04/10/14 9:00am

queens10Photo via Highway Host

Who would have guessed that the largest roadside restaurant in the United States was once right here in New York City? According to Highway Host, Howard Johnson’s Rego Park, Queens location was the largest Roadside restaurant in the U.S. when it was built in 1939. And believe it or not, it was quite luxurious!  (more…)

02/24/14 10:00am

grand central station-architecture-eagles-manhattan-new york city-nyc-untapped cities-brennan ortizThe earlier Grand Central Station. Photo via Roth’s Eye.

From its grandiose Main Concourse with the mesmerizing astronomical ceiling, to the Beaux-Arts details of its granite exterior, Grand Central Terminal captivates as the largest commuter railroad terminal in the world. However renowned, today’s Grand Central Terminal replaced two prior versions: the Grand Central Station of 1898, and the earlier Grand Central Depot. Though smaller and less emblematic, the Grand Central Station held charming architectonic ornaments of its own, such as the cast-iron eagles that once perched on the corners of its four clock towers.  (more…)

02/18/14 2:00pm

Snow Plow NYC by Rznagle Untapped CitiesPhoto submitted to the Untapped Cities photo pool by author Robin Nagle, aka Instagram user @rznagle

Mayor de Blasio still has some trouble coordinating the snow removal effort, but he is certainly not alone. Snow removal has been a challenge for centuries, from the 1700s, when it didn’t happen at all, to the 1800s when it was subject to corrupt politicians, and the early 1900s, when the first motorized snow plows were unveiled. Read on for a history of the challenges of snow removal in New York through the centuries.  (more…)

02/14/14 1:00pm

Style: "1846111"Source: NYPL

In 1832, New York’s first railroad line opened,  The New York and Harlem Railroad, utilizing not steam but horse drawn carriages. By 1845, the railroad opened up a depot at the northeast corner of Madison Square Park. In 1871, Cornelius Vanderbilt created a new station on 42nd Street and leased the old one to P. T. Barnum.

Barnum’s “Great Roman Hippodrome,” or “Barnum’s Monster Classical and Geological Hippodrome” was very successful as a seasonal venue. In 1879, William Kissam Vanderbilt, Cornelius’ grandson, renamed the venue Madison Square Garden. The venue was used as a velodrome, for multi-day races, and even for a Roman Carnival.  (more…)

02/13/14 11:00am

The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue is not only one of the oldest buildings in Morningside Heights, but also one of the most fascinating. The historic cathedral has many secrets, from a gold triptych by Keith Haring to a very unusual sculpture featuring the Archangel Michael, the decapitated head of Satan, and nine giraffes. Here are ten secrets of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

1. Keith Haring Triptych 

Keith Haring Triptych-St John the Divine-Morningside-Manhattan-NYC-Paris

“The Life of Christ” was Keith Haring‘s last work before his death. There are at nine versions of this triptych, cast in bronze and covered in white gold, one of which is located in St. John the Divine’s The National AIDS Memorial. (Another version can be seen in Paris at Saint Eustache, which we covered in our NYC vs Paris series).  (more…)

02/11/14 1:00pm

© Hannah Duke - Flinders street station - Melbourne - Untapped Cities

Imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower, London without Big Ben, New York without the Empire State, the Statue of Liberty or Brooklyn Bridge. While Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station isn’t as well-recognized as these famed landmarks and tourist attractions, it’s an icon firmly planted in the eyes of Australians.  (more…)