A spiral staircase leans precariously in the Nurses' Residence.

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.


Lois Lane-Staten Island-Hilton Garden Inn-Kiddie Academy of Staten Island-Street View-NYC-2Lois Lane, via Google Maps

There’s no Clark Kent nearby, but there is a Lois Lane in New York City. That is, there’s a lane named Lois, on Staten Island. In 2005, the New York Times dug into this fun occurrence, uncovering that it was named by developer Richard Nicotra for his wife, Lois. As Nicotra recounts, “My wife is named Lois, and I own the street, and I am no Superman, but she is my Lois Lane.” He renamed the street in about 2005, after purchasing the land in Bloomfield which as formerly a horse farm. Today, there’s a Hilton Garden Inn, the offices of Nicotra’s company, The Nicotra Group, a Pearson VUE location and the Kiddie Academy of Staten Island along this road. No office for The Daily Planet in sight, however.


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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Remember that colossal landfill on Staten Island that held millions of tons of New York’s garbage? That once stinking, seagull infested dump, aka the Freshkills landfill which gave Staten Island an unfortunate identity for over half a century, is now on its way to becoming the largest park developed in New York City in over 100 years. Spanning over 2,200 acres, Freshkills Park will be three times the size of Central Park upon completion! Untapped Cities had the opportunity of joining AIANY aboard the classic harbor line yacht ‘Manhattan’ for one of their Archtober tours, meandering through the narrow creeks (or Kills as they call it in Dutch) within this already picturesque landscape.


It’s the second season of The Blacklist and Reddington is already up to no good. We’ve been documenting the film locations so far, just like we did with Season 1 and decided to share them with you early in the season as you guys have been asking for them. We’ll be continuously updating this article with new content each week. As you know, The Blacklist is filmed in New York City, which stands in as Washington D.C., its suburbs, and all the international locations Red and the team go to. Last season, they didn’t do much to conceal the New York locations (Meatpacking as Belarus?) but this year you have to know New York City pretty well to recognize some of the locations. Without further ado:

Cunard Building

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Children-Flying-Kites-Park-Staten-Island-Field-Manhattan-Skyline-Untapped Cities-Nasha VirataPhoto from FreshKills Park Alliance

 Since 2009, Untapped Cities has covered the transformation of Staten Island’s Fresh Kills from the world’s largest garbage dump into FreshKills Park, the second-largest in the city and roughly three times the size of Central Park. The deliberate change of the name Fresh Kills to FreshKills may seem a bit odd but it doesn’t compare to the amazing fact that New York City is replacing a giant pile of trash–the largest man-made structure on earth–with a park over the course of 30 years.