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Pomander Walk on the Upper West Side.
Max Touhey

20 of NYC's shortest streets, mapped

Tiny thoroughfares everywhere

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Pomander Walk on the Upper West Side.
| Max Touhey

New York is a city of superlatives——greatest, biggest, fastest——so it's no surprise that even the tiniest additions to the street grid are packed with history. Indeed, many of the smallest streets in Manhattan have deeper histories than entire American towns; Mill Lane in the Financial District dates to the mid-1600s, while Weehawken Street in the West Village morphed from an 18th-century prison to a produce market to a quiet residential road.

The shortest street in the city measures just 63 feet, but there are dozens of miniature lanes and alleys hidden thorough out the city. There's no science to finding these roadways—, —but here, we’ve mapped 20 of ‘em, going from west to east. Did we miss your favorite? Leave a comment.

This piece was originally published on February 23, 2015; it has since been updated.

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1. Edgar Street

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Edgar St
New York, NY 10006

Coming in at just 63 feet long, Edgar Street at Trinity Place is the shortest street in the city, according to data from PropertyShark (though Michelle and James Nevius, authors of Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, claim that Edgar Street is a few feet longer than Mill Lane). It was named for shipping magnate William Edgar. Technically, Edgar Street is actually two streets, thanks to a traffic meridian that divides it, compensating somewhat for its shortness in wideness. 

Via Google Maps

2. Mill Lane

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Mill Ln
New York, NY 10004

By a few feet, Mill Lane would seem to get the trophy for shortest street in Manhattan, though PropertyShark data says otherwise. Address-less, this blip of a street was named Mill Lane in 1664, previously having been known as Elliot's Alley. 

Via Google Maps

3. Weehawken Street

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Weehawken St
New York, NY 10014

So much has happened on one of Manhattan's smallest streets that the Landmarks Preservation Commission gave Weehawken Street its own historic district. Indeed, the street has been host to much maritime history, as well as, according to ScoutingNY, more than its fair share of urine. The street runs parallel to West Street between Christopher and West 10th, and it was once part of the Newgate State Prison (1796-97) and a product market in the mid-1800s.

Via ScoutingNY

4. Renwick Street

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Renwick St
New York, NY 10013

"Whoever comes to Renwick either lives on Renwick or is lost," said a developer who is working on the wee stretch that is Renwick Street. Its shortness is really its only good attribute; under heavy construction and a block from the Holland Tunnel, it is loud and, according to Google Maps, apparently full of illegally parked trucks and trash. (It’s also now home to 15 Renwick, a fancy condo.)

Via Tectonic

5. York Street

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York St
New York, NY 10013

This tiny addition to the Manhattan street grid only has three buildings on it! According to Forgotten NY, York Street is "the only street in Manhattan named for its original British namesake": the Duke of York. It’s also home to a 32-unit condo building, pictured here.

6. Jones Street

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22 Jones St
New York, NY 10014

Jones Street may be miniature, but this one-block long road has been the filming site of multiple movies thanks to its quintessential West Village charm. (It also, more famously, was featured on the cover of Bob Dylan's 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.) The road predates 1789, and its namesake, Doctor Gardner Jones, was related to the namesake of Great Jones Street.

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7. Minetta Street

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Minetta St
New York, NY 10012

One of the oldest streets in New York is Minetta Street, a small block with a slight curve located in Greenwich Village. (It intersects with the slightly busier, and rather small, Minetta Lane.) Named after the Minetta Brook that used to run through the neighborhood, the street was once considered dangerous because of the saloons frequently inhabited by gangs. The street was also the set of the Al Pacino film, Serpico.

Bokic Bojan/Shutterstock.com

8. Gay Street

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Gay St
New York, NY 10014

According to the New York Times, the only thing you could possibly regret about buying property on pocket-sized Gay Street is the abundance of "lively tourists". In the late 18th century, the short, crooked street served as an alley for stables; in 1833, it was widened to become an official city street.

