Image 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last year, on November 18, 2013, New Yorkers woke up to the news that Long Island City street art haven 5Pointz had been whitewashed, following a long effort to save the building and get it landmarked. This past Tuesday night, 5pointz organizers hosted “5 POINTZ Art is life… You can’t trademark the people!” a memorial event to mark the first anniversary of that day.