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There is something magical about finding a place in Central Park where you can look all around you and not see any buildings poking above the treetops. It’s as if you’ve found a portal in the middle of the country’s biggest city. Such spots are surprisingly rare because of how narrow Central Park is and the height of its surrounding buildings, but they can definitely be found. We’ve listed seven of our favorites below. If you know of any others, feel free to add them to the interactive map above or leave a comment on the post!

1. The Loch

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Just below the Pool is a charming little manmade waterfall that flows into the Loch, which winds its way northward through a ravine. The Lochs course presents multiple opportunities for building-less spots because of its low elevation and overhead vegetation. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the scenery; you can make out a man painting the landscape on the far right of the above panorama.

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demographics-new-york-JIA-untappedcities-nick-realeA demographic breakdown of NYC reveals that which you probably already knew: few people live in parks.
Image Source: Wikipedia (Public Domain)

If you’ve ever wondered who, if anyone, lives in NYC’s larger parks, allow the Department of City Planning’s official population record of Joint Interest Areas (JIAs) to put your questions to rest. As defined by the Department of City Planning, JIAs are, “public parks, waterways, major government installations, and similar land uses which are not located within bounding community districts,” though they take up large enough plots of land to be independent of the city’s 59 communities. There are currently 12 such areas with population records, including surprising places like Central Park, LaGuardia Airport and JFK Airport, and the Queens Gateway National Recreation Area.

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The bear figures in so much of mythology, folklore and fairytales that it’s not surprising there are many monuments to the noble animal in New York City. Here’s a roundup of bears both past and present, ranging from fun to conceptual, that have graced the public realm of the city.

1. “Bearlike Construction” in Tribeca Park

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Eldorado Apartments-Central Park West-Emery Roth-NYC-004Eldorado Apartment, Central Park West. Photo by Untapped contributor Luke Kingma on Instagram

There was a time, not too long ago, when the ubiquity of the smartphone and Instagram wasn’t part of our daily lives. The urge to document every moment and broadcast it to the world allowed urban explorers to truly take in the spectacle of a moment, lock it in memory, and move on. No need for likes, hashtagging, and retweets.

That moment came for me one summer evening when a group of us were invited to a birthday party of someone who lived in the top two floors of the iconic Eldorado apartment on Central Park West, next to the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.  It was probably 2008, we were young, and pretty reckless. We were all in an indie rock band in Brooklyn at the time. Cliche, yes, but with plenty of opportunities to get in trouble.

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Here is your weekly events guide for the week.

Monday, June 30

Just because NYC Pride is coming to an end, doesn’t mean that the party has to! Come out to the NYC Pride Ultimate Mega Grand Finale event at Club Element. Powered by Lovergirlnyc, Dreamgyrls Ent and many more, enjoy three levels of nonstop music by DJ Mary Mac, DJ Missy B, DJ Poison Ivy, DJ Kidd Swag. Doors open at 8 p.m. so don’t be late for the party. Additional information about the event, venue, and ticket purchases are available here.

Head down to the West Village for the last night of the 4th annual Blue Note Jazz Fest to hear Argentinean jazz tenor saxophonist and composer, Gato Barbier. Not only will he be having one show but another to follow; the first is at 8:00 p.m. and the second at 10:30 p.m.  Click here for more information about Gato Barbier and how to purchase tickets for this event that is bound to bring music to your ears. (more…)

The Arsenal building in Central Park, New York City Vintage NYC Photography Untapped Cities Sabrina RomanoArsenal Building, 1914. Image via The Library of Congress

The Central Park Arsenal, at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue, is one of the two buildings (the other being the Blockhouse) left in the park that predate the park’s formation. Although its medieval architecture doesn’t quite match the park’s aesthetic, the 167-year-old Arsenal has survived multiple demolition attempts by providing a diverse array of functions, from its original usage as a state munitions facility, to the site of the Museum of Natural History, to its current role as home to the Department of Parks and Recreation and headquarters of the Central Park Zoo.

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