Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

I think it’s safe to say that New York is the most diverse city in the world, and the densest city in the US.  This translates to interesting sights and juxtapositions at almost every corner. Each of the sidewalks in today’s collection caught my attention for one reason or another.

Near Times Square, a former street has become pedestrianized.

A planter adds panache to a sidewalk near Little Brazil



The text scrolls right into the sidewalk

A close-up


A sidewalk is normally situated next to something else, namely a street or road. The “side” in sidewalk implies that it’s not the main event; it’s a sideshow.  A more accomodating, if looser, definition for a sidewalk is a path through which (mostly) pedestrians go through. 

High Line Park in Manhattan fits under the latter definition. Inaugurated in 2010, High Line is a unique concept that I hope gets replicated in other cities.  The park is located on the former site of an elevated freight rail line. The rail line sat unused for two decades, and there was talk of tearing the whole thing down, when a brilliant community member had the idea to turn the rail line into a park.

The well-manicured park is largely landscaped with native vegetation that was growing on the tracks after the rail line shut down.  The views from High Line are spectacular. The park is the equivalent of 3 or 4 stories off the ground, so you’re close enough to the street level to observe pedestrians, while being high enough off the ground to be able to take in sweeping vistas of the New York City skyline.  High Line currently stretches about ten city blocks. The second phase of the park, currently under construction, will extend the length of the park by at least another ten blocks. 

Looking up at High Line Park, from the street level.


A view of High Line Park

A part of the old rail line was kept in place.

Benches are plentiful.


The park is spurring new development in the surrounding streets.

Looking out into Phase 2 of High Line Park

On Day 5 of New York City Week, I’m shifting my focus away from sidewalks and onto manhole covers. The quotidian manhole covers are those that show up over and over again across the city.  The rare manhole covers are either  hard to come across because there are few of them, or have been rendered unique through age, art, or setting.

NYC SEWER - an ubiquitous manhole cover




N.Y.C. SEWER -- MADE IN INDIA -- (Variation 2)


N.Y.C. SEWER -- MADE IN INDIA -- (Variation 3)






CON EDISON CO -- (concave)


CON EDISON CO -- (convex)


The same manhole cover, this time showing more of the beautiful original cobblestone on a street in the Meatpacking District


Looks like the elements have gotten the better of this manhole cover




a manhole cover in an advanced state of deterioration










CATSKILL WATER MANHOLE -- as in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, where NYC's drinking water originates


Art Deco style


More Art Deco


DPW in Art Deco style





GENERAL SEMINARY - in front of a theological seminary


Ending on a high note, mahole cover(s) as art

Walking around Broadway in SoHo, I kept coming across sidewalks studded with glass cubes and beads. The only other place I’ve seen this is in Seattle, where the glass cubes serve as a ceiling of sorts for an underground story beneath the sidewalk. I’m taking an educated guess here, but I’ll venture to say that the same is true on this section of Broadway. Does anyone know what lies beneath these sidewalks?



Mexican Day Parade

Posted: September 26, 2010 in sidewalks
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People generally use sidewalks to get from point A to point B, but sometimes the sidewalk itself is the destination. I was reminded of that when I stumbled upon the Mexican Day Parade in Manhattan on September 19th.  Thousands of people lined up along the sidewalks to watch the parade go by.   

Waiting for the parade to start.



Photo courtesy of V.


On a side street, parade participants are putting on their finishing touches. (Photo courtesy of V.)


Mr. and Mrs. Azteca (photo courtesy of V.)


On to Day 2 of New York City week. Today’s focus is the sidewalks of Chinatown. On a recent Saturday I found Chinatown to be bursting at the seams with pedestrians, vendors selling knock-off goods, and trash.

Some sidewalks along Canal Street were so full that a few people skipped the sidewalks altogether and walked on the street.

There were plenty of trash bins. But there were even plentier amounts of trash.

A night fruit market in Chinatown, bordering Little Italy (I think this was Mulberry Street). In the evening, there were far fewer pedestrians, especially once you are more than a few blocks away from the subway station.

Side-sidewalks in New York City

Posted: September 24, 2010 in sidewalks
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Today is the start of New York City week on this blog.  Normally a “week” of something starts on a Monday, but I’m running a bit behind.Today’s focus is what I’m dubbing “side-sidewalks.”  These are sidewalks that are built directly adjacent to other sidewalks. It’s hard to picture what this means without seeing it, so take a look at the photos below.

A side-sidewalk. On the right is a traditional sidewalk. On the left, directly adjacent to the sidewalk is a second sidewalk that was built over what used to be an entire block of curb-side parking spots.

The side-sidewalk is two steps higher. Underneath the steps is probably a stormwater drain.


The side-sidewalk offers plenty of seating options.


Behind where the cyclist is standing is a barrier to alert drivers that the lane ahead is a side-sidewalk, not a driving lane.

I took these photos in Lower Manhattan.