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Paving the Streets of NYC; Couple Rents in East Village

Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

1) History Lessons: wherein we explore our city's past, from Bronx to Battery.
This week, our pal Christopher Gray details the history of New York's streets—literally! The first paved road in Manhattan was Stone Street, which was paved with cobble stones in the 1600s. In the 19th century, however, city streets were made up of a wide variety of materials meant to accommodate the needs of various neighborhoods, including macadam, gravel, and granite blocks, which were popular with politicians around election time, due to the manpower necessary. However, after the Civil War, asphalt began to gain acceptance as the go-to paving material in New York, as it was smoother, easier-to-clean, and quieter than others. Parts of the old streets survive, such as the corner of Broadway and Conway Street in Brooklyn, where the center of the intersection reveals a "mesmerizing diagonal setting of granite blocks with a rich, polished appearance in a range of earth tones, like a display in a geology shop." ["Under Hoof, Foot and Tire"; photo via Joshua Derr/Curbed Photo Pool]

2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunter: a married couple
Price
Dream: $3,000/month
Reality: $2,925/month
Neighborhood
Dream: East Village, LES
Reality: East Village
Amenities
Dream: Alcove studio/1BR, sunny outdoor space, spacious kitchen
Reality: 1BR, sunny balcony, spacious
Summary
This week's hunters are a couple tired of the giant preschool that is Tribeca. Because they are young and hip, they decided to look for one-bedrooms and studios to rent in the East Village and the Lower East Side. Eventually, they found a nice, spacious one-bedroom with a sunny balcony on East Houston Street. The building—Red Square—has a lot of character, like a "half-man, half-octopus mosaic" (uh oh) on their floor and "a statue of Lenin on a corner of the roof." Right, because nothing screams "proletarian revolution" like $3,000 rents and a short walk to Whole Foods. [The Hunt/"The East Village: In the Thick of Things"]