Grand Gallery of the Louvre by Thomas Allom c. 1844
Did you know that the encyclopedists wanted to open up the gardens and galleries of the Louvre Palace to the public long before it was slated to become a museum? The Palais du Louvre was constructed in 1190 by Philippe Auguste as a fortress to protect against Norman invasions. It was home to François Ier during the Renaissance. Henri IV built the Grand Gallery connecting the royal apartments in the Louvre to the Tuileries palace. The Louvre as it appears today was completed under Louis XIV, with additions by Louis XV. But it was only after the French Revolution that the Louvre was finally converted from a royal residence to the museum we know and love today. But over a decade before the Revolution, when Diderot and D’Alembert were compiling the Encyclopedia, their entry for the Louvre not only tells the palace’s history but makes some suggestions for its use that were rather advanced at the time: (more…)
As part of a Municipal Art Society Jane’s Walk with the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, we had a chance to check out the Navy Yard Hospital and the surrounding area. Our tour was led by Milton Puryear, lead planner and co-founder of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Michael Porto, an engineer and board member. This site, visible from the BQE, is one of the largest currently vacant parcels we have been to in Brooklyn. This section of the Navy Yard has been abandoned for decades and not used as a hospital since 1948, when the Navy Hospital was moved to a larger facility in St. Albans, Queens. The main building is made of pristine Tuckahoe Marble, while next door is the Surgeon’s house. Both gorgeous buildings, even in decay.
Commuters on the Long Island Railroad are familiar with this sight near Jamaica Station: a vintage car atop a shipping container with the sign WB2AHK@AOL.COM in front of it. Turns out the WB2AHK refers to an amateur radio station which plays a role in assisting during emergencies. The operator of the station, Chester Brown, owns a car shop and set up a Ham radio station there.
Fans of the television show Arrested Development are intimately familiar with the Bluth family’s original frozen banana stand. For those New Yorkers who have (*gasp*) never seen an episode of Arrested Development, just know, the money is in the banana stand. The traveling banana stand, which turned up at Radio City yesterday, was sponsored by Netflix to promote the upcoming season of Arrested Development, which will be exclusively on Netflix starting May 26th.
Gowanus Batcave Ceiling
Each week, we’ll feature one of our popular lists on Foursquare (or exciting additions to them). Check out our Foursquare page and follow us for tips on the go and download the app.
Our most popular list on Foursquare is our Abandoned NYC list. These are Untapped Cities’ favorite abandoned spots in NYC. Some are break-in-able, some open to the public, some only for the intrepid. Currently with 28 locations (we add to it regularly), it features some great summer escapes like Fort Totten, Dead Horse Bay and Bannerman’s Island. Some places are harder to access, like Glenwood Power Plant and the Gowanus Batcave (both of which have recently been closed off for gutting/renovation, North Brother Island, and some of the abandoned theaters.
A lot has already been written about the six-story giant rubber duck that Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman is bringing around the world, most recently to Hong Kong harbor, but we wanted to share this reader-submitted photo by Aby Sam Varghese in Hong Kong, a less-common nighttime photo. Artist Hofman says the duck is for all, “We’re one family and all the waters in the world is our global bathtub.”
Submit photos to our photo pool by hashtagging #untappedcities in your Instagram or Twitter photos.
Vintage subway trains on the S line this weekend
So much was happening around the Grand Central Parade of Trains yesterday. Families reveled in “Kid Junction” at Vanderbilt Hall, historic railcars were on display on the tracks in Grand Central, 1950s and 60s vintage trains were running along the S train, and Untapped Cities had its “Secrets of Grand Central” tour which concluded with cocktails at The Campbell Apartment.
The Halal Guys, alternately known as 53rd and 6th Halal Cart has had a lot of buzz about the sheer amount of food you get for your money, balanced by its quality. It’s located in a part of midtown associated with children screaming outside of Carnagie Hall and sickly horses carrying people who learned intimacy from movies starring Matt LeBlanc.
Halal is the word in Arabic for that which is permissible in Islam to consume. (more…)
From May 2, through September 8, Orly Genger‘s monumental Red, Yellow and Blue, will be exhibited in Madison Square Park. Intricately hand-knotted nautical ropes covered in paint brighten the landscape of the park. Genger created an interactive work that appears to rise out of the ground and then flow seamlessly back into it. The work consists of 1.4 million feet of rope—the total length equating to nearly 20 times the length of Manhattan—covered in over 3,000 gallons of paint, and weighing over an astounding 100,000 pounds. (more…)