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12 Coenties Alley

Coenties Alley

Coenties Alley
Leading off of Stone Street behind us there, we find this little alleyway that we're in now. It's very short. It's called Coenties Alley, and when we cross over Pearl Street there, it becomes Coenties Slip. It's at Coenties Slip where we are now on the other side of Pearl Street. It's much wider than Coenties Alley and that's because this used to be a slip or kind of a dock. The ships would sail in off the East River and moor up here to unload their goods to the warehouses. But the curious name, Coenties Slip, comes from the Dutch couple that it was named after. They joined their names together to form Coenties, so their names were Conraedt and Antje Ten Eyck. Excuse my Dutch pronunciation. Before the Dutch started reclaiming land out to the East River, Pearl Street here marked the natural shoreline of Manhattan Island. So everything on the other side of Pearl Street here, that was all just water back in the early 1600s. Hard to imagine today, but the name of the street itself, Pearl Street, that came from all the oyster shells and mother of pearl that used to wash up on the shoreline.
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