04/22/14 9:00am

Specials on C art space in a bodega destroyed by Hurricane Sandy NYC Untapped CitiesPhoto via Specials on C’s Facebook page

When Hurricane Sandy came ripping through New York City, as many Untapped readers will recall, Lower Manhattan was consumed by a blackout and awash in floods. For many small businesses, the damage was devastating. Yet, where one bodega was wrecked, the community seized the opportunity to do something productive. Thus, Specials on C was born.

The vacant bodega on the corner of East 12th Street and Avenue C has found new life as a creative space for social projects. According to Specials on C’s website, “It’s not a gallery, or a venue, it’s a safe space for your social experiments.” The former bodega hosts art shows, interactive and performance art, concerts, pop-up shops, workshops and video nights.  (more…)

12/19/13 1:00pm

Nathan’s Famous still closed on Coney Island in January 2013: “No Hurricane Will Get Us Down”

We were nothing short of amazed by the Rising Waters exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, which featured both pro and amateur photographs of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermaths. Untapped Cities contributor Ben Helmer interviewed the featured photographers in the first exhibit, which included Nathan Kensinger, Wyatt Gallery and  Daniel Avila, of the NYC Parks Department. The exhibit was so popular, MCNY decided to host a special presentation to complement the exhibition, which they’ve dubbed Rising Waters 2.0.

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12/17/13 11:00am

sopo electric-hurricane sandy fundraiser-tribeca-financial district-lower Manhattan-east village-nyc-untapped citiesBuy one of these lightbulbs from the Hurricane Sandy blackout and donate to help Hurricane Sandy victims. (Image via SoPo Electric)

This time last year, many New York City residents were greatly affected by the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Its wrath was indiscriminate, changing the lives of poor, working class, and wealthier members of coastal communities. Many families have yet to receive federal funding designated for them, and remain unable to repair their homes. Many business owners suffered a loss of livelihood or have struggled to return to a level of  functionality before the storm. SoPo Electric, made up of individuals based out of the East Village, is harvesting these stories and offering a chance to give back to those who have lost so much. Fifty darkened light bulbs collected from local businesses in every affected neighborhood are made into commemorative art pieces that you can buy, to give the proceeds to these families.

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11/07/13 1:00pm

Aaron Reiss-Far Rockaway-On the Come Up-Hannah Weyer-Teen Pregnancy-AnneMarie-NYC-Queens

“Far Rock,” this hand drawn map by Aaron Reiss (part of Citizen Productions, who made the recent Pinball Marathon video in Greenpoint), shows the Rockaways as seen from the eyes of AnneMarie, a character in the book On the Come Up by Hannah Weyer. It’s a true story of a thirteen-year old coming to terms with teen pregnancy and her unexpected success as a young actor.

The maps are highly rooted in memory, with Reiss asking AnneMarie to draw her neighborhood as she remembers it. Perhaps drawing on the architectural traditions of Colin Rowe and Frank Kotter in Collage City (themselves inspired by the drawings of Viennese architect Camillo Sitte), the map is a black and white figure-ground drawing. Also like Rowe and Kotter, Reiss is more interested in how the fragments of the city form a collective unconscious.

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11/01/13 10:00am
Barrier Island-Sasaki-Arup-Rebuild by Design-001A proposed barrier island system by Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup for Rebuild by Design, incorporating new transit and access to new landscape systems

Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, President Obama initiated the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), sponsoring a competition called Rebuild by Design with the aim of ”identifying the unique structural and environmental vulnerabilities Hurricane Sandy exposed in communities throughout the region, and developing fundable solutions to protect residents against and prepare for future climate events.”

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10/29/13 10:00am

Rising Water-Museum of the city of NY-Untapped Cities-Ben Helmer-2096

“On Thursday we heard about this storm that might be brewing, but thought nothing of it. By Friday morning, we knew it was serious.” Daniel Avila, a photographer at the NYC Parks Department, took one of the 200 photos featured in The Museum of the City of New York’s exhibit, “Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy.”

One year ago, New Yorkers awoke to a grave reality: we were not only included in hurricane season, but highly vulnerable to it. Sandy may not have devastated you directly, but we all knew someone, and certainly were all impacted. In the age of Instagram, Rising Waters brings together the stories of both pro and amateur photographers, experienced through photos.

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