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williamsburg bridge-nyc-untapped citiesImage via Wikimedia Commons

The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City over the East River, connecting Brooklyn’s Williamsburg area to the Lower East Side in Manhattan at Delancey Street, and was the second one built across the East River. Built in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time at over 1000 feet long (a title previously held by the Brooklyn Bridge). Today it is one of the busiest carrying vehicles between the city’s two boroughs. Previously, we brought you 10 fun facts about the creation of the bridge, but there’s plenty of interesting history surrounding the structure upon its completion. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 secrets of the Williamsburg Bridge. (more…)

sunswick creek-Queens-NYC-narrative.lySunswick Creek in Queens. Image by Steve Duncan via Narrative.ly

About a week ago, New York City celebrated the anniversary of a day long thought to be just an urban legend: an alligator in the sewer system. On February 10th, 1935, the New York Times reported that a live alligator had been pulled out of a manhole on East 123rd street by the Harlem River turning myth into reality (although sightings are still officially legend).

To celebrate the odd holiday and New York City’s sewer systems, Hunter College in Manhattan recently hosted a lecture sponsored by NYC H2O centered around Tibbetts Brook in the Bronx. One of these presentations was given by urban explorer Steve Duncan, known for his adventures and photographs of sewers around the world. Duncan, in an interview with the New York Times, reveals that the Tibbetts Brook sewer is “one of the most beautiful sewers [he’s] seen anywhere.” And of anyone, Duncan would be the expert on sewers – traversing the world to photograph them.

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Perpetual complaints about New York City’s transportation system are a significant part of New Yorkers’ love-hate relationship with the city. With Mayor de Blasio’s endorsement of the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar plan yesterday, here are five more transportation system plans that may become part of New Yorkers’ daily commute in the near future, and hopefully not part of their daily rant. (more…)

Bhushan Mondkar_Red Light House

12 hours, 32 miles, 1,235 people and an unforgettable experience of hiking the entire perimeter of Manhattan. It’s called The Great Saunter–an annual urban walk that meanders through some twenty waterfront parks and promenades, several historic communities and innumerable moments of surprise and wonder. 2015 marks the thirtieth year of this extreme city walking adventure and Untapped Cities jumped right in, to explore the shores of Manhattan with several other enthusiasts amidst the blossom of Spring earlier this month.

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Hudson River Estuary-Ice Flow-Tides-New York Harbor-NYC-003

This winter, with New York City’s Hudson and East Rivers particularly frozen (and sometimes trapping the ferries), New Yorkers are getting a first-hand glimpse at, well, nature. In-the-know New Yorkers like to point out that the East River is not actually a river, but is an estuary, meaning that waters come in from multiple sources, including salt water from the sea. On February 17th, the East River Ferry published an explanation, sharing how the tidal patterns cause unpredictable ice flows writing, “the tide changes multiple times per day, enabling ice to enter from different major bodies of water, making it nearly impossible to predict what it’s going to do, or where it’s going to be.” But what about the Hudson River?

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Photograph of the metal lined section of the tunnel.

Photograph of the metal lined section of the tunnel.

When was the last time you traveled through a tunnel into Manhattan? Perhaps it was during your subway ride to work, on a train from Penn Station, or even in a taxi coming back from a night out on the town. We take tunnels for granted these days, but prior to the 20th century, only one tunnel existed; a small tube built in 1892 by the East River Gas Company to supply gas to Manhattan, which is still in use today.

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