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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.


Entries from March 22, 2009 - March 28, 2009


90th St Between Park Ave and Madison Ave

In the interest of making my job as difficult and costly as possible, today's photos were shot on film.

This residential block is a mixture of both old and new buildings. I can't say that there's much offered here to the average person.  One sign near Madison ave talks about the area's Landmark Preservation status (referring to Carnegie Hill). Though I found the content of that sign to be confusing:

Carnegie Hill has retained its low rise midblock domestic character since it was first developed in the 1880's, following the extension of the Third Avenue Elevated Railroad north in 1881.

Really? Low rise? There seemed to be plenty of very tall buildings scattered all around this block when I visited. I think the individuals who tagged the sign seemed to agree with me.


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Park Ave Between 23rd St and 21st St

23rd Street is a bit of a major transportation hub, and that's especially true for this stretch of Park Avenue. Being the eastern-most subway stop makes for a very busy area (arguably, that's true all along Park and Lexington avenues - which makes me wonder how these avenues will change once the 2nd Avenue subway opens) so running into Duane Reade, Bank of America and Morton Williams is to be expected. There's a lot of great, older buildings around here: On the corner of 23rd and Park one building still has the old "Fourth Ave" signage, which is oh-so-popular amongst people looking for anachronistic nuggets of trivia.

The building's themselves show signs of former intents - the building housing the Morton Williams supermarket still has an automated deposit safe for the bank which once stood there. I found this safe fascinating. It appeared to be operated by coin and even provided a receipt. Not bad.

Other than that, I always enjoy seeing what new movie has been painted up on the large wall in between 23rd and 24th - While it's not always a great movie, I'm always impressed with the handiwork of the artists.


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92nd St Between Park Ave and Lexington Ave

In the interest of making my job as difficult and expensive as possible, today's photos were shot on film.

Streets like this are always so self-contained. It seems like someone living here wouldn't have to go further than a block for any of their day-to-day needs. On one end is a dry cleaners, across the street a restaurant, and across Lex is a grocery store.

The New York Times had a nice little write-up about the block (including the great, old houses on it) in 2005:

It's locally famous for two small wooden houses built in the mid-19th century, but there is also current news on the picturesque, steeply sloping block of 92nd Street from Park to Lexington Avenues. On the long-vacant lot at 125 East 92nd -- where the 92nd Street Y tried (and failed) to build a modernist annex -- a banker has gotten permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to put up an imposing mansion, a note de luxe on a block of more modest dwellings.

From what I could tell, the lot in question was still under construction.


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3rd Ave Between 87th St and 85th St

In the interest of making my job as difficult and expensive as possible, today's photos were shot on film.  Likewise in the interest of making your viewing experience as perplexing as possible, the film used was black and white. 

There's always a build-up of activity as you walk down an avenue approaching a major thoroughfare. 86th St, with it's large retail strip inevitably bleeds over into the surrounding avenues. The retail environment here on Third Avenue seems to be thriving quite nicely during the recession. Plenty of small, local places to eat are scattered around these blocks - with very few large chains. And while there seems to have been some redevelopment in the area, some interesting, older buildings have survived and show no signs of going anywhere.

I really enjoy the quality of some of these black and white shots.  Without context, many of them could seem to be right out of the 1970's – except when you see an Hyundai SUV. Perhaps that's why everyone seems to think NY is getting "Disney-fyed": not enough black and white photos.


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93rd St Between Lexington Ave and 3rd Ave

In the interest of making my job as difficult and costly as possible, today's photos were shot on film.

Like many of the streets up in this area, this stretch of 93rd is almost all residential except for the small neighborhood businesses on the avenue corners. The best one can hope for in this neighborhood are to find interesting architectural details. There's practically no street art or any thing resembling it, so I have to resort to admiring the infrastructure.

This being a moderately high-end neighborhood, there's no shortage of "don't do this" signs, which are always fun to look at.  I particularly liked the clean up after your dog sign – that's some pretty intense Helvetica.


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