Does the lower end of Second Avenue, in the East Village, make you feel especially romantic?
“It is interesting to note that never before has the term ‘Lovers’ Lane’ been given to so wide a thoroughfare as Second Avenue,” wrote The New York Times in 1911, in an article about plans to widen what was then a Polish and Hungarian immigrant par residential, part commercial avenue.
New York has had several Lover’s Lanes: Maiden Lane may have been one in Dutch colonial days; Central Park and Riverside Park also had tree-lined paths designated for couples. And Brooklyn Heights’ Love Lane has a sweet story behind it.
But back to Second Avenue. In 1942, a neighborhood group led by a minister called on the city to make Second Avenue a lovers’ lane again by planting trees.
Trees were brought in, but it doesn’t seem like the lovey-dovey vibe caught on ever again.
[Middle image: Second Avenue at 11th Street in 1868; from the NYPL. Bottom: Second Avenue looking south from 14th Street]