Why Broadway Meanders up Manhattan’s Grid

New York's Most Iconic Street Grew Organically From Colonial Cowpath Into an Allegorical Strand

I first saw Broadway from the air. It was 1990 and I was flying with my architecture class from the University of Florida up to Boston so we could learn about cities. Our silver Eastern Airlines plane flew low—alarmingly low, I thought at the time—over Manhattan and soared up the island south to north, the pilot alerting us to the view of the Big Apple below. I could clearly pick out Broadway because, as I had read, it didn’t follow the grid but meandered, an errant thread weaving its way …

More In: Essays

Why Both Liberals and Conservatives Claim Theodore Roosevelt as Their Own

Our 26th President Is Lauded as an Environmentalist, as Well as an Empire Builder

A president’s career can extend well beyond his death, as family, friends, and fans work tirelessly to maintain his legacy and image.

For roughly 10 years, I have studied the …

The Golden State’s Unpopular Pro-Slavery Governor

The First American Executive of California Was a Pioneering Man of the West—and the South

Peter Hardeman Burnett had probably the most impressive list of achievements of any leader in the early American West. He served on the supreme court of the Oregon Territory and …

How Americans Can Keep a Closer Eye on Spy Agencies

Democracy's Checks and Balances Are Catching up With the Shadowy World of Intelligence-Gathering

Since its beginnings, the United States has deployed secret services to advance the nation’s interests. Today, 17 major organizations make up America’s so-called Intelligence Community. From 1787 until 1975, the …

How Moving to England Cured My ‘American Verbal Inferiority Complex’

The Beauty of Rule-Based American English Is That It's More Democratic Than the Brits' Version

I had lived in England for three years when Eats, Shoots and Leaves struck in 2003. English writer Lynne Truss’ “zero tolerance approach to pronunciation” became a British publishing phenomenon—helped …