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We are saddened to announce the recent passing of Untapped Cities illustrator, cartoonist and beloved friend David Cessac. He was 39 years old. David, who lived in Paris, always made us laugh with the witty illustrations and commentary he created for his Untapped Cities column, A Few Parisians. In his first interview with Untapped, David said, “What I like about this series is that it’s a new way to reinvent, or reappropriate, the city of Paris. It was the first idea I had.”  (more…)

Piscine-Molitor-2014-via-Marhabameg-Twitter-Untapped-CitiesPiscine Molitor reopened, photo via Instagram user marhabameg

Readers may remember the Piscine Molitor as the abandoned public swimming pool in Paris, France which gave its name to the main character in the novel and later movie Life of Pi. Largely abandoned since its closing in 1989, the Piscine Molitor has been declared a National Heritage Site by the French government, though since that declaration the pool has seen more use as a skateboard and bike park than an actual swimming pool. In fact, in recent years it has been far more famous as a graffiti and street art destination rather than a historic landmark.

In 2007, the Mayor of Paris chose the architectural group Colony Capital-Accor-Bouygues to renovate the iconic site. Originally slated to reopen in 2012, the project was delayed until 2014 and finally on Monday, May 19th, Piscine Molitor has opened its doors once again.

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Les Espaces d’Abraxas, a housing project in the Paris suburbs 

Lately, everyone in the Paris area is talking about “Le Grand Paris” again. The Grand Paris project is essentially a large urban development initiative meant to better integrate and govern Paris and its surrounding suburbs. Then-President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed the project in 2007 with the end goal of creating a more attractive, competitive and equal capital region for France. The Grand Paris has been making headlines again following a law passed in January that creates a political institution that will govern Paris and its surrounding cities. Now that the Grand Paris has a government structure written into law, it seems like the once nebulous idea is finally becoming a reality.  (more…)

2013 Diner en Blanc Paris Eiffel Tower-Tracadero-Cour Caree du Louvre-007

It may come as a surprise that at the most recognizable monument in Paris, there are Untapped things to do. But the Eiffel Tower is actually full of amazing little finds if you look closely enough.

1. There’s An Industrial Chimney with a Medieval Turret

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Joe Evans-Metographie-Untapped Cities-Paris-France-Art-Nouvelor Ganon-Bastille-Paris MetorMetrographie Event Poster (Image via Nouvelor Ganon)

The Paris Métro system is one of the most celebrated transit systems in the world, serving not only as a transit service, but as a symbol on par with the city’s landmarks. Opening in 1900, the system is noted for its beautiful Art Nouveau design and for being the busiest transit service in Europe. Currently The Métro is under massive construction to further extend lines throughout the city.

Joe Evans, a graphic artist from Glasgow, Scotland who lives in Paris, has noticed that the signs accompanying the stations have not been changed in almost twenty years. He has been re-imagining the Paris Métro station signs with a new illustration daily since last fall.

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Autolib Paris-Street-Ground Sign-Electric Car Sharing

While New York City pushes to expand Citi Bike, Paris remains one of the pioneers of the bike sharing movement and even has an electric car sharing program, the Autolib. As proof of the city’s commitment to the car share, they’ve created an adorable icon that goes on the road where the Autolib parking spots are located. The icon is the shape of the Autolib car, with an electric plug on the end.

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