Manhattan In 12 Streets

Manhattan In 12 Streets is a narrative and photographic account of Manhattan from the point-of-view of its streets, some important, some less so.  The intent is not to provide an accurate picture of the state of the urban and human landscape on this small island. Nor is this project a guidebook presenting alternative walking tours of the city.

The aim is to use Manhattan – specifically 12 of its streets – as a means to playfully deconstruct the genre of walking tours and urban sociological studies; to use this city as a blank slate on which to impose my own wayward interpretations of The City as a concept.

Along the way, the history, architecture, politics and spirit of Manhattan may creep into my narratives, they being intimately associated and rooted in place.  However, being ultimately accounts of Manhattan from the point of view of an outsider, these narratives may contain very little that is familiar to the average New Yorker, and may, at times, be annoyingly, willfully off-kilter, if only to incite the reader to abstract from the obvious to see what’s implied.

Many others have written extensively online about Manhattan’s streets and landmarks of a more ephemeral nature.  Some of these are extremely informative and detailed walking tours of Manhattan’s streets, avenues and neighborhoods, accompanied with stunning photography.  I have listed  the most inspiring of these sites – to which I am indebted for much historical and architectural information – in the Introduction to this project.

In the meantime, here are the chapters to this Tale of Manhattan.  A new chapter, profiling a new street, will be published here on Dream Of A City once a month.  All words and photography are mine.

Manhattan in 12 Streets – Introduction (1.8 MB)

Chapter I – 30th St: Totems and Time-Travel (59 KB)

Chapter II – 14th St – State of the Union, or Swinging Both Ways (62 KB)

Chapter III – 11th St: A Divine Comedy or 1 and Three-Third Gods (733 KB)

Chapter IV – 43rd Street: UNREAL CITY (613 KB)

Chapter V – 79th St, Geneva to Zurich Express (INTRO) (814 KB)

Chapter VI – Liberty St, Death and the Maiden (Intro) (310 KB)

Chapter VII – 187th St, In The Heights (More Ways Than One) (Intro) (592 KB)

Chapter VIII – 125th St Generic – Harlem (Intro)

Chapter IX – 92nd St – Landscapes and Still-Life

  • A) Frame and Form (Yorkville)
  • B) Appalachian Trail (Upper East Side)
  • C) Eight Views of JKO Reservoir (Central Park)
  • D) Free Form (Upper West Side)

Chapter X – 58th St: Locations for Imaginary Movies

  • A) 24 Hours
  • B) Columbus Circle
  • C) Park Lane
  • D) POP
  • E) Auf France
  • F) Stonehenge 2058

Chapter XI – 146th St: Mur/al Museum

  • A) Gallery 1: Playground In Da Hood
  • B) Gallery 2: Man Up In Harlem
  • C) Gallery 3: Jazz Age Architecture
  • D) Gallery 4: Convent Girl
  • E) Gallery 5: The Black Hood

Chapter XII – Grand St: The Many Tribes of Manhattan

  • A) Nowhere in Manhattan
  • B) Soho
  • C) Little Italy
  • D) Chinatown
  • E) Lower East Side
  • F) Co-operative Village
  • G) Williamsburg

Epilogue: Goodbye Empire State, Hello Lion City!

END

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