Ryan DeBerardinis/Shutterstock.com

9. Mosco Street

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Mosco St
New York, NY 10013

Chinatown has many alleys and side streets, and one of the littlest is Mosco Street, a street lined by small businesses on each side. Mosco Street was originally called Cross Street of the Five Points neighborhood during the 19th century and was known as one of the most dangerous slums in the city.

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10. Dennet Place

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Dennet Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11231

What's cuter than a miniature street? One that comes with miniature doors to match. Dennet Place is a one-block street in Carroll Gardens made up of houses, nicknamed "Hobbit Houses," with doors that are "roughly four-foot tall" at the ground level. The enclave is home to "a tight-knit collection of Italian-American families," according to the Times.

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11. Grace Court Alley

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Grace Ct Alley
Brooklyn, NY 11201

More super expensive quaintness and painfully adorable converted carriage houses can be found on this itty-bitty Brooklyn Heights side street. Grace Court Alley was originally home to the horse stables of the Remsen Family, who lived nearby; today, its converted homes sell for millions of dollars.

Photo via Placematters

12. College Place

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College Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11201

College Place, perpendicular to Love Lane, is a small street named after the Brooklyn Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies. The street has long been home to more utterly charming 19th-century carriage houses, many of which have since been converted into utterly charming and very expensive single-family houses.

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13. Hunts Lane

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Hunts Ln
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Yep, it’s another Brooklyn Heights side-alley that’s lined with pricey carriage houses, including, quite possibly, Brooklyn's most charming home. The dead-end street looks like something out of a movie; there are no sidewalks and no traffic, so you’ll often find neighborhood kids playing in the street. 

Photo of 16 Hunts Lane via Corcoran

14. Pomander Walk

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Pomander Walk
New York, NY 10025

Built in 1922, Pomander Walk, one of Manhattan's best-kept secrets, stretches between 94th and 95th Streets, and features 16 of the most charming homes in New York. Locals know it as "The Walk," and residents are known to house-swap. Pomander Walk's creator originally planned to raze the houses and build a hotel, but he died before that plan could happen.

Photo via ScountingNY

15. St. Charles Place

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St Charles Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11216

St. Charles Place and its neighboring St. Francis Place are adorably anomalous additions to Central Brooklyn's grid. Lined with townhouses, these two one-block-long streets are just off bustling Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights, but they are remarkably quiet and feel secluded.

Via Google Maps

16. Henderson Place

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Henderson Pl
New York, NY 10028

Tucked between East 86th and East 87th streets, Henderson Place is a charming cul-de-sac that many New Yorkers have probably never heard of. The block is characterized by a row of Queen Anne style homes with red-brick facades, which have been preserved thanks to the street being designated a historic district in 1966.

Photo via Forgotten NY

17. Orient Avenue

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Orient Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

This one-way, tree-lined side street is right off of Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, but it’s not exactly on the radar of the typical Williamsburg crowds. "It's like a sanctuary," one resident told the Times, “and it feels like everything else in Williamsburg is evolving except here. You either don't get it or completely fall in love with it."

Via Google Maps

18. Beak Street

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Beak St
New York, NY 10034

At just one block long, Beak Street is one of Manhattan's shortest named streets. The street ends where Inwood Hill Park begins.

Photo via MyInwood

19. Tulfan Terrace

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Tulfan Terrace
Bronx, NY 10463

Once a quiet little cul-de-sac, Tulfan Terrace in Riverdale has seen big changes since the development of new condos nearby. Single-family houses that date back decades face a high-rise residential building, which replaced some of the street’s old homes. (The development wasn’t without controversy, either.) But despite that, the street is still plenty charming—and at barely a block long, plenty small.

Photo via Google Maps

20. Stier Place

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Stier Pl
Queens, NY 11385

If Stier Place was just a couple houses longer, the block would be standard for an outer-borough residential neighborhood, but the long unused tracks at the end of the block cut if off, dwarfing it from the rest of the area.

