becky howland-1979-123 Delancey-nyc-untapped citiesImage via Places Journal

Since the city began undergoing intense gentrification in the late 1970s, many artists have stepped up and to occupy and sometimes even reclaim places to both preserve the city’s history, but also to highlight the negative implications of gentrification, and showcase their unique artistry. The city is known for its heralded art museums, but to be showcased is a difficult feat in itself.

Take a look at 10 places in New York City that artists and musicians have occupied to showcase their skills, and preserve ideals of community building by fighting gentrification. (more…)

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While we wait patiently for snow to arrive in New York City (maybe never?), here’s a look back at one of the earliest film footages of the Walter Snow Fighter, a four wheel drive snow plow built by the Walter Motor Truck Company, Inc. based out of Long Island City. This film from the 1930s, seen on The Old Motor and likely shot by the truck company for promotion, shows a “Fast Snow Scraping” in New York City starting at minute mark 1:17:


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2015 brought with it many creative and colorful installations and exhibits by artists from around the world. Many of the artists took us on a journey to a world occurrence or event that impacted them so deeply, it behooved them to share in the only way they knew how – through their art. It is through art that we visited New York’s other half, affordable housing, and how gentrification has changed our communities. Or how we might handle urban density, brought attention to the faces of the homeless, and looked back at the people who arrived on our shores, with hope for a better life. We viewed our lives in photographs from the street to the sky. Global and local news transformed into art in ways that caught our attention, as with the plight of the Syrian refugees shown through art at Trinity Church.

Moving into the New Year, you will see artistic works on such topics as the doors opening in Cuba, sustainability, ecology, mass incarceration, economic inequality, and our waterfront redevelopment. There will be discussions on the value of food in the form of art, from what we have tossed aside to what we will create on our rooftops. In the end, share a meal and stand beside a giant figure “Looking Up” to the sky in a whimsical and thoughtful way.

Many of these exhibits and installations will close early in the month. Be sure to check closing dates.


Chance Ecologies: The Wild Landscapes of Hunter’s Point South, an exhibition at Radiator Gallery in Long Island City, presents art inspired by an abandoned post-industrial property that is now being redeveloped along the Queens waterfront. Formed by three curators, Catherine Grau, photographer Nathan Kensinger, and Stephen Zachs, Chance Ecologies is an experimental art project exploring the value of wild places in a changing city. In August, we walked the landscape in question with the team of Chance Ecologies, and we’re excited to see the artistic output from their work this year.


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Long Island City may become home to one of NYC’s quirkiest new parks. The MTA has recently released a Request for Expressions of Interest for the adaptive reuse of a set of disused train tracks that runs Skillman Avenue to Dutch Kills (a short waterway off Newtown Creek).


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Releasing on October 7th (but already available for pre-order on Amazon) will be the new guidebook, New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants written by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young and the site’s contributing editor Laura Itzkowitz. As an update to our popular NYC Bars guide on Untapped Cities, below is our guide for 2015 with descriptions excerpted from the upcoming book.

Upon reviewing the 2015 list, you may wonder where some of the classic hidden bars – Please Don’t Tell, Little Branch, The Back Room, Apotheke – just to name a few. As they have been featured in our previous hidden bars list or our underground bars list, we have aimed for a wider range of experiences on this curation.