19 – International House of Pancakes.
The boundary between Alphabet City and the rest of Manhattan is strikingly obvious. Suddenly the streets and sidewalks become thronged with cars, cyclists and people – commuters rallying to start a new work day.
Between 1st and 3rd Avenues, there is a kind of quotidian-ness to the built environment. Everyday life is in full display, banal but never boring. There are places of worship, places for recreation, places for eating in, places for sleeping in, places for shopping in, amongst other less defined places, all framed discreetly and subterraneanly by the 1st and 3rd Avenue L train stations.
Here, one witnesses the theatre of the everyday – New Yorkers just going about their business as usual, in the shadow of the skyscrapers, landmarks and tourists that over-run the street further out east.
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13 – You know you have left Alphabet City when you reach the Junction of 1st Avenue, thronged with people, cyclists and cars.
14 – The 1st Ave Subway Station, the Western-most station on 14th Street, contributes to the throng of commuters here.
15 – Tifereth Israel Town and Village Conservative Synagogue. It was built to cater to Stuyvesant Town and the adjoining Peter Cooper Village. Built in 1866 as a church, it finally became a synagogue in 1962.
16 – The endlessly replicating façade of the 14th Street Y (i.e. YMCA and YWHA), known formerly as the Sol Goldman YM – YWHA.
17 – The 2nd Avenue intersection, beyond which you see the gleaming towers of Big Capital and Big Energy at and beyond 3rd Avenue.
18 – The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, established 1820 as the oldest specialist medical institution in America.
20 – Everyday splendour: places to eat, sleep and wash your clothes in.
21 – The machinations of Real Estate – a fact of everyday life in New York.
Fig. 22 – The 3rd Avenue subway station.
C – The Theater of the Everyday