Photo via ForgottenNY

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1. Edgar Street

Edgar St, New York, NY 10006
Via Google Maps

Coming in at just 63 feet long, Edgar Street at Trinity Place is the shortest street in the city, according to data from PropertyShark (though Michelle and James Nevius, authors of Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, claim that Edgar Street is a few feet longer than Mill Lane). It was named for shipping magnate William Edgar. Technically, Edgar Street is actually two streets, thanks to a traffic meridian that divides it, compensating somewhat for its shortness in wideness. 

Edgar St
New York, NY 10006

2. Mill Lane

Mill Ln, New York, NY 10004
Via Google Maps

By a few feet, Mill Lane would seem to get the trophy for shortest street in Manhattan, though PropertyShark data says otherwise. Address-less, this blip of a street was named Mill Lane in 1664, previously having been known as Elliot's Alley. 

Mill Ln
New York, NY 10004

3. Weehawken Street

Weehawken St, New York, NY 10014
Via ScoutingNY

So much has happened on one of Manhattan's smallest streets that the Landmarks Preservation Commission gave Weehawken Street its own historic district. Indeed, the street has been host to much maritime history, as well as, according to ScoutingNY, more than its fair share of urine. The street runs parallel to West Street between Christopher and West 10th, and it was once part of the Newgate State Prison (1796-97) and a product market in the mid-1800s.

Weehawken St
New York, NY 10014

4. Renwick Street

Renwick St, New York, NY 10013
Via Tectonic

"Whoever comes to Renwick either lives on Renwick or is lost," said a developer who is working on the wee stretch that is Renwick Street. Its shortness is really its only good attribute; under heavy construction and a block from the Holland Tunnel, it is loud and, according to Google Maps, apparently full of illegally parked trucks and trash. (It’s also now home to 15 Renwick, a fancy condo.)

Renwick St
New York, NY 10013

5. York Street

York St, New York, NY 10013

This tiny addition to the Manhattan street grid only has three buildings on it! According to Forgotten NY, York Street is "the only street in Manhattan named for its original British namesake": the Duke of York. It’s also home to a 32-unit condo building, pictured here.

York St
New York, NY 10013

6. Jones Street

22 Jones St, New York, NY 10014

Jones Street may be miniature, but this one-block long road has been the filming site of multiple movies thanks to its quintessential West Village charm. (It also, more famously, was featured on the cover of Bob Dylan's 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.) The road predates 1789, and its namesake, Doctor Gardner Jones, was related to the namesake of Great Jones Street.

22 Jones St
New York, NY 10014

7. Minetta Street

Minetta St, New York, NY 10012
Bokic Bojan/Shutterstock.com

One of the oldest streets in New York is Minetta Street, a small block with a slight curve located in Greenwich Village. (It intersects with the slightly busier, and rather small, Minetta Lane.) Named after the Minetta Brook that used to run through the neighborhood, the street was once considered dangerous because of the saloons frequently inhabited by gangs. The street was also the set of the Al Pacino film, Serpico.

Minetta St
New York, NY 10012

8. Gay Street

Gay St, New York, NY 10014
Ryan DeBerardinis/Shutterstock.com

According to the New York Times, the only thing you could possibly regret about buying property on pocket-sized Gay Street is the abundance of "lively tourists". In the late 18th century, the short, crooked street served as an alley for stables; in 1833, it was widened to become an official city street.

Gay St
New York, NY 10014

9. Mosco Street

Mosco St, New York, NY 10013

Chinatown has many alleys and side streets, and one of the littlest is Mosco Street, a street lined by small businesses on each side. Mosco Street was originally called Cross Street of the Five Points neighborhood during the 19th century and was known as one of the most dangerous slums in the city.

