Some early homes in NYC

McDougal Alley


From 1976-79, I lived in a small historic carriage house in McDougal Alley, extending east from McDougal St. between 8th St. and Washington Square. It was a small cozy place, just enough for a newly-single guy and his weekend-visiting son. A 14-foot slanted skylight lit the bedroom, and I could park my 1941 Chrysler (R) only a couple of feet from the door, partially suburbanizing my Manhattan life at the time.




East Tenth Street

There wasn't enough room for two adults to live in The Alley, so when Ruth and I joined up in 1979, we moved into a large Upper West Side apartment at 9 East Tenth Street, in a building known as The AVA. There was plenty of room to live (and collect 7 rooms of stuff to drag through the rest of my life) - see the floor plan. I remained there after she left in 1981, through my single-parenting years with my teenaged punk son JP in the mid-80s, and six more years with my wife Zoë, until our pet rats took over and got us evicted - 13 years in all.


Under new ownership, the building has been restored since then. Click the image below for a recent article in the Sunday New York Times.

According to a neighbor I once met, born before 1900,
"AVA" stands for Ardsley Van Allister, an early occupant.