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.


Flushing Meadows-Corona Park-USTA US Open Tennis Championships-Queens-NYC
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.


Hunts Point South-Waterfront-Wild-Abandoned-Park-Long Island City-Queens-NYC-021

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. 


MoMA PS1- Samara Golden-The Flat Side of the Knife-Warm Up-Queens-Long Island City-Queens-NYC

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.