Whether you want to explore Middle-earth through the art of J.R.R Tolkien, take part in a shopping cart race, or see a gallery of student artwork, you can do it all this week in New York City. Check out our Untapped picks for things to do this last week of January:

Friday, January 25th

Explore the world of J.R.R. Tolkien at the Morgan Library’s new exhibit, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth. The exhibit features the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material. Visitors to the exhibit will see family photographs, memorabilia, original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to the authors works, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. The exhibit will be complimented by a series of events including lectures, family programs and a watercolor workshop.

Celebrate the fusion of Chinese and Latinx foods and cultures at the Museum of Food and Drink’s
Mundo x Latinx experience. To mark the closing of the musuem’s Chow X exhibit, this event will feature fusion dishes like Chinese-Peruvian Lomo Saltado with Tofu and a Chinese-Cuban 5-Spice Pork Belly as well as special cocktails. Dive deeper into the topic with a conversation about the cultural importance of Chino Latino restaurants, a live food demo and a Cuban Salsa dance lesson.

Saturday, January 26th

While the huskies are getting ready to run in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Race in March, New Yorker are gearing up shopping carts for the 15th Annual Idiotarod NYC, a “satirical, creative spin on that totally-unrelated annual event in Alaska.” Costume-clad teams with elaborately-themed shopping carts “race” through the streets of New York City and compete for prizes awarded to Best in Show and Best Design at the after party. The “race” is rain or shine and costs $5 per racer. You must be part of a team to participate. You can register, get more information and find teammates on the race’s Facebook page.

Explore the off-limits spaces of Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital on Untapped Cities’ behind-the-scenes hard hat tour. The 29-building complex dates back to the early 20th-century and has been closed for over sixty years. On this exploration, gain access to areas of the hospital that once served as the autopsy room, the laundry facilities and contagious disease wards as well as space once used as offices by the FBI after immigration services on the island stopped.

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

Travel through over 100 years of history on Untapped Cities’ Underground Tour of the NYC Subway as you ride through stations both past and present. Start at the birthplace of the subway system at City Hall Park as you uncover remnants of the famous decommissioned station. See the hidden art installation thousands of riders walk by everyday at the Union Square Station, visit the architectural ghosts of the now nearly forgotten, and partially abandoned, Chambers Street station once nicknamed the “Grand Central of Downtown,” and more!

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Uncover the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal, one of New York City’s most well traveled and iconic landmarks. Despite being one of the city’s most recognizable sites, there are many secrets left to discover inside this Beaux-Arts beauty, even for those who may travel through the everyday. Peek into the entrance of the glass walkways, learn about the major design flaw in the main atrium and discover a multi-million dollar jewel hidden in plain sight along with many other hidden treasures.

Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Sunday, January 27th

See pieces of the site specific art installation Unframed by world renowned artist JR while exploring the abandoned rooms of the off-limits Ellis Island Hospital. In operation from 1901 until 1951, the complex has been closed for over sixty years but you can gain access to this unique site on Untapped Cities’ behind-the-scenes hard hat tour.

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

See all upcoming Untapped Cities Public Tours and Insider Events!

Indulge in centuries old recipes cooked by culinary historian Lavada Nahon at Fraunces Tavern’s Winter Tavern Night. Nahon will prepare authentic 18th century food tastings and give a lecture on the history of early American cookery.  Learn what members of the upper class had for dinner on an average day in the 1700s and how dining practices changed after the Revolution, while enjoying pickled beets, chicken fricasse, spiced Pears, carrot pudding and other foods!

Monday, January 28th

Watch a video art installation created by Queens-based artist and filmmaker, Jimmy Ferguson projected on a 70-foot wall. The film will be projected above Pollos A La Brasa Marios on Roosevelt Avenue, across from the 82nd Street 7-subway platform now until February 2nd. Ferguson’s film, Between Neighbors: Jackson Heights on Display, captures the subways through Jackson Heights and those who ride them, exploring the distance between the self and the other. The installation will be exhibited every night from 5:30 pm to 10:30pm.

Tuesday, January 29th

Every Tuesday night between January and May the Art Students League hosts Opening Night Receptions for gallery showcases of student work across the disciplines of painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and mixed media. The reception takes place from 6:00pm until 8:00pm and the reception, as well as the exhibitions, are free and open to the public inside the Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery. Most of the students’ work will be for sale!

Explore how emerging design and production technologies impact the ways in which architects engage with traditional practices of architectural drawing at a Gallery Roundtable for the The Cooper Union’s new exhibit Drawing Codes. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join the curators and the Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture on a guided walkthrough of the exhibit before the roundtable! The exhibit consists of 24 experimental drawings commissioned for the exhibition by firms such as Aranda\Lasch, Höweler + Yoon, and Outpost Office. This exhibit is the second volume in a series organized by the CCA Digital Craft Lab.

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Wednesday, January 30th

Uncover the Secrets of Outer Space at the Gene Frankel Theatre’s short film festival “dedicated to exploring outer space, extra-terrestrial life, and alternative dimensions through cinema.” The festival will include ten short films selected from over 200 international submissions.

Thursday, January 31st

Join the Harvard Alumni Architectural and Urban Society for a panel discussion and tour of 277 Fifth Avenue, a new 55-story residential tower designed by internationally acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly. On the tour, visitors will get to see the tower’s robust modern architecture and warm interiors designed by Jeffrey Beers. Hosted by Lendlease Development, the panel will be moderated by the company’s Senior Development Manager, Scott Walsh and feature panelists from Rafael Viñoly Architects, Jeffrey Beers International and Corcoran Sunshine. Doors open at 6:00p.m. and tickets are required.