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There’s a lot going on (or not going on) with LaGuardia airport these days–from a design competition, runway extension, and demolition of jet age hangars. But way before this, before LaGuardia airport was deemed a third-world airport and even before it accepted planes by sea, there is an earlier, lost version of the airport by a different name.

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JR Flatiron Pasting-Giant Man Walking-NYCCover of The New York Times Magazine (photo via Jake Silverstein)

French street artist JR, whose work has previously been shown in Times Square, Fordham University and inside abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island, always seems to outdo himself when he comes to New York City. Last week, The New York Times Magazine released the April issue, titled “Walking New York.” The cover is an aerial photo of the very large and very real piece by JR at Flatiron Plaza, with information that there were many more placed throughout the five boroughs. There could be no better cue for us at Untapped Cities to go traipsing around the city this weekend.

All 14 of the other pieces were also photographs of recent immigrants, taken by JR on the streets of Nolita earlier this month. The goal is to encourage people to walk all over the city to find the pieces. Below are all 14 pieces of JR’s “Walking New York” project:

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The crumbling World’s Fair Pavilion is not the only concern for the future of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Numerous organizations, including NYC Parks, the Queens Museum, and the Design Trust for Public Space are seeking ways to better connect the park, traditionally cut off by highways and large-scale infrastructure, to neighboring communities. A new exhibit at Queens Museum displays concepts developed by the community in this latest civic-led approach to improvements in the park. Entitled You Are Here: Creating a New Approach to Civic Participation in the World’s Parkthe exhibition is the culmination of the first phase of The World’s Park: Reconnecting a Regional Park with Its Neighbors, a community engagement partnership.

Below are four design concepts put forth in the presentation yesterday and on view at the Queens Museum through May 3rd.

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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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