Overlooked New York: 70 Pine

Surrounded by the tight streets and towering spires of Downtown Manhattan, it is more accurate to say that 70 Pine is under-looked. It is almost impossible to see it at close range.

As the plaque outside states, 70 Pine is an Art Deco building from the late 1920s and was, upon construction, the tallest in Downtown Manhattan and the third tallest in the world

The Art Deco details, prevalent inside and out, give residents of the 612 units with visual justification for their rent – ranging from $2,300 (studio) to $13,000 (three-bedroom).

This residential building also houses a couple of restaurants – Blue Park and Crown Shy – as well as a physical therapy studio where I am working on my new knees.

Sadly, the observation platform has been closed during the pandemic.

Overlooked New York: Underwood Building

Downtown Manhattan was dominated by turn-of-the-century skyscrapers such as the Woolworth’s and Singer Buildings in the 1920’s.

The majority of these buildings are now gone, although some of the lesser know ones like The Underwood Building remain on the corner of Vesey and Church.

This 17-floor edifice was constructed by John Thomas Underwood in 1911 for his typewriter company and sits across the street from the World Trade Center site.

Cheap nondescript tenants give no indication of the building’s 100+ year history.

It is only when you notice the upper floors that a sense of history is revealed.

But you really have to look for it.

Overlooked New York: Knickerbocker Post Office

New York native Washington Iriving coined the name Knickerbocker in his 19th Century writing to exemplify the New York character – graceless, indomitable freethinkers – and soon enough the name dotted the city. Overlooked New York: Knickerbocker Post OfficeThe Knickerbocker name is ingrained, especially in the older corners, such as the Knickerbocker Post Office, an old brick building on East Broadway in Chinatown. Overlooked New York: Knickerbocker Post OfficeThe Google reviews on are less than positive: “Lack of Customer Service! wasted my morning!” “Very negative experience with staff” “The package was either lost or stolen in this USPS location.” Overlooked New York: Knickerbocker Post OfficeKnickerbockers one and all.

Overlooked New York: Liberty Park

Liberty Park has recently been opened atop the parking garage immediately south of the 9/11 Memorial in Downtown Manhattan.It has the same design aesthetic as the Chelsea Highline but is much less crowded, although it is also marred by an excessively almost angrily worded memorial, America’s Response Monument.And so, while the crowds of the 9/11 Memorial may not be here, this statue can give the feeling of impending doom

Overlooked New York: African Burial Grounds

North of City Hall and the World Trade Center Memorial is a spot much less frequently visited: The African Burial Grounds National Monument. Africans – enslaved and “free” – were buried here, outside the boundaries of what was then called New Amsterdam in 1690-1794. The grounds were rediscovered in 1991 during the planned construction of a Federal office building. It’s as good a place as the 9/11 Memorial – and far fewer people.

Overlooked New York Part III: Banksy Gone

Banksy’s famed New York residency last October drew all sorts of hype, all of which I bought into…and yesterday, visited three of the sites to see what was left behind.

23rd Street, between Lexington & Third Avenues, Murray Hill:

October 2013

October 2013

May 2014

May 2014

 

Staples Street at Jay Street, Tribeca:

October 2014

October 2014

May 2014

May 2014

 

24th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues, Chelsea: 

October 2013

October 2013

May 2014

May 2014

Not too much going on now.

Overlooked New York Part I: Tunnel Approach and Tunnel Exit

Forget Wall Street, Park Avenue and Broadway. 20140414_105838Tunnel Approach and Tunnel Exit Streets, perhaps the most heavily traveled thoroughfares in the city, remain the least visited.20140414_110853Only a few blocks from Grand Central Station, Bryant Park and the United Nations, to say nothing of the Midtown Tunnel, these aptly named streets give access to the city for some 70,000 cars per day.  20140414_105729It is true the Tunnel Street sidewalks are narrow.20140414_110603However there is an abundance of artwork 20140414_110449Plenty of street food20140414_110415Even a few wildlife specimens. 20140414_110745One only has to look beyond changing lanes to see.20140414_110355