New York’s Hidden Streets

New York's hidden streets by Ari KellenYou won’t find all New York streets on a map.  Most of the streets are mercifully on a grid pattern, making it pretty easy to navigate.  Yet there are still some “secret” streets out there.  “Mews”, characterized by rows of stables, are easy to overlook, yet you don’t want to miss these at all.  I recently came across an article that shared some hidden mews in New York, listed below:

Washington Mews (Greenwich Village): Just north of Washington Square Park, this charming street features structures originally built as stables in the 19th century.  It’s now surrounded by iconic black gates, first built in 1881, meant to remind everybody that the street was private.  It’s been owned by NYU since the 50s, and is now used for offices and housing.  

Freeman Alley (Bowery): Even as the rest of the Lower East Side falls victim to gentrification, Freeman Alley retains the neighborhood’s old flavor with local graffiti.  At the end of it is a rustic American restaurant, Freeman’s.  

Sylvan Terrace (Washington Heights): Part of the Jumel Terrace Historic District, the buildings along the cobblestone Sylvan Terrace were restored to their old 19th-century appearance.  The wooden row houses feature dark green accents and painted glass paneling, much like they did back in the day.  

Pomander Walk (Upper West Side): It’s not easy to get accepted into this ultra-exclusive apartment complex, and involves an intense vetting process.  Yet residents insist that it’s worth it, and I’m inclined to agree.  Originally built as part of a film set that was never used, it’s a row of Tudor-style houses tucked mid-block between Broadway and West End Ave.  There isn’t a lot of space between these units, but the residents help make it look like a charming old English village smack in the middle of Manhattan.  

Warren Place Mews (Cobble Hill): The brick cottages here were first built in the 19th century as affordable housing for working-class New Yorkers.  Ironically, they’re now some of the city’s most expensive townhouses.  The asking price for one of these is 200 times its original price, but the charming little mew, featuring a picturesque courtyard, should be worth it.