Our annual holiday Untapped Cities Shop is back – a curated gift shop of New York products by artists, food purveyors, photographers, and writers we have featured on Untapped Cities like the photography books by James and Karla Murray (who also give our Food Tour of the Disappearing Storefronts of the East Village), Boundless Brooklyn’s DIY water towers, and more. We’re also very pleased to be able to offer gift cards for our Untapped Cities tours, a popular request from our readers.
Here are twelve products that we think your friends, family and loved ones will love for the holidays and as an added bonus, get 15% off through Monday after Thanksgiving with code BLACKFRIDAY!
1. Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide
Published this year and written by Untapped Cities co-founders Michelle Young and Augustin Pasquet, Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide features over 125 of the borough’s hidden and bizarre places. This guide is written by and for New York City residents. Discover secret museums, go on an urban safari for wild parrots, enter the oldest building in New York City, watch a performance of robots in a church, step inside a grocery store frozen in 1939, and more. The book is autographed by the author and can be dedicated to your giftee.
2. Untapped Cities Tour Gift Card
Want to offer a gift of one of our behind the scenes tours? You can buy gift cards for our Untapped Cities tours in any denomination or by tour. The gift cards can be applied to any of our tours including the Ellis Island Abandoned Hospitals, Secrets of Grand Central Terminal, Underground Subway Tour, the Remnants of Penn Station, Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam, VIP Tour of the Woolworth Building, and tours we have yet to announce for 2018!
3. Boundless Brooklyn Water Tower Kit
4. Secret New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants Guide
Secret New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants is written by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young and Untapped Cities editor Laura Itzkowitz. In the book, you’ll find almost a hundred hidden places with entries that will surprise even in-the-know New Yorkers. This book is autographed by Michelle Young and can be custom dedicated to your giftee by adding a note to us in the check out process.
5. Secret New York: An Unusual Guide
Secret New York: An Unusual Guide is hands down our favorite guide to New York City, full of those Untapped gems. Discover secret gardens, decipher ancient riddles on tombstones, visit an Indian burial ground, harvest mastodon food in Central Park, enjoy the aroma of a roomful of dirt, find a Venetian palazzo above a former stable, spot the forbidden island that was once declared a sovereign nation by a guy in a rowboat, track down a townhouse concealing a subway tunnel, read a memorial plaque to an event that happened in another dimension, have your bicycle blessed in church and much much more.
6. Abandoned America: Age of Consequences
Philadelphia photographer (and Untapped Cities contributor) Matthew Christopher’s award winning website Abandoned America rapidly grew to encompass derelict factories and industrial sites, schools, churches, power plants, hospitals, prisons, military installations, hotels, resorts, homes, and more. Through his collection of writing and photography, Christopher has spent the last decade documenting the ruins of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known: our own. The locations presented are the monuments to America’s great ambition and crumbling future. They are the remnants of a nearly forgotten past. They are some of America’s last standing vestiges of our industrial age, the buildings that put our forefathers to work.
7. The Wonder City Comic Books
For the last year, Untapped Cities has exclusively run a web comic called The Wonder City. Taken from a series of graphic novels written by Untapped Cities’ columnist and tour guide Justin Rivers, and drawn by illustrator Courtney Zell, The Wonder City sets out to create a mythos for New York City that completely reimagines its near 500 year old history. The series follows Velma Graydon (pictured above as an older woman), an archivist at St. John the Divine by day and urban gumshoe by night who has devoted her entire life to solving one of New York’s most important historical mysteries (don’t worry you’ll find out what it is). To us, Velma represents the best of all New York characters wrapped up into one awesome librarian.
You can get the first two stories in comic book form through us.
The Wonder City Volume 1: The Great Whale of Coney Island takes place in July, 1942: While the world is at war, a great mystery buried in the heart of New York City is close to being solved. Velma Graydon, a gal Friday turned gumshoe, is hot on the trail of an important charm lost ages ago. Called the Parelzaad, it was crafted before the city’s founding and Velma is one of the few people who knows the incredible power it holds. After years of research she finds the charm in the possession of a working-class Brooklyn family. Just as it’s within her reach one summer day on Coney Island, the charm is suddenly lost again and this time without a trace. In it lies the fate of an entire city.
The Wonder City 2: The Tovernboak takes place in November, 1942: A few months after Lizzie’s tragic disappearance, Owen teams up with Velma Graydon to find his sister. First, Velma must secretly school him in the ways of the mysterious Light Keepers and their 400-year mission to guard New York City from its foretold destruction. Now the Tovernboak, a sprawling account of the city’s true history, is revealed to Owen against the Light Keepers’ wishes.
8. Abandoned Asylums
Abandoned Asylums takes readers on an unrestricted visual journey inside America’s abandoned state hospitals, asylums, and psychiatric facilities, the institutions where countless stories and personal dramas played out behind locked doors and out of public sight.
The images captured by photographer Matt Van der Velde are powerful, haunting and emotive. A sad and tragic reality that these once glorious historical institutions now sit vacant and forgotten as their futures are uncertain and threatened with the wrecking ball.
9. Storefront II: A History Preserved – The Disappearing Face of New York
10. New York Pizza Project
The New York Pizza Project is a coffee table book documenting the heart and soul of New York City’s last authentic pizzerias through photography and interviews taken over the last five years. The foreword is written by New York Times best-selling author, and native Brooklynite, Jonathan Lethem. The book, created and published by five 30-year-old native New Yorkers, is the first of its kind – focusing not on the pizza, but the people and places behind New York City’s favorite food. Over the past five years, the book’s creators have visited over 100 pizzerias across the five boroughs-taking photographs and capturing the stories of customers, employees, and owners.
11. New York Nights
In New York Nights, photographers James and Karla Murray take us on a new photographic journey: the city’s nightlife now and through the years. This stunning body of work portrays a Gotham at play in a mythical realm of nocturnal pursuits. The Murrays have taken vivid photographs of an outstanding selection of bars & pubs, restaurants and cafes, music venues, and shops, all with historical significance and enduring after-dark aesthetics. Turning the pages of New York Nights, one can easily imagine tripping the light fantastic: perhaps starting with drinks at the KGB Bar or a walk through the East Village – window shopping at Trash and Vaudeville, moving on to an engagement at Radio City Music Hall or the Village Vanguard, followed maybe by an early morning bite at the Yaffa Cafe. Stories of a bygone New York are brought to life by words from the proprietors and employees who experienced them.
12. Broken Windows-Graffiti New York
Broken Windows – Graffiti NYC by photographers James and Karla Murray documents the flowering of the graffiti movement of the post-train era, and this newly revised 2010 edition has been completely redesigned with 70 more pages and many new photographs.
In the 1980’s, graffiti was pushed out of the subways as the trains were cleaned once and for all. In the 1990’s, much of the graffiti action in New York migrated to the city’s walls, enabling the ‘writers’ to execute more refined and concept-driven large-scale pieces. By the end of decade, this new medium was being used to great effect.
James & Karla Murray took great pains to faithfully capture an unprecedented re-birth of the movement, documenting the most significant murals created between 1996 – 2001. Broken Windows contains insightful interviews, an extensive selection of women s’ graffiti, and features the work of more than 180 artists from The United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Italy, and Norway.
Next, check out our full list of Behind the Scenes Untapped Cities tours and gift cards for our Untapped Cities tours.