View Full Version : Upper West Side Story

March 12th, 2004, 11:27 AM
It's been awhile since I've posted here.
No particular reason, but for the last couple of years business and family have kept me busy.
I'm an ex-New Yorker. I lived at Thompson and Spring for 7 years, then did time in Park Slope. In 1972 I moved to Florida and I didn't set foot in the City again until 1996. I've been back every year since, sometimes twice a year.
I love the place.

For the last 2 years though, I've not been to NY--but that will change in mid-April.
I'm bringing my family to the City for a week. My son (a veteran visitor, he's been to the City 7-8 times), my daughter-in-law (she's never visited) and 2 grandsons, 6 and 8, who are convinced--by grandpa--that the City is magical, are all staying near Times Square.

I'm staying at 77th and Broadway, The Hotel Belleclaire.
Hare's why I'm posting--despite living on Manhattan for years,once I get off CPW I may as well be in Kuala Lumpur.
I've never done anything on the West Side, and I know nil about what goes on.
What are the good music bars ie; jazz, folk, etc?
What's good to eat?
Where's a good place to walk AND get an eyeful of architecture?
Other than the obvious (Children's Museum, Planetarium, Nat History Museum, etc) what is there for kids?
If it was a crummy, rainy day, what would you do on the West Side to kill a day?
Where does Seinfeld park his Porsches?
Any help, direction or opinion would be invaluable.

March 15th, 2004, 06:21 AM
"Where does Seinfeld park his Porsches?"

Bwahahaha, lemme know please .....

November 10th, 2007, 06:32 AM
Shott On Location: Getting Hammered At P&G Bar

by Chris Shott (http://www.observer.com/node/36088) Published: November 9, 2007 Tags: Real Estate (http://www.observer.com/realestate), NIGHTLIFE (http://www.observer.com/term/50224), P&G BAR (http://www.observer.com/term/51574), Retail (http://www.observer.com/term/49941), Upper West Side (http://www.observer.com/term/50034)

http://observer.cast.advomatic.com/files/imagecache/article/files/PGrevamp.jpg Chris Shott
Guy walks into a bar, says to the bartender: "Same shirt as yesterday, Charlie?"
Same shirt, same shit, different day.

Indeed, change is rare around the old P&G Bar, founded in 1942 at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and West 73rd Street, where around 5 p.m. on Thursday regulars compared bowling scores over Budweisers while horse races flickered on an old boxy TV set in the background.
But change is happening outside the bar.

Scheduled storefront renovations (http://www.observer.com/2007/light-grungy-candle-p-g-bar) have finally begun on the building. The bar's prior dark-green facade has been stripped away and new windows with light green trim are being installed.

Yet the defiant Chahalis family, which has owned and operated the bar for the past 60 years, refuses to budge and has rebuffed buyout offers from the landlord. (The bar's lease is up at the end of 2008.)

"WE WILL BE OPEN DURING STOREFRONT REPAIRS," according to a sign on the door.

Relations between the contractors and bar goers have been strained at times during the past few weeks, according to a bartender, who scoffed at the notion of unplugging his ice machine so a worker could plug in his drill.
Folks who frequent the place are anxious for construction to wrap up. Said the bartender: "They could've put up the World Trade Center by now!"

The New York Observer.

March 13th, 2008, 07:23 AM
Upper West Side, Amsterdam Avenue.




March 14th, 2008, 02:49 AM
Although the finest “Frankfurter” stand in all of America for my money is “Hot Doug’s” (sounds like “Hot Dawgs” when uttered by locals), on California Avenue and Roscoe in Chicago, I do have fond remembrances of “Gray’s Papaya,” on Broadway, every time I am in the city. A vaunted celebrity hangout where I have never seen one, that Hot Dog stand, sans seating, remains my favourite when I am in the mood. In fact it was my last venue on my way out of New York, returning to Chicago via Pittsburgh last fall.

When I finally rolled into Pittsburgh, I took my usual pilgrimage to what their locals call the “dirty O’s” for another pair of hot dogs, and found myself still thinking about “Gray’s”. Without realising it, I asked if I could get a papaya juice with my “dawgs”. Of course, the people there gave me a long stare … and I finally came back to reality.

March 14th, 2008, 05:07 AM
One of my favourites too.

These photo's were from 2007, but when I was there in 2005 you could get two dogs and a juice, all for $2.00.

March 30th, 2008, 04:34 AM
Upper West Side

At Peak Times, a Hungrier Meter?

Published: March 30, 2008

PARKING spaces on the Upper West Side are precious resources, to be hoarded like coal in wartime. The familiar street-cleaning shuffle requires paramilitary levels of vigilance and guile. So it is no surprise that the city is eyeing the neighborhood as a place to test a new program that would raise and lower the price of parking to match demand.

The system, known as performance-based pricing, was pioneered by Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at University of California, Los Angeles. Under the system, which is in use in Pasadena, Calif. and part of Washington, D.C., the price of parking fluctuates over the course of the day.

In peak periods, like the early evening, prices are kept high enough to dissuade some drivers from parking, with the goal of having two spots per block unoccupied at any time. Advocates of the system say it eases congestion and lowers emissions by sparing drivers the usual “cruise” in search of parking.

Over the last year, officials of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District have told the city they are willing to try out the new system, in return for street improvements like bike racks, benches, curb extensions and bike lanes. The city never formally agreed to such an arrangement, but Barbara Adler, executive director of the business district, said she learned a few weeks ago that performance-based pricing might be in the works for the avenue.

Ms. Adler said that Margaret Forgione, the Transportation Department’s Manhattan borough commissioner, had called to tell her that Muni-Meters programmed to allow variable parking prices would soon be installed on Columbus between 67th and 82nd Streets.

On Monday, the idea got a polite but lukewarm reception from two committees of Community Board 7, which serves the area. In response to a question about the matter, Ted Timbers, a Transportation spokesman, said the department would not act until the community board and other local groups had had a chance to comment.

In an interview after the meeting, Andrew Albert, co-chairman of the board’s Transportation Committee and executive director of the West Side Chamber of Commerce, said he was skeptical of performance-based pricing.

“I would just say that what works in California doesn’t necessarily also work in the streets of Manhattan,” Mr. Albert said, adding that merchants might oppose a plan that could drive visitors away from the neighborhood.

“If you make it too onerous for people,” he said, “they will go somewhere else.”

Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

April 21st, 2008, 07:47 PM
Big Deal

A Repository for the Rich

By JOSH BARBANEL (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/josh_barbanel/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: April 20, 2008

IT has no celebrity architect, no Poggenpohl cabinets, no Viking stoves, no awesome skyline views. In fact, it has only one small cellar window. But property records filed this month show that an $801,000 co-op sold at the Dakota, at 1 West 72nd Street facing Central Park, appears to have set a record as the highest-priced basement storage room in the annals of New York real estate.

The Dakota.

The storage room is situated on a basement corridor and has a locked door, four bare walls, electricity and a half-bath, but is uninhabitable and costs more than the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo) last year.

But at the Dakota, basement storage spaces for those old papers, sleds, college textbooks, strollers and out-of-favor artwork are hard to find. When the word was circulating that a storage locker would be sold to the highest bidder among the building’s residents, there were bids from at least eight co-op owners, including a representative of Yoko Ono (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/yoko_ono/index.html?inline=nyt-per), who maintains a home in the building, according to a person briefed on the sale.

The winning bidder was John M. Angelo, a hedge fund manager and the chief executive of Angelo, Gordon & Company, and a member of the board of Sotheby’s. He has assembled several co-op units into a sprawling apartment on the second floor of the Dakota.

Last year, Mr. Angelo bought an additional modest one-bedroom apartment on the second floor for $3.25 million, according to city records. The sellers were Ann Godoff (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/ann_godoff/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the president and publisher of Penguin Press, and Annik LaFarge, until recently the publishing director of Bloomsbury USA.

Mr. Angelo bought his storage room from Juliana Curran Terian, the president and chief executive of the Rallye Group, an automobile dealership based in Rosyln, on Long Island (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/longisland/?inline=nyt-geo). The company, which specializes in BMW (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/bayerische_motoren_werke_ag/index.html?inline=nyt-org), Mercedes, Lexus and Acura models, is the largest female-owned dealership in the country, according to its Web site.

In January, Ms. Terian sold her 11-room apartment on the second floor of the Dakota for $20.5 million (plus a 2 percent flip tax paid by the buyer). It has four bedrooms and a corner living room facing the park. The buyers were Philip L. Milstein, a scion of the Milstein real estate empire and a trustee at Columbia University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/columbia_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org), and his wife, Cheryl.

The original asking price was $25.5 million. But Ms. Terian decided to offer the storage locker and a maid’s room separately to other co-op owners. Closing documents for the maid’s room have not yet been filed.

E-mail: bigdeal@nytimes.com

Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

April 28th, 2008, 05:34 AM
Beautiful building. I always think of Rosemary's Baby when I see it.

April 28th, 2008, 07:03 AM
^ It's cleaner now, not as gloomy.

April 28th, 2008, 10:13 AM
John Angelo's son is a bigwig at the New York Post, I wonder if that's going to be an $800,000 repository for "Axis of Weasel" covers.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

April 30th, 2008, 09:19 PM
Upper West Side, Amsterdam Avenue.




One of my favorite places love Grays. Also featured in You've Got Mail.

May 18th, 2008, 05:54 AM
Upper West Side

A Bid to Shield a Row of Sturdy Soldiers

Published: May 18, 2008

GENERATIONS come and go on West End Avenue. White-collar types have replaced exiled Viennese Jews, and the Freudians in ground-floor suites have given way to cognitive behaviorists.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/18/nyregion/hist650.jpgAnnie Tritt for The New York Times
“It really is a uniform, cohesive boulevard,” one historian says of West End Avenue.

But for all that, the structures along the avenue have barely changed. Since the 1920s, West End has presented the same sleepy procession of ornamented brick and limestone 15-story apartment buildings, with an occasional town house from the 1890s.

That may be changing. A 20-story condominium building is expected to rise by next summer at 86th Street and West End Avenue, on a site where several smaller buildings once stood. Earlier this year, Frontier Realty, a large residential developer, filed plans with the Department of Buildings to demolish two pairs of decaying row houses that it owns on the avenue, one set near 85th Street, the other near 96th Street.

To limit further development, a group of residents calling themselves the West End Preservation Society will ask the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider designating a 37-block stretch of the avenue, from 70th to 107th Streets, as a historic district.

“West End Avenue is of a piece from where the apartment houses begin, around 69th Street, to where the avenue ends,” said Andrew Dolkart, a professor of historic preservation at Columbia University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/columbia_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org), who was hired by the group to write a report on the buildings in question. “It really is a uniform, cohesive boulevard that could meet the criteria for a historic district.”

The plan is supported by all of the neighborhood’s local, state and federal representatives, who wrote to the mayor in March supporting the plan. On June 3, Community Board 7 will consider a resolution supporting the proposal. The decision ultimately rests with the landmarks commission and the City Council.

This is not the first time that preservationists have sought such a district: in March 2006, for example, the preservation group Landmark West asked the commission — to no avail — to consider designating roughly 11 blocks of upper West End Avenue. With more political support and more development, preservationists hope for success this time.

Two existing historic districts protect several blocks of the avenue that are especially rich in row houses: from 76th to 77th Streets, and from 87th to 94th Streets. But according to Mosette Broderick, an architectural historian at New York University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_york_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) who said she was “loosely attached” to the neighborhood group, the need to preserve West End’s more pedestrian stretches is more urgent today.

“We never imagined that New York would boom the way it has,” Ms. Broderick said.

Of the proposed district, she added: “Are the Taj Mahal and the White House in it? No. It’s upper-middle-class housing. But it’s of a piece, and it’s unique.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

May 31st, 2008, 07:32 AM
A Lifetime Amid the Lox and Rugelach

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/31/nyregion/31zabars.span.jpg Richard Perry/The New York Times
The Zabar’s food and housewares emporium has become a beloved landmark for generations of Upper West Siders.

By TINA KELLEY (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/tina_kelley/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: May 31, 2008

Nowadays, most tales of longstanding and beloved family businesses in New York seem to end with a sniff and a final mop of the floor. But as Zabar’s, the venerable West Side purveyor of New York noshes, approaches its 75th anniversary next year, it is flourishing and still very much in the family. Overseeing aisles of smoked fish, a United Nations (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/united_nations/index.html?inline=nyt-org) worth of cheeses, and the iconic coffee and rugelach is the firm’s president, Saul Zabar, who will celebrate the 75th anniversary of his 5th birthday next week.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/30/nyregion/zabar_190.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:pop_me_up2('http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/05/30/nyregion/20080531_ZABARS_FEATURE.html', '680_583', 'width=680,height=583,location=no,scrollbars=yes,t oolbars=no,resizable=yes'))
AUDIO (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20080531_ZABARS_FEATURE/index.html) SLIDE SHOW

Office for Metropolitan History
Broadway and 80th Street in 1945, when Zabar’s occupied one storefront.

Mr. Zabar says that he does not remember the grand opening of the original Zabar’s but does remember his own role in the early days: As a lookout posted on Broadway because of the Blue Laws, when stores were ordered to — but did not always — close from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

“I was supposed to notify my family if the police were coming,” he recalled. “But when I saw a policeman I could not make myself run. I walked right back to the store, and the policeman followed right afterwards.” His father, Louis, was not pleased, and frequently reminded him of the incident until his death in 1950.

That was when Saul, who had little interest in the family business and had hoped to become a doctor, quit the University of Kansas (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/university_of_kansas/index.html?inline=nyt-org). His youngest brother, Eli, who later would split from the family and create a rival fancy food empire on the East Side, was barely in grade school then.

“I came here to be of some help,” Saul Zabar said. “I really came into Zabar’s as a temporary assignment.”

It lasted a lifetime.

If Mr. Zabar was thrust into the family business reluctantly, like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” any movie about him would surely star Dustin Hoffman (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/dustin_hoffman/index.html?inline=nyt-per), to whom he bears a strong resemblance. His unofficial uniform is a polo shirt and khaki pants — there are 20 of each in his closet — with black running shoes.

Mr. Zabar’s office, behind a housewares department where one can find two varieties of pink toaster, is decorated with pictures of his four grandchildren and a needlepoint rendition of the storefront. Fourteen closed-circuit televisions monitor the store, and the smell of coffee is strong enough to keep awake anyone assigned to watch them.

Saul Zabar’s office doubles as the coffee “cupping and tasting” room, where sample beans are roasted and brewed to see if they are worthy of the family’s orange-lettered bag.

Forty years ago, he apprenticed himself to a coffee expert. “My wife said, ‘What are you wasting your time on?’ and I said, ‘Give me time. Give me 20 years,’ ” Mr. Zabar recalled. The store now sells $50,000 to $60,000 of its own coffee each week.

What grew into a $50 million annual business recognized worldwide as an icon of a certain slice of quintessential New York began as a simple smoked-fish department inside a Daitch food store, just north of Zabar’s current location. Louis Zabar, an immigrant from a shtetl in what is now Ukraine, soon expanded to five small stores on the Upper West Side.

But a few years after Saul took over, he consolidated the business into what became today’s sprawling gourmet bazaar at Broadway and 80th Street. It “was like having five separate children with separate personalities, sales and bookkeeping,” he explained. “I wanted to do one thing and do it well. I wanted to take care of it in a way that it survives and becomes famous.”

The Zabars own the large building that houses the landmark store, as well as several others along Broadway, filled mostly with independent retail shops that lend the neighborhood character. They are active local philanthropists, having given $5 million to the Jewish Community Center for a nursery school. For decades, Mr. Zabar and his brother Stanley were joined by another partner, Murray Klein, now deceased, who had started at the store as a stockman in 1953.

Many of the store’s 250 employees have worked there two or three decades. Mr. Zabar recounted tales of workers who proposed marriage in the fish department or in the cafe, and he got emotional while describing how some struggled to pay off high-interest loans.

“We try to break this pattern by telling them to come to us,” he said. “We lend them money to pay off the principal, and they pay us back $15 a week.” He estimates the company has lent out more than $50,000; his wife of 40 years, Carole Zabar, recalled how her husband paid half the tuition for an employee’s disabled son to attend boarding school. (The son now works for Zabar’s, as do two of the Zabars’ three children.)“I consider all the people working here as family,” Mr. Zabar said.

Rabbi Joy Levitt, executive director of the Jewish Community Center on Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street where the Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School is housed, recalled a disagreement she once had with Mrs. Zabar over a program. “I ran into Saul on the street — that’s how you run into Saul, he’s always on the street — and he said, ‘You need to call your friend Carole,’ ” Rabbi Levitt remembered. “That was code for, ‘That disagreement was more important than you realize.’ It struck me how deeply he cared about her, about me and about the relationship.”

“I think more community goes on inside Zabar’s than in a lot of places,” she said. “There are people you know and people that want to help you.”
Eli Zabar (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/z/eli_zabar/index.html?inline=nyt-per), who left the family business in the 1970s out of frustration with what he saw as the company’s reluctance to pursue new directions, compared Saul, 15 years his senior, to the best of politicians.

“He’s the most special man and he’s the common man,” said Eli Zabar, who has repaired once-strained relations and now supplies Zabar’s with breads from his East Side bakeries. “He’s able to drill down and begin to know little things like nobody else.”

Saul Zabar is not planning any public celebration on Wednesday. He rejected a plan to give away free coffee on that day, but he did think about retiring.

