7. Stuyvesant Street in the East Village is the Only True East-West Street in Manhattan
Stuyvesant Street, which crosses East 9th Street between Second and Third Avenues, breaks the traditional grid system for which Manhattan is known. Aside from Broadway, it is the only diagonal street in Manhattan north of 8th Street and south of Central Park. Stuyvesant Street was named after Peter “Petrus” Stuyvesant, the Dutch Director-General of New Amsterdam from 1647 to 1664 when it was ceded to the English and renamed “New York.”
During Stuyvesant’s lifetime, his family owned much of what is today known as the East Village. Stuyvesant’s grandson, Petrus Stuyvesant III created a grid system for New York that was aligned by magnetic north. Later on, the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811 laid out another grid plan for the city streets that was not as faithful to the compass as Petrus III’s plan. Stuyvesant Street, a narrow line that led from Bowery Road to Stuyvesant’s mansion remained because it was a well-trafficked road. To this day, Stuyvesant Street is the only true compass-tested east-west street in Manhattan.