time that he lived in New York City, which he and his wife adopted as their new home.


Veniero Pasticceria and Caffe-James and Karla Murray-East Village Food Tour-NYCPhoto from 2010 appears in the book New York Nights by James and Karla Murray

On Sunday, August 21st at 12pm, Untapped Cities will host the tour STOREFRONT: A HISTORIC EAST VILLAGE FOOD TOUR, led by photographers and authors James and Karla Murray. This visit will cover the  food, history and diverse culture of the East Village while tasting delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops.

Below, James and Karla have written a piece for us about one of those stops, Veniero Pasticceria and Caffe:

Many family-run businesses started out as traditional mom-and-pop stores passed down from generation to generation, and defined their neighborhoods. Not only are these modest small businesses falling away in the face of modernization, gentrification, and conformity, but the once unique appearance and character of New York City’s colorful streets also suffers in the process.

One of the many small businesses we will stop and sample food from is Veniero Pasticceria and Caffe, which was established in 1894 by Antonio Veniero. This fourth-generation family-owned bakery specializes in Italian pastries, including their famous cannoli, cheesecake, biscotti (Italian biscuits) and Italian butter cookies. Throughout the years they have added new offerings and now sell over 200 varieties of pastries, cakes and cookies. On our walking and tasting tour everyone will sample a freshly made cannoli while learning interesting facts and history about the oldest Italian pastry business in New York City.


Recently, we shared a drone video by the crew Abandoned NY (not to be confused with Abandoned NYC, the website and book by Will Ellis) of North Brother Island. At the time, they told us their next video would be of Bannerman Island where a former munitions facility designed like a fairy-tale European castle looms over the Hudson River Valley. Yesterday, that video was released, reinforcing the group’s penchant for extremely dramatic soundtracks and stunning aerial shots of storied, abandoned places.


The Night Of NYC Film Locations-HBO-Manhattan-Jackson Heights-Rikers Island-The Tombs-003

The Night Of, a limited series on HBO, tells the fictional story of Queens resident and college student, Nasir Khan, and the repercussions of a single night in his life which brings the character unwittingly into the underworld of urban incarceration and New York City politics. English actor Riz Ahmed, who got his start as rapper Riz MC, plays Nasir, an earnest millennial and son of first generation Pakistani immigrants.

The Night Of is beautifully filmed and the show does a detailed job of using real locations and making sure they are where the show says they are. As New Yorkers, we appreciate that accuracy, as well as the touches in the script that make it clear that screenwriter Richard Price is a New Yorker. Price was born in the Bronx and many of his novels and films are set in the New York city region. The gritty opening sequence is further haunted by the presence of executive producer James Gandolfini, uses black and white aerial shots of New York City with key elements of the storyline pulled out for visual effect.

Without further ado, here are the notable film locations so far in The Night Of:

New Inc-GSAPP Incubator-New Museum-Untapped Cities-NYC

We’ve been a little quiet on the publishing front for the last couple days, and that’s because we have news! We’ll be joining the GSAPP Incubator at the New Museum, run by Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for the 2016 to 2017 year. The aim of the incubator is to be a “launch pad for new ideas and projects about architecture, culture, and the city.” That’s a mission we can get behind! 

We will work alongside the New Museum’s NEW INC Incubator, which is dedicated to art, design and technology. The incubator has an event space, fabrication lab with things like 3D printers, and other fun stuff. We’re excited to be inspired by the members of the incubator which included last year a founding member of +POOL, the filtering pool for the East River, researcher Forrest Jesse, creative and design consultancy Consortia, and numerous architects and practices.

We’re excited to be able to soon offer panel events with the many experts that write, give tours, and are part of the Untapped Cities community. We’re also working on a complete web design overhaul for Untapped Cities, that readers should see by end of September and have some projects we can’t reveal yet up our sleeve!

In the meantime, we’re sad to be leaving our digs at Nowhere Studios in Brooklyn, a wonderful co-working space that truly builds a community. How many other co-working spaces have an über-adorable resident cat, a rooftop deck where you can grow vegetables and herbs, and street art by Swoon inside and out?