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…)
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.
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.
In 1983, Madonna was an art school dropout who moved to New York City to try to jumpstart her dancing career. She lived in the East Village and paid her rent by doing odd jobs, like serving at the Russian Tea Room and nude art modeling. She did a brief stint as a showgirl in Paris, came back to New York and formed several bands before going solo in 1981. She was both rebellious and a perfectionist, with unrelenting ambition and drive.
That Madonna—the young, reckless performer on the cusp of fame—is the girl portrayed in Madonna NYC83 at Milk Studios in Chelsea. The photographs by renowned photographer Richard Corman tell the story of a girl who really doesn’t seem to care about what other people think. She’s not conventionally pretty, but she’s idiosyncratic. (more…)
Yesterday, Untapped reader Michael Pellas (via @History_Pics) shared with us this aerial photo of Manhattan in 1944 by Andreas Feininger. Feininger was a LIFE Magazine photographer whose work is hauntingly precise–so much so that it becomes art. It’s easy to see how is work as a practicing architect (and cabinet maker) influenced his aesthetic. In a glowing piece on him, LIFE wrote that he was one of the photographers whose images define New York City, “not merely how a great 20th century city looked, but how it imagined itself and its place in the world.”