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During the 19th and 20th centuries, the City of New York took the initiative to improve inter-borough connectivity by building several bridges. What were huge engineering feats at the time are now landmarks of the city. We’ve collected some vintage photographs showing different aspects of how the bridges were mid-construction.

1. Brooklyn Bridge (East River Bridge)

Brooklyn-bridge-construction-nyc-untappedImage via Wikimedia Commons (c. 1872-1883)

We all know that the Brooklyn Bridge is important. But, did you know that upon completion in 1883, rumors of collapse sparked a stampede  that killed 12 people? New Yorkers love their bridges, especially this one that paved the way for connecting the five boroughs.

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We’ve been noticing a fun trend recently. Plays, as in theater pieces, particularly about urban history and transformation. First there was The Eternal Space about the demolition of the original Penn Station. Now, the ever creative Jeff Stark behind Nonsense NYC and Empire Drive In movie theater, is doing a site-specific work about the Gowanus Canal. And it’s ever so timely because big changes are coming to Gowanus as it transforms from artist hotspot amidst industrial warehouses to superfund site with a newly renovated subway station at Smith-9th Street, a forthcoming “Sponge Park” and lots of development underway.

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We all love our iconic, innovative, and picturesque bridges (insert photos of the Brookly, Manhattan, and Queensboro Bridges here), but New York City is home to far more bridges, each with its own unique story to tell. Below, we round up some of the city’s “other” bridges, who have made the cut either for their obscurity, their interesting history, or their other distinguished features. (more…)

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Farmigo’s new headquarters in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Whether you’re an urban dweller looking for better access to organic produce or an agriculturalist looking for better access to a community, Farmigo is the company that will change how you interact with people and food. The website, launched in California in 2009, allows individuals to order a wide array of seasonal, fresh foods from small community farms. Each order is packaged and shipped within 48 hours of harvest and sent to designated communal pick up locations to be picked up by the customer at a prearranged time. At the helm of each pick up location is a community organizer, considered the backbone of the entire operation, that ensures that all orders are shipped and available to the customers as requested. And Farmigo is getting ever closer to the New York City market, with the opening of its headquarters in Gowanus, Brooklyn last week

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Babycastles-DIY-arcade games-nycImage via Flickr: Christina Xu

Blurring the line between fine arts and entertainment, Babycastles is an independent arcade collective that has succeeded in occupying a wholly unique place in NYC’s already diverse art scene. Taking cues from both the indie game and DIY music communities, the collective has grown from occupying the basement of a small DIY music venue to having its own gallery on 14th street. (more…)

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New York City—as we are reminded every time there is a heavy rain event—uses a combined sewer system. This means sewage and storm-water runoff share a collection pipe and are both treated at a wastewater treatment facility before being discharged to the ocean. During heavy rainfall however, the system cannot cope, and excess storm-water, with household sewage, is rerouted directly into the ocean without treatment, in what is known as a combined sewer overflow, or CSO. During a CSO, beaches are closed, algae blooms, and the city’s waterways exude a distinct—some would say repellent—scent.  (more…)