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Skating in Central Park circa 1890.

Ice skating in New York City is one of those time honored winter traditions. Before the specially designed ice skating rinks like Bryant Park, Central Park and Rockefeller Center were built in the 20th century, skating was done on frozen ponds and lakes. The Lake in Central Park was labeled specifically as a “skating pond” on Olmsted and Vaux’s original Greensward plan.

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Black Panthers film screening Untapped Cities Black History Month AFineLyne-.jpg.1280x720_q85Panthers on parade at Free Huey rally in Defremery Park, Oakland, July 28, 1968. image via theblackpanthers.com

The annual celebration of Black History Month is a time to recognize the achievements of African-Americans throughout the history of our country. It is also a time to remember the struggles for freedom and justice. The roots of this celebration take us back to 1915, when historian, Carter G. Woodson and minister, Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), known today as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). In 1926, this organization sponsored a national Negro History Week during the second week of February, to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976.

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2-NYC's Great Rocking Chair Riots of 1901 in Madison Square Park_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierA bench in Central Park (now free of charge as well). Image via Flickr user Phil Roeder

From historic labor union protests to ones about vital economic and political issues like human rights, climate change and the wealth gap, New York City has seen many serious protests that have incited large-scale change. Protesters have gathered in famous rallying sites like Union Square and Times Square to passionately fight for their liberties and beliefs and foster permanent change. But there has been at least one striking exception to these serious, life-changing rallies: a 1901 protest in Madison Square Park over rocking chairs.

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New Year’s Eve can be a stressful event to navigate in New York. There’s so much going on, often at outrageous prices, that it’s difficult to pick the best option – causing many New Yorkers to just call it a night and stay home. Here’s a list of alternative New York events to get you excited for 2016:

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Brooilyn Museum Coney Island Untapped Cities AFineLyneThe Hug: Closed Eyes and Smith, 1982. Photo via brooklynmuseum.org

Our December curation of installations and urban exhibits is filled with cool and quirky, beautiful, delicious and heart-warming installations all around New York City. From the world’s most expensive dollhouse to an exhibition about affordable housing, a new historical exhibit about Coney Island, and a photography exhibit about Frank Sinatra, here are 15 installations and events not to miss:

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3-Top 10 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Mishaps_Kermit the Frog_1991_tear_balloon_Untapped Cities_NYC_Stephanie GeierA deflated Kermit the Frog at the 1991 Thanksgiving Day Parade. Image via deseretnews.com

With less than a week before Thanksgiving, many are eagerly anticipating what kinds of diverse floats and balloons the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature. While these larger-than-life balloons of our favorite characters have been a Thanksgiving tradition for 89 years, there have been quite a few shocking, incidents that occurred at past parades. While we’re not expecting anything to happen this week, it was a fun project to research vintage photographs and learn about various safety measures that resulted from the accidents.

From plane crashes to deflations, read about these crazy mishaps (and hope that none happen this year).

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