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NYC Central Park Zoo Camels Sabrina Romano Untapped CitiesCamels in Central Park Zoo (Image via The Library of Congress)

On November 9th, 1874, the people of NYC were gripped with fear. Pulse-pounding, heart stomping fear. A terror had taken over the streets of our fair city and no matter where you were no one was safe. What was the cause of this pandemonium? Well it was the zoo animals, that’s who. According to an article in The New York Herald, a former major newspaper which ran from 1835 to 1924, the animals at the Central Park Zoo made a break for it and were rampaging across the city.

Just imagine, elephants running across Fifth Avenue, lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) in Little Italy stealing all of the good salami. Policemen fighting off monkeys running in the streets, the whole scene looking like a scene from the latest Planet of The Apes. The Herald wrote that the escaped animals were already responsible for the deaths of 49 New Yorkers, along with 200 injured. How would this matter get solved? The police? The National Guard? The Navy? (more…)

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Fairy Doors in NYC. Photo by Seen in New York

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

ganesh hindu temple-nyc-flushing-queens-vegan-canteenGanesh Temple in Flushing, Queens. Image via Flicker: Carol Vinzant

Last week we took you to Smile of the Beyond, a low-key luncheonette in Queens run by the disciples of the late spiritual master Sri Chinmoy. As fascinating as it is though, Smile of the Beyond only scratches the surface of what this city has to offer. When it comes to spiritual eateries in New York, there are plenty of small, local favorites that are tucked away in every borough. So, for your convenience, here’s our list of the best spiritual restaurants, canteens, and cafes to check out in New York City. Enjoy!



Read our top ten events of the week. Learn about the history of Martin Greenfield Clothiers, learn about preservation attempts in Greenwich Village, and go on a walking tour and learn about the historic East Village libraries this week. You can also tour the Woolworth Building lobby with Untapped Cities, listen to a song based on a book, attend a competition of puns, and more.

Monday, August 18th:


Icy & Sot Source:  The Water Tank Project

Icy & Sot. Source: The Water Tank Project

As Untapped Cities readers, you probably know we are really obsessed with water tanks, from our top 10 list of the most unique water tanks in New York City to a look at how they work. We’ve often wondered why water tanks are not used very frequently as a canvas for art but that’s about to change.

Art often collides with social issues and this summer The Water Tank Project project will appear in all five boroughs, bringing us an important message. It is the brainchild of Word Above the Street and documentary filmmaker Mary Jordan. Their message is simple and hugely important.  “Put Water Above All.”  The program is an effort to call attention to the global water crises.


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