“It doesn’t go on forever,” he said. “I suddenly realized, maybe there’s something else. And then I got over it. I guess what I’m doing is what I’m going to be doing.

“We recently just developed a very wonderful rye bread that I think is the very best in the city,” Mr. Zabar added. “That was fun.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 2nd, 2008, 08:26 PM
Streetscapes | Readers' Questions
Two Different Developers Gave Block Its Character

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/01/realestate/600-scap-02-span.jpg Left, New York Public Library; right, Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
One of two town houses that flank brownstones on West End Avenue, in 1925 and today.

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&inline=nyt-per)
Published: June 1, 2008

Q I live at 632 West End Avenue. Why are there two nearly identical corner buildings flanking a row of nearly identical brownstones? ... George Moran, Manhattan

A Why, indeed? For reasons unknown, the blockfront was sold for development in two segments in 1896. William L. Crow bought almost all of the frontage — enough to build eight high-stoop row houses, running from 622 to 636 West End Avenue and completed in 1897.

But he did not get the corners, which were acquired at the same time by the developer Francis Jencks. He in turn retained the architect Hugh Lamb to build the double town houses at each end of the block, Nos. 620 and 638.

Mr. Crow’s architect, George F. Pelham, followed convention in his choices for the brownstones, even though architects like Clarence True had already popularized the low-stoop house. The Pelham buildings are late examples of the high-stoop type.

Mr. Jencks waited until 1899 to build on the corners, and he put up town houses with an air of Edwardian London, red brick and limestone, their rooftop dormers with distinctive broken pediments. Clifford Hartridge, who lived in the house at the 90th Street corner, was a prominent lawyer, who served on the defense of Harry K. Thaw in the 1906 murder of Stanford White (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/stanford_white/index.html?inline=nyt-per).

As time went on, apartment buildings began to prove more convenient and drew the typical well-heeled private-house tenants away. Thus, by 1923, it should not have been surprising that Nora Bayes, a vaudeville star, was living at No. 624. That year, the Surrogate’s Court granted Miss Bayes permission to adopt a 3-year-old child. At that point, according to The New York Times, Miss Bayes — who helped to write “Shine On, Harvest Moon” — had been married four times, to a businessman, two actors and her dancing partner. She died in 1928 in possession of a fifth husband, a garage owner.

The census return of 1930 shows several householders taking in roomers, and in 1934 the Riverside Democratic Club had space in 632 West End.
By the 1950s, the building had been split into apartments; one resident, according to The Times, was Nancy Rothwax, 21, a senior at City College.

An honor student, she was editor of the literary magazine, The Promethean. In May 1958, it published a play involving marijuana smoking, with dialogue that The Times said was “spiced by a number of earthy colloquialisms.” Miss Rothwax was suspended, but did receive a prize for “extracurricular activities” at graduation in June.

This peculiar little row of houses — the chocolate-colored brownstones and their red-brick bookends — presents an unusual villagelike character in concert with the low-rise block across the street: the picturesque row houses of 1899 at the south end designed by Clarence True, and the charming 1894 church at the north end.

E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 12th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Barney Greengrass: 100 Years as 'Sturgeon King'

By MARK GIANNOTTO, Special to the Sun
June 11, 2008

Customers calling Barney Greengrass's appetizing emporium on the Upper West Side may find themselves on the phone with Moe, the 2-year-old son of owner Gary Greengrass. "Barney" and "Greengrass" are two of the first words Moe learned, according to his father.

Click for multi-image slideshow >

http://www.nysun.com/pics/1778_large.jpg (http://www.nysun.com/pics/1778.jpg)
Ben Parker

http://www.nysun.com/pics/1780_large.jpg (http://www.nysun.com/pics/1780.jpg)

Celebrating its 100-year anniversary today, the self-proclaimed "Sturgeon King," which specializes in smoked fish, has become a New York institution and remains family-owned. That doesn't mean Mr. Greengrass, 48, isn't concerned about what his only son might choose to do in the future.

"He might disappoint me and become a doctor or a lawyer," Mr. Greengrass said with a smile yesterday.

To celebrate its centennial today, the restaurant is turning back the clock to 1908 prices. That means customers can enjoy modern-day novelties like a 15-cent coffee (normally $2.25), eggs with a side of Nova Scotia salmon costing $1.40 (normally $10), or a $1.75 sturgeon (normally $17.50).

Under the ownership of its namesake, Barney Greengrass originally opened in 1908 at the corner of West 113th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. It moved to its current location in 1929.

Mr. Greengrass has tried to maintain the restaurant's authenticity with relics of the past, such as wallpaper that has been hanging for 50 years and a refrigerator that's so old his father used to call it an icebox. But the business has expanded in ways its founder could have never imagined.

Nowadays, Barney Greengrass has a burgeoning mail-order service that ships its signature smoked fish around the world, as well as a catering service for all sorts of events. There's another restaurant bearing the same name in Beverly Hills (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=Beverly+Hills+(California )). The New York restaurant, which includes a sit-down area and a takeout counter, served President Franklin Roosevelt, George Burns, Jerry Seinfeld, and tens of thousands of ordinary Upper West Siders over the years.

Family-owned Jewish-style restaurants are facing challenges. The Second Avenue Deli in the East Village was forced to close because of rising rents and later reopened further uptown and closer to Third Avenue.

Barney Greengrass, though, has stuck to its gills.

"On one hand, we want to change with the times, but on the other hand we're like an old, comfortable shoe," Mr. Greengrass said. "I don't know any other places that focus in on the smoked fish."

Some customers said they came not just for the fish but to support a family-operated business of a sort that used to be more abundant in the city.

"I think a lot of us come here because we're afraid it's going to disappear," said a 52-year-old grant strategist, Robert Sawyer, who said he's been a patron for 30 years.

That's a fear he'll have to take up with the youngest Greengrass, next time he calls.


© 2008 The New York Sun,

June 12th, 2008, 02:27 PM
I would have gone up there yesterday had I known about the prices placed at 1908 levels! I always hear about these things too late.
What a great way to celebrate 100 years. I hope it's around for a long time to come.:)

June 12th, 2008, 03:49 PM
They probably kept the news down to locals and regulars until it was over.

But it would have been nice to take part in it. I have only been there once.

Have you been there before MTG?

August 4th, 2008, 12:42 PM
Landmark P&G Bar Just an Afterthought on Newly Stylish Amsterdam Avenue (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/landmark-bar-now-afterthought-amsterdam-ave)

by Chris Shott (http://www.observer.com/node/36088)
10:00 am

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article-teaser/files/PGshott.JPG (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/landmark-bar-now-afterthought-amsterdam-ave) Chris Shott

The Daily News today examines the ongoing retail turnover on Amsterdam Avenue (http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/08/02/2008-08-02_amsterdam_ave_reinvented_as_shopping_hub.html), where rents now hover around $250 per square foot.

"It's no longer full of beer halls and guys with backward baseball caps watching the game," said Rafe Evans, a broker at Walker Malloy.

Oddly, the article makes no mention of the neighborhood's most recognizable beer hall, the endangered P&G Bar (http://www.observer.com/2007/light-grungy-candle-p-g-bar), which is expected to take down its iconic (and landmark-designated) signage and move out when its lease expires on Dec. 31, after more than six decades at the corner of Amsterdam and West 73rd Street.
Its latest rumored replacement: Baby Gap (http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/search/label/P%20and%20G%20Cafe).

Salumeria Rosi (http://eater.com/archives/2008/06/plywood_special_21.php), an Italian-style specialty foods store, joins trendy chocolatier Jacques Torres as the P&G's new neighbors on the rapidly changing block.

"The stores now have style where, before, they were utilitarian," said Stu Morden, managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, which inked the Salumeria deal.


© 2008 Observer Media Group,

August 4th, 2008, 12:48 PM
Please Gawd NO...Not ANOTHER baby Gap! :eek:

August 5th, 2008, 04:40 PM
... which is expected to take down its iconic (and landmark-designated) signage and move out when its lease expires on Dec. 31 ...
Where will the sign end up?

August 5th, 2008, 04:52 PM
At the Chase-Manhattan Museum of Lost New York.

August 5th, 2008, 06:18 PM
P & G Bar. June 2007 view across Verdi Square.

P & G Bar. Window display June 2007.

P & G Bar. April 2005

August 5th, 2008, 06:31 PM
the Verdi Sq Deli!

that's gone now....

August 5th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Verdi Square Deli. Yes I noticed that had gone.

I first noticed it in the Richard Gere/Julia Roberts 1999 film "Runaway Bride". when Richard Gere was seen entering the P & G.

August 10th, 2008, 06:57 AM
Upper West Side

Not Only Elm Street Is Losing Its Muse

Published: August 9, 2008

IN the heat of summer, people with young children and those with dogs walk along the sun-dappled sidewalks of Riverside Drive beneath a canopy of green-gold leaves. Of all the shade trees, the American elm offers some of the best protection from the sun.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/10/nyregion/elm450.jpgG. Paul Burnett/The New York Times
“You feel like you’re losing a part of a family,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe of trees that have succumbed to Dutch elm disease.

Yet, several weeks ago, a painter named Asia Ingalls returned from vacation in Alaska to her home at West 104th Street and Riverside Drive to the sound of chain saws. Three elms were being removed across the street from her apartment building.

“I was devastated by their loss,” said Ms. Ingalls, who has known the trees ever since she was a child 40 years ago, when she used to gaze at them from her bedroom window.

When she called the Riverside Park Fund, a nonprofit group that finances projects in the park, she was told what other concerned neighbors had learned: The hardy trees had fallen victim to Dutch elm disease, a fungal blight with which the parks department was all too familiar.

“I think we could have done a better job publicizing it,” acknowledged Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/adrian_benepe/index.html?inline=nyt-per), who lives nearby. “You feel like you’re losing a part of a family. I’ve pretty much known these trees all my life.”

The highly contagious disease, which is carried by bark beetles, decimated the country’s population of elms during the 1960s and ’70s, leaving many of the nation’s “Elm Streets” without their namesakes.

New York may have fared better than much of the rest of the country because of the vigilance of the parks department and because tree beds here are often separated by concrete rather than soil, preventing the disease from spreading through the root network. As a result, Riverside Park and Central Park are some of the best places left to see mature elms.

Once a tree is infected, however, it cannot be cured.

“For the past three or four years, we’ve lost 10 to 20 trees a year,” said James Dowell, the president of the Riverside Park Fund. “And some, obviously, are much more noticeable than others.”

Fourteen of about 300 mature elms have been already removed from Riverside Park this year, and Mr. Benepe hopes that no more trees will have to be cut down. Those removed will be replaced with the more resistant Princeton elm.

A new program began this summer to inoculate some of the healthy elms by injecting fungicide into the trees with a device resembling an IV line, which offers several years of protection. Mr. Dowell estimates it could cost up to $1,000 to treat a single tree, but the treatment is less costly and less devastating than removal.

Where three elms once stood together casting shade between 103rd and 104th Streets, now stand three stumps. A passer-by with a blue pen had carefully numbered every ring on one stump, marking off the tree’s first year to its last, and had written a simple eulogy: “73 years old.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

August 23rd, 2008, 07:06 AM
Upper West Side

It’s Bullets Over Broadway as New Benches Are Unveiled

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/24/nyregion/thecity/24benches01_600.ready.jpg Librado Romero/The New York Times
Benches along the Broadway malls are being torn up to make way for redesigned seating to the dismay of some residents.

Published: August 24, 2008

ONE way to pass a long summer afternoon would be to stroll the length of Broadway from 60th to 168th Streets, and note that the wood and iron benches on the center malls all look pretty much the same. Modeled on the bench designed for the 1939 World’s Fair, they are sturdy, stately and, unless one objects to the slight flourish of circular armrests, generally unobjectionable.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/24/nyregion/thecity/24benches02_650.ready.jpgRendering by Grimshaw Architects
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled a plan to install semicircular benches at the 76th, 86th and 91st Street malls.

The continuity of design is not coincidental, according to Margaret Doyle, the vice president of the Broadway Mall Association, a group that maintains the benches between those two points, along with the city’s parks department.

“I’ve been trying very hard for a long time to just make the street furniture the same, the same, the same,” Ms. Doyle said one day recently.

But a break in the line may be in the offing. Last month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/metropolitan_transportation_authority/index.html?inline=nyt-org) unveiled a plan to install semicircular benches at the 76th, 86th and 91st Street malls that would represent a significant stylistic departure from the existing model. The benches would be attached to bicycle racks that stretch over subway grates, which are being raised and reconfigured in response to flooding last summer.

The plan has roused opposition among local officials and community board members.

“The Upper West Side has distinct and repetitive features that define the neighborhood,” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal wrote to the agency last month, “and the Broadway Mall benches are one of these features.” She asked the agency to reconsider its plan.

In Ms. Rosenthal’s opinion, the semicircular benches could alter the cherished experience of passing a few quiet moments on the malls amid the whir of traffic, and maybe even make things a little awkward.

“The bench would provide kind of intimate seating,” she acknowledged in an interview. “But you don’t want to make friends on the bench. You just want to sit there.”

Aaron Donovan, a transportation authority spokesman, said the agency was taking the community’s concerns into consideration and would unveil a new plan, possibly this month, although he added that he did not expect it to differ significantly from the first plan.

Ms. Doyle said she understood the need for flood control, but she added that the three-birds-with-one-stone approach would compromise the continuity of appearance that her group has strived to achieve.

“The design is quite nice,” Ms. Doyle said of the planned benches, “but it is not nice for Broadway.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

August 23rd, 2008, 01:05 PM
^ Well, there goes my retirement plan.

My plan was to retire to a little efficiency on West End Avenue and spend my days sitting in the Broadway median on one of those benches --perfect for watching the world go by and deciding the exact degree of interaction with your benchmates. Now the nature of those interactions has all been decided by the nannies who concocted the new design --and it's not the kind of interaction that meshes with my plans.

(Oh-oh, there's one reason: the dreaded Grimshaw, worldwide purveyor of the awfuls.)

What a waste.

August 31st, 2008, 06:18 AM
Upper West Side

Little Boxes, Far From the Hillside

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/31/nyregion/house600.jpg Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
“We just sit and stare,” says Melissa Gavilanes, who works nearby.

Published: August 30, 2008

EIGHT stories above Broadway, on the southeast corner of 97th Street, construction is near completion on three little houses that sit atop a turn-of-the-century apartment building.

Tan in color, they have jaunty oval windows and tiny gabled roofs. On a recent morning, workers in hard hats scurried about porches resembling those in a community of hillside tract houses.

“I’ve received calls from people asking about those units, especially since they started putting decks up there,” said Edward Balazs of A.A.G. Management, the building’s agent. “There are many different types of penthouses, but it’s rare that they have the gabled roofs.”

He believes that the inquiries may be coming from residents whose apartments look out from the higher floors of neighboring buildings, since the units are barely visible from the street.

According to Mr. Balazs, the building’s owners, the real estate developers Anne and Arnold Gumowitz, have chosen to keep silent about the addition until it is completed, and have not advertised the units. No one will say exactly when the construction will be completed.

Yet, it is hard to keep such a secret. Those with the privileged vantage of elevation have been able to watch the little houses go up over the past year and a half, and have followed developments with curiosity, envy and contempt.

Manny Salas, the building’s overnight concierge, says he is asked by several neighbors a week if he knows the prices of the little houses on the roof. The units will be rentals, but Mr. Salas is unsure what the rents will be.

“I think they have adjustable central air,” he said of the houses. “And attics.”

One of the best views is from the Columbia, the 35-story condominium directly across Broadway at 96th Street, particularly from its 12th-floor health club. Those who work out there dwell, like most New Yorkers, in rooms with walls that are shared by neighbors and ceilings that serve as other people’s floors. In this crowded city, an attic is a rare thing.

“It’s the talk of the building,” said Melissa Gavilanes, the manager on duty at the health club recently. She has been polling residents about how many units they thought the penthouses had. “We just sit and stare,” she said.

Doron Rice, an architect who was holding a large pair of barbells, peered out the window. “You want my opinion?” he said, “It’s out of context. It’s not the same materials, and it’s not the same scale. It looks like it was dropped here from somewhere in Long Island.”

But Ms. Gavilanes found the penthouses alluring. “I would get a car,” she said, “and put it out in the driveway. And then I’d add a white picket fence, and AstroTurf. Maybe have a golden retriever playing in the yard.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

August 31st, 2008, 09:10 AM
^ I can smell the stucco-covered dry-vit from here http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif

August 31st, 2008, 09:28 AM
According to Mr. Balazs...
Any relation to Andre?

Those with the privileged vantage of elevation have been able to watch the little houses go up over the past year and a half, and have followed developments with curiosity, envy and contempt.
That's easy to believe. Once upon a time most Hong Kong apartment buildings had shantytowns on their roofs.

Doron Rice, an architect who was holding a large pair of barbells, peered out the window. “You want my opinion?” he said, “It’s out of context. It’s not the same materials, and it’s not the same scale. It looks like it was dropped here from somewhere in Long Island.”
Hey ... this person is perceptive.

August 31st, 2008, 12:54 PM
Architecture should be quirky and eccentric sometimes.
If someone looks at this as a serious attempt at architecture they must be mad.

August 31st, 2008, 03:59 PM
It really is unique and hilarious.

September 2nd, 2008, 06:13 AM
Why go to all of that trouble... and then make them look so ugly? There are so many manufacturers of cute suburban-style pre-fab modular homes... they could have just hoisted the parts up there and then assembled it. No?

