Manhattan's Avenues: Thirteenth Avenue
Manhattan Travel Blog› entry 774 of 1090 › view all entries
Name: Thirteenth Avenue
Alternative names: None
Traffic direction: North->South
Length: 0.09 mile / 0.14 km
North-boundary: Bloomfield St. / Little West 12th St.
South-boundary: Gansevoort Street
Number of cross streets: 2
Avenue number towards 89th St.: n/a
Specifics: Shortest Avenue, only remaining part of 13th Avenue, in the Hudson River
Thirteenth Avenue, ask a New Yorker where it is and he/she'll probably tell you you're nuts (or send you to any of the 4 other boroughs). But 13th Ave does really exist on Manhattan. In fact it is, with just one block, the shortest numbered Avenue of Manhattan.
13th Ave knew more impressive times. Once it stretched from West 11th Street all the way up to 29th Street. Plans to extend it to 135th street even existed. 13th Ave was built on landfill, and this same landfill threatened the ambition of New York to be an important Harbor. The avenue blocked the access to midtown for the big ocean liners of shipping companies like the Cunard (RMS LUSITANIA) and White Star (RMS Titanic) lines.
So, the city which created the avenue also "killed" it, with exception of the block between Gansevoort and Little West 12th Street. At this place a last piece of landfill (Gansevoort Peninsula) is still here and on it a small road. The road does not carry a street name plate, but on maps it is called 13th Avenue! (See here!) Compared to its much longer avenues 13th Ave does not have a spectacular appearance.
My collection of Avenue hike would not be complete without 13th Ave. I think I was not supposed to enter the Sanitation Department's lands, but given the fact that a "Do not enter" sign was removed (and lying on the floor) and there were no other signs that prohibited me from entering I just proceeded.
This was the only Avenue hike I did in which I did not see anyone else, nor a driving car, on it during the hike. The only thing I encountered were many parked garbage trucks, like I also encountered on a block of 9th Ave (see here) and pigeons. At the north border I had some nice views on Pier54, the pier that once housed the terminal of the Cunard Line.
For more information on 13th Ave see here. More pictures below.