Posts Tagged ‘Lovers Lane New York City’

When Second Avenue was known as Lovers’ Lane

November 14, 2013

Does the lower end of Second Avenue, in the East Village, make you feel especially romantic?

SecondavenueloverslaneDidn’t think so. But over 100 years ago, the stretch from 17th Street to Houston Street was considered so scenic and lovely, it was actually known as the “East Side Lovers’ Lane.”

“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.

Secondavenueloverslane1868“If Second Avenue is a lovers’ lane, doubtless  the removal of the sidewalk encroachments would furnish more room for happy couples to promenade and contribute to its gayety.”

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.

Secondavenueloverslane2013The minister “hastened to add that he was looking for civic improvement, not for a new trysting place,” another Times article noted.

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]

When Manhattan parks featured lovers’ lanes

July 19, 2010

This 1908 postcard, of “Lover’s Lane” in Riverside Park, doesn’t say exactly where it is along the river—and a search for it came up empty. 

But the curvy path sure looks like a sweet place to stroll or sit, as the couple far off on a bench demonstrate.

Central Park also had a Lovers’ Lane, as seen in these circa-1896 photos. 

According to a 1931 New York Times article, this narrow road ran “from east to west, just to the north of the 79th Street Transverse Road and south of the lake site.”

[Photo below from the NYPL digital collection]

Here’s the history of a colonial-era Lovers’ Lane in Brooklyn Heights.