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Mastodon fossil Untapped Cities

Some people might say New York City has a hard time holding on to its past, and it’s not just classic architecture and cool dive bars that disappear without a trace. Fossils, too, are easily lost beneath the city streets. Thousands of years ago, prehistoric animals roamed the area, including the mighty mastodon (Mammut americanum), an ancient animal with an outsized presence and huge historical significance.  (more…)

grant's tomb-nyc-untapped citiesImage via Old-NYC

Big cities around the world boast impressive buildings and structures attracting many tourists eager to visit and experience the cities. Many like New York City also attracted (and continue to) immigrants who dreamed of opportunity. But there were others who would prey on the starry eyed and unsuspecting immigrants and tourists- con artists. Men like George Parker and Victor Lustig would become famous for “selling” famous city structures for upwards of $100,000. Here are some of those famous landmark scams spanning from New York, to Paris, and London(more…)

Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton by John Turnbull. Image via Museum of the City of New York

This past Friday, February 5th, the Museum of the City of New York opened an exhibit on early American portraiture titled Picturing Prestige: New York Portraits, 1700-1860. Curated by Bruce Weber, the exhibit illustrates early New York’s growth as a city and arts capital featuring paintings of New York High Society, Titans of Industry, and some of our nation’s Founding Fathers. (more…)

fake book decoration-Grolier Club-NYC-Untapped Cities-Vera PenavicHanging wooden book bindings used as a prop in a school play. 

The Grolier Club, located on East 60th Street in Manhattan, is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and graphic art enthusiasts founded in 1884. Once you step inside, the reverent silence, almost library-like, cuts out the noise and bustle that defines Midtown. On the second floor is an interesting new exhibit that showcases “blooks”: book-looking things that can be anything except actual books. The exhibit, titled Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren’t, showcases the wonderful, antique collection of Mindell Dubansky’s book-shaped objects. (more…)

Untapped Cities_New York_Brian Rose_Meatpacking District_05

Washington Street 1985 © Brian Rose

The swank boutiques, high-end galleries, and ritzy accommodations of today’s Meatpacking District are a far cry from the seedy desolation that dominated the area in the 1980s. Lucky for us, photographer Brian Rose set out to document the neighborhood in 1985, when the stench of meat and blood still permeated the streets.

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EvanBindelglass_UntappedCities_BlacksmithCentralPark06Blacksmith Larry Hagberg and his forge

There is a man working for the NYC Parks Department in Central Park whose profession many think has gone the way of the telegram. His name is Larry Hagberg. He’s a 61-year-old native of Queens and he has been a blacksmith since 1976.

Hagberg was kind enough to recently welcome us to his shop, which is part of the Parks Department’s larger 86th Street Shops.  (more…)