Mosco St
New York, NY 10013

10. Dennet Place

Dennet Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11231

What's cuter than a miniature street? One that comes with miniature doors to match. Dennet Place is a one-block street in Carroll Gardens made up of houses, nicknamed "Hobbit Houses," with doors that are "roughly four-foot tall" at the ground level. The enclave is home to "a tight-knit collection of Italian-American families," according to the Times.

Dennet Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11231

11. Grace Court Alley

Grace Ct Alley, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Photo via Placematters

More super expensive quaintness and painfully adorable converted carriage houses can be found on this itty-bitty Brooklyn Heights side street. Grace Court Alley was originally home to the horse stables of the Remsen Family, who lived nearby; today, its converted homes sell for millions of dollars.

Grace Ct Alley
Brooklyn, NY 11201

12. College Place

College Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

College Place, perpendicular to Love Lane, is a small street named after the Brooklyn Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies. The street has long been home to more utterly charming 19th-century carriage houses, many of which have since been converted into utterly charming and very expensive single-family houses.

College Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11201

13. Hunts Lane

Hunts Ln, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Photo of 16 Hunts Lane via Corcoran

Yep, it’s another Brooklyn Heights side-alley that’s lined with pricey carriage houses, including, quite possibly, Brooklyn's most charming home. The dead-end street looks like something out of a movie; there are no sidewalks and no traffic, so you’ll often find neighborhood kids playing in the street. 

Hunts Ln
Brooklyn, NY 11201

14. Pomander Walk

Pomander Walk, New York, NY 10025
Photo via ScountingNY

Built in 1922, Pomander Walk, one of Manhattan's best-kept secrets, stretches between 94th and 95th Streets, and features 16 of the most charming homes in New York. Locals know it as "The Walk," and residents are known to house-swap. Pomander Walk's creator originally planned to raze the houses and build a hotel, but he died before that plan could happen.

Pomander Walk
New York, NY 10025

15. St. Charles Place

St Charles Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Via Google Maps

St. Charles Place and its neighboring St. Francis Place are adorably anomalous additions to Central Brooklyn's grid. Lined with townhouses, these two one-block-long streets are just off bustling Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights, but they are remarkably quiet and feel secluded.

St Charles Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11216

16. Henderson Place

Henderson Pl, New York, NY 10028
Photo via Forgotten NY

Tucked between East 86th and East 87th streets, Henderson Place is a charming cul-de-sac that many New Yorkers have probably never heard of. The block is characterized by a row of Queen Anne style homes with red-brick facades, which have been preserved thanks to the street being designated a historic district in 1966.

Henderson Pl
New York, NY 10028

17. Orient Avenue

Orient Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Via Google Maps

This one-way, tree-lined side street is right off of Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, but it’s not exactly on the radar of the typical Williamsburg crowds. "It's like a sanctuary," one resident told the Times, “and it feels like everything else in Williamsburg is evolving except here. You either don't get it or completely fall in love with it."

Orient Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

18. Beak Street

Beak St, New York, NY 10034
Photo via MyInwood

At just one block long, Beak Street is one of Manhattan's shortest named streets. The street ends where Inwood Hill Park begins.

Beak St
New York, NY 10034

19. Tulfan Terrace

Tulfan Terrace, Bronx, NY 10463
Photo via Google Maps

Once a quiet little cul-de-sac, Tulfan Terrace in Riverdale has seen big changes since the development of new condos nearby. Single-family houses that date back decades face a high-rise residential building, which replaced some of the street’s old homes. (The development wasn’t without controversy, either.) But despite that, the street is still plenty charming—and at barely a block long, plenty small.

Tulfan Terrace
Bronx, NY 10463

20. Stier Place

Stier Pl, Queens, NY 11385
Photo via ForgottenNY

If Stier Place was just a couple houses longer, the block would be standard for an outer-borough residential neighborhood, but the long unused tracks at the end of the block cut if off, dwarfing it from the rest of the area.

Stier Pl
Queens, NY 11385