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washington heights-NYC-Untapped CitiesViews of the Hudson River from Washington Heights. Image via airbnb

A strange mix of Patriot and Tory still exists in Washington Heights, where American troops fell to British forces in 1776.  The Battle of Fort Washington took place in the area on November 16, 1776, where the cliffs at the northern end of the island offer sweeping views of the Hudson River.  This commanding position made the spot a key military point during the American Revolution.

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captain-kidd-in-new-york-harbor-jean-leon-gerome-ferris-001Captain Kidd, one of Williamsburg’s first regular visitors, entertaining guests. Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, courtesy of Wikimedia.

Editor note: Untapped Cities columnist Janos Marton, New York City lawyer, activist and founder of the website janos.nyc has been working on a full history of Williamsburg. While this project will be in progress for some time, a few months of research has already yielded fun facts about the popular Brooklyn neighborhood, which he will share with us today. In a fun anecdote, he says:

I got to drop one at a biker bar on Saturday night. A group of bikers were mocking the real estate industry’s generation of new neighborhoods, like “East Williamsburg”, and the latest, “Bushwood.” Somehow “Bushwick” got mockingly thrown into the mix, and I felt obliged to point out that Bushwick was actually named by Peter Stuyvesant in 1660, so unless one wants to argue (and one could) that “Bushwick” was a very old school real estate marketing gimmick, at least that neighborhood can stand on its name.

Without further ado, ten interesting facts about Williamsburg, before it was cool–before it was even Williamsburg.

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Rockefeller University's Beaux Arts campus welcomed Dan Kiley's modernist vision.

Rockefeller University’s Beaux Arts campus welcomed Dan Kiley’s modernist vision.

Dan Kiley is the most eminent landscape architect you’ve never heard of—a “seminal landscape architect,” said the New York Times in its 2004 obituary, “who combined modernist functionalism with classical design principles in more than 1,000 projects.”

Or, as the Los-Angeles based architect Harry Wolf once commented, “There are plenty of good landscape architects. But there’s only one Dan Kiley, as there was only one Le Nôtre.”

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Raging Bull-Untapped Cities-NYC-Boxing.png (763×467) - Google Chrome 572015 92904 PMRaging Bull (Screenshot via Empire)

Quite a bit of time has now passed since the 2015 version of the the “Fight of The Century,” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio. Fans waited six years to see who would be considered the best boxer of their generation, paying up to $100 dollars to see the two clash. For many, it was a disappointment: another missed opportunity for boxing to truly capture the culture which seems to have slipped away. Before UFC, politics and the lack of true starpower, boxing has a proud and storied history that can rival any sport. A lot of great moments have happened here in New York City, where legends of the sport carved their name in history and battled with their fellow warriors for supremacy in the ring. To celebrate the sport of boxing, we have listed ten of the most important moments in NYC boxing history.
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Castello-Plan-New-Amsterdam-NYCThe Castello Plan of New Amsterdam, via Wikimedia Commons

On May 4, 1626, Peter Minuit arrived in New Amsterdam as the new director from the Dutch West India Company. Minuit was in his early 30s, and had been sent to diversify the trade coming out of New Netherland, then almost exclusively animal pelts. Minuit means “midnight” in Dutch, so if you prefer to think of Manhattan’s purchaser as “Peter Midnight,” go for it. (more…)

PragueCharlesBridgeRossPerkel

We’re bringing our international (read: non-New York City) coverage back into the mix. Our off-the-beaten path guides have included Rome and San Diego. Next up: Prague.

When you first land in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, you may be momentarily disconcerted by the flurry of above ground trams or the beer being the same price as water, but there are amazing secret places just waiting to be found all throughout the city.

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