01/28/14 2:30pm

BatceilingGowanus Batcave 

Want the Untapped Cities lists on the go? Check out our Foursquare page and follow us for tips and download the app.

Our most popular list on Foursquare is our Abandoned NYC list. These are Untapped Cities’ favorite abandoned spots in NYC and the surrounding area. Some are break-in-able, some open to the public, some only for the intrepid. It features some great summer escapes like Fort Totten, Dead Horse Bay and Bannerman’s Island, as well as some great winter expeditions. Some places are harder to access, like Glenwood Power Plant and the Gowanus Batcave (both of which have recently been closed off for gutting/renovation, North Brother Island, and some of the abandoned theaters.

(more…)

01/21/14 9:00am

Have you ever noticed the nautical maps on every window of the Smith-9th Street subway? In fact, the station which re-opened in April 2013 after a long renovation, has two pieces of nautically influenced art by Alyson Shotz. The nautical charts are from the surrounding neighborhoods of Gowanus and Red Hook and date from 1773 to 1992. A larger scale piece is located at the foot of the escalators. Called Compass Bearings, is a blue mosaic that “riffs on an adapted 1779 nautical map of NY Harbor as seen from the Brooklyn shoreline,” according to MTA Arts for Transit.

(more…)

01/10/14 10:00am


Vito Acconci / Acconci Studio, Wall-Slide, 2002 at Yankee Stadium

In 2012, we ventured through the entire subway system in New York City, looking for the best subway art. Here are our top 10 favorites, gathered into one article! For more, check out the separate pieces on the 7 line, J/Z, G/L, B/D/F/M, A/C/E, N/Q/R, 4/5/6, and the 1/2/3.

1. Abandoned Myrtle Avenue

(more…)

01/09/14 10:00am

In 2012, Untapped contributor Will Ellis (of Abandoned NYC) took us inside the Gowanus Batcave, an abandoned MTA powerhouse turned homeless squat. At the time, the fate of the Batcave was up in the air as development plans in the Gowanus neighborhood marched ever forward. Later that year, philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz bought the building with the intention of turning it into arts and educational center. Yesterday, Curbed NY released plans dreamt up by architecture students at Syracuse University, who spent the semester working on the building in studio. Here are some examples:

(more…)

12/04/13 2:00pm

Our favorite quirky library dedicated to the arcane, the bizarre and the morbid is outgrowing its space in Gowanus and hoping to expand. The Morbid Anatomy Library may be known for its collection of antique medical models and pickled baby animals in jars, but it has the potential to be much more.

The library’s organizers want to expand it into a full-fledged museum, complete with a café, gift shop, rotating exhibition space and residencies for artists and scholars from all over the world who will come here to study obscure topics. The library’s blog explains, “The Morbid Anatomy Museum will be full-fledged non-profit institutions dedicated to the arcane, the uncanny, and that which falls between the cracks of discussion and display. It will take as its inspiration 19th century anatomical museums, eccentric private collections, dime museums and the studies of gentleman collectors.”  (more…)

12/04/13 9:00am

Retrofret-Organ Workshop-Guitars-Mandolins-String Instruments-Gowanus-Brooklyn-NYC-5

Recently, we took you inside the music shop Retrofret in Gowanus which specializes in rare and bizarre instruments. What we didn’t share with you yet is that one floor below, connected to Retrofret is an organ workshop! The shop not only repairs organs for such venerable churches as Trinity Wall Street and St. Thomas on 5th Avenue and 53rd Street, but used to build them from scratch too.

(more…)