Friday, September 19, 2014
In the 60s
By 60th Street, it was time to get Third Avenue crossings done with. I headed west of Third & walked the Third/Second blocks as far as the Towers of Bay Ridge at 65th Street, by which point the expressway had split in two - Gowanus & Belt - and Third was free again! The Fifth to Third blocks would be walked later.
Again I find just how different the identities of neighboring blocks can be. On 60th, a row of fire-escapes seem to cage in the worn apartment buildings they grip onto. This is a mixed-use block, with businesses like Quickly Done auto repair, Magical Years nursery daycare, and The Meat Club, shouting out its name in fat blue-on-yellow letters.
Turn into 61st and you might as well be in Bay Ridge already. This is the most bucolic & quietly prosperous block I've seen in all my walks between Third & Second . Yellow-bricked, round-bayed rowhouses line each side of the street. There are tall trees & lush pocket-sized front gardens. Roses grow. It feels like closely guarded territory - oasis and fortress all in one. On 62nd, more recent, detached homes (40s?) look like nothing else I've seen around here, as suburban as you'll get west of the expressway. A proud, neatly kept street with a flag in almost every yard, and cars pulled up in driveways. A street of shrubbery. A street of rational dreams, achievable goals, and steady, incremental progress. I'm getting ready to turn around and head back in the opposite direction.
To follow: onward to 65th!