Our Gateway to Manhattan Turns 50


(Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Early 1960′s. Image from Museum of The City of New York)

Happy Birthday this past week to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which turned 50! Always commanding a presence at the mouth of New York Harbor; The bridge has welcomed visitors and travellers alike now for half a century.

Hats off to the Bloggers at The Bowery Boys, keepers of many of New York City’s best historical secrets. They put together A top 10 list of facts and a podcast about the Bridge and its relationship to Our City’s past. Cheers to the Verrazano-Narrows and to many more future years servicing New York.

Links of Relatable Note can be found here:

The Bowery Boys (an amazing compilation of New York City’s curious Historical Facts)

Verrazano Turns 50, facts and podcast from The Bowery Boys Blog

Robert Moses, Wikipedia link to The Master Builder of New York Monuments

Menhir’s of Manhattan

Curbed Skyline

Menhir’s of Manhattan, Soon to stand guard over an ever expanding New York

Definition: A Menhir (French, from Middle Breton: men, “stone” and hir, “long”[1]), standing stone, orthostat, or lith is a large upright standing stone. Menhirs may be found singly as monoliths, or as part of a group of similar stones. Their size can vary considerably, but their shape is generally uneven and squared, often tapering towards the top.

Alas, the latest round of phallic symbols Super Tall Towers is rising. Our friends at Curbed New York have posted a round of renderings, courtesy of City Realty which superimposes the simulated forms of these skyscrapers-to-be (depicted in Brown) which will grace our Urban Skyline in the years to come. Impressive indeed.

Merrivale Menhir of Devon

The Merrivale Menhir of Devon, England

The definition of Menhir, or an upright standing stone, has been used in urban lore throughout history to describe a symbol of place, usually vertical and omnipresent, which stands to endure. Akin to a totem, the Menhir implies a connection to place and acts as a symbol for connection. In the case of Manhattan, it is the vast collection of these monoliths which act in a force of gravitational pull, while simultaneously pushing up into the skyline. 

Urban Menhir’s, the Supertalls of This Century, are acting to redefine this century’s skyline. Look out, and be sure to always look up.

Links of Relatable Note:

The Megalithic Portal. An interesting UK based site for Menhir aficionado’s.

Super Thin, Super Tall. From Gordon’s Urban Morphology.

New York’s Next Tallest, Climbed. From Gordon’s Urban Morphology.

Mapping Our City of Change


(The Citizens Housing Planning Council, Making Neighborhoods Mapping Tool, 2014)

We try to feature a series of maps once in a while which are relevant to New York and its development cycle. This time, the Citizens Housing Planning Council has produced a neighborhood comparison map of demographic change between the years 2000 and 2010. It’s useful if one wants to study the dynamic forces which impact demographic movement across Urban Geography. It’s also a fun tool to see how New York has shifted over time, or at least the span of our early millenium.

For a direct link to the Map and to see where your neighborhood falls, please click HERE.

The Tenement, Revisited


(Rita Ascione, at The New York Tenement Museum. Photo by Damon Winter)

Rita Ascione, the last remaining former resident of 97 Orchard Street, now the New York Tenement Museum, recently made a pilgrimage back to her former home. This journey was chronicled in a New York Times Piece, where she recalled life in The Lower East Side back in the 1930′s as Rita Bonofiglio, member of an Italian Immigrant family amongst many others.

Harkening back to one of our prior posts on The Museum which recalled the old Tenement Windows, one can imagine Ms. Ascione ascending the staircase to her apartment and approaching the window where she looked out at such a young age. A lifetime has elapsed in between, with memories spanning decades.

In a poignant ending to the article, Ms. Ascione comments that the neighborhood “is alright,” a nod, one can say, that even as the forces of change sweep through Our City, some things just don’t change as much. Perhaps it is the familiarity of surroundings, the scale of the buildings, or an echo on The Street. These personal recalls must be preserved over the life span of time, much as they have been for Rita. For as The City churns through its machinations, it will always be a Collector of Memories; Made to be Revisited.

