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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…)

SHoP_475 West 18th_Exterior Corner_SHoP Architects PC-Chelseas-High Line-Rendering-NYC-2

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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It’s no surprise that creative artists and writers have flocked to the cultural hub that is New York City over the years. From Jack Kerouac to Emma Lazarus, we’ve tracked down where renowned writers created their greatest works and developed their ideas. You can even go and check out a few of these locations yourself and stand in the footsteps of some of America’s literary stars, then grab a drink where the Beat generation imbibed.

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High Line-Chelsea-NYC-PhotoThe NYC High Line. Photo via NYC Parks

Since 2009, people have hailed the High Line as the savior of declining west Chelsea, a neighborhood that is now a burgeoning food and art gallery hub of New York City. Lying fallow for years as an abandoned infrastructural element above Chelsea’s streets and storefronts after being used by freight trains for twenty years, it became an overgrown meadow, an unusual sight in the city, and many talked of demolishing it for good.

Thankfully, efforts by the community and various organizations like the nonprofit Friends of the High Line campaigned for its renovation in the late 1990s. After years of planning and construction, the elevated railroad became an elevated park, attracted millions to its picturesque views, and revitalized the entire neighborhood’s economy and real estate. The High Line is an old-fashioned American success, and though its current form is one of the newest attractions in the city, it still has its fair share of secrets.

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Lady Mendle Irving Place Untapped Cities AFineLyneLocated at 56 Irving Place, Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon with a view toward the waiting area

Afternoon tea emerged sometime between the 1830’s and 1840’s. So says the book “A Social History of Tea” by Jane Pettigrew, the well–known tea historian. Since lunch was light, and dinner no earlier than 7:30 pm, it was that pleasant bit of sustenance in mid–day. Called “Low Tea” because of the low chairs and tables, the offerings have not changed much over time, consisting of crustless finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, and other nibbles, in addition to a full complement of teas. It was very much a part of the fabric of the time, and has lasted, in various forms and in many Countries, through today.

Generally beginning sometime after 3 pm, Afternoon Tea in New York City runs the gamut, from the formal to the funky. Some with a bit of an ethnic twist and some designed specifically for kids. Some require sophisticated casual attire and others are just plain casual. Held in hotels and restaurants, they conjure up images of days gone by. But in fact, it is a wonderful break in our modern-day life, when friends can meet without the time and commitment of dinner, or without the noise you might find having a drink in a bar. It is a time and place where the frenetic urban air is left at the door. We’ve picked out twenty–five places, in no particular order, for you to have your Afternoon Tea, and hope you will add to our list with your favorites.

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