New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Worlds Unfolding

When I tell customers or vendors on the phone that my office is on Broadway, lights go on in their heads, literally. They frequently follow up with a question in order to establish if it is that Broadway. I assure them it is that Broadway, but not that part of Broadway (i.e. the Theater District).
Broadway is the longest street in Manhattan, going from the most southern tip of Manhattan at Bowling Green all the way to to the northern most neighborhood of Inwood - it then crosses Spuyten Duyvil Creek via the Broadway Bridge, continuing into the Bronx, keeping its signature name. And in that course of 12 miles, you will find some extraordinary variety of architecture and neighborhoods.
But you don't need the longest street in New York City to find that kind of change. What is remarkable about Manhattan is the change in character over the shortest distances. And without crossing the proverbial railroad tracks. So when it comes to knowing the nature of a street in New York City, you need to know much more than what street, you need to know where on that street.
Take MacDougal Street which is only six blocks long. At one end near 8th Street, you have a quiet block intersecting charming MacDougal Alley. One beautiful home I have written about stands there - see Better When. The is also the location of the controversial Christian Science building. This photo was seen used recently in the New York Times - see here.
The next block abuts Washington Square Park with a number of tall prewar buildings. Two blocks further and you have one of the dirtiest, most touristy and tacky streets in New York City. This is the block where I recently featured Shwarma - see here.
The very next block becomes very residential, lined by landmark buildings on one side and a number of well know Italian businesses - Cafe Dante and their restaurant, Villa Marconi and Tiro A Segno, the private club with a rifle range I have previously written about - see Secret Society here. At the corner is the location of the recently closed landmark cafe - Le Figaro - see here.
Cross Houston on the next block and we are in SoHo and find a handful of French inspired cafes and restaurants. This is the block that during Bastille Day is closed for festivities including the construction of impromptu Petanque courts with competitions. See my posting here.
And this is the block where I took today's photo of absolutely one of the loveliest Parisian style care/bistros in the city - Oscar. Everything is so pristine and well appointed. The colors chosen for their exterior was complemented by the setting sun - it exudes the character of an authentic French cafe - you have have to look hard to find this kind of place in such a bucolic setting.
Rapidly changing landscapes all over the brief distance of one kilometer. This is one of the greatest things about New York City - different worlds unfolding as you walk ...

4 comments:

gogouci said...

Lovely warm photo. I'd sure sit down for a bite.

Terry B said...

Oscar looks absolutely like my kind of place. Beautiful photo. Regarding the Christian Science building, did it get redone as you reported it was slated to be in 2006? I'd love to see a photo of the new facade if it happened.

Thérèse said...

I love the way you conduct your posts day after day. And a supplement of information sometimes appears in the comment. Great!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. The stories are interesting and the photos are always great.