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Top 12 Secrets of NYC's Roosevelt Island_aerial view_Untapped Cities_NYCAn aerial view of Roosevelt Island, before demolition of Goldwater Hospital. Photo by Mathew Lloyd/RooseveltIslander

We’ve written a lot of articles on New York City’s islands, both abandoned and in use. While the city itself is interesting and filled with cool history and things to do, its islands, such as North Brother’s Island, Hart Island, Governors Island, and Rikers Island, also have some intriguing sights. Now, it’s time to rediscover New York City’s Roosevelt Island – a residential, 2-mile long island packed with interesting secrets.

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When people think of the New York City underground, they usually think of the vast subway system, or maybe the sewers, and water tunnels buried deep in the bedrock. Far lesser known are the obscure tunnels – often running from building to building, or through lesser documented parts of the city. Here’s a very unique look at 7 such locations that will make you question where else there might be hidden in subterranean passageways.

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HOT TEA Rainbow Color Pool-NYC-Manhattan Park Apartment-Roosevelt Island-Street ArtManhattan Park Pool mural installation by artist HOT TEA. Photo by K&Co and Pliskin Architecture

Take a dip in the coolest New York pool of the summer, which has been transformed into a vast artwork. Street artist Eric Rieger – also known as HOT TEA – painted the candy-toned rainbows for the design firm K&Co and Pliskin Architecture on the deck of the Manhattan Park apartment complex on Roosevelt Island, and you can hang there all day for $25.

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Saving Place_MCNY_NYC_Untapped Cities_bhushan mondkar-010

One of the highlights of the comprehensive exhibition, Saving Place: 50 Years of NYC Landmarks at the Museum of the City of New York, is the collection of architectural remnants from New York City’s buildings, both lost and still standing. From a marble eagle head from the original Pennsylvania Station to original lime moldings from Grand Central Terminal and cast iron medallions from the Battery Maritime Terminal, there is plenty for architecture and preservation buffs to revel in.

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New York City’s prison population is the lowest it has been in 10 years–10,923 inmates as of September 2014. But still, an ongoing question for the NYC Department of Corrections is where to house the inmates in a city as dense as New York. It might be surprising to some that the city’s prisons are generally, right among us–some look just like the apartment buildings next door except for some barbed wire windows. Prisons used to be organized along district lines, particularly before the 1898 consolidation of the five boroughs. They were attached to or near the courts and were little more than holding cells.

Here below are 15 of NYC’s former prisons, many which are still standing:

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Roosevelt Island-Boat Prow-Octagon Park-Weintraub & di Domenico-NYC-001

One of the many quirky finds on Roosevelt Island is this boat prow that juts out into the West Channel of the East River. It sits in Octagon Park and faces out towards Manhattan, with some light graffiti and usually empty. Is it the remnant of an old boat? Is it an art project?

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