Greenwich Village has alleys that remind me of the many old alleys in London. I love exploring these hidden pathways when I find them. They are found in the older parts of many cities. Some were used as passage ways to stables in the rear of houses; and some for rear access to service doors. The word alley is from Middle English from Old French allee meaning to walking passage.
Charles Lane, with its Belgian Block paving, is named for Charles Christopher Amos, who owned the estate where Charles Street and Lane are 10th Street used to be called Amos Street). Charles Lane.
The lane may mark the northern boundary of Newgate State Prison, which stood from 1797 until 1828 when it moved upstate and became Sing Sing.
The author Thomas Pynchon, who wrote “Gravity’s Rainbow”, lived on Charles Lane.
On its West Street end, Charles Lane currently runs between the twin towers of Richard Meier’s glass-faced Perry Street condominiums.
Read about other interesting Greenwich Village alleys at forgotten New York.
Created for Norm’s Thursday Doors March 16, 2017