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  • So we tried to imagine what a comprehensive transformation would produce on a generic Manhattan block, to the extent that one exists. We chose Third Avenue between East 33rd and 34th Streets because of its concentration of terriblenesses and virtues. It is congested, dense, torn up, noisy, and lively. Lined by towers and tenements, plied by trucks and fed by tunnels, it’s a short walk from offices, hospitals, and trains. Yet we also embraced its frenzy. Our goal was not to impose the serenity of a provincial Dutch city or to streamline the block into anodyne efficiency. New York without friction wouldn’t be New York.

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