Manhattan’s obscure little streets

Much of Manhattan conforms to the grid laid out in the early 19th century, with streets and avenues following a mostly ordered number (and sometimes letter) system. 

But lots of tiny nooks and alleys with obscure names lurk among the numbers and letters—like Mount Carmel Place, two blocks spanning 26th and 28th Street between Second and First Avenues. The street name must come from a church that disappeared long ago.


Moylan Place isn’t much of a street; it’s just kind of a spot off 126th Street and Broadway. I’d guess it was a street at one time. According to a 1921 New York Times article, it was named after a soldier who died in World War I whose father, William Moylan, lived on the block for many years. 


Spanning 34th Street to 42nd Street, Dyer Avenue’s main purpose is to herd traffic into the Lincoln Tunnel. General George R. Dyer was the head of the Port Authority when the George Washington Bridge opened in 1931.


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8 Responses to “Manhattan’s obscure little streets”

  1. EV Grieve Says:

    Insightful as always…I love making these discoveries…I found an Elk Street off of Chambers Street last summer. Runs less than a block…and dead ends at the United States Court of International Trade.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks EV. I always look forward to your excursions into the Financial District’s little alleys and lanes.

  3. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I Know of one, Shevchenko Place on 7th Street off 3rd Avenue used to be Hall Place until 1985 right by McSorley’s Ale House

    scroll down to Hall Place

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    That’s a fascinating list of old streets.

  5. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Did you know also in the ’70s ’80s the little street was going to be changed from Hall Place to Ale Place because McSorley’s stood there but St George’s Church demanded it be named for their poet/patriot hero Taras Shevchenko, which it was eventually was named for him.

  6. Charles Says:

    great list of little gems in and around the city…Im sure there are many more…love to hear and see ’em! Maybe Richard Howe (Manhattan Street Corners) has photographed others…

  7. James Wetterer Says:

    My mother was born on Moylan Place and Mrs. Moylan was still living there when my mom was little. My mom lived there until 1941. The street was eliminated with the construction of the General Grant housing project completed in 1956. I love that there is still a sign marking this long gone street.

  8. Joan Clark Says:

    I grew up on Moylan Place. That sign shows up on a Law and Order episode. We had to move in 1956 relocated to Ave D. I think of it often.

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