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Secrets of turtle Bay_apartment view_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierAn apartment view of Turtle Bay neighborhood. Image via KW New York City

We’ve already uncovered the intriguing remnants and secrets of the abandoned Dead Horse Bay earlier this year. However, on the east side of Manhattan lies another interesting cove: Turtle Bay.

Midtown Manhattan’s Turtle Bay encompasses the area between 41st and 53rd streets east of Lexington Avenue, including the United Nations headquarters and the Chrysler Building. While it may not have old glass bottles or destroyed ferry remnants like Dead Horse Bay, Turtle Bay does have secrets of a different nature.

10. It Was Likely Named For Its Knife-Like Shape

Secrets of Turtle Bay-Map-1878-NYC-Untapped Cities-Stephanie Geier-001A map of Manhattan from 1878. Though Turtle Bay was once knife-shaped, it evened out by the time of this map. Image via Wikimedia Commons

It all started with the 17th century arrival of the Dutch in Turtle Bay. Historians still debate the precise origins of the name “Turtle Bay,” but many have proposed that it comes from the Dutch word deutal, which meant a “bent blade.” This would be in reference to the bay’s knife shape.

However, others believe the name derived from the bay’s turtle-filled creek (once called DeVoor’s Mill Creek), once located at 47th street. Turtles thus became a popular source of food for the Dutch during the time.

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1 Comment

  1. Mal says:

    E. B. White lived in Turtle Bay, and the tree from “This Is New York” was in the garden.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/nyregion/07cityroom.html

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