September 2nd, 2008, 10:25 AM
Why so ugly?

According to DOB (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=8&passjobnumber=104599043&passdocnumber=01) the architect is DeFONSECA ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS out of Long Island City.

There's a post HERE (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=50605&postcount=152) about something they did in Brooklyn (81 St. Mark's Place in Park Slope), which Gulcaprek (Where is he? Last post (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/search.php?searchid=2734842) was July 2007) described as:

... 6 story stucco building with balconies. Not so great. It's better than it looks in the picture though.

Derek2k3 (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=47321&postcount=19) gave a livelier description of the same project:

Heh, it seems like his stuff is better suited for tropical climates, where colors and frills disguise crap.

September 3rd, 2008, 06:01 AM
Are these BOXES also add ons.


September 3rd, 2008, 02:14 PM
$10 M. Thunder! Ben Stiller Buys Riverside Duplex from Zabar Scion

by Max Abelson (http://www.observer.com/max-abelson) | September 2, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/vertical/files/transfersstiller.jpg Getty Images

There’s something so inoffensive and smiley about Ben Stiller that he can make phallus-in-the-zipper jokes (or write and direct a Hollywood blockbuster that heavily features blackface) but still come across as a really amiable fellow who likes to stay in close proximity to his aging parents.

So it makes sense that he just spent $10 million on a duplex in a prewar orange-brick co-op on Riverside Drive in the West 80s, the same building that his parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, have lived in for years. Mr. Stiller’s name isn’t on the deed, filed last week, though the duplex was bought through a trust that shares the actor’s billing address.

His seller is Ann Zabar, whose family owns the legendary Upper West Side market. Zabar’s Web site says she helps her father, Saul, roast coffee and buy smoked fish, which sounds genuinely spectacular. Her parents live in the building, too: Their number is listed, and when Ms. Zabar’s mother picked up a call from The Observer, she politely refused to disclose her daughter’s buyer. Two sources connected to the building but not the deal confirmed that Mr. Stiller is moving into the building; one, when asked how she got her information, said: “Everybody’s a yenta on the Upper West Side, so everybody knows.”

(As it happens, a May essay in the Israeli paper Haaretz about a visit to the building parenthetically mentions that Mr. Stiller would be buying a $10 million apartment there. In a perfect storm of New York Jewish obsessions, the essay’s writer admits to almost bothering Jerry Seinfeld—whose show featured Jerry Stiller as Frank Costanza—while shopping in Zabar’s.)

The apartment wasn’t on the market, and Ben Stiller didn’t return messages left with his publicist and assistant asking why the actor and his actress wife, Christine Taylor, who both have that happy California glow, would want a place here. “I grew up in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the ’70s,” he said in an interview last month. “There were … fires and riots and serial killers. It was great. My kids, it’s L.A., it’s sunny and nice. They don’t have any excitement.”



© 2008 Observer Media Group,

September 5th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Irony Alert!

Newmark Retail Ad Imitates Art Skewering Consumerism

by Dana Rubinstein (http://www.observer.com/2008/author/dana-rubinstein) | September 5, 2008

A real estate broker has plastered an Upper West Side retail space with an advertisement imitating (or celebrating) the work of renowned artist Barbara Kruger, who, interestingly enough, borrowed imagery from advertisements in order to criticize consumerism, according to an article in today's Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/04/AR2008090403288.html).

Said real estate broker is Matt Harnett, a photographer and one-time teacher at the School of Visual Arts, who called the ad for retail space at the foot of 2625 Broadway (http://www.newmarkkf.com/retail/flyer.asp?LstKey=8579) an "ode to Barbara Kruger."

But borrowing from an anti-consumerist artist to promote consumerism is, well, sort of mind-bending. Of course, ad folks have been borrowing from the art world for ages. But, as Post reporter Blake Gopnik put it:

The Kruger case is more noteworthy only because this time there's such an extreme flip in intent between the critical art and the complacent advertising that riffs on its style. Lichtenstein and Warhol were as keen to express genuine affection for their low-culture sources as to treat them with disdain or irony. With Kruger, the critique of the source is more pointed, which makes the reappropriation of her style into pop culture that much stranger.

Kruger might borrow the look of commercial art, but her words were meant to stuff new content into it. When you compare her work with the real estate ads, she says, "if you look at the meaning, it's not the same thing they're doing."

Mr. Gopnik sure does have a point. Then again, given the sheer dullness of most real estate ads, there's something to be said for the sheer aesthetic value of both Ms. Kruger's work, and Mr. Harnett's "ode" to her work, something Mr. Gopnik also acknowledged:

Sometimes -- maybe even most of the time -- the look of an image is itself the thing we care most about it. Its look is its crucial content. Its style is its meaning; it's what gets distilled out of it, as the message we take home. When a real estate agent borrows Kruger's look and leaves most of her ideas behind, he may be treating art the way most of us do.

For more on Barbara Kruger, click here (http://www.barbarakruger.com/).


© 2008 Observer Media Group

September 6th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Upper West Side

The Burgers Are Coming, but Lines Worry the Neighbors

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/09/07/nyregion/shake600.jpg Ruby Washington/The New York Times
Burger buyers in Madison Square Park waiting at Shake Shack.

Published: September 6, 2008

ON any given day in Madison Square Park, New Yorkers seem more willing to wait on line for a single Shake Shack burger than they might at the Louvre (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/louvre/index.html?inline=nyt-org) for a glimpse of the “Mona Lisa.”

After four years of attracting devotees who stand on hourlong lines at its 20-by-20-foot stand, Shake Shack, Danny Meyer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/danny_meyer/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s burger and milkshake joint, plans to open a larger indoor restaurant in mid-October on Columbus Avenue and West 77th Street.

“When we first found out about it, we were so excited,” said Helen Rosenthal, chairwoman of Community Board 7 in Manhattan. “There were lots of e-mails going back and forth between board members saying, ‘Did you hear?’ ”

First came the news media buzz; then, 10 weeks ago, the initial construction; and, finally, temporary signs as locals began passing by in anticipation of the succulent burgers, impatiently querying construction workers about the restaurant’s opening day.

“We have so many tipsters and readers who are super excited about it,” said Amanda Kludt, the editor of the dining blog Eater.com (http://eater.com/). “There are a few places in New York where you get crazy lines like that.”

Yet, there was a possibility that troubled many: A line in a park that had the freedom to meander as long and as deep as the Mississippi might be unwieldy on the heavily trafficked sidewalks of the Upper West Side. The fear was that it would clog entrances to nearby establishments or the apartment buildings on 77th Street.

Anne-Rose Fredericks, a lawyer, stopped to check on the construction with her 4-year-old daughter. “If the line’s going to be like it is downtown,” she said, “it’s not going to be good. But we’re a residential neighborhood; we love these kind of family restaurants.”

Mr. Meyer says that many community concerns have already been resolved. He said he had consulted Upper West Side residents on landmark and commercial issues, on minute changes to construction and on ways to snake the line inside the restaurant while permitting diners to sit at enclosed sidewalk tables. Each burger is cooked to order.

“What we’ve done here is triple the amount of griddle space; so from a matter of physics alone, this line will have to move faster,” said Mr. Meyer, who is president of the Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns Shake Shack, the Gramercy Tavern and the Union Square Cafe.

No one knows yet what will happen on opening day — if the new restaurant will hold the crowd or if, indeed, the crowd will come.
Late one evening last week in Madison Square Park, the line at Shake Shack stood strong. Winding back, and more than an hour long, it inched forward at the speed of cooking meat. Businessmen, bikers, college students and at least one pregnant woman bided time for their fix.

Lydia Hensler, a 24-year-old actress, placed her order, then waited with her actor friends. It was her first.

“It’s always like this,” said Adam Frucci, 25, who sat opposite. “At lunch, all the bosses send out their little assistants to wait for an hour in line.”

Ms. Hensler received her burger. She chewed it meditatively. “It’s the meat,” she said. “I thought it might be the sauce, but it’s the meat. I want — seven of them.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 9th, 2008, 05:43 AM
A Rock ’n’ Roll Survivor Prepares for Its Rebirth

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/09/09/nyregion/09beacon.600.jpg Gabriele Stabile for The New York Times
All but a few seats have been removed from the Beacon Theater’s auditorium for its first major renovation since it opened as a movie and vaudeville theater on the Upper West Side in 1929. More Photos > (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/09/09/nyregion/0909-BEACON_index.html)

By GLENN COLLINS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/glenn_collins/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: September 8, 2008

It almost became a grocery store in the 1970s. In the 1980s, it was nearly jackhammered into a cavernous disco with a triple-tiered restaurant. Somehow it escaped becoming a multiplex. And through 78 years, the neglect of the Beacon Theater in Manhattan — aside from occasional spasms of partial renovation — has often been profound.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/09/09/nyregion/0909-BEACON-B.JPGSlide Show (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/09/09/nyregion/0909-BEACON_index.html)Restoring the Beacon (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/09/09/nyregion/0909-BEACON_index.html)

Funny thing, though: neglect has an upside. The Beacon “is very worn, and there is damage throughout, but by luck and happenstance the theater survived,” said Christopher T. Cowan, an associate partner at Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners, which is conducting an ambitious restoration of the ornate 1929 former movie palace. “Most of the interior detailing is intact,” he said, “and even most of the light fixtures are original as well.”

The Beacon, at 2124 Broadway, at West 74th Street, is familiar to generations of New Yorkers living on the West Side who grew up there when it was a movie house, performance space and, in recent decades, what some have called the Carnegie Hall (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/carnegie_hall/index.html?inline=nyt-org) of rock rooms.

The Beacon went dark last month for a six-month, $15-million restoration by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, a division of Cablevision Systems Corporation, which announced in 2006 that it was leasing the theater for 20 years. The interior face-lift is to be completed by Jan. 31, in time for a February opening.

Originally conceived as a sumptuous mecca for vaudeville acts and silent movies, it ultimately featured talkies and, through the decades, a galaxy of headliners including Bruce Springsteen (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/bruce_springsteen/index.html?inline=nyt-per), James Taylor (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/james_taylor/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Jerry Garcia (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/jerry_garcia/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Tina Turner (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/tina_turner/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Aerosmith, Queen, George Carlin (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/george_carlin/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the Dalai Lama (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/_dalai_lama/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and even Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/hillary_rodham_clinton/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s 60th birthday party.

And the theater was a star in the Martin Scorsese (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/martin_scorsese/index.html?inline=nyt-per) documentary “Shine a Light,” his celebration of the Rolling Stones (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/rolling_stones/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’ 2006 performances at the Beacon.

The Beacon “has a great vibe, it’s not either a coliseum or a club,” said Gregg Allman, whose Allman Brothers Band (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/allman_brothers_band/index.html?inline=nyt-org) holds the record with more than 180 performances at the Beacon since 1989, and whose appearances there have become an annual Manhattan rite of spring.

“There’s a connection with the audience, and when they give back, we keep giving.”

But the theater’s condition meant “that you didn’t want the house lights all the way up, given those cobwebs with the big hunks of dust,” said Mr. Allman, 60.

Thomas J. Travers, a spokesman for the Beacon Broadway Company, which has long owned the theater, said that Cablevision “is doing a fine renovation; they guaranteed they would spend a minimum of $10 million on it, and obviously the theater needed it.”

The terms of the lease are closely guarded by officials of Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which also runs the Knicks and Rangers sports franchises, Radio City Music Hall (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/radio_city_music_hall/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and the Chicago Theater in Chicago.

Three years older than the Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon was never quite a sibling of its larger counterpart, since the theaters were owned by different companies. But they are together now in the Cablevision empire.

“Mr. Dolan wanted a state-of-the art restoration,” said Jay Marciano, president of Madison Square Garden Entertainment, referring to James L. Dolan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/james_l_dolan/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Cablevision’s chief executive. Since Mr. Dolan has been oft-criticized by New York Knicks fans during years of the team’s decline, did Mr. Dolan think of it as some form of penance to spend $5 million more on the Beacon restoration (and an additional $1 million on new air conditioning) than was required by its contract?

“I can’t speak for how he thinks,” Mr. Marciano said of Mr. Dolan. “But he has a lot of personal passion for this project. We view the Beacon as iconic, a beloved city landmark, and restoring the Beacon will be good for New Yorkers and a profitable business venture.” The cost will be recouped during the lease, and ticket prices, which range from $25 to $125, will not increase after the reopening. “Not one dollar,” Mr. Marciano said.

The refurbishment of the theater, whose interior was declared a landmark in 1979, began last month with the removal of 2,800 seats. An important part of the initial work has been a kind of detective story calling upon archival photographs, architectural plans and even the recollections of former theater employees.

Restoration researchers have peeled back layers of what is — literally — house paint slathered on through the decades, and conducted an extensive analysis of the original paint, said Marc Tarozzi, a vice president of facilities at Madison Square Garden.

The Beacon, which critics originally celebrated as a bit of old Baghdad on Upper Broadway, was the brainchild of the impresario Samuel L. Rothafel, known as Roxy, who commissioned a Chicago architect, Walter W. Ahlschlager, to design a vaudeville and silent-film theater called Roxy’s Midway.

It was intended to be part of the Roxy Circuit, joining Rothafel’s 1927 Roxy Theater on West 50th Street, billed as the “Cathedral of the Movies,” which was ultimately demolished in 1960. “The Beacon is a smaller version of the original Roxy,” Mr. Cowan said. “That’s why it’s so important — it’s a window to another world that existed then.”

The opulent theater with its neoclassical rotunda is a pastiche of Greek, Roman, Renaissance and Rococo elements, and an “Arabian Nights” fantasy motif. But when the stock market crashed in 1929, the theater was taken over by Warner Brothers (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/warner_bros_entertainment_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), redesigned and opened as the Beacon on Dec. 24 of that year.

“There never has been a truly major restoration of the Beacon,” Mr. Tarozzi said. And so, a first look at the refurbishing reveals a host of upgrades, including a new maple stage floor and repairs to the roof to fix leaks that have caused damage to the theater’s original murals. New concession stands and dressing rooms will also be installed.

The 1929 sconces and lighting fixtures are being rewired, and the robust network of original ceiling, wall and mural lighting “will be brought back,” Mr. Cowan said. “The lights burned out, and nobody replaced them, so the theater hasn’t been seen in all its glory in 50 years.”

In the rotunda, the ceiling will be cleaned and repainted after decades of blackening from cigarette smoke and grime. A long-lost oil-on-canvas mural, depicting a classical scene, had been replaced by a sheet of now-peeling, faded scenic wallpaper. It will be recreated from historic photographs.

More than 2,100 square yards of custom-patterned wool carpeting in gold, yellow, green and maroon will adorn the lobbies, auditorium and stairways.

And in the auditorium, murals depicting caravans and elephants will be restored, and technicians will repair and repaint sculptures of animals, masks, urns and statues of Greek figures, not to mention richly decorated cornices, ceiling moldings, pilasters, scrolled brackets and medallions. A 30-foot high Venetian-inspired auditorium lighting fixture will be refurbished as well.

Also to be restored will be a multicolored, Moorish-inspired main theater ceiling that presents the stage as if it were behind the open flap of a giant tent.

As the restoration recovers more and more of the Beacon, the survival of so many of its architectural elements is “remarkable,” Mr. Cowan said, “since so few venues like this are left. We are unveiling a true work of art.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 13th, 2008, 06:33 AM
New York Observed

Grand Central Apartment

Published: September 12, 2008

IN New York, anything is possible.

Michael Sloan

On a good day, you can meet the woman of your dreams in a crowded elevator, or reclaim your long-lost dignity by telling off that bully in the packed subway car during rush hour. You can eat a hot dog every five blocks, or catch a midnight showing of “The Manchurian Candidate.” You can be a college dropout and make millions on Wall Street.

Something else is possible in New York: You can freeze your life at a specific point in time. You can do it without cryogenics, and all while living on the beautiful Upper West Side. I know, because I did it. I froze my life at age 27.

I came to New York from Boston in 1998, with no discernible plan or job, just a friend’s couch to sleep on. I thought I’d figure out a way to earn a paycheck, get an apartment, become a big-time actor or writer, sow my oats a bit and ultimately meet the woman of my dreams, with whom I’d settle down and live happily ever after on the Upper West Side or, if necessary, Brooklyn.

Only one of those plans took hold — the apartment. One night that summer, along with Ted, the aforementioned couch-lending friend, I bumped into Beth, a long-lost childhood crush of ours. She was living near Ted’s place, in a three-bedroom apartment on West 71st Street. As luck would have it, Beth and one of her cute female roommates were moving out of town.

With the promise of a slight but permanent connection to Beth, I persuaded Ted to move in with me. Together we joined Megan, who happily ushered us into life in Apartment No. 4 at 222 West 71st Street, quickly pointing out that yes, there was in fact a brothel on the first floor of the building, featuring nubile and friendly young women.

Life during the next decade in Apartment No. 4 is a blur, but the following things happened:

¶The brothel shut down, courtesy of the city’s vice squad, but not before Ted pounded on its door late one night, demanding and perhaps receiving a “neighbor’s special.”

¶Megan moved to a studio on the Upper East Side. Later, we bumped into her and found out she had gotten engaged.

¶A Bush backer named Jay moved in, along with a portrait of Ronald Reagan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/ronald_wilson_reagan/index.html?inline=nyt-per). Jill followed Jay and replaced Reagan’s image with Al Gore (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/al_gore/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s, though that wasn’t enough to help Gore win the election.

