This is one of the very rare occasions where I get to cover a street in it's entirety. A very short, and unique street, Tudor City Pl mirrors Park Ave to the west as it leaps over 42nd Street, right next to 1st Avenue. The apartment buildings and parks that make up the neighborhood, all huddle together on their perch, overlooking the river and United Nations.
Built in the early 20th century where slums and tenements used to be, developer Fred F. French envisioned this as an "urban utopia" for the middle-class. Wikipedia has a pretty good overview, so I wont repeat too much here.
The neo-Gothic architecture is really great and dominates the entire neighborhood. Of course the great views of 42nd Street, Queens, the Chrysler Building and the United Nations make for a popular tourist destination, if only to snap a few photos. Interestingly enough, only a few apartments feature views facing east – while one could speculate that it's a security measure for the U.N., the truth is, Tudor City was here long before the U.N. even broke ground. Apparently this was because around the time it was built, the waterfront was nothing but slaughterhouses which had a terrible stench. Who knew.
Being elevated, as it is, makes the entire street feel like a penthouse to the rest of the city. You can get beautiful, long views down the side streets that intersect with it. It's also interesting to look down below and see some interesting sites (such as this intersection with too many potential names) It's hard to imagine this area was once shady. The charm is only augmented by the local shops that sit on the corners.
I didn't realize that the day I visited was also the same day as Manhattanhenge. It was far too early in the day to see any effect...but as it has a perfect, elevated view of 42nd St, there were already several people setting up cameras getting ready for the shot.