Although most New Yorkers know Lexington Avenue, which runs from East 20th Street to East 131st Street, you might be surprised to find that it’s a young avenue in New York City. Lexington Avenue wasn’t included in the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811, but it emerged in the mid 1800s. Laywer Samuel Ruggles wanted to add Lexington Avenue between the already-existing Third and Park Avenues (Fourth Avenue in the grid) to increase the value of his land on Manhattan’s East Side. Mr. Ruggles’ ambition reflects the larger effort of many people to develop and sell the land between 14th Street and Washington Heights. Lexington Avenue’s name originates from the Battle of Lexington, Massachusetts of the Revolutionary War.
Strolling through certain streets or areas of NYC, you might feel suddenly transported to an older time. From an old world fishing village in the Bronx, to back houses transformed into luxury mansions in the West Village, the following areas capture the essence of a different period of NYC. While some, like City Island Fishing Village stand as microcosms, others are literally side-by-side with modern skyscrapers.