New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, January 12, 2009

Small Achievements

Perhaps I have spent a little too much time confirming that 2366 is the last street address on Fifth Avenue and that this sign is the last intersection with Fifth Avenue signage. But it is something I really wanted to know, so on my recent excursion to the Bronx, we circumnavigated this area. I examined street signs and subsequently did online address lookups and map analyses. I am reasonably sure that 2366 Fifth Avenue is the end of the line. Apparently this factoid is of little interest. I found nothing written anywhere - no articles at all regarding the fact that 2366 is the last numbered address.
Fifth Avenue is arguably the most important street in Manhattan. It runs North South in the center of Manhattan. It originates at Washington Square Park with the first numbered address at 1 Fifth Avenue. The avenue runs to 142nd Street #2366) and the Harlem River Drive. Where Fifth Avenue intersects crosstown streets, they are designated East or West at Fifth Avenue, which serves as the zero point in crosstown street address numbering - i.e. numbers get larger as you move east or west of Fifth at 100 per block (with some exceptions and large block divisions like Madison and Lexington Avenues). In its long trajectory, Fifth runs through a variety of neighborhoods - the Village, midtown with its iconic flagship retailers, the gold coast along Central Park and finally, Harlem.
For most of my adult life I have lived near the beginning of Fifth Avenue, so its end was always a distant small mystery - perhaps more accurately a small curiosity. A mirage just out of view. Not compelling enough to really pursue. But these little things can nag and in time reach a critical mass where it is better to get closure and put it to rest.
The Fifth Avenue "mystery" reminds me of Sudoku. One reason for the popularity of the game is (was?) the appeal of a puzzle, just challenging enough, that is a discrete task with exactly one clear solution. Completion gives a person the satisfaction of a perfect, small achievement. Let's toast to small achievements :)

Note: What's at 2366 Fifth Avenue? The 369th Regiment Armory, NY National Guard, built in 1923 and designed by Van Wart & Wein. See photo here.


An Honest Man said...

Nice one Brian. It's like an itch that just won't go away until you scratch it.

alex said...

Like Human kindness, we almost know where it begins but not where it ends...and so many things happen during his history...
Strange to see the 369th Regiment Armory as an end, isn't it ?

I agree with you, this Avenue with a big "A" (as we say in french: avec un grand "A")can be aproved as a real mystery.

Vanilla Press said...

Hi from Ireland
Your blog is great, the photos fab.Allows me to dream a bit better about the city I would love to live in one day.

oshiyay said...

I've wondered about that also, but now that Fifth Avenue is a downtown street I probably would have never pursued it north of the park. thanks for sharing

Brian Dubé said...

Honest Man - Thanks.

Alex - good point. This avenue is an amazing span of contrasts.

Vanilla - Thank you.

oshiyay - Glad you enjoyed the effort.

Clove Spice said...


I played tennis in that Armory (on wooden floors) in the winter many, many years ago. You should have asked me. (I don't know if they still play tennis there.)


Katie Killary said...

I found this very interesting. I like your story behind it...