Hello Untapped New York readers! Congratulations on making it through three months of sheltering in place! Thank you for all of your support over the last few months, whether as a reader, newsletter subscriber, Untapped New York Insider, former or future tour attendee, Secret Brooklyn book purchaser, or donor to our cause. Your messages by email and social media have sustained us and kept us focused on our mission of discovery.

We too have learned so much, digging into aspects of New York City’s history that have been lost to time but provide context to the unprecedented series of current events we are living through. We have always believed that through a better understanding of the past, residents can be better prepared to become active participants of the future. We have been moved by the activism thronging the streets for racial and social justice. Our photographers have been in the midst of it all, documenting the George Floyd demonstrations and the impact of coronavirus on the city’s landscape. It was exciting to see the adaptation of our team, used to covering discovery, history and design, turn their attention to coronavirus and the demonstrations, producing an inspiring video, a guide to Black-owned restaurants through the five boroughs (which also incorporated reader suggestions), looking at the history of riots in New York City, the history of curfews, the many drive-in theaters getting a boost in New York State, and more. On my end, I had held onto a story about the pavilion that was built for protests that used to stand in Union Square and found that this was the moment to publish it.

We have been so heartened during these challenging months to see the increased readership on Untapped New York and the vast growth of our membership program, Untapped New York Insiders, where we have been hosting our virtual events — up to five a week!  We now have over 1000 members. We have enjoyed seeing all the places around the country and the world where all our members are participating from. We also produced virtual events for schools, for nursing homes, for non-profits, and groups of readers who wanted to organize their own, and helped organizations fundraise through the events.

You’ve been asking us when tours will restart and what will happen with our virtual events, so today, we’re sharing what’s next for our Insiders membership program and our tours, now that New York City is officially starting to re-open.

We’ve heard what you’ve been saying: We will be continuing our virtual programming (hooray!)

For our Untapped New York Insiders members, we will continue the virtual events even as we reintroduce our in-person members tours later this year. You’ll continue to find virtual book launches, historical talks, live tours, and more of what you’ve come to love. When we can run in-person experiences again, the member tours will also be streamed for members to join live or view the videos afterwards in our video archive, which is a great new benefit.

We have a robust calendar of virtual events for June and will be adding more shortly for July and August so register away. For those just tuning in, you can still get 2 months free membership with code STAYHOME for Untapped New York Insiders! New York City has re-opened for phase one but we still have some time to go before everything is open again.

Our in-person tours will return with Phase 4 of the re-opening, which includes arts, entertainment, and recreation.

It takes a minimum of two weeks before a new phase of reopening can begin, so Phase 4 will not happen for at least another 8 weeks (barring Governor Cuomo moving up that timeline). When Phase 4 opens, our guides will be trained for the new reality by wearing masks (NYC-themed, of course!), and providing hand sanitizers, gloves and masks for guests. We will be using our futuristic ear pieces — sanitized after each use — to enable all guests to be able to hear perfectly without having to bunch together near the guide. We have been receiving tour requests for August on, so if you would like to book a public tour or request a private tour, you can start to do so! You can also purchase gift cards. We’ll have more news at the start of Phase 4.

Thank you all again for all of your support. Thank you for also doing your part these months and sheltering at home. I am writing this during a brief foray upstate near Lake Placid, where they are in the midst of phase two, and I promise all New York City denizens that a sense of normalcy is coming sooner than you think! More to come.

3 thoughts on “Letter from the Founder: What’s Next for Untapped New York as NYC Reopens

  1. Hi Michelle –

    I am so incredibly happy I discovered Untapped NY!!! I’ve so looked forward to all of your virtual tours and presentations! As an ex-New Yorker who loves to get out and explore, I don’t think I would have survived “sheltering in place” and maintained my sanity without Untapped NY. Having watched almost all of your archived and live virtual events and being an active chat participant, I feel like I’ve gotten to know you, Justin, and the other “regulars” and become a member of a great community of like-minded people!

    I am so happy you’ll be continuing your virtual programming as you reintroduce in-person tours and will continue streaming and archiving member tours. This has all been a fantastic unintended consequence of the pandemic. Since I live in San Francisco, I would not otherwise be able to attend your wonderful programs.

    Your 2 months free membership is a great idea and I’ve already joined as an Insider for a year.
    I look forward to many more wonderful events and hope I am able to join some actual tours and meet you and Justin in the future on my next visit to NYC!

    Thank you so much!!!

    Pete Tannen, San Francisco

  2. Thank you for continuing the virtual tours!! I had to give up a theater trip to NYC this spring and your tours have really made a difference. I’m glad to have found you all to keep in touch with the city whenever I can’t be there in person.

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