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In 2015, Empire Diner, the iconic dining establishment in Chelsea, shut down after its second failed attempt at revival. The windows of the restaurant are now covered in paper, but it’s slated to return under new management in November. On Monday, we saw the doors open briefly with some activity inside, and we attended the liquor license hearing yesterday to get more details on the new iteration.

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Chelsea Hotel-NYC New York-Untapped Cities-Lara Elmayan

To say the least, the Chelsea Hotel is not your average New York City hotel. One notable guest, sci-fi author Arthur C. Miller recalled in his memoir that you could get high from solely the marijuana fumes lingering in the elevator of the hotel. For over 100 years, this counter-cultural landmark has served some of the world’s greatest poets, musicians, and artists of all time. Although sold for $80 million in 2011, the hotel remains home to several eccentric New Yorkers, including nightlife darling and event promoter Susanne Bartsch. The hotel is currently undergoing a massive renovation, but it is anticipated that it will reopen its doors to hotel guests in 2017.

Without further ado, here are our favorite secrets of the infamous Chelsea Hotel:

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thomashawkflickrPhoto via Flickr| Thomas Hawk

As in all cities, space is a commodity in New York City. So finding enough room to let your furry friend run free can be challenging. Although these dogs might be city dwellers, as any owner knows, it is still important for their dogs to regularly exercise, socialize, and spend time outdoors. These ten dog parks, located around New York City, are free of cost and will have your pup begging for a w-a-l-k.

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chelsea piers-nyc-untapped citiesImage via MarineMax

Situated on the west side of Manhattan on the Hudson River are four piers stretching from 17th to 23rd streets known as Chelsea Piers. Long before Chelsea Piers became the recreation center it is today, it had an interesting past tied to ships like the infamous RMS Lusitania and the RMS Titanic, and with both World Wars, making that area of Chelsea deeply engrained into the transportation history of New York City for over 100 years. In light of the upcoming anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, here are the top 10 secrets of Chelsea Piers. (more…)

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On the corner of 18th Street and 10th Avenue, diagonally across from a future entrance to the High Line sits five holdout buildings that harken back to an earlier era of the Meatpacking District. Brick buildings and warehouses dotted an area that was patrolled by “West Side Cowboys,” self-appointed safety vigilantes on horseback that prevented citizens from getting injured from street-level trains on 10th Avenue.

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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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