For years, boosters of Manhattan’s Little Italy have grappled with the realities of a shrinking footprint. Italian-Americans and their businesses have slowly been priced out of a neighborhood that has become more and more Chinatown West or Soho East, a shadow of its former immigrant robustness.  They needn’t look farther than a couple miles to the south for a cautionary tale: an ethnic neighborhood that has been wiped almost clean off the map, a roughly 6-block stretch of Washington Street once known as Little Syria. (more…)

Jackie O at the hearing on St. Bartholomew's Church, Albany, 1984

Shortly after John and Jackie Kennedy moved into the White House in 1961, Jackie made it her mission to restore her new home to its former history and grandeur. The White House restoration project was more than a mere redecoration; it was an act of historic preservation, ensuring that the rooms would be protected from any drastic alterations in the future. Jackie O’s restoration project sparked a lifelong interest in historic preservation. When she moved to New York City full time, after the death of her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, she became a member of the Municipal Art Society’s board of directors. She fought to protect important city landmarks such as Grand Central Station, which faced demolition in 1975, and St. Bartholomew’s Church.


Untapped New York events the-listening

Our curated events picks for this week: Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers at MCNY, The Listening fundraiser for the Rockaways, 16mm cartoon screening with The Obscura Society.

MONDAY, JANUARY 21: When World War II broke out, New York was a cosmopolitan, heavily immigrant city, whose people had real stakes in the war and strongly held opinions. Join curator Marci Reaven for a tour of the new exhibition WWII & NYC as she explains the impact of the war on the city, which played a critical role in the national war effort, and how the city was forever changed. 11am at the New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (between 76th & 77th). $18 members; $30 general public. Buy tickets here.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22: The Kitchen L.A.B. with Jacob Kassay, Ralph Lemon, Tristan Perich, Lynne Tillman, Eric Dyer and Maggie Hoffman. The Kitchen L.A.B. is a new program devoted to presenting, discussing, and developing interdisciplinary works revolving around themes of common interest to artists in different fields””and, more specifically, considering the meaning and uses of specific words in contemporary art. 7pm at The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street. FREE. RSVP on Facebook.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23: Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers showcases innovative design solutions to better accommodate New York City’s changing, and sometimes surprising, demographics, including a rising number of single people, and will feature a full-sized, flexibly furnished micro-studio apartment of just 325 square feet — a size prohibited in most areas of the city. Visitors to the exhibition will see models and drawings of housing designs by architectural teams commissioned in 2011 by Citizens Housing & Planning Council, in partnership with the Architectural League of New York. The exhibition also presents winning designs from the Bloomberg administration’s recently launched pilot competition to test new housing models, as well as examples set by other cities in the United States and around the world, including Seattle, Providence, Montreal, San Diego, and Tokyo. Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th Ave. Suggested admission: $10 adults; $6 students/seniors.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24: The Vanderbilt Republic and Untapped New York proudly present THE LISTENING: Vol. II. A Listening Session & Fundraiser for the Far Rockaway Redevelopment Fund. Arin Maya 8pm, Artist Talk 8.30pm, Helioscope 9pm, Batala NYC 9.30pm. Featuring an installation by Athena Azevedo, Vanessa Gonzalez-Bunster & TJ Volonis, Curated by George Del Barrio. Doors 7pm at Gowanus Loft, 61 9th Street, Brooklyn. $20 advance / pay as you can at the door. Buy tickets here.

Also on Thursday: Paolo Ventura’s luminous and haunting photographs function as architectural relics of the imagination, portraying characters and scenarios that are magical, poignant and strangely familiar. Referencing history, art and the subconscious, Ventura’s “invented worlds,” as he calls them, tell stories — some of which he was told as a child by his father, an author of children’s books, and others imagined by the artist himself. Ventura creates his otherworldly photographs by constructing intricate miniature sets and then photographing them, first with a Polaroid for reference and finally with a Pentax 6 x 7 camera. 6-8pm at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue. FREE. RSVP here.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25: Join archivist and projectionist, Tom Stathes, for a special screening celebrating the seasons with The Obscura Society. As Winter 2013 draws on, Tom Stathes has curated animated cartoons from the 1920s-1930s for every season of the year. Searching his vast stacks of 16mm animation rarities and Tom has hand-selected a wide array of gems: frolicking Springtime fun and hot Summer calamities for those with a warmer temperament, and breezy, cool Autumn shenanigans as well as snowy Winter escapades for those who relish the cold months. For a glimpse into past visions of the seasons as depicted by the merry-makers of early film animation, come enjoy the latest screening—shown in real 16mm film, with a real projector—a unique experience you’ll be sure to enjoy! 7:30pm at The Observatory, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn. $12. Buy tickets here.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26: 100 years ago, in 1913, Grand Central Terminal opened its doors to the public and on August 2, 1967, NYC’s recently established Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Terminal as an official NYC landmark. Join LANDMARK WEST! and The Museum of the City of New York as we celebrate the centennial and discover why this impressive structure is so very worthy of that designation. A Landmark designation is not to be taken for granted: if it was not for fierce and unwavering preservation advocacy, NYers and citizens of the world would be deprived of this building’s splendor today. 1-3pm inside the Atrium of 120 Park Avenue (opposite Grand Central). $20 members; $25 non-members. RSVP to landmarkwest@landmarkwest.org, or call 212-496-8110.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: During its six-month run, Frej was an unlikely phenomenon: a seventeen-seat New Nordic pop-up serving a $45 tasting menu Monday through Wednesday in a Williamsburg design studio. Aska, its newly expanded replacement, has gained two extra nights of service (Sunday and Thursday), an additional twelve-seat dining room, and a new partner, general manager Eamon Rockey, whose cocktails share a Scandinavian-inspired, herbal sensibility with chef Fredrik Berselius’s cuisine. The prix fixe menu, now $65 for six to eight small-plate courses, integrates plants like yarrow, lichen, and seaweed, focusing on vegetables and often treating protein as a garnish. 6-10pm at Kinfolk Studios, 90 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn. $65. RSVP info@askanyc.com

