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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!

We may be the only people in New York City who are pretty obsessed with rats, apart from writer Robert Sullivan who wrote an amazing book about the NYC rat. Thus, we were rather excited to see yet another map about rats (the last being which neighborhoods had more rats in their restaurants). This rat map by MIT’s  “You Are Here” project maps out 311 rat complaints. Not only is it a map, it’s a video visualization of rat complains. (more…)

Cathedral-of-St.-John-the-Divine-in-ConstructionEarly construction of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine circa 1902. Image via Library of Congress

Today, it’s hard to imagine Morningside Heights without the flurry of students hurrying to class at Columbia University. It may be even harder to imagine it without some of its signature architecture: the gothic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest cathedral in the world, Riverside Church, with its former bowling alley, or Grant’s Tomb along the Hudson River. But Morningside Heights got an exciting start in the history of New York City (and America, as it turns out)!


Jim Power, the Mosaic Man, tearing down his beloved mosaics from the lampposts around Astor Place.

Jim Power, the Mosaic Man, tearing down his beloved mosaics from the lampposts around Astor Place with a hammer and a chisel.

We were saddened when the news broke that Jim Power, the famous  “Mosaic Man”  of the East Village has begun tearing his mosaics down.  Today, he explained that he is removing them before the city has a chance to, as Astor Place continues its redesign“This is Mosaic Massacre, 2014,” said Powers.  “They are planning to move them to Queens, or all over the city – who knows where. They called them ‘historic artifacts’. Well, they weren’t made to be artifacts in Queens.”  Yesterday we had a chance to photograph Jim Powers in action as he removed his works from the Mosaic Trail