Links of Relatable Note:

For a link to the New York Times piece about Rita Ascione, please click Here.

For a link to Gordon’s Urban Morphology’s Memory Piece on the Tenement Museum, please click Here.

Gansevoort Market and The Urban Eater


(Gansevoort Market in the Heart of Meatpacking, New York, NY. October 2014.)

A new eating venue has opened in the heart of New York’s Meatpacking district, adding yet another open market space to this now boutique neighborhood. Overall, the place is an enjoyable environment to mill about and people watch amongst the tourists and residents of the area. A beautiful interior courtyard under a large open skylight adds a focal center between various market stands and coffee shops.


(Gansevoort Market in the Heart of Meatpacking, New York, NY. October 2014.)

This place, if not discovered, is definitely a destination in its own right. Although a bit pricey on the food side, the variety of offerings and the proximity to the entrance of The High Line make this a refreshing addition to a rapidly changing Meatpacking. Coming up next: The opening of The Whitney right around the corner.

Links of Relatable note can be found Here:

For a link to Gansevoort Market’s Website you can click HERE.

For a map of Gansevoort Market’s location, you can click HERE.

A link to the culinary treats to be found at the market can be found HERE, from New York Eater

A nice Re-Cap article from Forbes Lifestyle can be found HERE. 

Two Tenements, Standing

Greg Gordon:

Two of our favorite buildings we’ve written about were highlighted in the New York Times today, via Artist Hedy Pagremanski who is chronicling Our disappearing New York. You can read more on the article HERE and our original post on the soon to be demolished tenements below:

Originally posted on Gordon's Urban Morphology:


(400 & 402 Grand Street, Lower East Side, New York, New York. April 2014)

Old New York. I pass by these buildings every day and imagine what life was like when these sturdy structures contained The Immigrants; Germans, Jews and Irish families crammed within quarters, searching for a better life in The New World, working alongside pushcarts and carriages. These buildings used to have neighbors just like them alongside, although they were wiped away by neglect when this area of Grand fell on hard times. Two Tenements, Standing; embody the American Dream of yesteryear, soon to be relinquished to the wrecking ball of renewal. Ghosts of their prior life, swept away.

The City of Today circulates at a faster rate, a heightened pulse keeping pace with the technologies and societal changes of Time. The City of Today, some say, is losing a core set of values which used to…

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Waterworks Manhattan

Water Tunnel

(New York Water Tunnel #3, Under Construction)

Infrastructure is rarely a topic of notice to the typical City-Goer. It often happens behind the scenes, and unnoticed to the general public.

Not many New Yorker’s know, but many experience on a daily basis, the addition of the New Water Tunnel #3 Viaduct; partially completed and also still under construction under the tangled streets of the City. Providing fresh and potable water to residents, the water Tunnel is designed to supply Greater New York from the Upstate water supply system.

Water Tunnel 3 Map

(Map of the Water Tunnel’s and their connection to Manhattan)

Burrowing deep under the ground, the water tunnel is accessed through vertical shafts intermittently occurring in and around The City. Shown in the picto-graphic below, the scale of both the tunnel and  the access system is enormous, as is its budget at an estimated 6 Billion USD. Considering the span of its construction, nearly 50 years, this puts the price tag in a larger perspective.


(Picto-Graphic of the Water Tunnel and its link to Manhattan Buildings) 

Over time, the water tunnel will enhance the quality of life in The City by providing clean water for future generations ahead. It will allow for the shutdowns of New York’s other water tunnels for repair (#’s 1 & 2) which have been in service for much of the previous decade. An investment well made for the Greater New York.

Links of Relatable Note can be found Here:

60 Minutes video on the miners of Tunnel #3.

NYC.GOV weblink to Water Tunnel #3

Wikipedia Link to Water Tunnel #3.