A fabled garden, a much-coveted key, the hushed overtones of wealth–Gramercy Park is the Victorian fairy-tale Manhattan can’t quite shrug. As the borough’s sole remaining private park (keys are bestowed to residents of the park’s 39 surrounding townhouses and buildings), its carefully manicured exclusivity has long exerted a mighty pull on the city’s chosen few, Read More
If New York is a city of competing utopias, each on a headlong collision course for the next, Bethune Street is the pared-down version-a compressed glimpse into a few grand experiments in urban living, their feverish beginnings and whimpering falters.
Take the former Bell Labs factory, converted in the 1960s into the world’s largest subsidized Read More
If the project of Manhattan is a chaotic scramble upward, Battery Park City is a slightly incongruous footnote lingering at the margins, a pristine planned development plopped on a 92-acre landfill. A developer’s dream-no malting brownstones, no cumbersome rent regulations-the 1960s extension of the city’s boundaries was helped in part by the ground dug Read More
When the Whitney, chronically in want of space and funds, finally makes its leap downtown, like any longtime Upper East Sider in less lofty altitudes, the museum will have some things to get used to, not least the insouciant High Line sunbathers and gritty-chic meatpacking clubsters for neighbors. But Whitney Number One-finally unyoked Read More
The last decade turned the cobblestoned stretch of Bond Street into a mini-showcase of architectural bling. A decade of flush developers-all vying for an increasingly concentrated yet lucrative high-end clientele-made starchitects of the trade’s edgiest practitioners.
Like the distilled, airy boutiques (Belhaus, United Nude) popping up on Bond, developers became curators of design for the Read More
Chelsea hides. At least, it used to. Edgy new galleries secreted in anonymous factory brick, industrial-kitsch nightclubs skulking in basements-that was the old Chelsea.
What you catch glimpses of now is a Chelsea that surfaces like a mirage of glass, a shimmery, see-though world more suggestive than transparent, before dissolving back into Read More
The disreputable ghosts of Boweries past-the gangsters, vagabonds and punk rockers who saw the street shape—shift over the past century and a half—likely have more in common with each other than with the citizens of the Bowery lately. The last few years’ barrage of the new (new luxury condos, new cuisine, the boxy Read More
Maybe because it’s been dragged through the verses of so many folk songs, MacDougal Street has an immediate, familiar force to it—a preformed memory, a kind of Greenwich Village reenactment. The scene may be self-romanticizing, the costumes slightly campy, but when you round the corner and it whirs to life, a perpetual carnival Read More
For the real believers, tales of a subterranean New York have either at least a germ of truth (mole people, alligators in the sewers) or have yet to be proven (Masonic tunnels, government chambers beneath the Empire State Building). But to those of its denizens who have an enduring preoccupation with all things Read More