In the midst of a medley of stores, bodegas, and warehouses in Bushwick lies a little patch of farmland. Surrounded by a liquor store and a smoke shop, Oko Farm has an entrance as nondescript as you can get. The fence does little to justify the haven that lies behind the shack that spans the length of the lot. But look carefully and you may notice the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation sign and a tattered laminated diagram —the only indicator of the aquaponics farm within.


becky howland-1979-123 Delancey-nyc-untapped citiesImage via Places Journal

Since the city began undergoing intense gentrification in the late 1970s, many artists have stepped up and to occupy and sometimes even reclaim places to both preserve the city’s history, but also to highlight the negative implications of gentrification, and showcase their unique artistry. The city is known for its heralded art museums, but to be showcased is a difficult feat in itself.

Take a look at 10 places in New York City that artists and musicians have occupied to showcase their skills, and preserve ideals of community building by fighting gentrification. (more…)

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We know by now that BBQ Films, the immersive cinema group, knows how to throw a party. We know they can throw a rave where dancers get covered in blood, events that include time travel and beach parties that pay tribute to great men of the ’80s (we still miss you B.J). But a wedding? In pure BBQ Films fashion, the ceremony which took place inside the House of Yes, in Bushwick, was not your typical ceremony. The party guests were mostly deceased, the groom has seen The Exorcist 167 times and a teenager levitated off the ground to the sounds of Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line (Shake Señora).” All of that shouldn’t be surprising when it’s someone like Beetlejuice whose wedding you’re attending. And get this: some real weddings took place too.  (more…)

NYC Hidden Bars and Restaurants-The Wooly-Woolworth Building-Michelle Young-Laura Izkowitz-NYC

Releasing on October 7th (but already available for pre-order on Amazon) will be the new guidebook, New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants written by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young and the site’s contributing editor Laura Itzkowitz. As an update to our popular NYC Bars guide on Untapped Cities, below is our guide for 2015 with descriptions excerpted from the upcoming book.

Upon reviewing the 2015 list, you may wonder where some of the classic hidden bars – Please Don’t Tell, Little Branch, The Back Room, Apotheke – just to name a few. As they have been featured in our previous hidden bars list or our underground bars list, we have aimed for a wider range of experiences on this curation.


It’s almost September and we’ve completely refreshed our monthly picks for the best outdoor art installations with all new selections. While many of our selections from summer will still be live, these are new ones to discover during your explorations of New York City.


perfect nothing catalog-NYC-Untapped CitiesThe shack and its owner. Image via swellcityguide.com

Keep this one for the books. Brooklyn resident Frank Traynor is opening an unconventional new business on the Rockaway Peninsula. He calls it The Nothing Mud and Seltzer House, selling, you guessed it, mud baths and seltzer. But to be honest, seeing as his current set-up in the back yard of a gallery in Brooklyn is called The Perfect Nothing Catalog, we’re not exactly surprised.