Since today (2/14) is supposed to be the holiday of love, I’ll show you a few streets around town that honor it by name…
Valentine Avenue, Bronx
(Do I use Google Street View? You bet I do, and I enjoy it.) Valentine is the lengthiest of NYC’s ‘love lanes’, running from East Tremont Avenue north to East 204th Street in Fordham and Bedford Park. It was named for a former 19th Century landholding family, but perhaps coincidentally, it was once called Lovers’ Lane for part of its length.
Love Lane, Brooklyn
This short street runs east from Hicks Street to just past Henry Street, just north of Pierrepont in Brooklyn Heights. Apparently it once was a lovers’ lane. In the colonial era, it divided the estates of the Pierrepont and DeBevoise estates, and Sarah, one of the DeBevoise daughters, attracted gentlemen callers. According to Benardo and Weiss’ Brooklyn By Name, Sarah and her boyfriends used to inscribe their initials on a fence, called “love lines.”
Valentine Place, Queens
This dead-end street is off Cooper Avenue just west of 80th Street in Glendale, near the Atlas Mall. The reason for the name, which takes the place of 79th Street, is unknown, at least to me.
Valentine Place appears on maps as early as 1915. In fact, buildings along Cooper Avenue, then called Central, and Valentine Place were there long before the rest of the area was developed.
Lovingham Place, Queens
This short street runs for about a block between Baisley and Foch Boulevards in St. Albans in southeast Queens.
Lovelace Avenue, Staten Island
Perhaps epitomizing the tract house suburban atmosphere that came to southwest Staten Island after the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Lovelace Avenue runs for 5 blocks between Leverett and Figurea Avenues a block east of Annadale Road, though it isn’t a through street and is interrupted by wooded areas in two locations. Name that car on the right!