Bowling Green Park in the early 20th century. Image via nycvintage.com
Few things left in New York City date back to its earliest history as the first New Amsterdam settlement. Broadway is one of them, a street that most associate with running through the whole of Manhattan, but actually runs eighteen miles up through the Bronx and ends just north of Sleepy Hollow. At its other end is South Ferry, the southernmost geographical point of Manhattan that is used now as the embarkment point for ferries to Staten Island. The area around South Ferry is one of the earliest known settlement points for the Dutch explorers that first landed there. What’s more, it is the site of the oldest public park in the entire city, a former cattle market and parade ground known as Bowling Green, which has seen its fair share of events over New York’s nearly 400 year history.
Image via berglondon.com
We all remember that scene in the 2010 film Inception where Leonardo DiCaprio invites Ellen Page inside one of his dreams and turns a city inside out, curving it on itself with his mind. It blew our minds; it was one of the most talked-about special effects stunts in the entire movie. However, the horizon-less projection the film achieves appeared a year before the film, this time designed by a London design firm called BERG. ‘Here & There‘ is a visualization of a horizon-less Manhattan, curled in upon itself and allowing a viewer to see every building and street tilting upwards.
Image via medium.com
Neighborhood names evoke a specific sense of place.
The best names connect places to their geography and history, and emphasize the qualities that make a place unique. This is especially important now, when bland, placeless design is making many cities feel homogenous.
In most cities, neighborhood boundaries are generally not well-defined, and neighborhood names change over the years as people try to change the associations around places. Just looking at New York City: native place names gave way to Dutch names, which in turn became English names. And historic names gave way to names created and promoted by real estate developers and urban planners.
There are three reasons why neighborhood names change. To distance themselves from a troubled past, to be associated with a more desirable area, or to establish a grandiose vision for an area.
The results are in: Beyonce claims most of Midtown while Jay-Z takes Brooklyn. All images via wsj.com
The Wall Street Journal calls it “A Musical Map of New York,” and the science is simple. Most bars have ditched the retro look of the stand-alone jukebox and gone digital. The new e-jukebox vendor TouchTunes caters to nearly 700,000 businesses and operates around 500 publicly accessible jukeboxes across the city. It recently collected the data from these machines and compiled them all into a map that displays what the city is listening to by borough and neighborhood. The results just might be the most concrete evidence we’ve recently seen attesting to New York City’s veritable smorgasbord of cultures, demographics, and now musical tastes.
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.”
Cover of The New York Times Magazine (photo via Jake Silverstein)
French street artist JR, whose work has previously been shown in Times Square, Fordham University and inside abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island, always seems to outdo himself when he comes to New York City. Last week, The New York Times Magazine released the April issue, titled “Walking New York.” The cover is an aerial photo of the very large and very real piece by JR at Flatiron Plaza, with information that there were many more placed throughout the five boroughs. There could be no better cue for us at Untapped Cities to go traipsing around the city this weekend.
All 14 of the other pieces were also photographs of recent immigrants, taken by JR on the streets of Nolita earlier this month. The goal is to encourage people to walk all over the city to find the pieces. Below are all 14 pieces of JR’s “Walking New York” project: