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spanish portuguese synagogue photos abandoned-NYC-Untapped Cities-james garcia-4

Tucked right in Chelsea overshadowed by tall buildings is the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue Cemetery, a sudden green respite on 21st Street fronted by wrought iron gates (and now a Citi Bike station as well). Its official name is the Third Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue because the cemetery of the religious organization had to move four times since the founding of the religious organization, the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, in 1654.

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maya vs starbucks lawsuit-NYC-Untapped CitiesMaya Hayuk’s ‘Kites #1′ vs Starbucks’ Frappucino Poster. Image via animalnewyork.com

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

 

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Hermione-Lafayette Replica-France-US-NYCPhoto via Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America

July 4th festivities predominate New York City this week, but there’s more under the surface to explore.

Monday June 29th

Ingrid Michaelson, Jukebox the Ghost, and Secret Someones are kicking off the week with some feel-good indie pop at SummerStage on Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield. Tickets are $40 at the door, so if you’re into some free music check out SummerStage’s free concerts all summer.

Monday also marks the second to last showing for The Tribe, an experimental film by Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. Taking place at a high school for the deaf, the entire film is acted in sign language by deaf non-actors. Showing now at the Film Forum.

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KeithHaring-CityKids-StatueOfLiberty-UntappedCities-AFineLyneCreated over a three-day period at the Davits Center by Haring and 1,000 youngsters for the charity CityKids Foundation. The banner measures 90′ x 30′ and is six stories in height. Image via CityKids Foundation

In 1986, Keith Haring got together with the CityKids Foundation as part of the Statue of Liberty’s 100th anniversary celebration to create “Kids Speak on Liberty,” a portrait of the statue that became known as The Liberty Banner. Coinciding with the 25th year of Haring’s passing, the banner, which has traveled the world, has been unveiled for the first time in more than two decades this in New Jersey’s Liberty State Park by CityKids Foundation President and Founder, Laurie Meadoff, the Executive Director of the Keith Haring Foundation, Julia Gruen, and other notables.

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Groundswell-Art Mural-Rose M. Singer Center Rikers Island-The Freedom Within-NYC

The Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers Island is the women’s barracks of Rikers Island, opened in 1988 as a $100 million state-of-the-art correctional facility under Mayor Edward Koch. Despite forward-thinking initiatives like job training programs in horticulture, nursing, sewing and cooking (there is even a restaurant called The Rose Garden that was designed by prison staff), the women’s prison has seen its fair share of problems, most recently a lawsuit alleging a “pervasive culture of rape” by correctional officers.

Yet, in a rare instance of positive news recently, Groundswell, a New York City organization for community public art, in partnership with the NYC Department of Correction and Department of Education, worked with the female inmates to produce a mural inside Rikers Island titled “The Freedom Within.” The mural was dedicated in a ceremony on June 12th.

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rockland psychiatric center photos abandoned-NYC-Untapped Cities-james garcia-14

The semi-abandoned Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, NY, formerly Rockland State Hospital, was one of the many asylums built during a particular time period in American history that sought, at least at first, to approach mental illness with spaciousness and tranquility. Opened in 1931, like most, it fell as treatment evolved from an agrarian philosophy to the use of more controversial methods. In addition, several unique cases of negligence and patient death marred its reputatio. Untapped Cities reader James Garcia, a filmmaker and paranormal investigator, shared his photos of the center’s abandoned complex with us.

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