Don’t be fooled by the outwardly placid nature of these three blocks just past Alphabet City. This is a battleground for Mankind’s soul. The Cardinal Sins manifest themselves here, in a multitude of seductive forms designed to part the pilgrim from his hard-earned money and peace of mind.
To protect the souls of the innocent, here rise three of the grandest Houses of Worship in the City the first – St Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, is the second oldest in the City, having been built in 1795 on a vast plot of land that used to be a Dutch farmstead.
The second – All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church – has shifted hands numerous times and now displays on its facade beautiful stucco tilework depicting Eastern Orthodox crosses and Christ Resurrected.
Finally, the third – Grace Church – presents the grandest Gothic edifice in the City, channeling King’s College in Cambridge, UK. Its imposing facade quite literally stops the pilgrim in its tracks, since 11th Street breaks off right at the belfry, and one has to take a detour on 10th Street, around the Churchyard, to regain the straightforward path.
I am indebted to New York Songlines (www.nysonglines.com) for detailed information about the landmarks on this street.