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Urban exploration is a hot topic these days and the new documentary “Urban Escape” that was first screened at Videology in Brooklyn will have its Paris premiere this Saturday. Featuring familiar New York City urban explorer like Steve Duncan, as well as Bob Unsee in Detroit and Scott Haefner in San Francisco, the film by French reporter Mélanie de Groot Van Embden and photographer David de Rueda follows a host of explorers throughout the United States. The documentary presents an examination of the practice of urban exploration–both the constraints and dangers, and the transcendent reasons why people continue to explore abandoned and inaccessible spaces. “We’re attracted to ruins because they remind us of our mortality, make us see that everything we create is finite and our place in the universe is really small,” says one of the explorers in the trailer.

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Echo Vault-Manhattan-Abandoned-Unused Subway Station-NYCEcho Vault. Photo via Gothamist

We know you guys love to read about New York City’s abandoned subway stations, reveling most recently in a Fun Map of these subterranean fascinations. But what about subway stations that were built but never used? An article today about from Second Avenue Sagas about the 7 line extension station at Hudson Yards, awaiting passengers as the rest of the mega development is completed, reminded us of these. Here are 5 never completed or barely used subway stations in New York City:

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1-Lost Subway Maps of New York - Untapped Cities-001

Going back into the archives, WNYC has a great interactive “Lost Subways” map that showcases the abandoned or never-completed subway stations of New York City, as well as never built lines. It’s a great tool to go along with our popular article on 7 of NYC’s abandoned subway stations. Here’s a quick rundown:

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Abandoned Bergen Street Lower Level-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-002

In Brooklyn, an abandoned level below the Bergen Street station is a favorite spot for urban explorers, one of many New York City subway stations that have abandoned platforms. Renovations to the station, which serves the F and G trains, in the early 1990s damaged the lower platform, which had been used from time to time over the course of the station’s existence since 1933. Silver doors on the upper level conceal open staircases that go down to the lower level.

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Abandoned Children's Hospital-Seaview Hospital-Staten Island-NYC-004Photo by @nativenyc

Seaview Hospital was once the largest tuberculosis sanatorium in the country, now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is also a U.S. Historic District and New York City landmark. The historic district, which was developed next to the Staten Island Farm Colony, includes 37 buildings planned and developed between 1905 and 1938. The NYC.gov website for the Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center & Home gives no indication of the surrounding abandonment, but indeed a few organizations have returned to operate from within the grounds, including a rehab center, volunteer firefighting organization and volunteer ambulance service. The photographic team of f/11 recently took a visit inside the crumbling remains of the Children’s Hospital at Seaview, as well as the underground tunnels beneath the main building, and shared with us their photos.

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Home-Dek-IcyandSot-Me-Clint Mario-Klops-Graffiti-Street Art-NYC-Abandoned-BTR-FebruaryHome, Dek, Icy & Sot, Me & Clint Mario & Klops

In our monthly showcase, Untapped Cities Street Art Columnist Christopher Inoa highlights the top five New York City graffiti and street art pieces found on the city’s walls, rooftops and tunnels. To see last month’s list, click here 

A brutally cold February in New York City has delivered record cold temperatures and has frozen much of the Hudson River. This isn’t ideal weather for artists and those of us who explore the city looking both high and low (and we mean really low) for great art. However, fortune favors the bold and those who battle the elements to paint out in the open or secretly somewhere in NYC’s many tunnels and abandoned locations should be praised. Respect also goes to the people who take their time to find and document the work of these artists, journeying to discover art free of censorship or approval from anyone but the artist themselves.

For those who need just a little more encouragement to go out and explore the city, looking for the best art in NYC, we are here to help. Here are the best street art and graffiti pieces for February 2015. (more…)