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2:   Poet by day, bartender by night, Geoffrey Bartholomew is “the bard of McSorley’s.” After coming to New York City in 1970, Mr. Bartholomew found himself living in an apartment above McSorley’s and soon afterward serving as its bartender. Join Geoffrey Bartholomew as he reads his poetry and discusses the influence McSorley’s had on his life and work. 6:30-8pm at McSorley’s, 15 E 7th Street. Reservations required: rsvp@gvshp.org or 212-475-9585. FREE.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3: Ghosts of the Past:  Fading Ads Illustrated Lecture presented by Landmark West! at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. This photo-documentary is also a study of time and space, of mortality and living, as Jump’s campaign to capture the ads mirrors his own struggle with HIV. Experience the ads–shot with vintage Kodachrome film–and the meaning they carry through acclaimed photographer and urban documentarian Frank Jump’s lens. 6pm at the NY Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th Street. Reservations required. $15 for members/$20 for non-members. Buy tickets here.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4: DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition by Darren Waterston, Remote Futures. This recent body of work explores the allure and menace of utopian fantasy, where an imagined, idealized paradise holds within it a disconcerting future. 6-8pm at DC Moore Gallery, 535 W 22nd Street. FREE.

Also on Thursday: Family of the Year  and White Arrows  will play at the Mercury Lounge. Doors at 6:30pm. 217 E Houston St. $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5: The New Yorker Festival begins on Friday with a discussion between Martin Amis, John Lanchester and Zadie Smith, and continues through Sunday with talks and panels on issues ranging from cities to love and marriage to politics and money. Guest speakers include Margaret Atwood, Jennifer Egan, Orhan Pamuk, Colum McCann, Julian Barnes, Junot Diaz, Gary Shteyngart, Adam Gopnik, Jonathan Safran Foer, Louise Erdrich, Joyce Carol Oates and many, many more. Check out the full listing of events here. Buy tickets while you still can because they’re selling out fast!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6: Open House New York is happening this weekend with a wide variety of events showcasing New York City’s most interesting architecture, history and development. Events range from tours and lectures to workshops and screenings. For a full listing, check the website. Some events have limited space and require reservations for $5, but many events are free. Read more about Open House New York and the sites we’ve covered.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7: Archtober  Architecture & Design Month kicked off on Monday, but there are plenty of great events all month long. Sunday highlights include AIANY Architectural Boat Tour with featured guides Gina Pollara and Bill Woods and a series of Free Expert Led  Tours of Great New York Landscapes  including East Village Community Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Historic Harlem Parks, Snug Harbor on Staten Island and more. Check out Archtober’s full listing of events here.

Standing on the shore of the Hudson River it seems to declare, “Industry!” “Ambition!”  It is a majestic symbol of the City-Beautiful era and modernity.  Its compelling industrial beauty has inspired its most inspired definition yet:

“The building, a marriage of convenience, a modern metal shed with the face of an aging actress, the utilitarian made beautiful, is our city’s Temple of Power.”  – Mosette Broderick, professor at New York University, author of Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America’s Gilded Age. 

For all of these reasons and more the Preservation League of New York State has named Manhattan’s former Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Powerhouse to its list of the Empire State’s most threatened historic resources, Seven to Save. The prestigious designation bodes well for the future of the Beaux Arts masterpiece.  (more…)

In a place as unique as New York, it’s not surprising that community groups are actively engaged in preserving and enhancing the City’s environs. The Landmark Feast, held September 25th on the Arthur Ross Terrace at The American Museum of Natural History, benefited New York’s Friends of Roosevelt Park and Landmark West! The Friends of Roosevelt Parks is a non-profit group who has co-managed the eight-acre New York City public park surrounding the American Museum of Natural History for the past two decades. Landmark West! is an award winning community organization which focuses on preserving the best of the Upper West Side’s architectural heritage. All proceeds from the event went towards Friends of Roosevelt Park and Landmark West! preservation endeavors.

The Feast took place in an outdoor setting and features the best-quality local food prepared by recognized Upper West Side chefs. In addition, before the dinner, a cocktail and tasting session occurred which featured 20 top neighborhood restaurants which included Café Luxembourg, ‘Cesca, Compass, Gastroarte, Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too, Nice Matin, Nick & Toni’s, Recipe, Rosa Mexicano, Scaletta, Shake Shack and Shun Lee.

Both the dinner and the cocktail events were organized by  Outstanding in the Field, an international leader in the farm-to-table movement with a track record of coordinating unique food experiences across the country.

For more information regarding Landmark West!, please visit their Facebook page. Also, check out our Untapped’s recent Behind the Scenes at the American Museum of Natural History article here.