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Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Photo by Bobby Das via Flickr

It’s day one of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. For urban explorers, the park has long held a special lore, with its layered history and abandoned structures. As you’ll see in this collection of secrets, its past and proposed future continue to reflect the push and pull of New York City development and most spectacularly its hidden spots may reveal themselves in centuries to come, or never again.

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This past weekend, on a predominantly unguided but fully sensory tour, 20 intrepid explorers headed out with Daniel Campo, author of The Accidental Playground  and artists Ellis Irons and Chris Kennedy, to take in Hunters Point South, one of the the city’s last accidental waterfront wild spaces. This post-industrial edge condition is a last holdout before encroaching development overtakes the Queens border with the East River. For many, even those that may live in Long Island City, this little patch of wilderness, with its stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, may come as a surprise. And as the leaders of this expedition showed, its presence is an important reminder of our relationship with the city’s natural environment as well as its long, complex history of development. 

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One of the benefits of attending one of the Warm Up events at MoMA PS1, in addition to the live DJs, food from M. Wells and the booze, is that you can explore the exhibits inside while the party is taking place in the courtyard. It’s hard to believe Warm Up has been going on for 18 years now, but that’s a testament to its mission to provide experimental music and art across a range of genres. The building used to be the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and as its name suggests, it was originally the first public school in Long Island City.

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queensway eats restaurants-NYC-Untapped CitiesAll images via QueensWay Eats

In a few years, Queens will join Brooklyn as the latest New York City borough to receive a major upscale facelift. The change will come with the construction of the QueensWay, a proposed 3.5-mile greenway snaking through Queens’ six neighborhoods. Though it hopes to avoid the over-gentrification that the High Line brought to west Chelsea only a few years ago, the QueensWay seems poised to connect the neighborhoods by repurposing the Rock­away Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail­road into park space, currently an abandoned dumping ground.

QueensWay Eats is an effort to provide a little context to the project that most say will change Queens for the better, a map of all the best restaurants within walking distance of the proposed line.

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internet cats MOMI astoria-NYC-Untapped Cities3

In 2007, a blogger from Hawaii named Eric Nakagawa asked the internet an important question. That question helped to pioneer a brand new channel by which people consumed information online. That question was ‘I Can Has Cheezburger?‘ And from that moment, cats captured our attention. They conquered the internet, appearing in every conceivable form and medium.

It seems like decades since cat memes, cat photos, and cat videos have been as universally loved as they were in 2009, but their popularity, though decreased, remains strong. The idea and the history behind the rise of cat-related online humor is the focus of ‘How Cats Took Over the Internet,’ a video exhibit that opened at Astoria‘s Museum of the Moving Image on Friday, and will be open until January 31st.

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In 1976, cartoonist Saul Steinberg gave us “A View of the World from 9th Avenue,” a humorous take on the way New Yorkers can sometimes be thought to see the rest of the world across the Hudson River. His drawing became one of The New Yorker‘s best known covers, eliciting chuckles and eye rolls alike.

Earlier this week, CityLab shared a similar map via Reddit, larger in scale and about a thousand times more detailed. The David Rumsey Map Collection lists the author as unknown, and dates it to somewhere around the 1970s, but other than that, the story of how this particular map came to be is shrouded in mystery. The map itself, however, packs every New York City neighborhood, building, attraction, and landmark into an intricate “New Yorker’s Map of the World,” pushing the rest of America, even the rest of the world (which includes just a few countries in Europe and Asia), off to the very edges. The result is nothing short of hilarious.

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