Monday, March 18, 2013

Where the Streets Have (Few) Names

One of the benefits of living on Roosevelt Island is the lack of vehicle traffic, which makes it a less stressful place for parents of small kids. The island is only about a block wide and there's just one way for cars to get on or off (the Roosevelt Island Bridge).

In fact, there are so few streets on Roosevelt Island that the recently remodeled Gristedes supermarket was able to pay tribute to all of them in its checkout area. Each aisle is named after a different local roadway: River Road, Main Street, South End Avenue and (not pictured) Tramway Plaza.

Surprising fact: The Main Street on Roosevelt Island is the only street with that name in the borough of Manhattan. (There are other Main streets in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.)

So the street whose name implies it's the bustling center of New York City's business and political center is actually on a neglected sliver of land in the East River.

This is probably why George Benson never sang about the neon lights and "magic in the air" on Main Street.