As the city lights up and shops start putting up their decorative holiday storefronts, you may react with cheer and joy or absolute panic about what you’re going to get your loved ones, friends or the dreaded co-workers you barely know. For those of you who have the latter reaction, fear not because here at Untapped Cities, we’ve curated a list of holiday gifts that any urban enthusiast is sure to enjoy.



1. New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants by Michelle Young and Laura Itkowitz

NYC Hidden Bars and Restaurants Book Cover

Written by the Untapped Cities founder, Michelle Young, and  an Untapped Cities contributing editor, Laura Itkotwitz, New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants is the ultimate guide for exploring New York’s secret food and drink gems. For a preview of the 90 locations you’ll find in the book, check out our list of the top 10 hidden bars and restaurants for 2015.

2. Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York 

The new book Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York features 47 of the 117 interior landmarks in New York City. The book is both a gorgeous coffee table book, with full-page plates of images and text, as well as a call to action as there have been new pressures on the landmark laws this year – ranging from the “decalendaring” of landmarks (successfully stopped) to Intro 775 that aims to put time limits on how long a proposed landmark can sit on the potentials list. For a sneak peak on some of the books stunning interiors, take a look at our list of the top 10.

3. Broadway by Michelle Young

Lower Broadway c. 1908-1913. Image via Library of Congress 

Throughout history, Broadway has been at the forefront of the New York city’s urban developments. It’s also been the site of many firsts and many superlatives: the first subway line in the city, the tallest buildings, and one of the longest streets in the world. Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young has compiled a photographic account of the complex history of this iconic street in her book, Broadway available on Amazon.

4. The New York Pizza Project 

The New York Pizza Project was a quest by a team to photograph over 120 of New York City’s last pizza parlors. More than a food documentation, the project was about the stories behind the pizza, covering themes, as one of the members Ian Manheimer told us, such as “coming to America and starting new, the struggles of running a family business, and keeping up with a quickly gentrifying city.” It’s now available as a coffee table book and we’ve asked Manheimer to share with us the 10 pizza joints in New York City with the biggest personality so you can preview the goods. Buy the book for a loved one and hope that they treat you to a slice of delicious pizza in return.

5. The Dakota: A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building by Andrew Alpern


The Dakota: A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building is a historical and architectural history, deliberately eschewing the gossip that could easily fill the pages of a book with such a name. While the book doesn’t dwell on the tabloids and celebrity gossip that’s occurred in this famous building, it’s well-targeted for our reader. We’ve compiled a list of the Dakota Apartments top 10 secrets so you can preview more of the architectural juicy secrets from the book.

6. The Wonder City Graphic Novel by Justin Rivers

In the comic book series, The Wonder City, author Justin Rivers (tour guide for our popular Remnants of Penn Station tour) and illustrator Courtney Zell, ask the question: where does the myth end and the real history begins? Their graphic novels, The Great Whale of Coney Island and the brand new The Tovernboak, re-imagine the entirety of New York City’s vast 400-year-old history with a mystery buried in the heart of the city. The Tovernboak was released last night at the Floyd in Brooklyn.

7. Abandoned NYC by Will Ellis


If you or loved one is a fan of our collection of abandoned New York articles, you should definitely get Will Ellis’ Abandoned NYCThe book takes you all over New York’s most abanodoned spots, providing both their history as functioning institutions and pictures of their later dispare. If you’d like to take a look at some of Will Ellis’ work, take a look at some of our collaborations here.