Travel back in time to the gritty past of Brooklyn or the refined parlor of a private 19th century social club with Untapped Cities this week. You can still take advantage of our buy one, get one free Black Friday sale on tickets to public tours by using the promo code BLACKFRIDAY2018 at checkout! Every week Untapped Cities provides special access to some of New York City’s most iconic and most inaccessible locations through our behind-the-scenes tours, as well as access to events from some of the city’s leading cultural institutions. Check out all of the exciting experiences offered this week as we enter the month of December:
Wednesday, November 28th
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.
Insider Tour of the Players Club on Gramercy Park
Photograph by Larry Racioppo, Courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society
Attend a discussion that will explore the history and culture of Brooklyn in the 1970s and 80s through the lens of street photography. “Remembering the 70s and 80s: A Bygone Brooklyn,” inspired by the gritty images captured in photographer Larry Racioppo’s new book, Brooklyn Before: Photographs, 1971-1983, will feature Racioppo others who remember Brooklyn as it was, including novelist and New York Daily News columnist Denis Hamill and journalist Tom Robbins of the Village Voice and New York Daily News. They will also be joined by Julia Van Haaften, founding curator of the New York Public Library’s photography collection. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long.
Thursday, November 29th
Join Center for an Urban Future Executive Director Jonathan Bowles, author of Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul Jeremiah Moss, and Director of Economic Policy at the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development Lena Afridi for a conversation at the Brooklyn Historical Society moderated by Vanity Fair contributing editor Paul Goldberger as they consider how to counteract the “mall-ification” of public space and commerce in New York City. While chain stores proliferate along neighborhood main streets, a simultaneous phenomenon of storefront vacancy threatens the character of New York City’s famously vibrant street life as landlords push out small business owners, holding out for higher-paying tenants. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long.
Saturday, December 1st
The abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex—once the standard for United States medical care (and later transformed to the FBI headquarters when the island served as a detention center)—has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. Now, Untapped Cities is bringing you behind-the-scenes for a unique exploration of the abandoned facility; on this experience, you’ll visit the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and have exclusive access to places usually closed to the public.
- 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
Take the time to appreciate all the wonders of Grand Central Terminal that you may miss on your hurried commute through this historic station. Hear tales of feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises throughout the station nearly 150 years of history. On this tour, you will learn what the terminal was like during the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Find out how this gorgeous Beaux Arts structure overcame a struggle to be saved and restored while seeing hidden treasures that you may never notice otherwise. From private tennis courts to a major flaw in the design of the main atrium, discover it all on this guided walking tour.
Sunday, December 2nd
On this special nature walk led by Mandy Edgecombe, the co-Vice President of The Friends of Liberty State Park, travel through some of the 235.9 acres of uplands, wetlands, and beach that make up Caven Point at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, the largest and one of the last remaining salt marshes in New York Harbor. Learn about the history of the park (along with some cool secrets), and about the environmental history and state of the harbor today. As a trained naturalist, your guide will talk about the ecology of Caven Point and identify the flora and fauna you see along the way, with the help also of Pat and Mike Hilliard of the Bayonne Nature Club and Hudson County Sierra Club. You will also hear remarks from Sam Pesin, the President of Liberty State Park. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long.
Photograph by John Suhar Courtesy of The Poetry Brothel
The Poetry Brothel is an immersive literary cabaret that fuses poetry, burlesque, live music, vaudeville, visual art, magic, mysticism, and, if that’s not enough, private one-on-one poetry experiences to provide guests with one-of-a-kind experience. The next Poetry Brothel event is their 4th Annual Office Holiday Party at House of Yes on December 2nd. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long! This event will include burlesque by Puss N Boots and Cassandra Rosebeetle, pole dancing by Lux Aeterna, aerials by The Lost Boys, musical performances by Brother Brian Davis and Hot Club of Flatbush, divinations by Holy Crow, Rebecca Fey and The Erotic Esoteric, body painting by Liz Belomlinsky, magic by Daniel Taylor, sketchy sketches by Too Loose and the National Book Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes, will be the featured reader of the night. The festivities will be presided over by your hosts Mister Charley, The Madame, and that rapscallion, Tennessee Pink.