Every week Untapped Cities brings you a new selection of unique experiences that can only happen here in New York City. From exploring the city’s most iconic landmarks, to discovering its forgotten and abandoned sites, and taking advantage of all the cultural events on offer, here are the Untapped Cities tours and events happening this week:
Thursday, November 8th
Join journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and leading youth activists Brea Baker, Ramon Contreras, and Hebh Jamal to discuss the key mobilizations of our moment—from gun control to immigrant rights—and how they draw on a long history of protest. This event, at the Museum of the City of New York, celebrates the Museum’s publication of Activist New York: A History of People, Protest, and Politics (NYU Press, 2018) and a new case study on the movement against the Vietnam War in the Activist New York exhibition. Museum curator and author of the Activist New York book, Steven Jaffe, will introduce the program. A reception featuring a performance by Carnegie Hall’s Future Music Project Ensemble, a group of young musicians ages 14 to 19 from across New York City, will follow the discussion. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free!
Hear from noted Gilded Age historian, Esther Crain, at an illustrated lecture on the Upper West Side of Edgar Allan Poe at this Landmark West! event. A gifted storyteller, Esther skillfully weaves together historical facts, anecdotes, and imagery of the time. You will learn about Poe’s start in Manhattan, his journey from Greenwich Village to the fields of the Upper West Side and how this “shy, solitary, taciturn sort of man” would ease his mind with long walks down through the woods to the not-yet-created Riverside Park and his observations on Manhattan’s development and the end of its rural, spacious charm. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free!
Saturday, November 10th
Looking at the desolate, skeletal frame of the 22-building complex on the south side of Ellis Island, it’s difficult to imagine its backstory as one of the largest public health undertakings in American history. Once the standard for United States medical care (and later transformed to the FBI headquarters when the island served as a detention center), this abandoned complex, hidden in plain sight just to the left of disembarking passengers headed towards the Great Hall, has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. On this tour, guests will visit spaces that are off-limits to the public including the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms, and former laundry facility to uncover the compound’s history and its many, buried secrets.
- Explore the over 100-year-old contagious disease hospital, which has been abandoned since 1954
- See an exhibition by the world-renowned artist JR, who has placed life-sized historic photographs of Ellis Island immigrants on interior walls of the hospital buildings
- Visit the Laundry Building, where 3000+ pieces of laundry were washed and sanitized daily
- Discover the kitchen, autopsy room and other usually off-limits places
- Get special access inside the original morgue and long abandoned FBI offices
The Secrets of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour
- Discover the Brooklyn Bridge’s secrets, including its old Cold War fall out shelter, the hidden champagne vaults, the bridge jumper survivor’s support group and so many others… *NOTE: we will not be going inside the shelter or vaults.*
- See an abandoned park hidden in plain sight as you explore the perimeter of the Manhattan anchorages of the bridge
- Uncover the hidden statue of the family of engineers who built the bridge
- Locate the site of the nation’s first White House
- Cross the bridge span, which offers one of the best vantage points in New York City
Beyond the Brooklyn Bridge’s stately exterior lies an epic origin story. Now over 130 years old, the granite and limestone structure has dazzled both tourists and residents alike. On our newest tour, author, playwright and Untapped Cities’ tour guide Justin Rivers will not only unpack the history behind the Brooklyn Bridge, but also explore its many hidden secrets. Our unique walking tour will give you a whole new appreciation for one of New York’s most iconic landmarks.
Sunday, November 11th
- Hear about the massive civic project that transformed a wasteland into an urban pleasure ground
- Learn about the curious origins of the Central Park Zoo and the corruption scandal that caused a riot
- Uncover the hidden meaning in Bethesda Terrace’s sculptures and the forbidden love that inspired the park’s most famous statue
- See the secret bolt left behind from the creation of Manhattan’s street grid
- Discover the secret navigational device that keeps pedestrians from getting lost on the park’s winding paths
Did you know that Central Park was once the site of a former African-American village? Or that it was previously home to an infamous casino, where alcohol flowed throughout the Prohibition? For almost 160 years, Central Park has been the green heart of the city, serving as a pastoral haven for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Even so, it still holds many secrets that have yet to be discovered. On this walking tour we’ll explore the history behind some of its best-loved and hidden sites. Learn about the genesis, design, and evolution of the immense green space, while uncovering its many outrageous happenings, scandals and more.
The Manhattan Front – Leonore Offenback played by Sandra Glinka. Courtesy of Polyvinyl Films
Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice at the premiere screening of The Manhattan Front, an experimental, historical film about World War I and the Labor Movement in New York City. The film’s premiere at the Anthology Film Archives will coincide with the centennial anniversary of the World War I armistice on November 11th at 11:00am. Created by experimental filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Cathy Lee Crane, The Manhattan Front presents the true story of how America entered World War I with Crane’s signature aesthetic of fusing historic archival footage with fictional narrative. Much of the archival footage (from the National Archives in DC) of WWI and historic New York City has never been seen before, as it was recently digitally remastered. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free!