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Last night, the latest Blueprint video from NYCmedia about the transformation of The High Line premiered. Before the full episode is available for streaming, here’s a reminder of where we’ve come since the High Line was constructed in 1934.

The High Line attracts nearly 6,000,000 visitors a year. Though thoroughly modern at every step, The High Line Park owes its success –and its very existence–to the past.  In fact, the elevated train tracks that make up the current day park were originally constructed not only to deliver food to Manhattan, but also to save lives. 

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Rori Highline hr_by Jacqui Polonko

The brightest object that most Manhattanites ever see in the night sky is the beacon on the Empire State Building, but it’s also possible to marvel at the wonders of the universe for free with a stargazing club – right in the center of the city.

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Faith Ringgold's commissioned piece, 'Groovin High', for the High Line

Faith Ringgold describes herself as a painter, writer, speaker, mixed media sculptor and performance artist.  But she is probably best known for her story quilts and illustrated children’s books.  Raised in Harlem, her artistic focus and inspiration was on the fabric of her community, racial conflicts, the female view of the civil rights movement, inequality for women, and in particular, focusing on African-American women in their efforts to have their work recognized and admitted into galleries and museums.  (more…)

New Yorkers are constantly moving, focused on getting from Point A to Point B. We are so accustomed to walking that we neglect the many opportunities Manhattan presents us for sitting. This weekend, set aside some time to slow down and take a seat. Here are some unique city benches for relaxing, reading, or simply enjoying the view. You can also check out a map of our bench route here!

1. Grant’s Tomb

Grants Tomb-Bench-Mosaic-Chessboard-Manhattan-NYCImage via Flickr user Andrea

Grant’s Tomb in Morningside Heights is a presidential memorial overlooking the Hudson River. The monument is flanked by 17 colorful mosaic benches that compose a public art project called “The Rolling Bench.” Designed by artist Pedro Silva and architect Phillip Danzig, this disjointed sculpture was created by hundreds of children over a three-year period. Originally assembled in 1972, the benches pose a shocking contrast to the neoclassical tomb. They are reminiscent of Gaudí’s mosaic benches in Barcelona’s Park Güell.  (more…)

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.

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Carol Bove Snow-High Line-NYC-Untapped Cities

Last year, the High Line offered walks on the third, final section of the elevated railway at Hudson Yards in conjunction with Carol Bove’s Caterpillar exhibit, a series of site specific works. They’re bringing the walks back as “Winter Walks.” It’ll be a little cold, but look how pretty it looks with some snow! Registration is currently open for dates through February. One Untapped tip to check out when you visit–there are dates on the tracks that say when it was installed, going back to 1913.

More photos of Carol Bove’s exhibit here and here. Read about the plans for Hudson YardsGet in touch with the author @untappedmich.