I have found what is, without a doubt, the shortest street in the NYC metropolitan area and possibly, the shortest in the United States. It’s found at the undefended border of Queens and Nassau Counties, where the territories on both sides of this danger-fraught line are called Floral Park. It’s a street that shouldn’t happen, under modern methods of boundary line engineering.
Let’s move further west for the moment, at another undefended (but it really should be) border, between Kings and Queens counties. At the eastern end of the town of Bushwick the line between Kings and Queens was rendered as a straight line in the late 1600s. But as the centuries rolled on and towns, streets and houses appeared, the line crossing through homes proved awkward for tax collectors and post offices, and the line was changed in 1925, zigzagging up and down streets, presumably in the center median.
However, at the Queens-Nassau line, no such niceties were followed when eastern Queens divorced itself from western Queens over inclusion in Greater New York and courthouse placement, and here the line is still perfectly straight. Note where the line reaches Jericho Turnpike at 257th Street. It doesn’t quite make it to Jericho Turnpike, leaving a tiny piece of 257th Street completely in Nassau! Depending on where you draw the line, it possibly leaves a tiny triangle shaped plot in Nassau County. What do the signmakers do?
On the Queens side of the street, you have a finned lamp mast used exclusively in New York City, but a Nassau County-style 257th Street sign…
…and on the Nassau County side, a Nassau-style davit stoplight and a … Keene avenue sign! That’s right, the tiny piece of 257th Street contained within Nassau County has its own name.
It’s not that Nassau disdains Queens numbered streets completely. There are streets with Queens numbering in such far flung locales as Great Neck and Elmont. But not here, not in Floral Park, and city fathers have given a triangle a street name rather than let a Queens numbered street besmirch the town.
That’s what I call shade! Which there wasn’t much of the day I shot this in the July 2020 dead dog heat.
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