¶Ted, who had been working as a high school English teacher, quit his job, citing irreconcilable differences with teenagers, and met a woman who lived two blocks east of us. He moved out and married her, and today they live with their two sons in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

¶A beer-swilling P.R. guy found refuge in the apartment after escaping what turned out to be an ill-fated engagement. Baseball coursed through his veins, and unable to resist the call of Red Sox Nation, he moved to Boston.

¶David, one of my best friends, did two stints at West 71st. During the first stint, he met a woman and fell in love. The second occurred several years later, and it marked his last days in New York, before shipping off to Atlanta to a life of matrimonial bliss with that very same woman.

¶An Australian lawyer paid his New York dues in the apartment. Shortly after moving in, he met his wife while in-line skating in Central Park.

¶Kyle the bookmaker stayed for six months before taking a nearby studio apartment with his girlfriend.

¶Jon the graphic designer set up shop for a year before fleeing to Texas in pursuit of a woman who had broken up with him just days after his arrival.

OTHER things happened. An actor who fancied himself Jude Law (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/jude_law/index.html?inline=nyt-per) stayed for a few months. Betsy, an actress from Minnesota, spent entire shade-drawn days getting into character. Temporary residents included an Irish bartender, a summer intern from Hawaii and a compulsive runner who could walk to the Brooklyn Bridge and back and then run 12 miles in Riverside Park.

The city’s power failed one hot summer night, and all we had to eat was a corned beef sandwich from Fine & Shapiro, served in the dark. Issues of Penthouse suddenly appeared in a living room closet. Some funny cigarettes were smoked. Much Hunan Park Chinese food was eaten. A dog named Bodhi became the apartment’s de facto mascot.

Through it all — the happy unions and failed relationships, the tragedies and brothel closings, the New York arrivals and departures — I remained unscathed, accumulating no significant emotional baggage, major material possessions or children. Sure, I lost a job, two potential long-term girlfriends, my grandmother, some money and from time to time my sense of humor. And yes, I found something like a “career” in public relations.

But nothing happened that altered my life permanently. I still look and feel the way I did on the day I began to call 222 West 71st Street my home.

I’m still 27 and carefree, the Yankees are still better than the Red Sox, and I could still meet the woman of my dreams on a subway platform, in Central Park or in Malachy’s on West 72nd Street.

There’s only one problem. A few weeks ago, I was ordered to leave 222 West 71st Street. My lease was up, and the owner wanted to renovate the building and raise the rent. When I learned my fate, via a letter from the owner, I felt like Doc Brown applying the final touches to his time-traveling DeLorean, only to be discovered at the last minute by the dreaded Libyans. Like Doc, I thought: “My God, they found me!”

Who knows what will happen to me when I walk out of this place? Maybe my life will suddenly defrost, and the aging process will accelerate, making me look like the wrinkly-faced baby in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a forthcoming Brad Pitt (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/brad_pitt/index.html?inline=nyt-per) movie about a man who ages backward.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that a year from now I will be married, with a successful writing career and a beautiful wife named Beth.

If you’re reading this, Beth, maybe it’s time you moved back to New York. The Upper West Side needs us.


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 13th, 2008, 12:22 PM
brianac, thanks for single-handedly keeping up the forum's flow of West Side news. You and I apparently share an abiding interest in what remains arguably New York's most atmospheric district.

The article on 71st Street particularly caught my eye, since I once lived on that street. At various other times, I also lived on West 84th, 106th, 108th and 111th Streets. My unfulfilled ambition was and is to live on Riverside Drive or West End Avenue in one of those gently dilapidated old doorman buildings.

September 13th, 2008, 04:21 PM
Ablarc, it's true about my liking for this area.

When I made my first visit to New York in 2005 I was offered accomodation in all parts of the city, but I only wanted to stay on the Upper West Side. I searched trip advisor and found an hotel that suited me perfectly at 75th and Broadway. I have never regreted choosing this area.

I also have a dream of living somewhere around HERE (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=232726&postcount=2)

September 15th, 2008, 07:14 PM
Franconia Rooftop Palace Plop Rejected

Monday, September 15, 2008, by Robert

UPPER WEST SIDE—Among those with great faith in the future of the New York City real estate market is the board of the Franconia Apartments on W. 72 Street. Those with a memory for such things might recall that it had a perch available for rooftop plopping (http://curbed.com/archives/2005/05/03/perch_available_for_palace_plopping.php). The building was asking $8.7 million (http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/sale/47707-coop-20-west-72nd-st-lincoln-square-new-york) for "the rights to build a deluxe custom duplex home on its rooftop." A tipster writes the following terse, yet attention-getting email: "Board rejected full price offer!" For real. [CurbedWire Inbox]


http://curbed.com/archives/2008/09/15/curbedwire_high_line_going_very_green_franconia_ro oftop_palace_plop_rejected.php

Copyright © 2008 Curbed

September 18th, 2008, 12:00 PM

This is one of the worst corners on prime real estate in the city. I hate it.

September 18th, 2008, 12:11 PM
Leave that corner with Gray's Papaya alone.

September 18th, 2008, 09:44 PM
When I made my first visit to New York in 2005 I was offered accomodation in all parts of the city, but I only wanted to stay on the Upper West Side.
What impelled you there? It's not really on most tourists' radar.

That TripAdvisor really gives you the skinny, doesn't it? You can always tease a good hotel experience out of it. Because it's mostly written by genuine customers and you can recognize the plants, reading a dozen or so reviews is enough to give you an accurate picture of what to expect.

September 19th, 2008, 01:03 PM
What impelled you there? It's not really on most tourists' radar.

Well, before that first visit I only knew 2 sets of people who had been to New York.

One couple were unfortunate to have stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania, an the other couple had stayed at The Hilton on 6th. Avenue.

I had little informatiion to help me choose a location, but, because of my age I did not want to stay around Times Square. I wanted a place from where I could easily travel uptown or downtown, and that was more like a real NYC residential neighbourhood.
Looking at guides and maps I could see that some of the places I wanted to visit (The Dakota, Strawberry Fields, Central Park, The American Museum of Natural History) were all on the Upper West Side so I got to thinking about hotels there.

Then the clincher.

I saw the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, "Youv'e Got Mail", and it showed a lot of the area, It was the kind of place I wanted to stay, and I have not regreted it.

It is a real NYC neighbourhood, where you can go for afternoon coffee and cake in the Manhattan Diner and chat to residents who haved lived in the area all their lives. You can walk to Riverside Park on a Sunday morning and watch local families with their kids, playing baseball or soccer, or just enjoying the park and the river, and never see another tourist once you have left the hotel.

I like it.

September 20th, 2008, 05:59 AM
Upper West Side

The Valets Work. The Garage Doesn’t.

Published: September 19, 2008

LAST April, Debra Kravet went to pick up her car from where she had kept a space for 24 years, in the garage below the Apthorp, the century-old Renaissance Revival residence on Broadway and 78th Street. But there, she was told, along with everybody else, that the garage had been declared structurally unsound, and she was asked to remove her car.

Months later, the garage is still closed, and those with spots are still paying hundreds of dollars a month in parking fees.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/09/21/nyregion/21park.large.jpgG. Paul Burnett/The New York Times
At a century-old Renaissance Revival apartment house, no place to park the cars.

Business continues, as valets in red T-shirts and black trousers have established an impromptu office outside the boarded-up entrance. A wall clock hangs on the building’s limestone exterior; a water cooler stands in the driveway. At all hours, valets dig car keys from a Tupperware container, shuttling around 100 cars to other garages in the area and parking them for pickup along many neighboring streets.

“This is public space; this is not a private enterprise,” said Louis Munoz, a courier for a New Jersey security company who lives a block away on 79th Street, and suddenly cannot find parking near his home. “This isn’t fair. Why would these people pay this kind of money to park their car on the street?”

Fliers posted by the city’s Department of Buildings declare conditions inside the garage “imminently perilous to life.” Yet, according to residents, little seems to be happening inside the garage. Some residents say the Apthorp’s current conversion from luxury rental apartments to condominiums is to blame for the eviction.

“The theory going around is that, now it’s condo, they want to get everyone out of the garage,” said Phoebe Eavis, who pays more than $600 a month for a space, as she picked up her station wagon on 79th Street, just off Broadway. (As she pulled out, valets quickly replaced her car with another.) Many residents speculate whether the damage is really as bad as claimed, and find the timing of the Buildings Department inspection suspicious.

“They closed it down right after the crane fell on Second Avenue,” said Ms. Kravet, who has lived in a rent-controlled Apthorp apartment for 21 years and recently lost the lease on her business, Apthorp Cleaners, which had operated in the building since 1982. “Now all of a sudden the Buildings Department is going to inspect a garage?”

Jon Herbitter, president of Mann Realty, which owns half of the Apthorp, said the rumors are absolutely unfounded. Jeff Goldman, a lawyer for Mann Realty, said the temporary shoring up of the garage had indeed been completed. The concrete slabs of the three-story structure had been cracked and sagging, a dangerous condition, he added.

Mr. Goldman said that after a thorough investigation by the Department of Buildings, Mann Realty was negotiating with lawyers at Rapid Park Industries, which runs the garage, to determine how to proceed with repairs.

Currently, car owners call ahead at least 45 minutes to retrieve their vehicles. One valet said that he and his colleagues have had to double their numbers to cover so much ground. And nobody can say for certain when the garage will reopen.


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 27th, 2008, 07:29 AM
Water Gate to the City.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6398&d=1222516759 (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6398&d=1222516759)

A water gate to receive distinguished visitors was suggested for the foot of West 72nd Street as early as the 1890s. With the approach of the centenary of Robert Fulton’s 1807 trip in his steamship the Clermont, and the 300th anniversary of Hudson’s 1609 exploration of the river that bears his name, a commemorative group formed.

The Hudson-Fulton Celebration took place in the fall of 1909, with a naval procession led by replicas of the Clermont and Hudson’s ship the Half Moon to a temporary water gate, really just two great columns, at the foot of 110th Street. The city’s bridges and major monuments, and scores of warships in the Hudson River, were outlined with electric lights, and Wilbur Wright (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/wilbur_wright/index.html?inline=nyt-per) made a demonstration flight up the Hudson.

The next year, a group of monument enthusiasts proposed a design by H. Van Buren Magonigle for a 400-foot-long colonnade from 109th to 111th Street, with a tomb for Fulton, a naval museum, a reception hall for arriving guests, an 80-foot-high staircase, and a budget of more than $2.5 million.

The New York Times published several articles that tended toward boosterism, and quoted Isaac Guggenheim, a member of the mining family: “It is not expected that the building process will drag along for any length of time.”

The project was still alive in 1912 when Columbia University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/columbia_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) floated plans for a huge athletic stadium at the foot of 116th Street, to be built alongside the water gate and also jutting out into the river. The 80,000-seat stadium was to bring the combined projects up to a budget of $10 million.

A 1919 proposal for a water gate in memory of Theodore Roosevelt (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/theodore_roosevelt/index.html?inline=nyt-per) did not mention the earlier proposals. Nor did a 1931 design for a giant water approach at the foot of 116th Street — notably including a parking garage. That project went the way of all its predecessors: a series of grand ideas whose time never came.

E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 27th, 2008, 07:44 AM
On January 25, 1906, a committee of the Fulton Committee consisting of Mr. McCarroll, Rear Admiral George W. Melville, U. S. N., Mr. Aaron Vanderbilt, Mr. L. T. Romaine, Mr. Colgate Hoyt and Mr. James H. Kennedy called on the Mayor, and made a similar recommendation.

The Mayor approving of the suggestions, steps were at once taken to secure a charter to combine both movements.

These steps were effective in securing the enactment of Chapter 325 of the Laws of 1906 creating the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission which became a law by the Governor’s signature April 27, 1906. (See next chapter.)

Robert Fulton Monument Association

In order to prevent a confusion of organizations, it may be added that while the events before recorded were taking place still another body, entitled the Robert Fulton Monument Association, was formed by a number of leading and influential citizens of New York. This association effected a temporary organization in January, 1906, with Major-General Frederick D. Grant, U. S. A., as Temporary President, and in May effected a permanent organization with Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt as President, the late Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) as First Vice-President, Mr. Hugh Gordon Miller as Second Vice-President, Mr. Richard Delafield as Treasurer, Mr. W. H. Fletcher as Secretary and Mr. H. W. Dearborn as Assistant Secretary.

The specific object for which this Association was formed was the erection of a monument to Robert Fulton, and in 1907 it secured an act of the Legislature (Chap. 676) authorizing the City of New York to enter into an agreement with the Association in reference to the filling in and improvement of the land under water and the upland on the Hudson River opposite Riverside Park, New York, bounded by 116th street, the Hudson River Railroad, 114th street and the pierhead line, “for a water gate and monument to Robert Fulton, the inventor of steam navigation.” The four grandchildren of Robert Fulton gave their consent to the removal of the inventor's body from Trinity Churchyard to the proposed monument and the Association planned to lay the corner-stone of the monument in 1907.

In the expectation that the monument would be ready in 1909 and therefore an object of great interest in the Hudson-Fulton Celebration, the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission appointed a committee with Mr. Charles R. Lamb as Chairman to confer with the Robert Fulton Monument Association with a view to friendly cooperation and to giving the Robert Fulton Monument suitable prominence in the ceremonies of 1909. On February 15, 1908, the President of this Commission addressed a communication to Mr. Robert Fulton Cutting of the Fulton Association, asking him to outline how that Association felt about participating with this Commission in the ceremonies in 1909, and received from Mr. Vanderbilt, President of that Association, under date of March 2, 1908, a reply in which the latter said in part:

“As you know, it will be necessary for us to eventually apply to the public for the funds necessary to erect the same” — (the Water gate and tomb). “We feel that as the purposes of the two Associations are so different in character that it would be well to keep them distinct so that there may be no confusion on the part of the public at large in making their contributions. . . You will readily appreciate that in a public matter of this kind where no personal interests are involved, that it is both the intention and desire of all to act in the most perfect harmony and accord, but as you request in your letter a candid expression as to the relation of the two Associations, we, after careful consideration, feel that because of the different methods proposed of honoring the memory of Robert Fulton and the uncertainty as to just when we can carry out what we have undertaken to accomplish, that it would be better for the two Associations to act independently of each other.”

In deference to the foregoing expression, there was no further effort on the part of this Commission to coordinate its program with that of the Robert Fulton Monument Association.


October 2nd, 2008, 06:08 PM
New York Times

October 2, 2008, 10:18 am

The Sad Business of Saying Goodbye

By Peter Khoury (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/pkhoury/)

Yogi’s, on Broadway near 76th Street, will close on Saturday. (Photos: Peter Khoury/The New York Times)

As goodbyes go, it was fairly clever:

“It’s the End of ‘The World,’” the message in the window of a business at the corner of my block announced a few summers ago. And, in a way, it was. The World Cafe (http://events.nytimes.com/gst/nycguide.html?detail=restaurants&id=1002207999947) at West 69th Street and Columbus Avenue, where I had occasionally stopped in for brunch or a beer, had shut for good.

The closing of a single business (http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/) — for whatever reason — may not amount to a hill of beans, particularly in these economic times (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/). But where am I to get my meatloaf?

That was my big concern on Monday when I walked to one of my favorite diners (http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/diners/diners.html), at West 40th Street and Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, only to learn that it was no more. The dearth of chairs and booths and the abundance of debris I saw through the windows were enough to tell me that. But in case I hadn’t figured it out, a small handwritten sign taped to the front door stated simply:

We’re Closed
As I went for a consolation meal at a Turkish place across the avenue, I thought of the many spots that had closed in Manhattan during my decade here — and the different signs that businesses had chosen to bid their clientele adieu.

The closed diner at 40th Street and Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.

Some employ the tortured English of their proprietors, but can be quite touching. Others are more professional, though sometimes lifeless.

For timely information and customer outreach, it would be hard to top Yogi’s (http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/36628417/new_york_ny/yogi_s.html), a bar on Broadway just south of West 76th Street that a colleague informed me is saying goodbye with a bash this Saturday after 10 years in the neighborhood.

In a window to the left of the wooden bear that greets customers at the door, the owner has installed an electronic clock that is counting down the tenths of a second until last call. A separate note in the window thanks customers for their patronage, bemoans the fact that “big money wins again,’’ and vows that the bar will someday return to the area. It also directs customers to a bar that the owner plans to open on the East Side next week — “after our 3 day hangover.’’

Amid all this, my diner’s goodbye seemed somewhat pro forma, reflecting little of the bond that I had developed with the meatloaf special, which included a hefty helping of mashed potatoes, as well as my choice of dessert (cherry Jell-O).

The farewell from Trolley’s Deli and Pizza on 42nd Street near Eighth Avenue, where I enjoyed the gyro and chicken soup until it closed this year, was warmer — albeit rudimentary. Scrawled on a board across the front of the business, the following handwritten message — now somewhat defaced — can still be seen:

The Trolley’s adieu. Enlarge this image. (http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/10/01/nyregion/02close2.cityroom.ready.html)

To All of our loyal
customers Thank you
very much for all the
support Throughout the years
Trolley’s family

Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

October 2nd, 2008, 07:05 PM
I have posted these before, as thumbnails.

But as it's closing this week here's a couple of 2005 pics of Yogi's or Bar Bear West as it was known.



October 5th, 2008, 06:11 AM
Plumbing Riverside Park

by Nancy Butkus
September 23, 2008

This article was published in the September 29, 2008, edition of The New York Observer.

