H.P.L. Reviews
The Lost Lane

Published 29 August 1924 in the New York Evening Post.

"The city ought to establish a lost-and-found department to help recapture odd little streets and courts and alleys that have wandered away like strayed waifs and lost themselves in the bewildering maze of New York byways.

There would be plenty of digging and excavating and burrowing in labyrinths, and then would come a serles of shower baths and general dry-cleanings. All the nameless wayfarers would be christened, and brushed and combed, until the city looked like an advertisement for the most sparkling, miraculous cleanser ever used on pots and pans in the history of house-wives.

Take, for Instance, one little alley just off Perry street, past Bleecker. Everything about it is lost. Name, country, identification of any sort. Its most prominent feature, an old oll lamp by a pair of crooked cellar steps, looks as if it came, after many years of shipwrecked isolation, from the Isle of Lost Ships, and feels more helplessly out of place than it can express.

One boarded house, with several layers of steps leading up to a heavy, frayed balcony, seems to have been left over from the past centuries, and the wash-basket hanging neglected from the side wall appears utterly neglected. Behind a fence, clotheslines swing from house to house, fluttering fitfully with community apparel that may never be reclalmed by the rightful owners.

Some people have lived there for years, and are still at a loss for an address. If the old alley ever had a name, it has long ago rethed into relentless obscurity, never to reappear in the annals of the New York directory.

Sometimes, to be sure, out of sheer necessity, the residents of Nameless alley supply the title of “Perry Court," in accordance with the street which lustily honors the memory of Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of Lake Erie. Or some one adopts the rumor that the old place was called "Love Lane" in other, shadowy days.

No one ventures a definite solution of the mystery. But there is singing from an open window where bright flowers edge the sill, and the least tinge of corned beef and cabbage In the alr. Everybody’s happy - and what's in a name?"

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