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NYC Grid is a photo blog dedicated to exploring New York block-by-block and corner-by-corner. Each post covers a new street or feature with a focus on the mundane and ephemeral.


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37th St Between 5th Ave and Madison Ave


A barren wasteland of construction and midtown offices, this block is only steps away from such tourist heavyweights as the Empire State Building and Lord & Taylor. Open up the radius a bit more and you're just a few more blocks from the Public Library and Grand Central. The result is a congested and generally unpleasant stretch of asphalt and concrete. There's a good representation of local shops on this block which could be considered a plus, but very few were welcoming or any more pleasant than a God-forsaken Chase Bank or Duane Reade would be.

This biggest benefit this block brings to the table is its architecture. The old buildings, some in better condition than others, each have their own charm, even if it is the charm of deterioration. Off in the distance you can see some more modern examples forcing their way into the skyline. I have no absolute problem with modern buildings – I'm probably more open-minded than most –  but the stark comparison between the craftsmanship of the old and the new is quite telling.

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