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/vertical/files/butkus_1.jpgNancy butkus

My garden in Riverside Park is about to be upgraded. With Sarah Palin sending me and everyone I know into a deep and angry funk, good news about my own little piece of the planet has given me reason to hope again: not the macro change-we-can-believe-in kind, but rather the micro soil-tilling kind. My suffering plants will rise anew, thanks to the introduction of a life-affirming water spigot.

Above the massive schist retaining wall that serves as a backdrop to my garden, the broken and litter-strewn Hamilton Fountain—which a century ago provided water for horses as they paraded up the new and sinuous Riverside Drive—is about to go through rehab. Named for Robert Ray Hamilton, a Chelsea real estate developer who “married unfortunately” but had family connections (namely ten-spot Alexander), the baroque marble fountain was designed by architectural gods Warren & Wetmore of Grand Central fame. A few years ago, the co-op at 36 Riverside Drive across the street ran a hose to the fountain and stocked it with water lilies and other aquatic oxygenators. It quickly became the recipient of no-longer-loved neighborhood goldfish. (“We can visit them every day!” I told my girls back when they were in grade school.) But these days, the majestic eagle that tops it has a broken beak, the decorative catch basin is filled only with trash, the asphalt plaza is riddled with deep fissures and the Robert Moses-era benches mostly serve as way stations for the homeless.

Now, not only will the fountain be restored, but the surrounding plaza, which provides an elaborate entrance to my own garden below, will be repaved with hexagonal blocks. Four new American elms will be planted and the concrete benches replaced with more retro-looking cast-iron hoof benches (named for their petite metal feet). James J. Dowell, president of the Riverside Park Fund, thinks the restoration has “huge potential” and will offer a “grace note” to the park, which has only one other fountain in its Olmsted-Vaux-Moses-designed 330-acre ribbon: the fireman’s sarcophagus at 100th Street (which can’t hold a candle to the dolphin-head-spouting, clam-shell and coat-of-arms-encrusted extravaganza at 76th). Margaret Bracken, the landscape architect for the Parks Department project, said the restoration will show the “beautiful layering of Riverside Park’s unique history”: the 1880s Olmsted-designed overlook; the “City Beautiful” movement, with the turn-of-the-century monument; and the 1937 stairway leading into the park, courtesy of Moses.

All this, of course, puts tremendous pressure on my own plot, as no doubt people will be flocking to the new attraction, and will descend the graceful curved stairs through my garden: admiring my hosta collection, impressed by the leafy waves of Solomon’s seal, thrilled by the purple haze of my Russian sage. All thanks to the new plumbing and Robert Ray Hamilton, dead since 1890 but soon to be a player again in New York real estate.

The entire privately funded project will cost approximately $150,000, including the establishment of a maintenance endowment of $25,000. A neighborhood family has issued a challenge that if $75,000 is raised, they will match it; for more information, go to www.riversideparkfund.org (http://www.riversideparkfund.org/) or write Riverside Park Fund, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 455, New York, NY 10115.



© 2008 Observer Media Group

October 9th, 2008, 06:33 PM
October 9, 2008, 11:16 am

Seeking to Preserve West End Avenue

By Sewell Chan (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/sewell-chan/)

A preservation group seeks to designate West End Avenue, from 70th to 107th Streets, as a historic district. Above, a view of the southwest corner of 99th Street and the avenue. (Photo: Jose R. Lopez/The New York Times)

The Upper West Side is already filled with buildings that have been designated city landmarks, and is also home to seven official historic districts — areas where buildings cannot be demolished or altered except after passing stringent levels of community and official review.

But a local preservation group, Landmark West (http://www.landmarkwest.org/), is now calling on the Landmarks Preservation Commission (http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/home/home.shtml) to designate a new historic district, encompassing all of West End Avenue, from 70th to 107th Streets.

The group said in May that it was studying the problem (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/nyregion/thecity/18hist.html). It believes that developers have been seizing individual sites along the avenue to demolish them and replace them with slender glass-and-steel apartment buildings and has put up an online petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/WEPSHD/petition.html).

“A large group of neighbors have gotten together and taken this up as a major issue,” said Kate Wood, executive director of Landmark West. “The larger buildings represent the work of some of New York’s most prolific, bread-and-butter architects, who defined the city as we know it today. And now the low-rise spots — row houses — are now being targeted by developers. There’s a cohesive character to this avenue that needs to be preserved as a whole, not just here and there.”

Several development projects — one from 95th to 96th Streets, on top of a brownstone, and another from 84th to 85th Streets, on top of two brownstones — have contributed to the neighbors’ agitation. A third project is under way, at West End Avenue and 86th Street, while a fourth building, at 101st Street, was stripped of its ornamentation.

The Upper West Side is already home to seven historic districts:

The Upper West Side-Central Park West Historic District, one of the city’s largest, stretches from 62nd to 96th Streets, encompassing the American Museum of Natural History. At its widest point, it includes buildings between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Designated in 1990, it absorbed two earlier historic districts along Central Park West, protecting the block between 73rd and 74th Streets and buildings along 76th Street.
The Riverside-West End Historic District, designated in 1989, is the area’s second-largest historic district. It goes from 85th to 95th Streets along Riverside Drive and includes West End Avenue from 87th Street to 94th Street.
The West End-Collegiate Historic District, established in 1984, includes parts of six city blocks, bounded roughly by Riverside Drive, West End Avenue and 74th and 78th Streets.
The tiny West 71st Street Historic District, designated in 1989, includes a few buildings on both sides of the street, from West End Avenue to Riverside Park.
The tiny Riverside Drive/West 80th-81st Streets Historic District, designated in 1985.
The tiny Riverside Drive/West 105th Street Historic District, established in 1973.
The tiny Manhattan Avenue Historic District, from 104th to 106th Streets, established in 2007.

Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

October 10th, 2008, 10:49 AM
^ Good call. West End Avenue has a rare degree of architectural harmony.

Wish they'd put those cornices back, though.

October 11th, 2008, 06:16 AM
Trader Joe’s Invades the Land of Zabar’s

10/9/08 at 5:40 PM

http://images.nymag.com/images/2/daily/2008/10/20081009_traderjoe_560x375.jpgPhoto: Getty Images

Trader Joe's (http://nymag.com/listings/stores/trader-joes/), the California grocery chain that has already-thronged locations on 14th Street, Cobble Hill, and Rego Park, will now open a two-level store in a tower under construction at Broadway and 72nd Street next year, according to a proposal submitted to the local community board. It's a foodie neighborhood, with Fairway (http://nymag.com/listings/stores/fairway-market00/) and Citarella (http://nymag.com/listings/stores/citarella00/) two blocks north and Zabar's on West 80th Street. "Nobody wants to have a bunch of competition, and obviously the same people would shop there as shop with us," says Steve Jenkins, Fairway's manager. "But we've taken competition before, and we've kicked their butts." Trader Joe's declined to comment.

By: Beth Landman (http://nymag.com/author/beth%20landman)


Copyright © 2008, New York Media LLC.

October 11th, 2008, 11:07 AM
WooHoooo!! Having moved to that neighborhood from the UES, I can say it's a great 'hood for food. :) Hope they design the checkout lines to run more efficiently than their Union Square location.

October 14th, 2008, 06:38 AM
Fall Tracking Report Blockbuster Special: The Shake Shack UWS Walk-Through, Pt. 1

Monday, October 13, 2008, by Amanda


Exterior. To the left, a wall of greens to evoke the feeling of a park.

http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3020/2939011980_ee27b99e63_s.jpg (http://eater.com/archives/2008/10/fall_tracking_report_the_shake_shack_uws_walkthrou gh.php?o=0) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3150/2939011592_38e85d1a6d_s.jpg (http://eater.com/archives/2008/10/fall_tracking_report_the_shake_shack_uws_walkthrou gh.php?o=1) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3066/2939012408_cd80b904ae_s.jpg (http://eater.com/archives/2008/10/fall_tracking_report_the_shake_shack_uws_walkthrou gh.php?o=2) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3034/2939011004_9a2a59215a_s.jpg (http://eater.com/archives/2008/10/fall_tracking_report_the_shake_shack_uws_walkthrou gh.php?o=3) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3224/2939013736_b3565e582d_s.jpg (http://eater.com/archives/2008/10/fall_tracking_report_the_shake_shack_uws_walkthrou gh.php?o=4) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3045/2938162883_b6cdd49da5_s.jpg (http://eater.com/archives/2008/10/fall_tracking_report_the_shake_shack_uws_walkthrou gh.php?o=5)


Shake Shack UWS, 366 Columbus Ave., no phone yet
Initial Projection: October (http://eater.com/archives/2008/06/shake_shake_uws.php)
Current Debut Projection: The latest from USHG, "Mid-October"
Odds, On Time Arrival: 2-1
Eater Projected Opening Date: 10/25/08

Take a gander, if you will, at the soon-to-be-unveiled glory that is the Upper West Side Shake Shack. We took a little preview walk through today, as did Sir Danny Meyer and his fam, and we have to say she's looking pretty good. And the burgers: oh they traveled well. But let's start the tour at the beginning.

The entrance: According to managing partner Randy Garutti, the signage outside of the Shack, complete with LED lighting, can be seen from Central Park. Instead of an enclosed sidewalk seating area like they have, they originally planed to install garage doors (a la Barbuto), but the idea was reneged by the community due to some landmarks issues.

Main floor: As mentioned (http://eater.com/archives/2008/09/shake_shack_3.php), we now have a C line, replacing the Mad Sq. Park B line, that is designated for anything cold, including milkshakes, concretes, custards, etc. Catering to the nabe, we've also got a stroller parking area and, natch, some little Shake Shack onsies on the merchandise wall. As for seating, we have the enclosed but somewhat open little "sidewalk cafe" with the downstairs dining room and Central Park providing the overflow seating.

Rec Room: Downstairs they have extra seating/a private party room where every kid on the UWS will throw their birthday parties. Garutti is also hoping for holiday parties, Super Bowl parties, business meetings (the TV is hooked up for Power Point) and the like.

The Kitchen: She's a big one. The milkshake station is over twice as big as the one downtown, since milkshake orders much to blame for the long lines. The griddle for the hot dogs is a new design for the Shack team (it rolls the dogs while cooking them, but not in a 7-Eleven way), and the new bun steamer arrived after Garutti took research trips to Chicago's best hot dog spots and discovered the secret to a great bun is a good old fashioned steamer.

The burgers: Along with the fries and the shakes, just like downtown. tktk.

http://eater.com/archives/2008/10/fall_tracking_report_the_shake_shack_uws_walkthrou gh.php


October 15th, 2008, 05:18 AM
Church Snags West 83rd Street Building

by Dana Rubinstein (http://www.observer.com/2008/author/dana-rubinstein)
October 14, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/Redeemer.jpg PropertyShark.
150 West 83rd Street.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church has bought a building on West 83rd Street for $21.5 million, according to city records.

The Church bought said building, at 150 West 83rd Street, from a man named Leonard Zigelbaum, who acquired the building in 1982. City records don't disclose how much he paid, but in 1993, he took out a $573,000 mortgage on the four-story property.

The church plans to keep the ground-floor garage in place for the next several months, while it finalizes construction plans, according to a church official. Ultimately, the building will be used as a community space during the week, and as a worship space on Sundays.

The Church has offices at 1359 Broadway, but now holds services at a number of different venues citywide, including Ethical Culture Society and the First Baptist Church.

According to the organization's Web site (http://www.faithandwork.org/mission_page753.php), the church "offers programs, groups, and ministries focused on integrating our Christian faith with our work life through its Center for Faith and Work (CFW).These ministries are being initiated by leaders in the Redeemer community to serve particular professional communities or interest areas. Our classes, programs, resources, and people will help you explore and deepen the impact of the gospel message on your work life."


© 2008 Observer Media Group,

October 18th, 2008, 04:49 AM
New York Up Close

A Cheap Lunch Takes a Hit

By JAKE MOONEY (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/jake_mooney/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: October 17, 2008

AS economic indicators, the myriad colored signs above the registers at Gray’s Papaya, the Manhattan hot dog chain, leave something to be desired. They have advertised the stores’ “Recession Special” — two franks and a drink (anything but pineapple and orange) — since the late 1980s, through boom and bust, high times and low.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/10/19/nyregion/19papa.190.jpg Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
A price that’s about to rise.

If the signs have looked sadly appropriate at some moments in their history, there have been other times, like the days of the dot-com bubble and the current decade’s real estate gold rush, when the idea of a recession-related discount may have felt a tad outdated. A deal is always nice, but a recession? In better days, it seemed a stretch.

But no more. With the stock market’s recent slide and the continuing financial crisis, fears of a recession are back, and the signs at Gray’s, like a stopped clock, are looking timely again. Not that Nicholas Gray, the chain’s founder and its resident sage, is happy to be right.

“I’m as suicidal as everybody else,” Mr. Gray said with a sigh in a recent phone interview.

In fact, he added, the downturn will soon force a shift in one aspect of the recession special: the price. This week, the special will rise to $4.45 from $3.50, Mr. Gray said.

“Tell them I’m weeping as I do it,” he said, adding, “My prices are very low and my rents are very high, so I have a problem.” Mr. Gray blamed the rising wholesale cost of food, and lamented the price increase’s timing, which he called “the worst.”

The cost of the special has risen before. When it started, Mr. Gray said, “we used to say, ‘For the recession that’s over and the one that’s still to come.’ ” The price was $1.95 through most of the ’90s, then jumped to $2.45 in 2002, then to $2.75, and to $3.50 in 2006, all with regrets from Mr. Gray.

“It’s always very traumatic for me as well as for the customers,” he said.

At the store at 72nd Street and Broadway one afternoon last week, business seemed fine. There was a short line, all the spots to stand and eat by the windows were occupied, and a crowd was around the mustard pump.

The appeal of a cheap lunch is timeless, Mr. Gray said. Besides, he added, “it’s always a recession for my customers, you know.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

October 18th, 2008, 04:57 AM
Upper West Side

The Books and the Boos

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/10/19/nyregion/19vend.span.jpg Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times
Kirk Davidson, a sidewalk vendor both loved and hated.

Published: October 17, 2008

“I’M the president and the C.E.O. of the booksellers of Broadway,” Kirk Davidson said as he reclined in an office chair outside a Chase Bank branch near West 73rd Street.

On the sidewalk in front of him, and extending along the west side of Broadway between 72nd and 74th Streets, was Mr. Davidson’s 22-year-old enterprise: a sprawling array of used books piled on folding tables, their legs bowing under the weight.

The books sit there around the clock, presided over by Mr. Davidson or one of the people who work with him on occasion, but sometimes they are left unattended.

Some local residents see the books as an emblem of the Upper West Side’s rich intellectual and cultural history. Others see the assemblage as a case of one man taking over an entire stretch of public sidewalk.

“A lot of customers complain,” said Jacinta Tucker, the manager of the Chase branch outside of which Mr. Davidson often sits. “Some people like him; some people hate him.”

Later this month, Councilwoman Gale Brewer plans to meet with Lt. Daniel Albano of the New York Police Department’s legal bureau and Deputy Inspector Keith Spadaro of the 20th Police Precinct to try to address the situation.

Councilwoman Brewer said that Mr. Davidson’s wares, slowly creeping up Broadway, were a topic of discussion at City Council meetings, and that complaints against Mr. Davidson included claims of cursing, spitting and otherwise annoying passers-by.

Mr. Davidson said he regularly received tickets for a litany of offenses, among them leaving a stand unattended, taking up too many feet of sidewalk, not having a price marked inside each book and occasionally sleeping near his books.

Officials from the local precinct and the Police Department’s public information office did not respond to half a dozen telephone calls and e-mail messages seeking comment.

One evening last week, Mr. Davidson left his stands in the care of several others, among them a dog walker from Canarsie, Brooklyn, named Sandra Maugé, who started off as a customer. The vendors chatted, laughed and occasionally argued loudly over the sound of a radio as residents milled about and bought books.

Just north of 73rd Street, several tables and a shopping cart with books had been covered with plastic tarps for the night, but half a block to the south, several men and one woman worked the evening shift, selling books from the makeshift stands.

But Mr. Davidson has many defenders.

“If the community didn’t want us in business, we wouldn’t be in business,” said Dale Jarvis, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years and worked as a vendor with Mr. Davidson for 12 years. He acknowledged that Mr. Davidson can be “boisterous,” but described him as a person who contributes much to the community. “We’re talking about books here!” Mr. Jarvis said. “Come on!”

Around 8 one night, as residents browsed, a lawyer named John Firestone stopped to look at books. “It brings people onto the street,” he said of the display. “New York is dying because its street life is dying.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

October 20th, 2008, 05:15 PM
Popular Shake Shack opens up second location on Upper West Side

Monday, October 20th 2008, 3:31 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/10/21/amd_ss1.jpg Monaster/News
A customer samples the food at the new Shake Shack...

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/10/21/amd_ss2.jpg Monaster/News
...located at 77th St. and Columbus Ave.

Great news for fans of the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Madison+Square+Park) tired of waiting in line: It's opened a second location.

Only problem? You may have to take a subway. And, oh yeah, there's already a line.

The popular burger and milkshake joint opened a new Shack on the Upper West Side today and excited New Yorkers young and old queued up patiently to order.

"The burgers here are really that good," said Steve Mau (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Steve+Mau), who came with his co-workers from the Museum of Natural History across the street.

