Here’s what the Untapped Cities staff is reading in the HQ today!

New York

The first-ever food truck for social change is about to begin its rounds around Manhattan and Brooklyn. According to Brooklyn Based, founder Jordyn Lexton saw an opportunity to promote social empowerment using food trucks. Drive Change NYC trains and employs formerly incarcerated youths in an effort to combat the high rate (66 percent) of youth offenders who return to prison within a year of release. Drive Change’s first truck––Snow Day––is set to launch the first week of November. With goods including maple-drizzled grilled cheese sandwiches and maple-bacon donuts, Snow Day is a truck worth actively searching for.

As Halloween creeps closer, Brooklyn residents may want take a look at Brooklyn Magazine’s piece on five places in the borough that may or may not be haunted. The McCarren Pool, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Brooklyn Bridge have all made this spooky list––keep your eyes peeled.

Another update from Brooklyn Magazine: You might be able to walk to Staten Island one day. Despite pleas and petitions from pedestrians, cyclists, and local politicians, the MTA has never seemed to seriously consider the idea of having a “lifeway” section on the Verrazano Bridge…until now. Apparently, the MTA quietly asked developers about the feasibility of such a section in August.

Earlier this week, the Town Shop’s new store near 82nd and Broadway made a few happy accidental discoveries while installing their new sign. According to the West Side Rag, workers peeled back the layers of the previous sign to reveal not only signs for a Chinese laundry, but for the once-famous Steinberg’s Dairy Restaurant––an icon since the 1920s. Their menu included delicacies familiar to anyone with Jewish grandparents: herring, chopped liver, cabbage soup, and even the fifty-cent “Stuffed Hungarian Cabbage a La Mode with a Potato Pancake.” Yum!


If you have a soft spot for Marie Antoinette––or remember a certain scene in Sophia Coppola’s cinematic interpretation––you might be excited to hear that her romanticized “cottage” will be open to the public once more. Le Monde reports that La Maison de la reine (part of the Hameau de la reine, an entire idyllic “village” near the Petit Trianon chateau) is set to undergo renovations this spring. After thirty years of being closed to the public, the house of Dior has agreed to sponsor the 18-month restoration of the queen’s “rustic escape” from court. The house, built and decorated by architect Richard Mique in the 1780s, was in urgent need of restorative care. Fans of French history should make plans to see this royal gem once the restorations are completed.


The Castellnou pools may have been a splash for the teenagers of Barcelona in the 1980s, but the pools have since been drained, and the cafeteria and mini-golf course shut down entirely. Slate reports that damaging rumors in the late eighties of the pool’s inherent danger (some stories told of children falling to their gory deaths from the diving platform) forced the shutdown. That hasn’t stopped indie filmmakers, graffiti artists, and skateboarders from frequenting this locale––even though several parapsychologists have determined the area to be teeming with cursed supernatural activity.


According to the TIME Newsfeed, a cat has been caught smuggling marijuana into a Moldovan prison. Guards recently became suspicious of the feline, whom they noticed consistently entering and exiting through the same hole in the fence. They finally inspected the cat’s odd collar and found two packets of cannabis attached to it. Someone in the nearby village of Pruncul was probably responsible.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Eastern Europe has seen cats used for illicit prison activity: one frequent feline visitor to Penal Colony 1, near Syktyvkar in Northern Russia near Moscow, was recently busted for bringing in cell phones and chargers taped to its underbelly.

The Adirondacks

Upstate New York is full of surprises, apparently including the transformation of a Cold War silo into a luxury log cabin. In the late 1950s and early 60s, the U.S. Government built hundreds of missile silos in preparation for “an attack that never came.” While most of these silos are now lying abandoned and filled with water, one of these silos––located in Adirondack State Park––has been converted into a luxury home with a private airport. In fact, the property is up for sale if you have a spare $955,000 lying around.



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