Avenue B (Manhattan)

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Avenue B / East End Avenue
45-51 Avenue B.jpg
45-51 Avenue B between 3rd and 4th Streets
From East Houston Street
To East 14th Street
East Avenue C
West Avenue A
The landmarked Charlie Parker Residence
Spring Festival on East End Avenue (1973)

Avenue B is a north-south avenue located in the Alphabet City area of the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, east of Avenue A and west of Avenue C. It runs from Houston Street to 14th Street, where it continues into a loop road in Stuyvesant Town, to be connected with Avenue A. Below Houston Street, Avenue B continues as Clinton Street to South Street. It is the eastern border of Tompkins Square Park.

History[edit]

The street was created by the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 as one of 16 north-south streets specified as 100 feet (30 m) in width, including 12 numbered avenues and four designated by letter located east of First Avenue.[1]

East End Avenue[edit]

On the Upper East Side, Avenue B reappears as East End Avenue; principally residential in character, it only runs from East 79th Street to East 90th Street through the Yorkville neighborhood. It was called Avenue B under the original Commissioners' Plan of 1811, but is no longer given that designation. Carl Schurz Park, the location of Gracie Mansion, is adjacent to the avenue at this point. In 1928, the New York City Board of Estimate ruled that development below East 84th Street was restricted to residential use.[2]

Landmarks[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Currently, there is no bus that travels on Avenue B. The M9 bus formerly used this street from East Houston Street to 14th Street. The M9 now travels on Avenue C from Houston to 23rd Streets.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 1922 Fannie Brice recorded "The Sheik of Avenue B", a parody of "The Sheik of Araby" written by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar[4]
  • In Jonathan Larson's musical Rent, most of the characters live on Avenue B and 11th Street
  • In 1983 Pierce Turner, Larry Kirwan and Thomas Hamlin wrote "Avenue B (is the place to be)", which was recorded by their band Major Thinkers
  • A 1999 Iggy Pop album is entitled Avenue B, written while he was living at Christodora House
  • A song by The Fleshtones entitled Take a Walk with the Fleshtones on their album Beautiful Light describes the street scene, starting at "Eleven Eleven" with the chorus repeating "...on Avenue B"
  • Gogol Bordello wrote a song called "Avenue B"
  • Several scenes from the 1986 film "Crocodile Dundee" were filmed in and around a bar located at 108 Avenue B where that street intersects with East 7th Street, otherwise known as Tompkins Square.
  • On Lou Reed's 1989 album New York, the song Halloween Parade includes the line "The boys from Avenue B, the girls from Avenue D, a Tinkerbell in tights". The song is about the ravages of AIDS, using the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade as a backdrop.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Morris, Gouverneur; De Witt, Simeon; and Rutherford, John [sic] (March 1811) "Remarks Of The Commissioners For Laying Out Streets And Roads In The City Of New York, Under The Act Of April 3, 1807", Cornell University Library. Accessed June 27, 2016. "These are one hundred feet wide, and such of them as can be extended as far north as the village of Harlem are numbered (beginning with the most eastern, which passes from the west of Bellevue Hospital to the east of Harlem Church) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. This last runs from the wharf at Manhattanville nearly along the shore of the Hudson river, in which it is finally lost, as appears by the map. The avenues to the eastward of number one are marked A, B, C, and D."
  2. ^ Leahy, Michael. If You're Thinking of Living In…: All About 115 Great Neighborhoods In & Around New York. New York: Random House, 2007.
  3. ^ New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S. (text); Postal, Matthew A. (text) (2009), Postal, Matthew A., ed., Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1 , p.69
  4. ^ "The Sheik of Avenue B" on the Library of Congress National Jukebox

External links[edit]