2-top 12 NYC nature trails-Old croton aqueduct-bronx-van cortlandt park-untapped cities-Stephanie GeierPart of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Van Cortlandt Park. Image via imjustwalkin

Hiking in New York City? Yep, you can do that. It’s not always necessary to drive out into the middle of nowhere to find the solitude of a forest or trail – you can find it right here in New York City and in any of the five boroughs. Most of the trails go back to the Native Americans era and were formed thousands of years ago by natural processes, maintained now by the NYC Parks Department. All you need to do is gather up your gear and hop on train or bus to get there!

So before winter arrives, check out these peaceful nature trails, which are perfect for explorative walks, jogs or bike rides.


storefront-little india-jackson heights-micro neighborhoods-nyc-untapped cities-brennan ortizA shop in Little India in Jackson Heights, Queens. Image via NY Daily News

Chinatown and Little Italy are probably the first locations that come to mind when you think of New York City’s diversity and immigrant history. However, there were several other immigrant groups that migrated and clustered into various neighborhoods, forming smaller ethnic enclaves that also contribute to New York City’s identity as the “melting pot.”

Last year we published a series called NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods, which had more in-depth articles on specific ethnic communities. To provide you with a thorough guide to New York City’s diverse areas, for this list we combined neighborhoods mentioned in NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods with an additional 10 more to check out. Enjoy!


Though opinions on Christopher Columbus have drastically changed in recent years (Seattle recently swapped Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day), Columbus has long been at the center of our national consciousness and New York City’s in particular. Columbia College was christened in 1784, Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue was renamed Columbus Avenue in 1890 and Columbus Circle was constructed in 1905. There are also five statues of Christopher Columbus across four boroughs (for a time, three of the five were in Manhattan), only George Washington has more. Presented below from most famous to most obscure are New York City’s Columbus monuments.


City College of New York Great Hall-Manhattan-OHNY Weekend-NYC

Every year, Open House New York weekend is one of our readers’ favorite events, allowing them access into hard-to-visit sites and to take in unique programming in others. While the full list of sites won’t be released until early October, we’ve partnered up with OHNY to curate this feature of special locations you shouldn’t miss in this year’s lineup, selected especially for Untapped Cities readers.

This year’s Open House New York, which will take place on October 17th and 18th, will be more “open” than ever, with many locations (and all the ones featured below) now accessible through Open Access, meaning no need to battle for those advance reservations. Stay tuned for an additional guide we will publish, also in partnership with OHNY, on the special programs this year, “Engineering New York” and “Final Mile: Food Systems of New York.” 


Pugsley Pizza-Bronx-Sal-New York Pizza Project-NYC

Over a year ago, we reported on the New York Pizza Project, a quest by a team to photograph over 120 of New York City’s last pizza parlors. More than a food documentation, the project was about the stories behind the pizza, covering themes, as one of the members Ian Manheimer told us, such as “coming to America and starting new, the struggles of running a family business, and keeping up with a quickly gentrifying city.”

The New York Pizza Project is now available as a coffee table book and to celebrate the launch, we asked Manheimer to share with us the 10 pizza joints in New York City with the biggest personality.


Owl Statue Over Jefferson Hall at Queens College. Via Wikimedia Commons. Photo by Nkabouris

With fall and the back to school season in full swing, Untapped Cites is uncovering the hidden and little known past uses of some of New York City’s colleges. Today we look at the Queens College campus, which has had several past uses including the Parental School for “incorrigible boys and truants,” which closed after a scandal. Queens College continues to use several Mission Revival style buildings from the earlier institution.