2-top 12 NYC nature trails-Old croton aqueduct-bronx-van cortlandt park-untapped cities-Stephanie GeierPart of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Van Cortlandt Park. Image via imjustwalkin

Hiking in New York City? Yep, you can do that. It’s not always necessary to drive out into the middle of nowhere to find the solitude of a forest or trail – you can find it right here in New York City and in any of the five boroughs. Most of the trails go back to the Native Americans era and were formed thousands of years ago by natural processes, maintained now by the NYC Parks Department. All you need to do is gather up your gear and hop on train or bus to get there!

So before winter arrives, check out these peaceful nature trails, which are perfect for explorative walks, jogs or bike rides.


storefront-little india-jackson heights-micro neighborhoods-nyc-untapped cities-brennan ortizA shop in Little India in Jackson Heights, Queens. Image via NY Daily News

Chinatown and Little Italy are probably the first locations that come to mind when you think of New York City’s diversity and immigrant history. However, there were several other immigrant groups that migrated and clustered into various neighborhoods, forming smaller ethnic enclaves that also contribute to New York City’s identity as the “melting pot.”

Last year we published a series called NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods, which had more in-depth articles on specific ethnic communities. To provide you with a thorough guide to New York City’s diverse areas, for this list we combined neighborhoods mentioned in NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods with an additional 10 more to check out. Enjoy!


City College of New York Great Hall-Manhattan-OHNY Weekend-NYC

Every year, Open House New York weekend is one of our readers’ favorite events, allowing them access into hard-to-visit sites and to take in unique programming in others. While the full list of sites won’t be released until early October, we’ve partnered up with OHNY to curate this feature of special locations you shouldn’t miss in this year’s lineup, selected especially for Untapped Cities readers.

This year’s Open House New York, which will take place on October 17th and 18th, will be more “open” than ever, with many locations (and all the ones featured below) now accessible through Open Access, meaning no need to battle for those advance reservations. Stay tuned for an additional guide we will publish, also in partnership with OHNY, on the special programs this year, “Engineering New York” and “Final Mile: Food Systems of New York.” 


David Rumsey Map Collection-New Yorkers Map of the World-NYC-005

In 1976, cartoonist Saul Steinberg gave us “A View of the World from 9th Avenue,” a humorous take on the way New Yorkers can sometimes be thought to see the rest of the world across the Hudson River. His drawing became one of The New Yorker‘s best known covers, eliciting chuckles and eye rolls alike.

Earlier this week, CityLab shared a similar map via Reddit, larger in scale and about a thousand times more detailed. The David Rumsey Map Collection lists the author as unknown, and dates it to somewhere around the 1970s, but other than that, the story of how this particular map came to be is shrouded in mystery. The map itself, however, packs every New York City neighborhood, building, attraction, and landmark into an intricate “New Yorker’s Map of the World,” pushing the rest of America, even the rest of the world (which includes just a few countries in Europe and Asia), off to the very edges. The result is nothing short of hilarious.


trinity church secrets financial district dmytro-NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via Dmytro Kochetov

Churches all around the world bear the name ‘Trinity Church.’ The most unusual by far happens to be a small Russian Orthodox Trinity Church made of Siberian pine wood on the tip of King George Island in Antarctica. The most famous, arguably, is Manhattan’s Trinity Church. Once the tallest building in the city, the church, actually three churches of the same name that were built on the same ground, is one of the most well-endowed and recognizable sights in New York City. In another time, it was the first thing sailors and voyagers saw when pulling into New York Harbor. Today, though it is dwarfed by buildings, it holds a place in the Financial District that is closely intertwined with history. Here are 10 of the most enticing secrets we dug up about it.


2 world trade center-NYC-Untapped Cities2 World Trade Center. Image via popularmechanics.com

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels is most notable to New Yorkers these days as the designer of 2 World Trade Center, the final building slated for construction that will overlook the former Ground Zero in the new World Trade Center complex. His body of work, however, is growing in New York City with the Dry Line and the unique residential building in Hell’s Kitchen,VIA 57 West. His firm BIG is one of the hottest in the industry right now, translating the wacky and intricate modern designs Ingels is known for in Europe to the New York stage. There’s also a project, nicknamed “The Tostito” coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

In a new interactive and video from The New York Times, Ingels notes how Manhattan has welcomed him since moving a branch of his Copenhagen firm to New York in 2011. Ingel’s redesigned 2 World Trade Center, conceived of as a leaning stack of sharp-edged boxes, with outdoor terraces on the 80th floor and above, should be one of the more interesting sights in the Financial District, along with being the fifth tallest building in New York City. An interactive 360-view of the planned building can be seen here.