hog island lost hurricane-NYC-Untapped CitiesMap showing two islands named Hog Island. Image via ny.curbed.com

You’ve definitely heard of disappearing ships. Plenty of them do, given the amount of shipwrecks historians and oceanographers have found around New York City alone. But disappearing islands? That’s a bit of a different story. In true Bermuda Triangle fashion, New York City has a disappearing island of its own, shrouded in multiple versions of the truth and curious to historians even today. It was called Hog Island, and the story goes that after New York was hit by the famous Hurricane of 1893, Hog Island disappeared without a trace, never to be found again.


rockland psychiatric center photos abandoned-NYC-Untapped Cities-james garcia-14

The semi-abandoned Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, NY, formerly Rockland State Hospital, was one of the many asylums built during a particular time period in American history that sought, at least at first, to approach mental illness with spaciousness and tranquility. Opened in 1931, like most, it fell as treatment evolved from an agrarian philosophy to the use of more controversial methods. In addition, several unique cases of negligence and patient death marred its reputatio. Untapped Cities reader James Garcia, a filmmaker and paranormal investigator, shared his photos of the center’s abandoned complex with us.


fun maps music jukebox touchtunes-NYC-Untapped Cities5The results are in: Beyonce claims most of Midtown while Jay-Z takes Brooklyn. All images via wsj.com

The Wall Street Journal calls it “A Musical Map of New York,” and the science is simple. Most bars have ditched the retro look of the stand-alone jukebox and gone digital. The new e-jukebox vendor TouchTunes caters to nearly 700,000 businesses and operates around 500 publicly accessible jukeboxes across the city. It recently collected the data from these machines and compiled them all into a map that displays what the city is listening to by borough and neighborhood. The results just might be the most concrete evidence we’ve recently seen attesting to New York City’s veritable smorgasbord of cultures, demographics, and now musical tastes.


LL COOL J - 'BIGGER AND DEFFER (BAD)'-Album Cover-Queens-Andrew Jackson High School-NYC

In 2013, we accompanied Bob Egan of Pop Spots NYC on his quest to locate classic album cover film locations in New York City–after which he melded then and now in Photoshop. Egan sticks to classic bands, so the website Mass Appeal recently took a look into the Hip-Hop album cover oeuvre. We’ll highlight the covers, melded with Google Street View shots, taken in New York City and tri-state area:


Glen Curtiss Airport-Queens-LaGuardia-North Beach Airport-NYC

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.


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: