Mariner's March-Staten Island-Kill Van Kull-NYC-6

Mariner’s March on Staten Island is a place even the NYC Parks Department describes on their sign as “eerie.” Located just next to the New York Container Park, the forsaken and abandoned landscape was once the bustling Milliken Brother’s Structural Iron Works and later a shipyard that produced war ships.


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:


A little while ago, Untapped Cities reader Matthew C. Hart, an editor who has worked on films like Frances Ha and Memphis, contacted us via Twitter on how one would hypothetically film something at the Staten Island Boat Graveyard. He wrote, “Thought you might have some tips re[garding] trying to film near the boat graveyard. A foolish thing to try or…”?

We recommended kayak, and you can see the results in this video for the band Vaults, a synth pop trio from London. The atmospheric video cuts between the winter landscape of the boat graveyard and an arty scene in a bathtub. Matthew talks to us about the process of shooting in an illicit, abandoned location:


Abandoned Children's Hospital-Seaview Hospital-Staten Island-NYC-004Photo by @nativenyc

Seaview Hospital was once the largest tuberculosis sanatorium in the country, now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is also a U.S. Historic District and New York City landmark. The historic district, which was developed next to the Staten Island Farm Colony, includes 37 buildings planned and developed between 1905 and 1938. The NYC.gov website for the Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center & Home gives no indication of the surrounding abandonment, but indeed a few organizations have returned to operate from within the grounds, including a rehab center, volunteer firefighting organization and volunteer ambulance service. The photographic team of f/11 recently took a visit inside the crumbling remains of the Children’s Hospital at Seaview, as well as the underground tunnels beneath the main building, and shared with us their photos.


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.