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Last year, French street artist JR installed a massive public installation on the side of 100 Franklin Street, in Tribeca. The 75-foot tall piece, of a ballerina in midair, taken from his 2014 documentary Les Bosquet, has mostly disappeared. Less than a year after the ballerina went up, JR and his team went back to Tribeca to install a new piece over the old one. The piece “Unframed, Ellis Island” is 95-feet tall and is a blown-up photograph of a group of immigrants on Ellis Island in 1908. In this one-minute time-lapse video, you get to see how JR and his staff install the wheat-pasted work of art, one piece at a time. In 2014, JR placed pieces in abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island. He would later film a documentary titled Ellis, featuring Robert DeNiro, actor and head of the Tribeca Film Festival.

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Tonight, July 21st, Ed Hamilton, author of Legends of the Chelsea Hotel will read from his new small press fiction book, The Chintz Age: Tales of Love and Loss for a New New York at 6:00 pm at the Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village. We have below an excerpt from the book about the famed Freedom Tunnel, the urban exploration hotspot underneath Riverside Park.

While The Chintz Age focuses on artists and their response to gentrification, it’s also a book about nostalgia for old New York, and the longing for a fabled past that is somehow better than the present. In seven stories and a novella, Hamilton takes on the clash of cultures between the old and the new, as his characters are forced to confront their own obsolescence in the face of a rapidly surging capitalist juggernaut. Ranging over the whole panorama of New York neighborhoods—from the East Village to Hell’s Kitchen, and from the Bowery to Washington Heights—Hamilton weaves a web of urban mythology.  Punks, hippies, beatniks, squatters, junkies, derelicts, and anarchists—the entire pantheon of urban demigods—gambol through a grungy subterranean Elysium of dive bars, cheap diners, flophouses, and shooting galleries, searching for meaning and a place to make their stand.

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Dry Dock 6-Brooklyn Navy Yard-NYC

Yesterday, we got a unique chance to see the dry docks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from a unique angle: via the water. Most ferry boats and pleasure cruises rarely turn into the Navy Yard Basin (also known as Wallabout Bay), sticking to the most efficient path on the East River. But we were being taken to see the working waterfront in New York City aboard the historic Fireboat John J. Harvey, as part of the project to rehabilitate the S.S. Columbia, a passenger steamship from Detroit that will be making its way down the Hudson River to New York City next year.

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Tucked away in the northeast section of the Bronx is the lesser-known Pelham Bay Park, a reminder of the borough’s bucolic past. Former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses transformed the woodland area into a functioning park and recreational facility, complete with playgrounds, a golf course and a racetrack, but it has a long history dating back to before the Revolutionary War.

Here are ten secrets of Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.

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Cathedral of St. John the Divine-Manhattan-NYCPhoto via Flickr/Franco Folini

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great-fire-1845-currier-ives-nyc-untapped-citiesA Currier and Ives print of the Great Fire of 1845 burning buildings around Bowling Green Park. Image via Wikiwand

On July 19, 1845 the third massive fire to devastate New York City hit the heart of the modern day Financial District. Although the fire didn’t cover as much ground as the Great Fires of 1776 or 1835, it did come with the greatest loss of life leaving 30 dead. (more…)