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The Ides at the Wythe Hotel-Williamsburg-Brooklyn-Best NYC RooftopsPhoto via The Wythe Hotel

Summer, and therefore “roof season” has blasted past, and although the weather remains great long past Labor Day weekend, just when it cools off enough to really enjoy the evenings, many of the rooftop bars close. But many don’t! So while you may not have exhausted our list of best off-the-beaten path rooftops for summer yet, we recently asked Leslie Adatto, author of the book Roof Explorer’s Guide: 101 New York City Rooftopsthe first-ever guide to public access rooftops, to share with us her top 10 for fall.

1. Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook

Brooklyn Crab-Red Hook-Waterfront-Rooftop-Best Rooftops-NYCBrooklyn Crab, photo via Brit & Co.

Brooklyn Crab has great views and great food, and when it’s a bit cooler out, they just roll down the clear plastic “windows.” You can take the Ikea ferry over there so it’s a fabulous day out.

Federal Bar-Williamsburg-Metropolitan Avenue-The Knitting Factory-Carriage House-NYC
In an ever-evolving city like New York, it is often dangerous to get too attached to the history around you. The struggling century old pub that still serves $3 bottles will inevitably become your neighborhood’s third Dunkin Donuts. The pre-war walkup that just priced its residents out will be razed and replaced by some sky scraping architectural marvel. Even the brand new salad spot down the street will be swapped for a brand newer salad spot in a matter of months. That’s just New York.
Occasionally, however, something else happens. Defying all odds, small bits of our city’s history get preserved. Rarer still, they get preserved in such a way that the public can still experience them. Ever since we first caught wind of The Knitting Factory’s plans to restore and convert a 20th century carriage house on Metropolitan into a restaurant extension of the venue, we’ve been waiting anxiously for the reveal. Last week, we finally got the chance to stop by and drink in the space. Brooklyn, meet The Federal Bar.
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North Brooklyn Farm-Farm on Kent-Domino Sugar Factory-Two Trees-Williamsburg-Brooklyn-NYC_2

A farm and skate park are growing next to the former Domino Sugar Factory, a community partnership between Two Trees Management Company, the developers of the property and the neighborhood. We recently got a sneak peek inside, as North Brooklyn Farms (also casually known as the Farm on Kent) prepares to open this month.

Formerly located in a vacant lot across the street from the Domino plot, the community garden moved to be directly along the waterfront in May and plans to open later this month. They’re growing flowers and produce, all organic but none of which will be sold. Instead, they’ll be used for dinners to be hosted on site. How’s that for farm to table? From some of the picnic tables that are set up under string lights, you can literally reach over into the produce beds. A shipping container is also being converted into a mushroom farm.

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captain-kidd-in-new-york-harbor-jean-leon-gerome-ferris-001Captain Kidd, one of Williamsburg’s first regular visitors, entertaining guests. Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, courtesy of Wikimedia.

Editor note: Untapped Cities columnist Janos Marton, New York City lawyer, activist and founder of the website janos.nyc has been working on a full history of Williamsburg. While this project will be in progress for some time, a few months of research has already yielded fun facts about the popular Brooklyn neighborhood, which he will share with us today. In a fun anecdote, he says:

I got to drop one at a biker bar on Saturday night. A group of bikers were mocking the real estate industry’s generation of new neighborhoods, like “East Williamsburg”, and the latest, “Bushwood.” Somehow “Bushwick” got mockingly thrown into the mix, and I felt obliged to point out that Bushwick was actually named by Peter Stuyvesant in 1660, so unless one wants to argue (and one could) that “Bushwick” was a very old school real estate marketing gimmick, at least that neighborhood can stand on its name.

Without further ado, ten interesting facts about Williamsburg, before it was cool–before it was even Williamsburg.

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midsummer night swing-NYC-Untapped CitiesLincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. Image via glenwoodnyc.com

This Saturday, America will set the skies ablaze in honor of its 239th birthday. Admittedly, fireworks never look quite as spectacular as they do on the 4th of July, especially over New York City’s iconic skyline. But we feel for some New Yorkers who might have grown tired, over the years, of watching the same old show over the Hudson River (now East River, thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s firm stance on New York fireworks strictly for New York). Here are a few ways we found to enjoy the holiday with a new twist.

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Top 10 NYC Street Art 2015 So Far-Untapped Cities-Christopher InoaTop Ten Street Art Murals for The First Half of 2015

For the past six months, the artists living all around us in New York City have done their part in trying to make the city a little more beautiful. Through the very cold of winter, to the rainy spring, to what appears to be another sweltering summer, the artists listed here have not only successfully painted murals that are exquisite artistically, but have also inspired us to keep exploring, keep finding and keep documenting great art. In this roundup of top 10 street art murals for the first half of 2015, we’ve combined new art uncovered this month as well as favorites from our monthly column: (more…)