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redbird4Artist Matthew Jensen’s ‘A Collection of Walks’ takes up residence near the Queens Museum parking lot.

We’ve noticed an ongoing trend: smaller is better. From a backyard curiosity shop in Brooklyn to a kitschy mini-museum in Tribeca, artists are squeezing their works into smaller and smaller spaces. Matthew Jensen‘s ‘A Collection of Walks: Or How to Get To the Earth’ seems to aim for the same thing.

It is the second residency of the summer project, ‘Studio in the Park,’ a collaboration between the Queens Museum of Flushing Meadows Corona Park and ArtBuilt Mobile Studios built around a 150-square foot gallery space housed in a trailer. Jensen’s mini-show debuted on the 15th, just a short walk from the New York State Pavilion and across the flower gardens from the Unisphere.

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redbird3

Seeing an old 1950s Redbird subway car sitting on some isolated rails in a field next to the Queens Criminal Court is enough of a peculiar sight. What if we also told you that subway car has housed the borough’s tourist center since 2008, and that it closed last Monday without seeing any tourists?

The New York Post claims that the Redbird Tourist Center of Queens, which was only open on weekdays from 10 am to 2pm, had closed forever without seeing a single tourist. In reality, the center reports it had at least 12 visitors a day, though most are not tourists. Nevertheless, the numbers were low enough to lead Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to order the center’s closing, which took place on July 10th.

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Lady Mendl's Tea Salon-Untapped Cities-AFineLyneLady Mendl’s Tea Salon in the Inn at Irving Place   Image via Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon

Afternoon tea emerged sometime between the 1830’s and 1840’s. So says the book “A Social History of Tea” by Jane Pettigrew, the well–known tea historian. Since lunch was light, and dinner no earlier than 7:30 pm, it was that pleasant bit of sustenance in mid–day. Called “Low Tea” because of the low chairs and tables, the offerings have not changed much over time, consisting of crustless finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, and other nibbles, in addition to a full complement of teas. It was very much a part of the fabric of the time, and has lasted, in various forms and in many Countries, through today.

Generally beginning sometime after 3 pm, Afternoon Tea in New York City runs the gamut, from the formal to the funky. Some with a bit of an ethnic twist and some designed specifically for kids. Some require sophisticated casual attire and others are just plain casual. Held in hotels and restaurants, they conjure up images of days gone by. But in fact, it is a wonderful break in our modern-day life, when friends can meet without the time and commitment of dinner, or without the noise you might find having a drink in a bar. It is a time and place where the frenetic urban air is left at the door. We’ve picked out twenty–five places, in no particular order, for you to have your Afternoon Tea, and hope you will add to our list with your favorites.

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New York is an accessible place. Tunnels and bridges connect boroughs across water, but for the most part, this city’s enormity is made small by the subway lines that spread like webs from the busiest centers of town to the furthest reaches of the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Covering most of the city, they can take you pretty much anywhere for $2.75.

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hog island lost hurricane-NYC-Untapped CitiesMap showing two islands named Hog Island. Image via ny.curbed.com

You’ve definitely heard of disappearing ships. Plenty of them do, given the amount of shipwrecks historians and oceanographers have found around New York City alone. But disappearing islands? That’s a bit of a different story. In true Bermuda Triangle fashion, New York City has a disappearing island of its own, shrouded in multiple versions of the truth and curious to historians even today. It was called Hog Island, and the story goes that after New York was hit by the famous Hurricane of 1893, Hog Island disappeared without a trace, never to be found again.

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rockland psychiatric center photos abandoned-NYC-Untapped Cities-james garcia-14

The semi-abandoned Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, NY, formerly Rockland State Hospital, was one of the many asylums built during a particular time period in American history that sought, at least at first, to approach mental illness with spaciousness and tranquility. Opened in 1931, like most, it fell as treatment evolved from an agrarian philosophy to the use of more controversial methods. In addition, several unique cases of negligence and patient death marred its reputatio. Untapped Cities reader James Garcia, a filmmaker and paranormal investigator, shared his photos of the center’s abandoned complex with us.

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