Welcome to Off the Grid!

The 1811 Commissioner's Street Plan

Welcome to Off the Grid, GVSHP’s blog.

Off the Grid will be a great way for GVSHP to share news, commentary, trivia and historic information about the Village, East Village, and NoHo, and to hear from you.  We hope you’ll become an avid reader, and share with friends, neighbors, and family.

Coincidental with our blog launch, next month is the 200th anniversary of the adoption by the State of New York of Manhattan’s street grid plan (which, ironically, was devised in 1807 in a building at the decidedly off-the-grid intersection of Bleecker and Christopher Streets).

Of course the Village, NoHo, and East Village notoriously deviate from that plan, whether in preserving the Hudson River-based irregular street grid of the West Village, New Amsterdam-era streets like the Bowery and Stuyvesant Street, or streets based on Indian paths like Astor Place.  Even those streets which do conform to the right-angled grid often do so with a twist — from the lettered streets of Alphabet City to the surnamed-streets extending south from Washington Square Park, from Little West 12th Street in the Meatpacking District to Great Jones Street in NoHo, from the East Village’s iconoclastic St. Mark’s Place, to its reverent Taras Shevchenko and Szold Places.

Whether or  not their intersections are 90 degrees, the streets of the Village, East Village, and NoHo have long produced and nurtured great creativity, wit, and surprises, of the architectural, artistic, and historic variety.

We hope Off the Grid will as well.


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avatar Andrew Berman has been the Executive Director of GVSHP since 2002.