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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 July 11, 2010 - July 17, 2010


Poplar St Between Hicks St and Henry St


Feeling a bit lonely and misplaced, Poplar St is an isolated segment which holds a myriad of buildings. Beginning with public garden and a series of new homes on the north side, the block is balanced by construction and abandoned lots on the south side.

The most interesting thing on the block is perhaps the abandoned 84th Precinct building. Boarded up and looking awfully dull, there are plans to redevelop them into market-rate apartments.

With the street ending at an impassable wall, there's an unavoidable feeling of being blocked in. This isn't a common feeling for Brooklyn Heights, which typically feels quaint and airy.


Pineapple St Between Hicks St and Columbia Heights


With a name like Pineapple Street, you know that you're in for a big heaping pile of awesome, and these blocks do no disappoint. Lined with houses which could only be described as "prohibitively expensive", the street is about as picturesque as any you could imagine. Looking down towards the dead-end and Columbia Heights, you can see lower Manhattan peeking through the overgrown trees and buildings. It's a breathtaking view.

It wouldn't surprise me if the vast majority of these houses are second homes for the obscenely rich; folks who want to have a place in New York City, but don't need to be in the middle of it all in Manhattan. The architectural styles run the gamut from colonial to brownstone to modern – but they are share the same vibe of "you can't afford this – ever."


Court St Between Joralemon St and Tillary St


To be fair, today's segment isn't entirely Court Street. Right after passing Montague St, the lane opens up and becomes Cadman Plaza West, but that name sucks so I'm sticking with Court Street.

With Columbus Park and the Korean War Veterans Plaza filling the east side of the block (which, if you look at it on a map, sort-of resembles the cutaway of an airfoil), only a handful of government buildings interrupt the open space. The west side of the street is a rather standard assortment of office buildings and stores.

I was a bit taken aback by how many dead leaves were on the grass at this time of year. If it were almost any other season I could possibly understand it, but for these dead leaves to remain they would have had to stayed here for nearly 10 months. Even a really windy day could have taken care of this. But no, instead you're left with a scene that looks like mid-November instead of early July.


36th St Between 5th Ave and 6th Ave


Smack-dab in the middle of midtown, this block is ripe with stores catering to the garment industry. For someone with no business here, it's not terribly welcoming. Visiting on a cloudy day as I did only added to the depressed feeling.

High rise apartment building flank the block on either end, though neither bring any charm to the street. It's as-if everything was done to suck the character and hospitality away. Approaching 6th Avenue you can get a glimpse of The Haier Building, formally the Greenwich Savings Bank. Haier is a Chinese manufacture of appliances which in only the last decade or so decided to take on the American market. They're certainly giving it a good attempt with a building like this.


Plymouth St Between Adams St and Main St


An uneven smattering of cobblestones and abandoned rails make up the roadway here under the Manhattan Bridge. At first glance it would seem that this road is abandoned and kept only for pedestrian access to the waterfront; but as I can attest, after being nearly run over by two cars, the street is very much in-service. It's really exciting to see an un-touched relic of times past still being traversed.

After living the majority of its life as the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, the strip of park space between the rundown factories and the river now enjoys the new title of Brooklyn Bridge Park. It's now part of a bigger project which will eventually encompass 85 acres along the waterfront. The insane number of people which flood the small grassy spaces here on the weekends is enough to terrify a simple-minded person such as myself. But you can't deny, it's a good lookin' park.

A lot of the old brick buildings down here are in the midst of redevelopment as they get transformed into either public spaces, or multi-million-dollar condominiums. It's a shame these sorts of things must live on such extreme ends of the spectrum from each other. Would it be impossible to see a middle-income housing development arise from the ruins of some old storehouse. I guess that's a dumb question.