This week is packed with exciting things to do in New York City. From film screenings in Coney Island and off-the-beaten-path walking tours, to cultural festivals in Staten Island and a massive pop-up photography exhibition in Brooklyn, check out our Untapped picks of the week:

Friday, September 13th

Join a river cleanup that will help create recycled plastic products. The Foundation for New York’s Strongest and Parley for the Oceans are partnering on an East River Park Cleanup, part of a city wide clean-up initiative. Some of the trash collected will be turned into Ocean Plastic® fabric that will be used to make special NYC-themed editions of Parley’s reusable Ocean Bags.

Take part in the festivities of the 46th Annual Staten Island Greek Festival at Holy Trinity – St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The festival will run through September 15th and feature tasty Greek foods and desserts like gyros and baklava, live music and dancing, rides and carnival games.

Hear the fascinating story behind the recent discovery of the only surviving wartime image of George Washington’s Headquarters at the New-York Historical Society’s event Tent Among His Troops: Washington’s War Tent in a Newly Discovered Watercolor. Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President & CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution (MoAR) and New-York Historical curator Mike Thornton will describe the detective work that went into identifying the panoramic watercolor and its artist. The newly discovered work is now on view at the Historical Society as part of the Museum-wide celebration, Revolutionary Summer. Following the talk, you will get to examine the watercolor itself and experience the life-sized replica of Washington’s Tent in the outdoor courtyard.

Catch the opening night screenings at the Coney Island Film Festival. The festival will feature shorts and feature length documentaries, comedies, dramas and sci-fi films over the course of three days. Screenings are held at the legendary Sideshows By The Seashore venue and the Coney Island Museum.

Saturday, September 14th

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City’s most famous and recognizable landmarks, but beyond the familiar facade there are fascinating secrets waiting to be revealed. Join an expert Untapped Cities’ guide on a Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge walking tour to hear stories of the hidden champagne vaults inside the bridge, the art exhibits and parties that used to take place in its anchorage, and the allegedly cursed family of engineers who built it.

Did you know that the lush green landscape of Central Park was once a largely empty, swampy and rocky stretch of land in the middle of Manhattan? On Untapped Cities’ Secrets of Central Park walking tour, learn about the transformation of the park, uncover the hidden histories of its most beloved sights, and discover the scandal, engineering, and ingenuity you never knew went into creating the world’s most famous park.

Celebrate immigrant contributions to the arts, food, film, comedy, fashion, and more at the New American Festival. Throughout this weekend long event, immigrant artists will share special performances, immersive experiences, films, panels, and more. Notable guests at the festival will include New York Times best-selling author, host, and executive producer Padma Lakshmi, award-winning host, comedian, writer, and producer Hasan Minhaj  and renowned chef, restaurateur, and author Marcus Samuelsson among others. Food and drink are included in the price of admission.

Sunday, September 15th

Courtesy of Jessica Bal for United Photo Industries

Walk around Photoville, a giant pop-up photo exhibition at Brooklyn Bridge Park where works are displayed in a maze of shipping containers. This year’s Photoville will feature over 80 exhibitions with insightful and challenging work from photographers and institutions like the New York Times. There will be nightly outdoor programs in the Smorgasburg Beer Garden and talks, demonstrations, workshops and activities throughout the two week event.

Take part in Freshkills Park’s Discovery Day. This free event is a special opportunity to explore the future park while the site is closed to the public. Hundreds of acres and miles of trails around the former landfill will be open for tours, bicycling, and activities for all ages. Visitors will get to experience a unique landscape and spectacular views. A free shuttle will provide transportation to and from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George.

Monday, September 16th

Join an adventurous reading of Walt Whitman’s poem “The Sleepers” as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Bookend events. Whitman After Dark will take guests into the depths of Walt Whitman’s darker side. Bring a flashlight, lantern, or candle and walking shoes to be part of the roving, after-dark group reading of Whitman’s long night poem. This free event starts outside High Street subway stop on Cadman Plaza West at 8:20 pm.

Leading up to the Brooklyn Book Festival next weekend, there will be a series of literary “Bookend” events including salons, books-to-movies screenings, lit games and performances that will take place in all five boroughs. Bookends are presented in clubs, bookstores, theaters, parks, libraries and unique venues on land and sea throughout New York City!

Tuesday, September 17th

Photograph by Matt Zaller

Madame Morbid and Kings County Distillery have teamed up to bring guests the Spirits of Brooklyn Tour. This new tour combines Madame Morbid’s haunted trolley of Brooklyn with a tour and tasting at the Kings County Distillery where guests will get to sample whiskey from the 120 year old distillery building.

Wednesday, September 18th

Another adventurous poetry reading will take place this day on the Gowanus Canal. Whitman in Canoes on the Goawnus at Dawn is presented with the Walt Whitman Initiative as part of the 2019 Walt Whitman Bicentennial. Readers will share excerpts of Whitman poems as they travel down the Gowanus Canal at dawn. If you just want to listen, you can do so from the historic Carroll Street Bridge. This event is free but registration is requested and you can volunteer to be a reader!

Photograph by Richard Barnes, Courtesy of Alloy Development

Go inside the raw and renovated spaces of a 19th-century paint factory in Brooklyn that has been converted into luxury lofts. 168 Plymouth is a residential development made up of two historic buildings formerly used by Masury & Son Paintworks for storage and manufacturing. On this special tour with a historian from the Brooklyn Historical Society and representatives from Alloy Development, you will get to go inside the raw basement space, up to the rooftop and into the new residences to see the past and present of this waterfront site. Guests will also visit two more Alloy properties in the charming neighborhood of DUMBO. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this tour for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!

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Thursday, September 19th

Grab a glass of champagne and drool over the one-of-a-kind jewels, priceless sculptures, sumptuous glassware, and Alphonse Mucha on display at the Macklowe Gallery on Park Avenue. At The Art of Good Taste: Decorative Arts of the Belle Époquepresented by the Poster House, Art Nouveau and Art Deco expert Ben Macklowe will give an exclusive tour of his gallery and explain the history and techniques used to create some of the most beautiful objects from the late 19th century. Tickets include a complimentary glass of champagne.

See our full list of upcoming public tours and Insider events!