Living in a city with so many galleries, it’s impossible to see them all. But when we heard of an abstract art exhibit that included works by Norman Lewis, Sam Gilliam, Barbara Bullock, Geraldine McCullough and Charles Alston–all at the same time–we couldn’t resist and headed north to one of the oldest galleries specializing in African-American Art in the historic Sugar Hill section of Harlem.
Harlem’s Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot has come a long way since 1890, when it was a two-story trolley barn. Modified as a bus depot in 1939, renovated in 1990 and was named in honor of Mother Clara Hale in 1993. Even with the 1990 renovation, the facility wasn’t accommodating the needs of the MTA or the community, with buses forced to idle on Lenox Avenue for lack of room, and so many buses on 147th Street that often the cars couldn’t get by. The building was demolished in its entirety to make way for a more modern facility.
The $262 million project was a joint effort of the MTA and surrounding community, addressing not only the needs of the MTA but also the concerns of the people who live in the area. MTA Arts & Design joined in the effort, choosing artist Shinque Smith to do a large-scale mosaic piece titled “Mother Hale’s Garden” for the facade facing Lenox Avenue. There was a concentrated effort to employ locals, from the guard service to engineering and cleanup.
Image via Library of Congress
After noticing how many “fake” mews there are around New York, we decided to look into actual mews that have been preserved from the 19th century. Before the automobile, when the only way to get around was on a horse or being draw by one in a carriage, horses inhabited the city and actually played a huge role in its functioning. These valuable horses needed stables where they could rest and be cared for, so owners bought land and built rows of stables and carriage houses–also known as mews.
When the automobile took over and the mews were no longer needed many of these rows were destroyed, but thankfully some were converted for residential or commercial purposes. Converted mews and carriage houses that have been carefully preserved give us a glimpse into the past; a New York lost to the modern age. Here we share 9 of NYC’s remaining mews.
New York City’s tourism agency is hoping that these vintage-inspired, stylized new posters will encourage New Yorkers to go explore their own city. Here at Untapped Cities, we certainly support that message. After all, our long-standing tagline has been “Rediscover your city.” As The New York Times describes, the “See Your City” campaign from NYC & Company “spotlight sections of all five boroughs that might appeal to adventurous local residents.”
This year’s Open House New York is coming up the weekend of October 11th and 12th–and we’re not the only ones getting excited for this year’s events at some of our favorite New York City locations. Every year, the country’s largest architecture and design event puts on an impressive number of great events to educate the public about architecture and design culture in NYC. Our favorite OHNY events are the tours of locations that are usually closed to the public and although not all have been announced quite yet, we’ve highlighted 16 locations so far that you should check out:
We know that some of our favorite locations are being reopened for OHNY tours this year. These include:
The food desert that characterized the Upper West Side restaurant scene for much of its history has been replanted over the last few years with with an amazing array of options. These days you can find most any cuisine and at almost any price level. One result is that restaurants are often packed—on a beautiful evening it’s possible to walk the length of Amsterdam Avenue, for example, coming back up Broadway or Columbus Avenue while spotting nary a single empty table.
We lay out a few of our favorites here, even as we mourn the many that have closed since the last time we did this, with our guide to Eating Well on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: 10 Moderately Priced Restaurants. But know that there are many more. If you get turned away from one, just head next door. We start at the northern fringe at Manhattanville, head through Morningside Heights and down to Columbus Circle, taking an expansive definition of the Upper West Side.