04/03/14 2:00pm

Vintage Antique Typewriters-CUNY Graduate School of Journalism-40th Street-NYC-Robert E. Dallos LA Times-009Hammond Typewriter, curved keyboard and wooden platform, USA circa 1913

The New York Herald Tribune was a collaboration between two journalism giants: Horace Greeley, who founded the Tribune in 1841 and James Gordon Bennett who created the Herald in 1835. The paper won 14 Pulitzer Prizes, making its home at 219 West 40th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenue for 43 years starting in 1923. The last issue was printed on 40th Street on April 23rd, 1966. The building is now home, fittingly, to CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Scattered throughout the building are 15 vintage typewriters, a gift from the family of Robert E. Dallos, the New York Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles Times from 1978 to 1991.  (more…)

04/03/14 12:00pm

Queens Commissioners Grid-Forest Hills-NYC

In a post on the Rego-Forest Preservation Council Facebook page, Sergey Kandisky shared the above map of the Queens street grid. He writes: “On the eve of street numbering, Forest Hills was mapped out into a boring grid on this 1920s map. Even the wetlands of Flushing Meadows weren’t spared the city planner’s pen. This map is our version of the famous 1811 Commissioners Plan for Manhattan. Fortunately, a few parks were zoned and Yellowstone Blvd was allowed to meander a bit through its valley.”

Next time you’re navigating in Queens, don’t panic if you see 52nd Avenue followed by 52nd Road, 52nd Drive, and 52nd Court. It’s all part of Queen’s massive street grid. At 109 square miles (283 sq. km.), New York City’s largest borough by land mass was a combination of about 60 communities when it joined the other boroughs to create NYC in 1898. The street grid was established to replace a system of alphabetical street names that remained from that time.


04/03/14 10:00am

Mean StreetMartin Scorsese on the corner of Hester & Baxter Streets 1973 (Photo via The Hollywood Reporter)

This April, we at Untapped Cities have decided to pay homage to one of the most influential and honored directors of all time: Martin Scorsese. Scorsese has set 11 films in New York City, some of them inspired by his own experiences growing up in Lower Manhattan’s Little Italy, others exploring the cultural history of the city. Scorsese is one of only a handful of directors whose work is synonymous with New York and can be seen as a portal to the city’s grittier and darker past. In this first of four installments, we will take a look at five locations for his 1973 crime drama Mean Streets. (more…)

04/03/14 9:00am

Untapped Cities-Battery Conservancy-Bee Hives-Little Homes-NYCThe Battery’s Beehives (Flickr photo via gigi_nyc)

These little, colorful houses in the Battery Conservancy Garden looks adorable, however, it raises a very important question: why do these small houses look nicer than the larger (and that is putting it lightly) ones most of us live in? The reason: the people behind NYC Beekeeping. Last year, the bee enthusiasts decided to pay homage to NYC’s Dutch roots, by painting these beehives in the style of classic Dutch homes. That’s right, these beautiful mini-houses – located on a corner of the park facing the Staten Island Ferry – are home to the Conservancy Garden’s honeybee population. (more…)

04/02/14 12:00pm

2-Port Morris Gantries IThe Port Morris Gantries in the Bronx as they sit abandoned today (pic via Friend of Brook Park)

Gantry cranes, utilized as slips for ships carrying both goods and people, were used throughout the 20th century. However, due to the growth of other forms of infrastructure–whether that be highways or bridges–they sat in disrepair from the 1960s and 1970s on. In the past few years we have seen a revival in efforts to restore these engineering giants, or at least to develop the area surrounding the gantries. They have anchored the creation of parks–lush green areas as a part of Bloomberg’s development efforts–to historical zone designation leading to development projects of the gantries and surrounding areas.