It’s summertime which means it’s time to make maximum use of your bike or your Citibike membership. Here, we’ve put together four bike routes for cyclists who are looking to discover some history along with their ride. Included in this article are a leisurely ride from Prospect Park to Brighton Beach, jumping across the East River between Williamsburg, Roosevelt Island and Manhattan, a jam-packed historical route through downtown Manhattan, and a cultural jaunt through Upper Manhattan.
1. The Leisure Lover
Where to: Northern Prospect Park along the Ocean Parkway to Brighton Beach
While the Roosevelt Island Tramway only takes about 3 minutes to travel to and from Manhattan, it’s probably the most pleasant commute in the city. Even the abundance of subway art can’t compete with the tram’s view of Midtown East. This aerial tram has been in operation since 1976 and continues to make about 115 trips per day. The cars run frequently and remain open until 2 AM. The tram was also the last transit system to continue using tokens, switching to MetroCards only in 2004. (more…)
Earlier this year, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) regarding the steam plant that sits just behind the tram station. Although the RFEI specifically targets real estate developers for the adaptive reuse of the 56,000 square foot space, one self-started community organization had been eyeing the property for over a year. The Friends of the Roosevelt Island Steam Plant (FRISP) hope to transform the building and surrounding vacant land into a Museum for Technology, Art and Science (MOTAAS). Not only would the subject matter be appropriate for the forthcoming Cornell University/Technion campus, the members of FRISP also believe that the steam plant is a piece of history that stands as testament to the technologically innovative spirit of Roosevelt Island.
Here are our picks from the best of the Untapped Cities Photo Pool, featuring works of intrepid Untapped Cities readers and explorers. To submit to our weekly roundup of the best of the Untapped Cities Photo Pool, hashtag your photos #untappedcities. Also, follow along to see what others are snapping!
“N.Y. Post Office Pneumatic Tube” c. 1912. G.G. Bain Collection via Flickr.
Earlier this year, we looked into the pneumatic tube system that used to carry mail between post offices in New York City. The system was 27 miles long and connected 23 post offices, and included tubes over the Brooklyn Bridge to connect the General Post Office in Brooklyn to Church Street in Manhattan. The USPS stopped using the system fully in 1953. Last week, Untapped reader @Charlesinist asked us “Anyone know where I can see remnants of the old US mail pneumatic tubes in NYC?”
Today, we’ll show you where some remnants of the system are and where pneumatic tubes are still used in the city.
We’ve been on a kick lately tracking down re-purposed buildings in NYC, finding out the new uses for churches, synagogues and psychiatric asylums. Today, we’re on to former banks that have since been occupied by businesses that are largely distinct from the financial industry.