04/15/14 12:00pm

The City Becoming and Decaying Exhibit-Installation-at-Aratoi-Wellington New Zealand-Goethe Institut2

The city is more than a collection of houses and people, and stretches far beyond the streets or skyscrapers. Those lights glistening from streets, offices and building blur together to dazzle and bewitch us, and make the city more than the sum of its parts. A complex entity, the city is the subject of an exhibition of photography from the nineteen photographers of Berlin’s Ostkreuz Agency. “The City, Becoming & Decaying” is on display at the Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in New Zealand, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut.


03/25/14 12:00pm
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.


03/20/14 10:00am

Bill Cunningham Facades-NY Historical Society-Untapped Cities-Ben Helmer--6Editta Sherman on the Train to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, ca 1972.

Bill Cunningham is a beloved icon of New York. With little more than a bicycle and his camera, he’s been photographing fashion for the New York Times for over 35 years, taking pictures of every-day people, and discovering the “fashion show on the street.”

His love of fashion is a widely known obsession. At a young age, his family was already aware of his focus: ”I think they were worried I was becoming too interested in women’s dresses… I could never concentrate on Sunday church services because I’d be concentrating on women’s hats.”  (more…)

02/06/14 2:00pm

Coney Island: Nathan's

Coney Island.  It’s a staple of New York summers, the picture of Brooklyn tourism, with popsicles and Nathan’s hot dogs and kids in swimsuits laughing up and down the shoreline. “If Paris is France, then Coney Island, between June and September, is the world,” commented 24-year-old George C. Tilyou, words now immortalized in the colorful mural on the boardwalk.

But when the summer turns to fall, which turns to winter, the kids go back to school, the shops close up and the snow begins to blanket the city. The once-packed boardwalk is left deserted. Coney Island in the winter exists much like it does in vintage photos; frozen in time, eerie, lasting, and ephemeral all at once.  (more…)

02/04/14 10:00am
An abandoned boat wades in a narrow cove between Calvert Vaux Park and the vacant lot.

An abandoned boat wades in a narrow cove between Calvert Vaux Park and the vacant lot.

It seems like every square inch of New York City has been categorized, labeled, and filled beyond capacity. But if you know where to look on the fringes of the city, you can still find places without names.

On the waterfront of Gravesend, Brooklyn, such a place still stands. It’s an all but untraveled wedge of vacant land, nestled between aging marinas and the northern border of Calvert Vaux Park on Bay 44th St. It’s a place we can only call “the secret park,” but there’s no mention of it on the department’s website. In its place, the all-knowing Google maps shows only a dull gray transected by the mysterious Westshore Avenue, though no such road exists.


12/27/13 3:00pm

Here are our picks for the Best of the Untapped Cities Photo Pool: Holiday Edition. Remember, to have one of your photos entered in the running for a “Best Of” nod, just hastag your Instagram or Twitter urban exploration pictures #untappedcities. Keep an eye on what contributors and readers are checking out by browsing the live feed.

Public Library Christmas Bling by Untapped editor @lauraitzkowitz

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