06/11/14 2:00pm

It’s summertime which means it’s time to make maximum use of your bike or your Citibike membership. Here, we’ve put together four bike routes for cyclists who are looking to discover some history along with their ride. Included in this article are a leisurely ride from Prospect Park to Brighton Beach, jumping across the East River between Williamsburg, Roosevelt Island and Manhattan, a jam-packed historical route through downtown Manhattan, and a cultural jaunt through Upper Manhattan.

1. The Leisure Lover

Grand Army Plaza-Arch-Prospect Park-Brooklyn-Untapped Cities

Where to: Northern Prospect Park along the Ocean Parkway to Brighton Beach


10/18/12 11:20am

FDR Four Freedoms Park, bust of FDR

We’ve been honored to go behind-the-scenes at FDR Four Freedoms Park while it was under construction for the last two years, from the time it was just a few pylons in the water  to when “The Room” was completed. Yesterday, we were proud to witness the unveiling ceremony on the tip of Roosevelt Island. With speeches by President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Tom Brokaw and Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, distinguished guests like Henry Kissinger, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the Frank Delanor Roosevelt’s family, and performances by the West Point Band and Staten Island PS22 Chorus, it seemed that nothing could mar the beautiful fall day.  (more…)

08/24/12 10:51am

On a quintessential New York evening on the East River, timed with the landing of President Obama’s helicopters at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, I joined openhousenewyork on their Other Islands Boat Tour. Led by Stuart Miller and Sharon Seitz, authors of the book The Other Islands of New York, the event aboard the packed yacht, the Zephyr, was a cocktail party blended with fun New York facts told by the dynamic hosts.

According to Miller, the islands reflect the story of the city as its priorities have shifted over time. Some were originally purposed as military protection from the British during the War of 1812, named later for the families that owned them, and transformed over time into places of leisure, of isolation, of residence, and often of heterotopia.  (more…)

07/02/12 12:05pm

We thought it was time to check back on the progress of FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. On one of the hottest days so far this year, we managed to catch the breeze that will be a staple of the new park which will finally open in October 2012. A large portion of the park is complete, including the tree-lined promenade. The Room has recently been carved with Roosevelt’s Four Freedom’s speech and only awaits the bust of Roosevelt.


08/09/11 10:55pm

Last week Untapped was given an exclusive tour of the FDR Four Freedoms Park, including the famous “Room” at the tip of Roosevelt Island. Back in March, we took a tour just after the granite blocks were delivered and there has been quite a bit of earth moving since then. We also got to get up close and personal with the ruins of the smallpox hospital this time.  (more…)

03/17/11 3:36pm

After more than forty years, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of Roosevelt  Island will finally come to fruition, almost exactly as architect Louis I. Kahn envisioned it. Over the years, economic crises and political sensibilities have halted progress on the park, which first got underway in 1973. Untapped took a tour of the Four Freedoms Park construction site with the executive director of the project, Gina Pollara. Ms. Pollara is more than a director–she is the heart of the initiative. Her dual passion for the design by Kahn and for the democratic ideals promulgated in FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech has turned the park into a reality. Trained as an architect at Cooper Union and the editor of Water-Works: The Architecture and Engineering of the New York City Water Supply, Ms. Pollara switches with ease between conveying the history of Roosevelt Island and discussing the intricacies of quarry rock.