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Cloisters columns

New York City is not a city known for calm, although we’ve previously shared with you a guide on where to find quiet in the city, along with a map for solitude. And while there are certainly many temples in the city, offering their own form of refuge (as well as some fabulous basement canteens), there are also full-on monasteries in the city, each with a quirky history to tell.

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Queens Giant-Tallest Oldest Tree NYC-Tulip Poplar-Alley Pond ParkImage via NPR by Benjamin Swett

From the scenic landscape of Manhattan’s Central Park to the endless onslaught of green that occupies Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, it can be easy to assume that the city’s largest tree resides in one of these areas. It might come as a complete surprise to you that the city’s tallest (and oldest) tree is actually located in Alley Pond Park in the borough of Queens between Douglaston and Bayside.

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A spiral staircase leans precariously in the Nurses' Residence.

We’re doing a bunch of fun events with Will Ellis, the author of Abandoned NYC and Untapped Cities columnist, over the next few months. We hosted the first book talk when Abandoned NYC was released, and we’ll be hosting it again on February 25th at WeWork West Broadway. Tickets are also going fast to his guided tour of Dead Horse Bay in March. He’s curated this list of New York City’s abandoned hospitals for us, a remnant of a darker medical past when the diseased and undesirables were placed far from civilization.

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Queensway4

As the chill winter weather begins to settle on New York City, an exciting project is heating up in Queens. Advocates for the rail to trail project The Queensway have had a string of recent victories, including a grant to design a portion of the trail as well as a nod of approval from The New York Times editorial board. At Untapped Cities, we’ve been following the project for the last three years and got a recent behind-the-scenes scoop of the Queensway, with a private tour by Andy Stone and the Trust for Public Land to highlight their goals and the next steps in the project.

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Finback Brewery-Ridgewood Queens-NYC Microbrewery-Brewery-Beer

Last night, we headed to Finback Brewery for the Untapped Cities Holiday Happy Hour and Tour, a reader suggestion from our piece on the top microbreweries in NYC. Finback’s tasting room in Glendale, Queens is a hidden gem. You’d never guess from the street (unless it’s summer and they have the garage door open) there that there would be a warm and inviting bar and beer hall inside this nondescript warehouse building tucked within a residential neighborhood.

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5 Pointz Demolition-Completed-Untapped Cities-Bhushan Mondkar-NYC

Untapped Cities writer Bhushan Mondkar snapped this photograph of the nearly complete demolition at 5Pointz over Thanksgiving weekend. We’ve been following the slow evisceration of the beloved street art hotspot over the past few months–heading into the building in mid-October and watching the sign come down at the end of October. Just before Thanksgiving, a memorial was held on the anniversary of the whitewashing. But this photograph heralds the end.

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