To celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, Untapped Cities is offering our readers a special Black Friday deal. For the next week only you can use the code BLACKFRIDAY2018 for buy one, get-one free tickets on all Untapped Cities public tours including our just launched Tour of New York City’s Maritime History!
This 2-for-1 holiday sale is the only the time of year tickets for tours will be discounted, so take advantage of this opportunity to rediscover New York City and bring a guest for free! The promo code will be valid until the end of the day on Tuesday, November 27th and can be used on all Untapped Cities public tours including the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal, our Underground Subway Tour, Inside the Players Club on Gramercy Park, the Secrets of Central Park, the Remnants of Penn Station, the Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Insider Tour of the Members Only Players Club, newly added dates for our tour of Underground Art in the NYC Subway and more! The only tour excluded from this deal is the VIP Tour of the Woolworth Building.
You can also get an early start on holiday shopping with an Untapped Cities gift card to give the gift of discovery, or check out our Untapped Cities Holiday Gift Guide for a curated list of products made by Untapped Cities contributors! In the meantime, here’s a preview of each tour:
New York is New York because of its situation on one of the world’s best harbors. For the first three and half centuries of its life, this city was defined and sustained by its maritime operations. However, in the past few decades most of the 8 million people who call New York City home or the 60 million people who visit annually barely even give a second thought to the harbor, bays, rivers, or boats that used to define and supply this popular set of islands. New York’s maritime roots are often overlooked and ignored. Take a journey back through lower Manhattan with Untapped Cities guides Justin Rivers and Mandy Edgecombe to experience New York as the world’s greatest ports of call.
Tour of NYC’s Maritime History
Didn’t make it to the 1939/40 or 1964/65 World’s Fairs? Well here’s your chance. This tour will uncover numerous remnants of both fairs, with a focus on the hidden time capsules, the Fountain of the Planets, the Unisphere, and the historic New York State Pavilion. And if you did attend back in the day, revisit the park and add color by telling us your story!
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has lived many lives from marshy tidal wetlands to an early 20th Century ash dump, to the site of not one, but two World’s Fairs. This tour explores the past, present, and future of this 900 acre park which was an obsession of the late “Master Builder,” Robert Moses. Join playwright, author, and Untapped Cities Tour guide, Justin Rivers as he leads you on a journey through Flushing Meadows’ many unnoticed treasures.
The tour ends at the Queens Museum where the New York Panorama, a 1964 World’s Fair remnant is on hand for viewing. It’s a must-see for any New Yorker or anyone visiting New York.
The New York City subway system is the largest in the world and with hundreds of art installations scattered throughout its 430 stations, it’s also one of the world’s largest public art galleries. Join Untapped Cities tour guide Justin Rivers as he takes you on an in-depth tour of the subway art tapestry, weaved together to tell the complete history of the NYC commuter from Fulton’s first steamboat to the newly minted Second Avenue subway riders. Co-conceptualized by artist Aaron Asis, it’s a perfect compliment to our popular Underground Subway Tour or a fun stand alone for art, history and subway lovers alike. Explore the hidden terra cotta tiles in Fulton Center, the anticipated new art in the Second Avenue subway stations and learn about how an artist framed the 14th Street Union Square station to preserve its history.
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of NYC Subway Art
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.
The Secrets of Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour
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 the tour of the Secrets of Central Park, 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 story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it. It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises. On the tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal, we will tell you these stories – about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore Grand Central as a preserved icon of the past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future.
We will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Peek into the entrance of its glass walkways, locate lost armchairs, see its hidden tennis courts and learn about its backwards ceiling. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or stroll through the Beaux Arts beauty for the first time, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.
Untapped Cities invites you on an exclusive insider tour of the Players Club on Gramercy Park, led by a Players Club docent. This members only social club was founded in 1889 by Edwin Booth, one the most renowned American actors of the 19th century, along with fifteen friends and colleagues including Mark Twain and General William T. Sherman. Today’s notable members include Jimmy Fallon, Ethan Hawke and Tommy Lee Jones, whose portraits hang in the club’s grand staircase.
On this tour, you’ll learn about the history of the club and step inside Edwin Booth’s bedroom, where you can find the skull that was used in his famous 100 consecutive performances of Hamlet. Also get a close look at Mark Twain’s poker table and visit the Hampden-Booth Theatre Library, which contains a vital collection of books, plays, theatre magazines and other artifacts of 19th and early 20th century American and British theatre history.
There are two things most commuters don’t realize about Penn: First, there used to be a gorgeous Beaux Arts station that was demolished in the mid-60’s. Second: Parts of that old station can still be found today. They’ve just been buried under the arena that landed on top of them.
On our tour of the Remnants of Penn Stationn, we’ll take you back inside this central transportation hub to discuss the past, present and future plans for the structure. Although Amtrak only acknowledges one remnant remaining, tour participants will learn about station history and discover the indoor and outdoor remnants of the McKim, Mead & White building located in plain sight.
Take a ride through the living history of the world’s largest rapid transit system (in area) by weaving in and out of the past and present transit hubs of lower Manhattan. This unique tour is designed to give a comprehensive history of the NYC Subway system, from its groundbreaking in 1901 up through the creation of the three different proprietary lines which were unified into the system we know today. We’ll uncover information and learn about spaces even the most seasoned commuter might not know about.
This tour will stop in stations that are all open to the public. Using the 6 train as our own ten-car time machine, we will ride through and see three abandoned ghost stations that 4, 5, and 6 riders unknowingly pass through everyday: Worth Street, 18th Street and the famed City Hall Station. We will not stop inside these stations.
At first glance, it might seem like there’s not much left of Dutch New Amsterdam, but there’s much more than meets the eye. This includes the massive one hidden in plain sight: the original street grid embedded in lower Manhattan grid today. Discover the many hidden Dutch relics south of Wall Street, as you trace the streets of Manhattan in 1667. You’ll hear about New York’s founding myths and facts while standing in the very spots they all happened.
This tour of the Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam includes a walk of the city’s original cost line. Also see the remains of Manhattan’s first City Hall, discover the original Dutch fort and physically touch history.
Tour of The Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam
Backstage Tour of the Met Opera House at Lincoln Center
Peek behind the curtain of the Metropolitan Opera House and explore backstage areas that are not accessible to the general public. The Metropolitan Opera has been an institution since 1883 when its home was on 39th Street and Broadway. In 1966 the Met Opera moved into its current Wallace Harrison designed theater at Lincoln Center. The Met Opera House is the largest repertory opera House in the world, surpassing the Sydney Opera house seating capacity by thousands of occupants. The lobby alone is a stunning space, and the massive theater is breathtaking, but all of the magic is created backstage. On this backstage tour, guests will see first hand how the opera’s extravagant productions come to life in the buzzing backstage areas like the scenic and carpentry shops, the wig shop and costume shop.