The restaurant is known for its long lines at its Madison Avenue and 23rd Street location, which opened in 2004. It even has a Web cam so customers can see how long the line is. The new location, at 77th Street and Columbus Avenue, will be getting a Web cam soon.

What makes the Shake Shack so popular?

"What we do here is the modern version of the old roadside burger and people connect with that," said manager Randy Garutti (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Randy+Garutti).

Garutti said the restaurant is catering an upcoming wedding for two customers who met while waiting in line.

The Shake Shack is owned by Danny Meyer (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Danny+Meyer), who also owns Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern.

Cricket Lengyel, a 39-year-old graphic designer, came from Rhinebeck, N.Y., with her 2-year-old son for a burger.

"My sister lives here and she told me about it," she said. "It's a great place to take the kids."

Efren Caballes (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Efren+Caballes), 23, and his roommate Birju Shah (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Birju+Shah), 24, took a break from med school yesterday to grab a quick bite.

"We try to go to the Madison Square Park location and the line was always too long," said Calballes.

Shah said they were a little worried about having a Shake Shack just three blocks from their apartment.

"It's dangerous," he said. "But good dangerous."

sgaskell@nydailynews.com (sgaskell@nydailynews.com)


© Copyright 2008 NYDailyNews.com

October 23rd, 2008, 04:33 AM
Literary restaurant aims for Amsterdam Ave.

Edgar’s Cafe to open second location on Upper West Side.

Adrianne Pasquarelli

Upper West Siders will soon get another chance to be grateful for author Edgar Allan Poe. Gothic-themed Italian eatery Edgar’s Cafe recently signed a 10-year lease for its second location, at 650 Amsterdam Ave., between West 91st and West 92nd streets. The asking rent for the 950-square-foot space was $150 a square foot.

The first Edgar’s is located on West 84th Street—also officially known as Edgar Allan Poe Street—and features a crumbling cathedral ceiling reminiscent of the setting in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The Amsterdam Avenue location, called Edgar’s II Cafe, will be similarly themed.

“We’re still working with the architect and going through some of the poems,” said co-owner Joseph Di Benedetto. He hopes to open for business by the spring. Edgar’s II Cafe will provide inside seating for about 50, as well as sidewalk tables.

Neal Ohm, a broker with CitySites Commercial Group, represented both the tenant and the landlord in the transaction.


© 2008 Crain Communications, Inc.

October 24th, 2008, 03:58 AM
October 22, 2008

Natural HIstory Museum Delivers "Scientifically Engineered" Ice Rink

Rendering courtesy of the Museum of Natural History.

Exciting news coming out of the Upper West Side: the Museum of Natural History will soon unveil an ice skating rink of its own, The NY Post (http://www.nypost.com/seven/10222008/news/regionalnews/museums_ice_age_134729.htm) reports.

The 12,000-sq-ft rink has more to do with the future than history, as its made from "an artificial surface that doesn't melt or require refrigeration or maintenance," and it's been "scientifically engineered to allow skate blades to glide as smoothly as they do on real ice." Though the museum has been hush hush on the project, the paper noted that it will be located on the Arthur Ross Terrace (http://www.amnh.org/rose/specials/terrace/), and only open during traditional skating season. Unsurprisingly, community board members are in full support of the newest addition to the area, and didn't foresee any problems "with sound or lights at night." Maybe they'll even include some ice sculptures of dinosaurs? Until then, here are some of the other rinks (http://gothamist.com/2008/10/13/its_skating_time.php) around town have already opened for the season.


2003-2008 Gothamist LLC (http://www.gothamistllc.com/).

November 29th, 2008, 08:03 PM
Fate of Famous Neon Sign Worries Local Pol

by Chris Shott (http://www.observer.com/node/36088)
9:00 AM November 26, 2008

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/png.jpgHamza Zaman.
279 Amsterdam Avenue.

"Your heart almost gets ripped out every time these things happen," said City Councilwoman Gale Brewer (http://council.nyc.gov/d6/html/members/home.shtml), calling just past deadline on Tuesday to comment on the hallowed P & G bar's looming departure from its longstanding location (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/last-call-p-g-original-spot?page=0%2C0) at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 73rd Street.

"Many patrons of P & G call me all the time," Ms. Brewer said. "Even though it's not leaving the neighborhood, I hate to have it move -- and I don't know what happens with the sign."

The bar's beaming red, yellow and green "Cafe Bar" sign has illuminated the corner since 1942 and is widely considered a neighborhood landmark; its fate is now up in the air as the bar's owners plan to relocate to 380 Columbus Avenue after a fruitless two-year struggle to stay put. The existing lease expires Dec. 31.

"Are they going to want to move it? I don't know if they're going to be able to move it," Ms. Brewer said. "I don't know if they're going to be allowed to by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

"I know the new building really well," she added. "It's a downstairs environment, first of all, and I don't even quite know how it would fit there. I can't see it fitting in the context of the new building. Maybe he just has to do a new sign," she said, referring to P & G owner Tom Chahalis. "But I don't know how he could do something similar in the new space.

"I don't know what to say, except that the whole neighborhood is in mourning."


© 2008 Observer Media Group

December 1st, 2008, 07:01 AM
"I don't know if they're going to be able to move it," Ms. Brewer said. "I don't know if they're going to be allowed to by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Is that because it doesn't meet regulations in the new place or because the regulations say it has to stay in the old place? Are both locations historic? If not, then which one? Regulations ... pshaw.

December 1st, 2008, 10:31 AM
Past rulings by LPC show they are pliable when it comes to signage in Landmarked Districts.

Case in point: The W Hotel opposite the NE corner of Union Square. That building used to be topped by an "EQUITABLE" sign, but the new tenant wanted to change it. Some preservationist folks argued that the old sign was protected and shouldn't be changed. New hotel folks argued that such a decision would make no sense from a business point of view: Why should they have to restore & maintain a sign that advertised a business which no longer existed in the building and did nothing to support the new hotel business? LPC relented and now the building is topped by a new "W" sign (albeit in the same style and 'feeling' as the previous sign).

December 2nd, 2008, 05:59 AM
Better Late Than Never? Apthorp Listings Hit the Market

Monday, December 1, 2008, by Joey


http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3215/3075024162_5c52b3c37e_s.jpg (http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3215/3075024162_45f3a02eae_o.jpg) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3154/3074188507_92ab96bb34_s.jpg (http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3154/3074188507_657ec7de87_o.png) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3199/3074188415_9647c700e3_s.jpg (http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3199/3074188415_83e8b129fb_o.png) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3150/3074188589_32852d423b_s.jpg (http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3150/3074188589_1153d0b478_o.png) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3200/3075024716_9cdf3197bb_s.jpg (http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3200/3075024716_b0fe08be2e_o.png) http://curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3221/3074188331_586d916d5e_s.jpg (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/realestate/22scap.html)

Legendary Upper West Side landmark, coveted luxury rental building, celebrity-filled hideaway—the Apthorp is/was all of these things, and now thanks to an epic and bitter condo conversion (http://curbed.com/archives/2007/03/08/apthorp_sold_for_record_price_going_slowly_condo.p hp), the 1920th-century beauty at Broadway and 78th Street is now on sale. And what timing! Five listings have hit the Elliman website, under the Apthorp's address of 390 West End Avenue, and there are sample floorplans available on the Apthorp's website (http://www.theapthorp.com/) (some examples above). Things we know: the apartment are sprawling (even the one-bedrooms have grand entry foyers), the prices are staggering—a $2,200/sqft average right now—and Nora Ephron (http://curbed.com/archives/2006/05/31/nora_ephrons_love_affair_with_the_apthorp.php) wants no part of it. Still unclear: how many of the 163 units are still rent-stabilized, the maintenance/tax damages per apartment, and who still has the beaucoup bucks to buy. If you recall, developers Mann Realty and Lev Leviev's Africa-Israel jacked up rents (http://curbed.com/archives/2007/10/01/apthorp_changes_underway_rents_um_slightly_up.php) to drive people off, then took back control of the outsourced in-building parking garage (http://www.prudentialelliman.com/MainSite/Search/Search.aspx?Search=Like&ListingID=1059477&CallingPage=%2fListings.aspx%3fListingID%3d1059477 ) after the structure was suspiciously deemed unsound. Now the real fun begins!

· Listings: The Apthorp (http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/building/2211-broadway-new_york) [StreetEasy]
· The Apthorp (http://www.theapthorp.com/) [Official Site]
· Apthorp coverage (http://curbed.com/tags/apthorp) [Curbed]

http://curbed.com/archives/2008/12/01/better_late_than_never_apthorp_listings_hit_the_ma rket.php

Copyright © 2008 Curbed

December 2nd, 2008, 06:12 AM
Streetscapes | Broadway at 78th Street

The Not-So-Secret Garden in the Apthorp’s Courtyard

American Architect & Building News/Office for Metropolitan History, left; Oscar Hidalgo/The New York Times
Peace and Quiet Plants and fountains graced the Apthorp’s courtyard garden in 1910, left. The view is much the same today, right, but the plantings are even lusher and benches have been added.

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&inline=nyt-per)
Published: July 22, 2007

A STRING of landscaped apartment-house courtyards runs up the West Side, from the Dakota at 72nd Street and Central Park West to the Astor Court at 89th and Broadway. At the midpoint stands the Apthorp, at 78th Street, with a lush green courtyard garden reaching from Broadway to West End Avenue. Its through-block vista makes it the most striking of all.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/07/22/realestate/22scap.large2.jpgOscar Hildago/The New York Times
The courtyard and the vaulted entries leading to it were cleaned several years ago.

The apartment-house courtyard in New York is an inside-out evolution of the early 19th-century residential square.

The first in a New York apartment house dates to 1879, when Edward Clark and his architect, Henry Hardenbergh, built the Van Corlear on the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 55th Street. It was demolished in the 1920s.

Mr. Clark and Mr. Hardenbergh wrapped the six-story red-brick building around a 35-by-90-foot courtyard, allowing cross-ventilation and a sense of refuge from the street. They put a fountain in the middle but also allowed trade deliveries to use the turnaround.

They altered this template in 1884 with their more famous Dakota, where deliveries were taken in at the basement level and the courtyard was solely for residents.

Another refinement: The Van Corlear apartments were entered from vestibules on the street, but at the nine-story Dakota, the entrances were in the courtyard. Everyone entering has to pass first through the stone portal, a solution offering “perfect quiet and seclusion,” Mr. Hardenbergh said in a letter published in American Architect and Building News in 1891. Still, the Dakota courtyard was fairly plain, more parking lot than park.

In 1901, The New-York Daily Tribune gave the first notice of what became the Apthorp, planned by William Waldorf Astor on the entire block he owned between 78th and 79th Streets, from Broadway to West End Avenue. The main entrance was to be on Broadway, with a ramp from West End Avenue leading directly down to a lower level for deliveries. At the center, he intended a two-level garden with flowers and fountains.

Over the next few years the project varied from 9 to 20 stories. But when final plans were made in 1906 by Mr. Astor’s architectural firm, Clinton & Russell, they were for a 12-story limestone-fronted building. It opened in 1908, with a courtyard 95 feet by 134 feet, all by itself a plot larger than the typical corner apartment house site.

According to an account in Architects’ and Builders’ Magazine in 1908, the private courtyard was laid out “in formal style.” The architects had shifted the basement ramp to 79th Street, leaving two grand barrel-vaulted entries facing Broadway and West End.

In the center of the court there was “a display of horticulture that would grace a botanical garden,” the journal Architecture said shortly after the building opened. No planting list survives, but period photographs seem to show beds of shrubs, with spiky plants, apparently yuccas, at each end.

Brick walkways surrounded two large bowl-like fountains, and a photograph shows boxes of vines hanging down from a third-floor window.

There were no benches; this area was for viewing only.

In 1909, the Belnord, designed by Hiss & Weekes, went up on the block from 86th to 87th from Broadway to Amsterdam Avenue. It, too, had a court, which was reached from 87th Street, and the two side-by-side main entrances faced 86th.

The New York Times wrote that the 94-by-231-foot courtyard was accessible via “a double driveway of oaken blocks” leading to “a grassy lawn big enough for a score of children to romp on, and a central palm-bordered fountain.”

An early photograph of the courtyard shows only four small areas of turf surrounded by stout privet hedges and interrupted by glass-covered vaults lighting the delivery yard below. Apparently someone thought better of romping children.

The last of the era’s apartment-house courtyards on the Upper West Side can be found at the 1916 Astor Court, on Broadway from 89th to 90th Street. Vincent Astor’s idea — or perhaps that of his architect, Charles Platt — was to keep vehicles entirely out of the central area, making it into a pedestrian refuge, and he placed benches around a simple brick pathway.

While the Astor Court’s interior garden cannot be seen from the street, the one at the Apthorp can. The magnificent block-through view from Broadway to West End, framed by the coffered ceilings of the barrel-vaulted passageways, is reminiscent of some great Florentine library (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/l/libraries_and_librarians/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) or palace complex. Several years ago, the owners cleaned the courtyard and the barrel vaults, which came out spectacularly.

The Apthorp, which has 163 rental apartments, is now owned by a joint venture of Mann Realty and Africa Israel Investment Ltd. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Apthorp was going to be converted to condominiums, but all that Jon Herbitter, the president of Mann Realty, would say last week was that the owners were exploring their options.

Maurice Mann, the founder of Mann Realty, paid $426 million for the building last fall. “I knew I was going to own the Apthorp when I walked into the garden,” he said. “It has a majesty I have not seen in other buildings.”

Mr. Mann lives in the El Dorado, at Central Park West and 90th Street, but he stops in at the Apthorp every few days. “It’s wonderful just to sit in the garden and listen to the water and reflect,” he said. “We’re in such a crazy busy city.”

E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com


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December 11th, 2008, 10:15 AM
December 11, 2008, 9:30 am

In Riverside Park, a Horse Trough and a Scandal

By David W. Dunlap (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/david-w-dunlap/)

Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, and Jonathan Kuhn, the director of art and antiquities in the Department of Parks and Recreation, inspecting the dig in Riverside Park, at 76th Street, that yielded a 102-year-old marble horse trough. (Photos: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times)

The streets were not paved with gold, but the horses drank from marble. An impromptu archaeological dig in Riverside Park has cast light on a time when horses — not horsepower — moved New York. And when charitable impulses included the financing of water troughs throughout the city, sometimes on a monumental scale.

Digging deeply last month into an earthen embankment at the base of the fortresslike retaining wall along Riverside Drive, at the foot of 76th Street, city park workers discovered a broad drinking basin made of Tennessee pink marble set into the wall. It had been installed in 1906 for the comfort of horses traveling through the park, when the ground level in that spot was about 10 to 12 feet lower than it is today.

The inner surface of the marble basin, buried under four feet of earth, can be seen in this photo, as can the sluice down which water ran to the trough.

The dig also cast light on an intriguing figure of 19th-century New York, Robert Ray Hamilton, a once-rising politician with one of the most distinguished names in American history (he was Alexander’s great-grandson) whose scandal-mired downfall could practically have been torn from contemporary headlines. Or blog posts.

The Times reported in 1890:

Until he became the victim of an adventuress, the career of Robert Ray Hamilton was bright with every promise that wealth, influence and opportunity could bring to a man of his decided taste for political life, and who had already made his mark as a member of the legislature.

After the adjournment of last year’s legislature, nothing was heard of Mr. Hamilton until suddenly in August 1889, his friends were shocked by the revelations of his connection with the woman Eva Mann, through a vicious assault committed by the woman in the Nell Cottage, Atlantic City, on her maid, Mary Donnelly. Gradually the whole truth came out that Eva Mann, a notorious woman, was his wife; that she had palmed off on him a foundling as his child; and that he had been her dupe for years.
On a hunting trip in Yellowstone National Park a year later, Hamilton drowned in the Snake River. John D. Sargent, Hamilton’s best friend, with whom he shared a cottage in Jackson, Wyo., said the victim had tried to ford the river at night and tangled his spurs in river grass. But it was not long before Sargent was suspected as a murderer. In 1913, he shot himself to death.

The horse trough forms the lower part of this richly ornamented fountain facing Riverside Drive, a posthumous gift of Robert Ray Hamilton.

After Hamilton’s death, it was revealed that he had directed his executors to spend about $10,000 for a fountain to be presented to the city. The Times said his wish was that the fountain be “so arranged that it can be used by the thirsty as well as serving an ornamental purpose.” Warren & Wetmore, the architects involved in Grand Central Terminal, designed the Hamilton Fountain, which was dedicated in 1906.

It is about to undergo a $150,000 restoration (with a small maintenance endowment), financed by the Riverside Park Fund (http://www.riversideparkfund.org/). Among other things, the beak of the eagle, which has been lopped off repeatedly by vandals, will be replaced. James T. Dowell, the president of the fund, said the money had been raised largely from the immediate neighborhood. The biggest single gift, $75,000, came from a family that was “adamant about being anonymous,” he said. Margaret Bracken is the landscape architect in charge of the project.

Historical photographs compiled for the restoration disclosed that the fountain, long thought to consist only of the ornamented basin facing the drive, once fed down a sluice carved in the back of the wall down to a lower basin that would have served as a horse trough. A later embankment buried any visible evidence.

A 1935 photograph clearly shows the marble basin below the Hamilton Fountain. (Photo: Alajos Schuszler/New York City Parks Photo Archive)

“This is what made us think there was something down below,” said Jonathan Kuhn, the director of arts and antiquities in the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Last month, park workers reluctantly started to dig out the spot. Their reluctance only grew as the depth of the hole did: one feet, two feet, three feet. Finally, about three and a half feet down, they hit marble.

