January 2017 – Have you ever wondered why New York City looks the way it does? Why do the streets go in one direction and the avenues go in another direction?

NYC VIBE met up with author and historian Gerard Koeppel who explains why New York City looks the way it does.

Fascinated by the history of “old New York” and inspired by the events of 9/11 when  various streets were brought back from the days previous to the construction of the World Trade Center,  Koeppel launches a fascinating exploration into what makes this City’s design special in his must-read new book “City on a Grid: How New York Became New York” on Da Capo books.

NYC VIBE talked with Gerard during his lecture and book signing tour. Koeppel recalls how the grid, created in 1811 by a three-man commission, called for a dozen parallel avenues crossing at right angles.

Country roads, farms, estates and generations of property lines would all disappear as as the grid emerged throughout the island of Manhattan.

Also “leveled” was the city’s social status as the wealthy, middle class, and poor were now on the same horizontal geographic level!

Chelsea Dowell, Director of Communications and Programming for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, notes that Gerard’s book will afford readers a better view of why the city looks the way it does, and is an invaluable source of information for anyone interested in the history of New York City.

Gerard Koeppel’s observations on the constant evolution of New York City celebrates the metropolis that has never learned what it means to grow old or stale.