10. Minetta Lane

Minetta Lane

Minetta Lane and Minetta Street in Manhattan are named after Minetta Creek, which was one of the longest waterways in Manhattan. The Lenape named the creek “Manetta,” which means “evil spirit” or “snake water.” The creek was known for its abundance of fish, including pike, bass, and pickerel. Manetta may refer to an evil snake from mythology that was conquered, leaving just the creek behind.

A swamp near where Washington Square Park sits today was fed by the creek. Around the time the Lenape inhabited the land, the location served as a gathering spot, as well as a marketplace and public play area.