“You’d think they’d found the Elgin marbles,” said Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, on a visit to the site on Dec. 1.

That said, however, he seemed to fall captive to the spell cast by the hidden basin, summoning up a vision of life in the early 1900s when horses and railroad trains shared the Hudson shoreline. He said the basin might be excavated and reused elsewhere, perhaps as a dog fountain.

Or perhaps, he said, it will be amply documented and then simply left in place. That would allow another parks commissioner in another era to find it again, and to rediscover the sorry story of Robert Ray Hamilton.


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Related to this STORY (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=255189&postcount=54)

December 11th, 2008, 10:28 AM
December 10, 2008, 5:00 pm

Cheese and Antiques Shop to Close Doors

By James Barron (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/james-barron/)

Maya Schaper’s little cheese and antique shop on West 69th Street will be replaced by a cafe. (Photos: James Barron/The New York Times)

Moviegoers remember its cameo in the 1998 romance “You’ve Got Mail. (http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/174227/You-ve-Got-Mail/overview?scp=3&sq=%22you've%20got%20mail%22%20ryan&st=cse)” But the real-life shop around the corner, Maya Schaper Cheese and Antiques, is closing.

It has been a fixture on West 69th Street since the mid-1990’s, with cheese at the front counter and furniture, small silver collectibles and movie posters in the rest of the shop (including one, not for sale, for “You’ve Got Mail,” in which the cheese and coffees were replaced by books, and the words on the awning out front were changed to “Shop Around the Corner”).

Ms. Schaper delivered the message indirectly with a sign on the door. “It is with great sadness that after 14 wonderful years here,” it began, “the time has come to say goodbye.”

Maya Schaper says it was too hard to keep her shop afloat.

Ms. Schaper, who was born in Yugoslavia and grew up in Italy, said she realized in 2006 that the shop was not making enough money. A year ago, plans were announced (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/dining/02off.html?scp=4&sq=maya%20schaper&st=cse)for a Viennese-style coffeehouse and wine bar.

That deal fell through, she said, and she stayed on, putting in 10- to 12-hour days.

Now, she said, Gary Schaeffer, a former stock exchange floor specialist-turned-real estate developer who lives a block from the shop, will build “the cafe I’ve been wanting.” She said she would shut down her operation at the end of the month.

Mr. Schaeffer said he wanted an elegant “Basque-like environment” that would be cozy and “in keeping with what the essence of the Upper West Side used to be.” He said he was leaning toward a seating plan with 36 seats.

“I want something where people have some breathing room,” he said.

Mr. Schaeffer said he had retired from the New York Stock Exchange “as one of those guys that screams all day” on the trading floor. For the last couple of years, he said, he has been involved in developing a condominium on West 42nd Street at 10th Avenue. But he has long been passionate about good food.

“I’ve been a somewhat wannabe chef my whole life,” he said.

And though he will not be the cafe’s chef, he said, “I’ve got some recipes I’ll be bringing in.”

Over the years, rents on the Upper West Side have soared — Ms. Schaper’s is around $11,000 a month nowadays, she said — and small stores with the owner behind the counter have all but disappeared.

“You cannot be an individual business here anymore,” said Ann Roggen, a violist who has lived up the street since 1978 and is a regular customer.

“The rents are too high. That’s why all you see are chains. The people who open their specialty shops because of their interests and their love of something, they’re gone, and that’s a loss for the neighborhood, an emotional loss.”


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December 18th, 2008, 05:41 AM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~

Where Once There Were Many, There Are Just Two

By DAVID W. DUNLAP (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/david_w_dunlap/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: December 17, 2008

Calling Broadway the main street of the Upper West Side, Paul Goldberger (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/paul_goldberger/index.html?inline=nyt-per) wrote in “The City Observed: New York” (1978) that it was “like a child’s room that is permitted to remain in disorder by parents who feel that children should be permitted to have their own mess.”

THEN and NOW PHOTOGRAPHS (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/nyregion/18thennow.html?ref=nyregion)

“If you doubt the economic wisdom of letting a street be that way,” he continued, “count the empty storefronts: there are virtually none from Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_for_the_performing_arts/index.html?inline=nyt-org) to Morningside Heights.”

The best single block to illustrate this jumbled vitality for Mr. Goldberger’s guidebook was between 74th and 75th Streets. In a 213-foot stretch were a celebrated fishmonger (Citarella), a well-known greengrocer (Fairway), a supermarket (D’Agostino), a clothing store (Pandemonium), a coffee shop and a popular bingo parlor called Broadway Hall.

Revisiting the block 30 years later, one finds Fairway and Citarella. Period.

The competing markets, which long ago expanded beyond their original specialties, now occupy all the street-level retail space.

This is a tribute to the West Side’s enduring character as a neighborhood where homegrown food businesses can thrive, cheek by jowl. But it also underscores the growing big-box monotony on Broadway, even when the boxes are, happily, one of a kind.

Fairway was founded in the early 1930s by Nathan Glickberg as the 74th Street Market, a fruit and vegetable stand. In the early ’50s, the Glickberg family turned it into a supermarket called Fairway, adding groceries, meat, dairy products and frozen food. After the business changed hands several times, Howard Glickberg, one of the founder’s grandsons, recreated it as a high-end produce shop in 1974. Fairway expanded into the coffee shop in 1997. Two years later, it took over D’Agostino’s space and the former bingo hall upstairs, which had more recently been a Bally’s Jack LaLanne Fitness Center. There, Fairway runs a cafe and steakhouse.

And there, Fairway’s irresistible force meets the immovable object of Citarella, which expanded into the Pandemonium space in 1993. The competitors are abutters, too.

Imagine a passer-by from the 1978 photograph — perhaps the man in the vest, flared trousers and mustard-colored shirt (just a guess) with four-inch collar points — propelled forward 30 years.

The time traveler recognizes Fairway and Citarella, of course, but the crowd looks younger, more prosperous and less diverse, and there are more children underfoot. The device in the woman’s right hand could be described to him as being akin to a Dick Tracy two-way wrist radio with a full keyboard and a computer monitor. But it might take all day to explain the phrase “www.fairwaymarket.com (http://www.fairwaymarket.com/)” on the awning, where it used to say “Farm Fresh.”


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December 18th, 2008, 02:16 PM
Apthorp Files $500 Million Claim Against Apollo, Then Drops It

By Cynthia Cotts

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The managers of the Apthorp, a landmark residence in Manhattan that has been home to Al Pacino (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Al+Pacino&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) and Conan O’Brien (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Conan+O%3FBrien&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), filed a $500 million lawsuit against Apollo Real Estate Advisors and dropped it the same day.

Apollo Real Estate Finance Corp., the lending and debt investment vehicle for Apollo, a real estate company based in New York, improperly handled a plan to renovate the Apthorp, according to a complaint filed on Dec. 15 in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Apollo, which allegedly wants to acquire the property itself, wrongly stated that its loan to Apthorp management is out of balance, meaning projected expenses don’t match projected income, according to the complaint.

The complaint was withdrawn after Apollo agreed to put its claim that the loan is out of balance on hold until Jan. 9, said Steven Schlesinger, Apthorp’s attorney, in an interview. Apthorp has the option to refile its complaint by Jan. 9, Schlesinger said.

“The case was filed and immediately withdrawn,” Apollo General Counsel Cindy Wenig (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Cindy+Wenig&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) said in an interview. She declined to comment further.
Anglo Irish Bank Group of Dublin, Ireland, was also named as a defendant in the complaint.

Tony Campbell (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Tony+Campbell&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), president of Anglo Irish Bank Group-North America, didn’t return a call and e-mail seeking comment. Anglo Irish spokeswoman Gwen Cook had no immediate comment.
Upper West Side

The Apthorp, built in 1906 and located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, has 163 apartments, featuring 14-foot ceilings, a gated court yard and an underground garage, according to the complaint. The apartments sell for $3,000 a square foot, according to nycblogestate.com, a real estate blog.

In 2007, Apollo and Anglo Irish provided $528 million in first-mortgage and mezzanine financing to Mann Realty to renovate the Apthorp and convert it to condos, according to the complaint. Mann Realty, run by Maurice Mann, manages the Apthorp property.

This fall, the banks demanded a $12 million payment from Apthorp to place the loans in balance, according to the complaint. After receiving the payment, they confirmed that the loan was in balance. This month, the banks claimed the loan was again out of balance and demanded an additional $22.7 million, according to the complaint.

For now, the loan is in balance.

“They took the knife out of our back and reserved the right to put it back in on Jan. 9,” Schlesinger said.

The case is Apthorp v. AREFIN, 603675/2008, New York Supreme Court (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Cynthia Cotts (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Cynthia+Cotts&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in New York at ccotts@bloomberg.net (ccotts@bloomberg.net).

Last Updated: December 17, 2008 00:01 EST


December 20th, 2008, 07:01 AM
A Wild, Wild Row on the West Side

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/21/realestate/21scapes-600.jpg Konrad Fielder for The New York Times
WEAR AND TEAR A fire in July damaged 254 West 73rd Street, the row house at the "no standing" sign with the tarpaulin on the roof. It is part of a mold-breaker row designed by Charles T. Mott and built in 1888.

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHRISTOPHER GRAY&inline=nyt-per)
Published: December 19, 2008

IN the fierce blaze that erupted in July at the gawky row house at 254 West 73rd Street, firefighters were frustrated by its very architecture. The strange peaked roof and peculiar gables spread the fire throughout the upper section, and hampered attempts to get water there.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/19/realestate/21scapes-2-500.jpgKonrad Fielder for The New York Times
262 West 73rd has its original copper balustrade.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/21/realestate/21scapes-3-500.jpgOffice for Metropolitan History
PAST LIFE In 1943, Nos. 262, 264 and 266 West 73rd Street still had a tile roof.

Built in 1888, it is part of one of the West Side’s wildest rows of houses, running from No. 246 to No. 272 West 73rd Street.

Before 1880, row house developers followed the safest possible path, producing uniform rows with little variation. But around that time developers began to add a little spice.

The 73rd Street houses were begun in 1887 by William J. Merritt, a Harlem (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo) architect turned developer. He was backed by $1.5 million, some of which was lent to him by William Earl Dodge Stokes, who later built the nearby Ansonia.

But instead of serving as his own designer, Merritt hired the architect Charles T. Mott.

Only fragments are known of Mott’s life, but he was a member of the Architectural League and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/american_institute_of_architects/index.html?inline=nyt-org).

These associations suggest a professional education, or at least study with one of the important architects of the day — unusual, because speculative row house work was far from prestigious.

For the 73rd Street houses, built at $13,500 each, Mott produced a sweep of design unparalleled in other West Side house construction. The pair at 246 and 248 appear to be separate works — their tawny orange brick and great projecting bays, corbelled out at the top floor, are unlike the rest of the row. They were also designed by Mott, but may have been completed by a different developer.

Andrew S. Dolkart, an associate professor of historic preservation at the Columbia University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/columbia_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, says they follow very closely the lines of Pierrefonds, a medieval castle in France (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/great-homes-and-destinations/destinations/europe/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) rebuilt around 1860 by Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc. That is a reference more likely applied to an ambitious Fifth Avenue mansion than to a speculative project.

The rest of the row is a thing unto itself, with roughened brown brick, dormers, in-and-out bays and oriels, and, particularly, an irregular roofline like a horse at a gallop. The facades don’t follow a pattern — they are not, for instance, A-B-B-A, in the lingo of architectural historians. They are closer to the alphabet spilled down a front stoop, but generally French Renaissance in style.

One group, Nos. 252 to 256, sticks forward and is flanked by big corner bays. The entire triplet is crossed by a bright green copper balustrade.

The turrets at each end were once capped with rounded tile, and before the fire the central house, No. 254, had a giant Flemish gable in heavily worked green copper.

In The Real Estate Record and Guide of 1887, the writer Montgomery Schuyler praised the rows, singling out particularly the “notably pretty grouping” of Nos. 252 to 256, and marveling that the differences in the buildings “animate the skyline without tormenting it.”

This was at first a prestigious block, backing up on West 72nd Street, the best crosstown street on the West Side. But by 1910 several of the houses had boarders, and the 1930 census lists 18 roomers at No. 252 West 73rd. The house at No. 260 had been broken into seven apartments; one tenant was Alberto Vargas, an artist for the Ziegfeld Follies. In the 1960s his slightly clothed "Vargas Girls" for Playboy magazine had a dedicated following.

For those nosy enough, an inspection trip into the vestibules of the houses is a treat. The floor of No. 250 is a mosaic pattern of interlocking snakes; of No. 266, an illusionistic ribbon of yellow and maroon. Several of the houses have their original brass hardware — the front door pulls of No. 270 are little masterpieces. No. 262 has its original wall covering, embossed fabric.

But the row has a worn look that once characterized most West Side streets.

Indeed, this row is unusual in that it has so far missed the restorer’s brush — no hedge fund millions have alighted on any of these houses.

Among the great rows of the West Side, they are outside any landmark district. So the fate of No. 254, which requires extensive repairs, will be an indicator of the winds of preservation.

Photographs and videos of the fire are posted at fdnysquad18.com (http://fdnysquad18.com/). The owner is Rebecca Crystal. Jeff Squeri, who answered her phone and said he spoke for her, says that the property will return to apartment use, and that the exterior will be “similar to what it was.”

What that means should be clear by late spring.

E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com


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December 30th, 2008, 08:07 AM
When a Bar Moves, Do Its Patrons Follow?

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/27/nyregion/27bar_span.jpg David Goldman for The New York Times
The P&G Cafe, on the Upper West Side, is moving only six blocks, but traveling even such a short distance can threaten an establishment’s cachet.

By GLENN COLLINS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/glenn_collins/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: December 26, 2008

Steve Chahalis, a large, bearded, 47-year-old fourth-generation barkeep, excitedly showed off the extravagantly divey, subterranean domain of his future saloon: the former Evelyn Lounge at Columbus Avenue and 78th Street in Manhattan.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/12/27/nyregion/27bar2_650.jpgDavid Goldman for The New York Times
Homero Agila and Nyle Dwyer snapped a picture at the P&G, which will lose its lease next week and has until February to move.

“We can transfer the P&G here,” he was saying of a 66-year-old watering hole with a landmark neon sign six blocks to the southwest, at Amsterdam Avenue and 73rd Street. “I feel we can make this place what we have now — and more.”

He hopes the new version of P&G — the old one is losing its lease on Wednesday because of a rent increase and has until February to move — can succeed like the original. That classic was depicted in “Seinfeld” and “Will and Grace,” and was known to generations of Beacon Theater patrons as, well, a beacon for those who stopped for a drink there, sometimes with performers like the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/g/grateful_dead/index.html?inline=nyt-org).

But if drinking and dining have always been a moveable feast in New York, is charisma cartable? Can the character of everything from venerable pubs to palatial eateries migrate with their names and owners? This portability issue has gained new urgency in a season of economic disarray, when property owners are less willing to extend the leases of even the most beloved old-timers.

Loyalists can be fickle, and geography perilous. “New York is so provincial, three blocks is a huge distance,” said Patrick Daley, the owner of Kettle of Fish, the classic step-down barroom at 59 Christopher Street in Sheridan Square, in the space formerly inhabited by the Lion’s Head, a lionized writers’ pub, which closed in 1996.

The Kettle was a hangout for beatniks and folkies in the 1950s at 114 Macdougal Street (from 1950 to 1986), then occupied 130 West Third Street (from 1986 to 1998) before landing in its current 1,400-square-foot incarnation. The original 1950s neon bar light is enshrined in a back room.
Building a new clientele can take a year or more, said Mr. Daley, who has tended bar at the Kettle in all three locations and has owned it since 1998.

But even wildly popular establishments with improbable longevity have become cautionary tales in the universe of city hospitality. Mama Leone’s, a mass-oriented theme restaurant, was founded in the early 1900s, closed in 1987 on 48th Street off Eighth Avenue and opened the next year on 44th Street, also off Eighth Avenue. It ultimately shuttered its doors in 1994.

“The new space never worked,” said Malcolm M. Knapp, who heads a restaurant consulting firm in Manhattan that bears his name.

Another lamentable flameout was the demise of Runyon’s, a sports-bar-cum-literary-hub-cum-neighborhood-scrum on 50th Street between First and Second Avenues. After nearly two decades of picaresque existence, it lost its lease in 1996 and tried to keep going under the same name around the corner on Second Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, “but it was never quite the same,” said James Certa, an insurance executive who mourned its closing in 2002.

The bar’s specter suffered further insult last March when Fubar, a tavern in the former Runyon’s space, was crushed in the collapse of a 146-ton crane that killed seven people. “The only thing left,” Mr. Certa said, “was an old Runyon’s bar tab.”

An enduring problem is that “once the scale of a place changes, then so does the character that drew people there in the first place,” said Michael Whiteman, whose company, Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman, is an international restaurant consulting firm. “It is easier for Hollywood to produce a sequel.”

At times, name continuity can lead to incongruities. The Second Avenue Deli — the kosher legend that occupied the corner of Second Avenue and 10th Street for more than 50 years — moved a mile north to 162 East 33rd Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues — but kept the same name.

