Untapped Cities is excited to announce our July lineup of bespoke events available to Untapped Cities Insiders. Every month, Insiders get to explore New York City through free, exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and exciting events hosted by the city’s leading cultural institutions, like our partners the New York Public Library, The Museum of the City of New York and the Brooklyn Historical Society. Recently, Insiders got to climb to the top of the Little Red Lighthouse, explore the abandoned military structures of Fort Totten Park in Queens, and go inside the Dyckman Farmhouse, one of the oldest homes in New York City. This month, Insiders can explore the opulent Grand Prospect Hall, a former vaudeville theater in Brooklyn, go behind-the-scenes at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy inside the Payne-Whitney mansion, tour the newly opened Poster House and more! New events are constantly added, so keep an eye on this page. You can join us on our next adventure by becoming a member today.
Photograph by Stephanie Powell, Courtesy of the Poster House
Explore New York City’s newest cultural institution, Poster House, during a private lunchtime tour. Poster House, which opened on June 20th, will be closed to the general public during this tour and open just for Insiders! Meet the museum’s Chief Curator as she guides you through two opening shows that delve into the work of Alphonse Mucha in Belle Époch Paris, as well as early posters from design collaborative Cyan after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Poster House Director Julia Knight will also be on site to answer questions about the design and construction process of the 15,000-square-foot gut renovation of the old TekServe space.
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July 9th – The Dead Ladies Show at KGB Bar’s Red Room
Photograph by Phyllis Sears
The Red Room on the third floor of the legendary Lower East Side KGB Bar is a speakeasy styled space that host exciting off-beat events. Untapped Cities Insiders are invited to join a performance of The Dead Ladies Show, a storytelling show that originated in Berlin. The Dead Ladies Show is a series of entertaining and inspiring presentations on women who achieved amazing things against all odds. Every month, the show hosts three passionate cheerleaders of too-oft forgotten women, inviting its loyal audience to celebrate these impressive icons, turbulent lives, and deathless legacies.
There are three rules that dictate who is eligible to be discussed: 1. The Dead Ladies must have been dead for at least a year. 2. They must have identified as female in their lifetimes. 3. No fascists. The line-up for July includes a resistance fighter, an activist for the environment and for humanity, and an influential urban planner. Presented, respectively, by an art historian-slash-curator, an editor-slash-writer, and a writing-addicted façade designer. If you can’t wait for the show, there is also a Dead Ladies Show podcast you can listen to here!
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On this members-only Untapped Cities Insiders tour, guests will get a behind-the-scenes look inside the Gilded Age Payne-Whitney mansion on Fifth Avenue, now home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. On a tour led by Adam Hocker of the Albertine Bookstore, Insiders will enter the McKim, Mead and White-designed mansion to discover a marble rotunda featuring a statue by Michelangelo, visit the Albertine Bookstore on the first floor, and look into the Rococo Venetian room, and a ballroom. Insiders will also gain access to the usually-closed offices of the Cultural Counselor on the third floor. As a special treat, the staff will pull out a dress from Marilyn Monroe that was found within the embassy and let you know how it got there!
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*Reschedule for August 12th – Celebrate Emma Lazarus’ 170th Birthday at the Center for Jewish History
Untapped Cities Insiders are invited to join members of the Center for Jewish History and Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society, Annie Polland, for a special evening celebrating the birthday of poet Emma Lazarus. Born on July 22, 1849, Lazarus is best known for writing The New Colossus, the poem emblazoned on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Friend to Ralph Waldo Emerson, cousin of Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, Emma Lazarus grew up in a prominent Sephardic-Jewish family, was educated by private tutors, and called Union Square home. Our twilight tour will pass by the gorgeous brownstone home where she wrote her most famous poem, the art studios and publication houses of her literary friends, and the almost-hidden cemetery of her family’s congregation. Along the way, Annie Polland, Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society, will tell the story of this gifted and fascinating woman and the changing city that inspired and motivated her. We’ll end at the Center for Jewish History, where we’ll see Emma Lazarus’s handwritten manuscript of The New Colossus, and celebrate her life with birthday cake!
REGISTRATION: This event is booked out! Join the waitlist by filling out the form below!
Photograph Courtesy of Grand Prospect Hall
Travel back to the heyday of Brooklyn’s sophisticated Gold Coast with a visit to the opulent Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope. Grand Prospect Hall was built in 1892 by German immigrant John Kolle as a “temple of music and amusement.” It was the place for the wealthy of the burgeoning borough to party, attend vaudeville shows, see movies, watch operas and take part in other cultural events. Designed by architect Ulrich J. Huberty, who also designed Prospect Park’s renowned Boathouse, Tennis House, and Litchfield Villa, Grand Prospect Hall was constructed with no expense spared. The rooms are decked out in marble, gilded ornamentation, stained glass, statuary, and bright colors. On this tour, see how the glamour of Brooklyn’s Gilded Age lives on inside Grand Prospect Hall with the guidance of its current owner Mr. Michael Halkias, or Mr. H. Mr. H, along with his wife and business partner Mrs. Alice Halkias, bought the hall in 1981 and have managed every detail of its restoration.
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*Rescheduled for December 3rd – Oysters 101: The Secrets NYC’s Bivalves Harbor at the Brooklyn Historical Society
Learn more about one of New York’s oldest and most prevalent residents, oysters, at a discussion hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Oysters are extremely beneficial to New York as they serve not only as a delicious snack but they also filter sewage, to protect the shore from intensifying storms and educate scientists. Join Brooklyn Historical Society Vice President of Collections and Curatorial Affairs Julie Goliain conversation with Billion Oyster Project Director of Education Ann Fraioli, chef and oyster farmer Kerry Heffernan, and Mark Kurlansky, author of The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shelll, to “examine the bivalves’ pivotal place in the story of New York, beginning with Lenape cultivation and continuing to today’s ambitious plans to build artificial oyster reefs.”
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Photograph Courtesy of ZeroSpace
Be among the first members of the public to step inside ZeroSpace, a brand new immersive art experience in New York City. ZeroSpace combines bleeding-edge technological art with actor-driven narrative to create a one-hour immersive experience unlike anything ever created. The story is that a mysterious portal to another dimension has appeared by Penn Station. A covert government agency you’ve never heard of has quarantined it, and is looking for volunteers to see what’s on the other side. Insiders are the first to volunteer!
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July 29th – Inside Look at Housing Density: From Tenements to Towers, the Newest Exhibit at the Skyscraper Museum
Photograph by Michael Young, Courtesy of the Skyscraper Museum
Arguments about density have shaped and reshaped New York. With the guidance of gallery manager Josh Vogel, Untapped Cities Insiders are invited to explore this topic at the Skyscraper Museum’s newest exhibition, Housing Density: From Tenements to Towers. Density today remains a hyper-charged concept – a negative to many who equate it with crowding – or a positive for those who claim it creates more vibrant and affordable urban life. Whatever one believes about its relative merits, a better understanding of density is a first step to meaningful dialogue about the future of the city. To help give you that understanding, the new exhibition is packed with three-dimensional diagrams, graphs, building plans, photographs and other documents, which provide a comprehensive view of the issues surrounding density from many perspectives.
REGISTRATION: Open now!
July 30th – Book Talk: “Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet” at the Brooklyn Historical Society
Insiders are invited to join Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young to examine our connection to spaces underground. Michelle will sit down with author Will Hunt to discuss his new book, Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet, which explores the world’s derelict subway stations, sacred caves, nuclear bunkers, and subterranean cities.
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