If you were to stroll down 4th Avenue between Union Square and Astor Place back when the area was called “Book Row,” the sights and sounds would differ greatly from those of today. While these six blocks are now lined with a variety of restaurants and stores, from the 1890s to 1960s, they were dominated by just one kind of business: secondhand bookstores.

In fact, 48 bookstores once spanned this segment of Fourth Avenue, earning it the title “Book Row.” However, these bookstores either relocated or closed entirely by the 1960s. The only vestige of Book Row is the renowned Strand Bookstore on Broadway and East 12th Street, and its survival is quite a story in itself.


SlideTheCitySummerStreets Untapped Cities AFineLyneSlide the City will arrive to Summer Streets this month. Photo via Slide City website

This Summer we’ve had a plethora of exciting art installations in all five boroughs. Playful, colorful, interactive, life-like, thoughtful and thought-provoking. We’ve been treated to art in public spaces and parks that have never had art before. Here’s what’s new in August, along with other installations in the city that are still up this month:


Hanna Liden Christopher St Hudson River Untapped Cities‘Everything’ by Hanna Liden at the Ruth Wittenberg Plaza, one of two locations 

Swedish artist Hanna Liden is a fan of bagels. Couldn’t you tell from the three giant stacks of the city’s favorite breakfast food she installed this week in Greenwich Village? ‘Everything’ consists of one such centerpiece at the Ruth Wittenberg Plaza and two others at the Hudson River Park, and is presented by Art Production Fund and Kiehl’s.


neighborhoodxconstantine-NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via medium.com

Neighborhood names evoke a specific sense of place.

The best names connect places to their geography and history, and emphasize the qualities that make a place unique. This is especially important now, when bland, placeless design is making many cities feel homogenous.

In most cities, neighborhood boundaries are generally not well-defined, and neighborhood names change over the years as people try to change the associations around places. Just looking at New York City: native place names gave way to Dutch names, which in turn became English names. And historic names gave way to names created and promoted by real estate developers and urban planners.

There are three reasons why neighborhood names change. To distance themselves from a troubled past, to be associated with a more desirable area, or to establish a grandiose vision for an area.


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Last Saturday, the 2015 Chelsea Music Festival, now in its sixth season, concluded eight days of events Chelsea‘s German Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Paul with a jazz trio performance by one of the Festival’s renowned musicians. The event, called the “Jazz FINNale,” included a small reception with a tasting menu curated by Finnish chef Sami Talberg, was the last in a series of performances, tastings, art exhibitions, and discussions centered around the Chelsea Music Festival’s theme of Finnish and Hungarian culture.


Club culture the last party whitebox chiantown gallery-NYC-Untapepd Cities- jinwoo chong-9

Last night, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Greenwich Village’s Christopher Street hosted one of the last events for the 2015 Chelsea Music Festival, a celebration of Finnish and Hungarian art, culture, music, and food, now in its 6th season. The event, titled ‘Sibelius and Ida’ was a musical retelling of the relationship between famed Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and one of the classical singers he composed a number of pieces for, Ida Eckman.