intersection 06.8.11

Walking Off the Big Apple

"I'm the girl who is pointing her camera in the opposite direction of the Empire State building, at the faded sign on a tenement down the street." That's the perspective of Smoke and Gaslight, which scratches the surface of the present for glimpses of the past. [Photo: Shorpy]

Getting ready to swim the English Channel? Or not. CIBBOWS, the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers group, is open to all swimmers, taking regular group swims between April and November and working year-round to improve water quality. Some of the group's swimmers are long-distance vets who can help you prepare for the English Channel or a marathon.

Brooklyn Spaces channels the energy of the borough by looking
at its music venues, galleries, boutiques, collectives, and any
of the lesser-known, but essential places
that have rocked the borough in the last decade.

Quickie New York features original erotic stories and photos of love and sex in our fair town—aspirationally Henry Miller, predominantly heterosexual, obviously not safe for work.

Hello New York is a collection of NYC images
culled from Flickr. Some great stuff.
[Photo: Michael Klapsing]

A slideshow of New York City photographs
by the great Gita Lenz,
who died earlier this year.

Living with Legends: The Chelsea Hotel blog, chronicles the past, present, and future of the fabled hotel, home, and cultural icon.

Cultural and literary notes, plus self-guided walks, courtesy of Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City.

A Walk on Lower Fifth Avenue: Illusory Scenes in Black and White

Like a headwater for a river that runs upstream, Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village serves as the base for the mighty Fifth Avenue. From the park, the avenue runs north all the way to the Harlem River at 142nd street, bustling at key intersections like Madison Square at 23rd, the Empire State Building at 34th St., Bryant Park at 42nd, and the southeast corner of Central Park at 59th St. Lower Fifth Avenue, stretching from Washington Square to the Flatiron Building at Fifth Avenue and 23rd St., may not be as well known as the more famous blocks from Rockefeller Center to Central Park, but this more sedate stretch of avenue, a comparative dowager, connects in spirit to New York's late Gilded Age as well as to the first stirrings of bohemianism in the Village. It's a pleasure to walk slowly.

With many imposing stone buildings dating from the mid-nineteenth century through the 1920s, lower Fifth Avenue often gives the illusion of permanence, as if its regal Old New York demeanor will always be best suited for the pen and ink drawing or a photographer working in black and white. Yet, its permanence is an illusion. Many spectacular buildings up and down the avenue, and especially in the northern reaches near Central Park, have given way to newer buildings over the decades, some of them even grander but others pitiful replacements. For a bold example, look at the giant hole in the ground on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets. Here, the New School is constructing a new sixteen-story brass and glass University Center, replacing a bland three-story affair. Fifth Avenue is always in flux. [Continued]

Park Slope

recent entries

One Liners, Flickr Pool Picks

Ways to End the Year

The 2019 List of Lists

See all articles in INTERSECTION

Get a daily dose of MUG
right in your Inbox.