2-top 12 NYC nature trails-Old croton aqueduct-bronx-van cortlandt park-untapped cities-Stephanie GeierPart of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Van Cortlandt Park. Image via imjustwalkin

Hiking in New York City? Yep, you can do that. It’s not always necessary to drive out into the middle of nowhere to find the solitude of a forest or trail – you can find it right here in New York City and in any of the five boroughs. Most of the trails go back to the Native Americans era and were formed thousands of years ago by natural processes, maintained now by the NYC Parks Department. All you need to do is gather up your gear and hop on train or bus to get there!

So before winter arrives, check out these peaceful nature trails, which are perfect for explorative walks, jogs or bike rides.


storefront-little india-jackson heights-micro neighborhoods-nyc-untapped cities-brennan ortizA shop in Little India in Jackson Heights, Queens. Image via NY Daily News

Chinatown and Little Italy are probably the first locations that come to mind when you think of New York City’s diversity and immigrant history. However, there were several other immigrant groups that migrated and clustered into various neighborhoods, forming smaller ethnic enclaves that also contribute to New York City’s identity as the “melting pot.”

Last year we published a series called NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods, which had more in-depth articles on specific ethnic communities. To provide you with a thorough guide to New York City’s diverse areas, for this list we combined neighborhoods mentioned in NYC’s Micro Neighborhoods with an additional 10 more to check out. Enjoy!


Crimson Beech Partial - Staten Island - Frank Lloyd Wright - Untapped Cities - NYC-001The Crimson Beech in Staten Island, one of the Marshal Erdman Prefab Houses. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Many know Frank Lloyd Wright as the legendary architect and mastermind behind several vast, important buildings (including the Guggenheim Museum) around the country. However, he also built houses for middle-class Americans in the mid 1900s. While we’re used to his grand creations, you can actually go to Staten Island to see one of these other constructions: The Crimson Beech.


City College of New York Great Hall-Manhattan-OHNY Weekend-NYC

Every year, Open House New York weekend is one of our readers’ favorite events, allowing them access into hard-to-visit sites and to take in unique programming in others. While the full list of sites won’t be released until early October, we’ve partnered up with OHNY to curate this feature of special locations you shouldn’t miss in this year’s lineup, selected especially for Untapped Cities readers.

This year’s Open House New York, which will take place on October 17th and 18th, will be more “open” than ever, with many locations (and all the ones featured below) now accessible through Open Access, meaning no need to battle for those advance reservations. Stay tuned for an additional guide we will publish, also in partnership with OHNY, on the special programs this year, “Engineering New York” and “Final Mile: Food Systems of New York.” 


David Rumsey Map Collection-New Yorkers Map of the World-NYC-005

In 1976, cartoonist Saul Steinberg gave us “A View of the World from 9th Avenue,” a humorous take on the way New Yorkers can sometimes be thought to see the rest of the world across the Hudson River. His drawing became one of The New Yorker‘s best known covers, eliciting chuckles and eye rolls alike.

Earlier this week, CityLab shared a similar map via Reddit, larger in scale and about a thousand times more detailed. The David Rumsey Map Collection lists the author as unknown, and dates it to somewhere around the 1970s, but other than that, the story of how this particular map came to be is shrouded in mystery. The map itself, however, packs every New York City neighborhood, building, attraction, and landmark into an intricate “New Yorker’s Map of the World,” pushing the rest of America, even the rest of the world (which includes just a few countries in Europe and Asia), off to the very edges. The result is nothing short of hilarious.


Staten Island-North Shore Development Tour-New Stapleton Waterfront-Ironside Development-Untapped Cities-NYCEDC-NYC

Just days after the New York Daily News proclaimed that “Staten Island wants to be the new Brooklyn,” 20 intrepid Untapped Cities readers met at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island at 10 am on a Saturday for a Behind the Scenes NYC Tour of the borough’s north shore developments with the NYCEDC. It’s not lost on residents, community leaders and small businesses on this traditionally forgotten boroughthat Staten Island could be the new frontier. Combine rising rents in other boroughs with substantial city investment and redevelopments plans for Staten Island (plus space), and you’ve got the makings of a new destination, those involved hope.