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Polo Ground Steps Reborn

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

World Map of Little Free Libraries. Source: www.littlefreelibraries.org

World Map of Little Free Libraries Source: www.littlefreelibraries.org

For as far back as we can remember, there’s been the urge to share the books we’ve read in trade for a book we might like to read. This sharing of books has taken many forms for those who travel by land, leaving a book or two in their room, to those that travel by sea. But the Little Free Library is the kind of sharing of books that has captured our hearts and imaginations of late, and as you can see by the World Map of Little Free Libraries, we are not alone. You may recall our coverage of the Little Free Library when they first starting popping up in New York City in 2013, and our favorite alien shaped one in Nolita.


The MET and the Plaza 011214 031

Get to know Untapped Cities contributor Sabrina Romano, who has been running the vintage photography column and a summer intern at the Untapped HQ.

What’s your “day job”?

From September to August, my “day job” is schoolwork. I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying nonfiction English writing and communication with a minor in American politics. During the summer, when I am not interning, I am a server assistant at a restaurant near my hometown.

What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city? 

My favorite Untapped spot in Pittsburgh is the Cathedral of Learning, the tallest educational building in the United States. The commons room, which resembles Hogwarts, is where I spend most of my time studying. Sometimes I take the elevator to the 42nd story to get a spectacular view of my campus and the surrounding city.

What’s your favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped:

From my vintage photography column, I enjoyed finding vintage photos, researching, and writing Vintage NYC Photography: the Construction and Inner Workings of the Holland Tunnel. I have driven through the Holland Tunnel countless times before without knowing any of its history. Because of its remarkable ventilation system, it serves as the construction model for tunnels around the world. I also loved researching for 6 of NYC’s Best Secret Supper Clubs.

I will never forget when the New York Times and I both published pieces about the Central Park Zoo on the same day. I felt super savvy because I had pitched and then wrote a post about the history of Central Park Zoo and the Times had an article about the zoo’s history in their paper that day. You can check out my piece on the zoo, Vintage NYC Photography: The Central Park Zoo.

What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling?

I was lucky enough to spend January to May studying abroad in Paris, France. Even though, I took weekend trips to many other countries, Paris was always my favorite place and I considered it my home. In Paris, I discovered my love for museums and artwork. I found the Musee d’Orsay to be absolutely divine and I would admire all of the art, especially the impressionist paintings, a few times a week.

At the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland for St. Patty’s Day, my travel buddy and I climbed over the rock barrier and hung out really close to the edge until a security guard came running and screaming at us.

Next, I want to travel to Brazil to volunteer at the 2016 Olympics. Volunteers get to stay in the Olympic Village for free and get free tickets to all of the events that happen during their time off. Basically, I will only have to pay for a flight. Even though we aren’t athletic, my family and I have always watch the Olympic trials and the Olympic Games on television. I think it would be amazing to experience the worldly event in person.

What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?

Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, the most any city has in the world. Yes, that means there are more bridges within city limits than there are in Venice. Most people don’t know that there are three main rivers in the city– the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio.

Join our Untapped Cities community as a writer or join our fall 2014 summer internship class

Bridges–masterful works of engineering and architecture that are used every day by residents and visitors alike. New York City is full of bridges, both famous and the lesser-known. It’s not surprising that our readers love photographing bridges. We’ve six reader-submitted images from the Untapped Cities Photo Pool this week.

Hashtag #UntappedCities on Instagram and Twitter if you would like to have one of your photos entered in the running for our weekly“Best Of” column. Also, you can keep an eye on what contributors and readers are checking out by browsing the live feed.

Brooklyn Bridge Noir by Jenny Rubin aka jruby70



Fun Maps-Most Commonly Spoken Second Language-NYC-2 Using data from the American Community Survey, Business Insider mapped out the most common language spoken in each NYC neighborhood that isn’t English. And an even more fun map of the most common language when it isn’t English or Spanish. The boundaries are based on the Census’  ”Public Use Microdata Areas,” which coincide closely, but not exactly to the city’s community board districts. (more…)

In 1964, a father and son were renovating a former speakeasy in the East Village into a theater when they came across two unopened safes in the basement. The speakeasy had been sold eagerly for a very cheap price and the entertainment business then was closely linked to mobsters. To touch their belongings meant death. Opening it with the former owner, $2 million dollars were found inside. What happened next has shaped the lives and the theater for the next sixty years.

Join us for a tour and cocktail at this former Prohibition speakeasy on Saturday, September 13th at 2 pm, which includes a guided walk through of the Museum of the American Gangster. You’ll see the original safes that were discovered, the former escape routes for the mafia, and more. There are only a few tickets left, so grab them now!

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