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Greg Shue

Having recently been through the ringer looking for a new apartment in New York City, I've had the opportunity to see several different parts of the city. There are indeed some similarities between the best blocks that I've come across, of of which is established landscape elements, and more specifically, big trees. Old gardens and parks help too, I think, but when you come to a block with a high colorful canopy, it really adds a lot to the identity of the place. Secondly, I'd say that the quality of the architecture is of utmost impotance. Like the treatment of an interior wall of a formal room, streetscapes that are bould by architectural walls full of eye-catching detail seem to increase the charm factor exponentially. Narrow streets with curb-side parking also add to the quality of my sidewalk stroll, as they provide a sense of security and coziness.

As for the best blocks, I'll keep my opinions confined to the New York City area. I'd vote for almost anything along Riverside Park (Riverside Drive, Upper West Side) in Manhattan, and almost anything in the Cobble Hill Neighborhood in Brooklyn (although I particularly like Pacific St. between Clinton and Henry Streets).

I'm interested to find out what other people think constitutes a great block.

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