Bond Street & 64th Street, Southwest Corner

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why Tenth Avenue? And a few stats ….

I didn't give a lot of thought to which street or avenue to start with, mostly because the choice seemed pretty obvious to me. Here's why:

Going through the whole set — 11,485 photographs (I think) — would be just too much.

A single neighborhood, e.g., the East Village, Chinatown, Spanish Harlem, Inwood, would be too uniform, though of course even in a single neighborhood there's a lot of variety.

The cross (east-west) streets just aren't long enough to provide enough corners to look at, though of course the changing scene from one side of the island to the other would be a study in its own right. "East Side, West Side …."

That leaves the long "north-south" avenues, and a restriction, even then, to those that run for many miles and pass through many neighborhoods.

Which gets the choices down to Broadway (the longest), and the "grid" avenues: First, Second, Third, etc., and the subsequent additions: Lexington and Madison.

Not Broadway, then, even though it's the only one that runs the whole length of Manhattan, just out of a sense that it's been over-done (and very well done too, sometimes).

After which the next longest is Tenth Avenue, which runs from just below 13th Street all the way up to the Broadway Bridge over the Harlem River at the very top of the island, starting in the West Village and passing through Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, Clinton, the Upper West Side, Manhattan Valley, Morningside, Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Fort Washington/Fort George, and Inwood — so that satisfies the multi-neighborhood requirement for sure!

A few stats on the photos:

649 photographs (but I'll look at a some rejects, too, and some reshoots)

Shooting dates:

April 10, 2006: 13th Street & 14th Street

May 18, 2006: 15th Street up to 34th Street

July 1, 2006: 35th Street up to 59th Street

July 10, 2006: 61st Street NW, 79th Street NW, 104th Street NE & NW (most of this stretch I subsequently reshot, these were the keepers from the July 10th shoot)

July 19, 2006: 60th Street up to 110th Street (with the above exceptions)

August 12, 2006: 111th Street up to 168th Street

September 1, 2006: 218th Street SE (from an Inwood shoot).

September 12, 2006: Dyckman Street up to Broadway (at 218th Street)

September 17, 2006: 190th Street SW & NW (from a St Nicholas Avenue shoot)

September 21, 2006: 169th Street up to 189th Street

All shot with Canon 1 Ds Mark II 16.7 megapixel digital SLR; all with Leica 28-90 R lens

Tenth Avenue was laid out on the famous Commissioner's grid plan of 1807/1811. Unlike the other avenues defined by that plan, which end at 155th Street (but have since been extended north), Tenth Avenue is shown running all the way up to the top of the island (it now stops two blocks short of the top).

Since 1880, Tenth Avenue from the north side of 72nd Street on up to where it meets Fort George Avenue has been known as Amsterdam Avenue. Sometime thereafter (?) the name Amsterdam was extended south from 72nd Street to 59th Street. Tenth Avenue resumes under its own name at Dyckman Street in Inwood.

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