Browse by...

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.


Entries from February 22, 2009 - February 28, 2009


42nd St Between 7th Ave and 8th Ave

Just as no brand is safe from the glitz and glow of Times Square, it seems the same can be said for all the surrounding side streets. In the few years I've lived here, I've watched as more and more neon has spread out from the center of Times Square onto every street in all directions.

In many ways this particular block is less about advertising (like the center of Times Square) and more about actual storefronts and brand presence. In a weird way, it's far more pracitcal and useful - there are actually places to go, and stores to enter. The area between Broadway and 7th Avenue on the other hand only has a handful of places to enter. In a strange way, this makes it a far more practical area. This is also where many street artists set up shop to sell you caricatures, signs, photos and anything else they can make in under 15 minutes. With all that, it wouldn't surprise me if tourists coming from Grand Central continued walking towards 8th Avenue rather than north on Broadway/7th Ave to enter Times Square, it can certainly be hard to get ones bearings here if you're unfamiliar with the area.

With the new building going up on the corner of 8th and 42nd, I wonder just how far Times Square can spread from it's center.  The seemingly official end is the Port Authority Bus Terminal with it's hoplessly pathetic digital screen - which just never seems to work anymore.  I remember a time when that screen lit up all of the intersection, now the Duane Reade across the street seems brighter.




68th St Between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave

In an attempt to get a different perspective on these streets, this week's posts all feature photos taken at night.

This block in many ways reminds me of the stretch of 79th street visited earlier this week. On the north side of things one will encounter a line of fancy high-rise condos, while the south side of the street is made up primarily of small (and beautiful) apartments and homes. Because of the high rise presence here the block is fairly well-lit a night and has a very nice atmosphere.

The Trump building on the west side of the street was a bit jarring (I had never seen an underground parking garage with script signage before) but otherwise a very quiet residential street.

View Larger Map



75th St Between 1st Ave and 2nd Ave

In an attempt to get a different perspective on these streets, this week's posts all feature photos taken at night.

While the two ends of this block are dominated by large, fancy buildings (with fountains!), the middle of the block is a fairly humble ordeal - with rows of low-rise apartments. A handful of local buisnesses line the street, which is fairly dark, while the real hustle occurs on the flanking avenues.

Theres ssems to be a considerable amount of character in the buildings on this street, though like I said it was quite dark when I went - so who am I to say anything?

View Larger Map


1st Ave Between 79th St and 77th St

In an attempt to get a different perspective on these streets, this week's posts all feature photos taken at night.

Walking down this stretch of 1st avenue at night is only marginally different than walking down it during the day. The number of shuttered storefronts is a depressing sign of the times, though I can't say it's all bad. It seems that most of these stores are not in any danger of being sniped off by a Duane Reade or any other large chain. And while this particular location lies dormant, Charlie Mom Chinese Cuisine has moved just a few blocks north.

With that being said, these two blocks do offer a nice variety – from toy stores, to home shops, to retaurants, to clubs. It's also nice to see that most of the block retains it's low-rise buildings, with only two or three high-rises in sight. And here's a ProTip for those of you wanting to use the CitiBank on 79th: The card reader is really far away from the ludiciously so.

View Larger Map



79th St Between East End Ave and York Ave

In an attempt to get a different perspective on these streets, this week's posts all feature photos taken at night.

This, the eastern-most point on 79th Street before the FDR, is exclusively a residential street. For me, the interesting thing is the dichotomy between the north side and the south side of the block. On one hand you have the City and Suburban Homes, built between 1898 and 1915, while on the other you have a collection of miscellaneous high-rise condos, all seemingly built in the last 30 years. It's an interesting comparison, because even though the C&S side could be considered tenements, the character and architectural beauty they offer is far greater than the fancier buildings right across the street. Granted, they're not the most stunning row of beige buildings ever, but the devil's in the details. I found it very interesting how as the block went on, each individual unit had slightly different construction and detailing from the last, though from afar they all seemed to exist as one body.

I should make it clear, I have no problem with newer construction, and there are plenty of new buildings that I really like. But in this particular case it seems to work at a disadvantage for the new ones.


View Larger Map