New York City is going landmark crazy and, for tourists and residents alike, the archeological remains of the city’s past are fast becoming newly discovered treasures. Such old-time favorites as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Grand Central Station are no longer enough to satisfy the more seasoned or adventurous sightseer; they want to eyeball unofficial, not popularly known, landmarks as well.
Steven Romalewski, the director of CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research, has developed an app for just such a purpose. Landmarks: New York provides open-source statistics and photographs for those “nearby” and hitherto overlooked landmarks. Searching by neighborhood, address or landmark name, users in search of a major landmark can just as easily find a minor landmark in the vicinity.
“There’s certainly apps out there that are very tourist-oriented, and talk about landmarks,” Mr. Romalewski said. “But landmarks as a more generic term. Not official, city-designated landmarks.”
Landmarks: New York, which opened mid-November on the Palm — the iPhone version is in testing — might appeal to historic preservationists, urban explorers and students of architecture. Still, for the more adventurous tourist, it is an alternative to a guidebook.
There are indeed many, many places of historical interest in NYC; an entire multitude of old and forgotten gems that, for the longest time, have remained simply old and forgotten. Having lived here my entire life (56 years), I’m constantly amazed at how much I didn’t know about this city; indeed, amazed at how much I never knew existed beneath and beyond the skyscrapers and along out-of-the-way streets. In this our computer age, it’s delightful to see how much there is to learn of my hometown’s antiquity; after all, it’s a part of me.
Photo: Steven Romalewski, who has created a smartphone application to track New York City’s landmarks, visited the Hall of Fame at Bronx Community College.
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