But some favored places can successfully move in spirit, minus the name. A year after the name Mortimer’s expired with the 1988 death of the owner, Glenn Bernbaum, two mainstays of the high-society saloon on Lexington Avenue and 75th Street — Robert Caravaggi, a maître d’hôtel, and Steven Attoe, a chef — opened Swifty’s Restaurant, two blocks south at 1007 Lexington Avenue. “Robert and Stephen channeled Mortimer’s,” Mr. Knapp said.

“The old restaurant was a clubhouse, and they managed to keep it a clubhouse.”

An abundance of bars and restaurants has outlived the moving vans, ranging from Blind Tiger and Tap a Keg to Sparks Steak House, Aquavit, Victor’s Café, Roberto in the Bronx and Le Cirque, that haunt of celebrities, dignitaries and social and corporate elitists. “Moving is very, very difficult,” said Sirio Maccioni (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/sirio_maccioni/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the 74-year-old founder, who has moved his restaurant twice: from 65th Street and Park Avenue after 23 years to Madison Avenue and 50th Street until 2004, and then, after being closed for a spell, reopening at 151 East 58th Street two years ago.

Mr. Maccioni and his peripatetic restaurant are the subjects of “Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven,” a documentary film that will make its HBO (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/home_box_office_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) debut on Monday.

Only one attitude brings success, Mr. Maccioni said in an interview: “You can’t be afraid of anything, but you have to stay nervous all the time. If you aren’t, there is something wrong.”

Mr. Knapp, the consultant, said that “you want to transfer a core set of values, so people will make an emotional connection and keep coming. But there’s a need for reinvention as well — new people must sense that this is the place to be.”

This is exactly the hope of Tony May, the 72-year-old restaurateur who is moving his pioneering high-end Italian restaurant, San Domenico, from Central Park South to Madison Square Park. “This is continuity,” he said with a laugh, “since we’re still overlooking a park.”

The lease “pushed us to do it,” said his daughter and co-owner, Marisa May (the landlord at 240 Central Park South wanted to triple the rent, she said), “and we realized that the move made a lot of sense.”

Their new $6 million restaurant at 19 East 26th Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues, will have a change of name — SD26, a reference to San Domenico and the new address — and will double the restaurant’s size to 15,000 square feet when it opens next fall. Shockingly, to some habitués, the Mays are dropping the restaurant’s 20-year cachet as the only Italian restaurant in the city to require that men wear a jacket.

Jackets, of course, have ever been discouraged at the P&G. “People know us, we’re almost a public utility,” said Tom Chahalis, Steve’s father, who is 72. “I think a lot of people will spread the word.”

It is currently unknowable whether the battered red, green and yellow neon P&G sign depicting glassy waves breaking from the ship’s prow at the corner of the building (designed by Steve’s grandfather during his World War II Navy service) is sturdy enough to segue to a renovated Evelyn Lounge (named after Evelyn Nesbit, who is believed to have lived upstairs, Steve Chahalis said), also in a landmark building. Having signed a $20,000-a-month lease for 20 years, Mr. Chahalis hopes the old neon sign, or a new one, will beckon.

The future P&G, with its 2,700-square-foot public space, is three times as large as the old 860-square-foot bar, has four rooms and will offer a fireplace for the poolroom-and-dartboard set. A rusticated structural wall will be an ornament, instead of the kitschy Austrian castle and forest fantasy mural signed in 1943 by a rye-drinking artist who executed the scene to pay his bar tab.

Some regular customers worry about being dispossessed. “I’ll feel out the new place,” said Patrick Duffy, a stagehand who has been a regular for more than a decade. “But we don’t know if the new place is for us — we’re old school.”

To Steve Chahalis, though, his taphouse is eminently welcoming and transportable because, among other attributes, it “has an old Greek soul,” he said, deadpan, referring to the Chahalis ancestry. Beyond that, the soul of the bar “resides in us and our extended family,” he added. “We and the customers created that soul, and it will come along with us.”


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

December 30th, 2008, 08:13 AM
Monday, December 29, 2008

P&G Lingers (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2008/12/p-lingers.html)

Believing the Upper West Side's P&G bar would close on December 31, I visited this weekend to say goodbye. But the bartender informed me they'll probably linger on until sometime in February--the new place isn't ready just yet. He also reported that their sign, that beloved antique neon that everyone hopes will survive, probably won't be going with them. It's too old, too brittle to make the journey.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesNTQEJNI/AAAAAAAAGAw/Hs_Awiupnkw/s320/IMG_2797.JPG (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesNTQEJNI/AAAAAAAAGAw/Hs_Awiupnkw/s1600-h/IMG_2797.JPG)

On Saturday the New York Times also visited the P&G (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/27/nyregion/27bar.html?ref=nyregion), wondering if its patrons will follow the classic dive to its new, larger, and more deluxe location. Glenn Collins writes:

"The future P&G, with its 2,700-square-foot public space, is three times as large as the old 860-square-foot bar, has four rooms and will offer a fireplace for the poolroom-and-dartboard set. A rusticated structural wall will be an ornament, instead of the kitschy Austrian castle and forest fantasy mural signed in 1943 by a rye-drinking artist who executed the scene to pay his bar tab. Some regular customers worry about being dispossessed. “'I’ll feel out the new place,' said Patrick Duffy, a stagehand who has been a regular for more than a decade. 'But we don’t know if the new place is for us--we’re old school.'”

As the Observer noted last month (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/last-call-p-g-original-spot?page=0%2C0), the new place will be a full restaurant, where bags of Doritos will be replaced by storied steaks and chops, along with gourmet burgers. Said owner Chahalis, “I make these awesome teriyaki garlic-saffron-rubbed burgers.”

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesOEg3ddI/AAAAAAAAGBI/v25s5Wj7Sfo/s320/IMG_2805.JPG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesOEg3ddI/AAAAAAAAGBI/v25s5Wj7Sfo/s1600-h/IMG_2805.JPG)

There was nothing rubbed with saffron when I visited. Decked out for the holidays, the bar was hung with Christmas stockings, names of regulars written on them in glue and glitter. As I sipped my final drink, gray-haired men (mostly) stood outside smoking. Younger men, in jeans and work boots, came inside shouting about baseball and football, their faces unshaven. A woman in a black beret sat on the corner stool, not saying much, just drinking.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesN-Cl77I/AAAAAAAAGA4/jxaDMDoKuR4/s320/IMG_2802.JPG (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesN-Cl77I/AAAAAAAAGA4/jxaDMDoKuR4/s1600-h/IMG_2802.JPG)

These old-schoolers just don't seem like saffron-rubbed people. And without them, without that gorgeous neon sign, without the cracked and peeling 1943 mural of the Austrian forest, let's face it: The P&G is going to vanish.

Visiting the P&G in 2007 (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2007/11/p-bar.html)
All my P&G photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/11205114@N03/tags/pg/)
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesOJZoopI/AAAAAAAAGBA/meRXjRzfkDc/s320/IMG_2804.JPG (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_dqXIF9MH3lk/SVesOJZoopI/AAAAAAAAGBA/meRXjRzfkDc/s1600-h/IMG_2804.JPG)

Posted by Jeremiah Moss at 7:00 AM (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2008/12/p-lingers.html) [/URL] (http://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=683382864156505640&postID=3268090091094980032)
Labels: upper west side (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/search/label/upper%20west%20side)


Vanishing New York (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/)

December 30th, 2008, 11:44 AM
So what will happen to the sign?

Is the new place on a corner?

December 30th, 2008, 01:31 PM
I wouldn't hold out much hope for the sign in view of this statement.

He also reported that their sign, that beloved antique neon that everyone hopes will survive, probably won't be going with them. It's too old, too brittle to make the journey.

The new premises are those previously used by the "Evelyn Lounge" which is in a corner property.
As can be seen from this street view from Google Maps


December 30th, 2008, 01:38 PM
They need to make arrangements forthwith to transport that sign.

January 31st, 2009, 06:47 AM
February 1, 2009
Streetscapes | West End Avenue

The School of the Stepped Gables

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHRISTOPHER%20GRAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHRISTOPHER%20GRAY&inline=nyt-per)

ON THE AVENUE West End Collegiate Church at West 77th Street today, right; and left in 1893.

A proposed landmark, P.S. M811 at 82nd Street.

Row houses by McKim, Mead & White at 83rd in 1899.

Row houses by Frank Miles Day along West End from 84th to 85th in 1899.

WEST END is now an avenue of conservative apartment houses, but in the 1880s and 1890s it was bursting with history, as builders and architects saw its future in the 17th-century past, when New York was a Dutch colony. The Landmarks Preservation Commission is considering protecting the last big example of this Flemish flowering, the 1894 school at 82nd Street and West End Avenue.

Almost empty in 1880, the Upper West Side was fertile ground for experimentation in row house design. Although the traditional brownstone soon arrived, architects also worked in the Queen Anne, Renaissance, Greek, Moorish and other styles.

In 1886, the first of the Dutch-style buildings arrived on West End Avenue, then just developing as a street of solid row houses. This was a clump of exquisite little dwellings on the southwest corner of 83rd and West End Avenue, built by George W. Rogers, a developer, with the architects McKim, Mead & White, whose fame was growing.

Without the picturesque roofline, these inventive houses — of which only 471 West End survives — might be described as medieval or Romanesque. They had lateral brick striping of deep red contrasting with a medium orange, and occasional balconies and irregular window patterns. But McKim, Mead & White, almost as an afterthought, added three large stepped gables.

They are “just some bells and whistles” as Mosette Broderick, an expert on McKim, Mead & White, put it. But these distinctive touches are enough, in the fluid taxonomy of New York architecture, to earn them the description of Dutch (or its close corollary, Flemish). It seems likely that this fillip came from the architects, who in the same year had designed a Flemish-style office at 9 West 17th Street (now gone). It appears that Stanford White (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/stanford_white/index.html?inline=nyt-per) was in charge of that design.

In the same year, Frederick B. White, an architect, finished a row of picturesque red brick houses at the northwest corner of 78th Street and West End Avenue. These have the strap work and the massive gables — sometimes joining two buildings — typical of Dutch and Flemish design. Again, architectural nomenclature can be perplexing: in 1886 the Real Estate Record and Guide called the group Queen Anne, but the landmarks commission calls them Flemish renaissance.

In 1889, James Gunn, a developer, used the Dutch style again for a row near 84th Street designed by Joseph H. Taft, of which only 508 West End survives in original condition. It’s clunky, but has the high, narrow stepped gable and honey-colored brick typical of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish architecture.

In the next year, “Holland” was proposed as the name for what soon became Amsterdam Avenue.

The Dutch style finally came to symbolize West End Avenue in 1891, when Richard G. Platt, a developer, began building up the west block front of West End from 84th to 85th Streets. Mr. Platt attended a Dutch festival in New York in 1883, though there is no other suggestion he might have had a special interest in Holland. But he was prone to architectural experimentation — usually a hazard in speculative building — and for this row he hired Clarence True for the interiors and Frank Miles Day of Philadelphia for the exteriors. Splitting such a commission is odd enough, but going out of town for an architect is extraordinary in speculative architecture.

Dutch it was — an irregular, rangy line of gables, chimney tops, dormers and contrasting rooflines over the whole block front. In 1894, the Real Estate Record and Guide called it “the most successful and picturesque block of houses on the west side.”

In the same year, a developer with certifiably Dutch ancestry, Gerald L. Schuyler (once Van Schuyler), built a group of houses at 83rd and West End of which only 489 West End survives. Mr. Schuyler was active in the Holland Society, where tulips were worn to dinners, but the house is tepid.
In 1892 came the Netherlandish crown of the West End, the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church at 77th and West End.

Designed by Robert W. Gibson after the early 17th-century butchers’ guildhall in Haarlem, the church, today called West End Collegiate, is a spiky explosion of orange brick and red tile, with pointed dormers and gables.
The school at 82nd Street was built in 1894 as Grammar School No. 9, and is now Public School M811, the Mickey Mantle (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/mickey_mantle/index.html?inline=nyt-per) School. It was designed by Charles B. J. Snyder. In 1893, The New York Times described it as “Ecclesiastical English Gothic,” taking the cue from its great banks of windows and taut facade. But with its orange brick and huge stepped gables, it could also be described as Dutch.

Most of the Dutch influence on West End is long gone. So the landmarks commission’s pending attention to this work marks the terminal point of the unique character of West End Avenue.


Three Chord Monty
February 1st, 2009, 05:14 PM
This is perhaps a bit out of context, but...I took this about 8 years ago, with the first digital camera I had. It was 1/3 megapixel, but I bought it because it used floppy discs & I didn't have to bother with wires & long transfers. (It also had a 10x zoom, which I must've taken advantage of for this pic, and that was something I didn't realize was an unusual feature!)

With a decent camera in hand, I decided to try to take the same shot when I found myself in the neighborhood a couple of years ago (Bway at 75th St). Well...this view doesn't exist any more.


February 2nd, 2009, 04:20 PM
Well, you've preserved it for eternity.

February 27th, 2009, 08:02 AM
This is for Hof.

As a "thank you" for starting this thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNc_Ult2tTQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNc_Ult2tTQ)


http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.nycbp.com/images/new33.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nycbp.com/bartenders/bar11/index.html&h=350&w=300&sz=42&tbnid=GcgLcsqZqcRw5M::&tbnh=120&tbnw=103&prev=/images%3Fq%3DPhotos%2Bof%2BYogi%2527s%2BNew%2BYork %2BCity&usg=___-XOW4c9Oa1YIeG7f5V_K_VCcxk=&ei=-t2nSZGDI9zFjAfWvZHfDw&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=2&ct=image&cd=1


Good luck in your new job, hope you get time to look at these.

March 10th, 2009, 06:52 PM
Beacon Restored to Glamour of Vaudeville Days

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/02/12/nyregion/12beacon_600.JPG Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
The Beacon Theater, an entertainment icon in New York since 1929, was completely renovated, at a cost of $16 million. More Photos > (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/02/12/nyregion/20090212-beacon-ss_index.html)

By GLENN COLLINS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/glenn_collins/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: February 11, 2009

There were dozens of quasiarchaeological discoveries during the seven-month renovation of the 80-year-old Beacon Theater in Manhattan. The most telling, though, was the Folgers coffee can.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/02/12/nyregion/20090212BEACON-B.JPGSlide Show (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/02/12/nyregion/20090212-beacon-ss_index.html)The Beacon Is Back (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/02/12/nyregion/20090212-beacon-ss_index.html)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/02/12/nyregion/12beacon.190.jpgInteractive Feature (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/02/12/nyregion/20090212-beacon-pano.html)Beacon Theater Returns to Elegance (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/02/12/nyregion/20090212-beacon-pano.html)

It had long been thought that a sparkly, 10-inch-wide, cut-crystal ball — the principal ornament at the tip of the 900-pound chandelier in the rotunda of the former movie palace — was attached with a sturdy bronze fixture.

But when the chandelier was lowered to be cleaned, rewired and repaired, the real support for the crystal orb was revealed: a vintage 6-inch-tall coffee tin.

“It was slathered with gold house paint” to match the chandelier, said Marc Tarozzi, a vice president of facilities at Madison Square Garden Entertainment, a division of Cablevision Systems Corporation, which in 2006 leased the Beacon for 20 years. “The original bronze was lost in the mists of time.”

He added, deadpan: “Actually we’re not certain it was Folgers. But the original color was definitely bright red.”

Now replaced with a bronze fixture, the dented tin was a slipshod token of neglect in the theater, at 2124 Broadway at West 74th Street. It is familiar to generations of New Yorkers as a film and vaudeville mecca, an all-around performance space, and, in recent decades, as the Carnegie Hall (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/carnegie_hall/index.html?inline=nyt-org) of city rock rooms.

During a rehearsal on Wednesday, Paul Simon (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/paul_simon/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the headliner for the reopening celebration on Friday night, said: “I’ve performed here many times and it was always fun, but I was overwhelmed to see how beautiful it is now.

“It’s a great house with a great vibe and its funkiness matched the music in a way,” he added. “But it’s nicer to have clean seats.”

During the renovation, which cost about $16 million, about 1,000 workers toiled in the opulent theater, an “Arabian Nights” pastiche of Greek, Roman, Renaissance and Rococo elements.

They uncovered many surprises in the Beacon, which was declared a landmark in 1979 and had been partially renovated many times, “often ineptly,” said Jay Marciano, president of Madison Square Garden Entertainment.

The unsightly main box-office kiosk on Broadway, coated in layers of cheap house paint, was revealed as a delicate birdcage of brass, glass and marble.

A long-lost stairway also came to light, yielding a remnant of venerable carpeting that inspired a replacement to adorn the lobbies, auditorium and stairways: 2,100 square yards of custom-patterned wool woven in gold, yellow, green and maroon.

In addition, an alert worker preparing to repaint an original water fountain — which was not working — was startled to realize that it was made of alabaster, Mr. Tarozzi said. It was cleaned and restored to working order.

During the renovation, the Beacon’s electrical system was redone for the first time since the theater’s construction, said Richard Claffey, senior vice president for theater operations at the Garden. New draperies with gold tassels replaced long-missing originals. A misplaced canvas mural in the neoclassical rotunda was recreated based on historical photographs.

New end standards along the aisles of the 2,829 new rust-red seats were cast from patterns close to the originals. Furthermore, multiple levels of ceiling cove lighting were rewired, then the fixtures rebulbed, as restorers say, returning the illumination to a glory not seen for 50 years, Mr. Tarozzi said.

Back to that poorly painted coffee tin: What will become of it?

“We’ll wrap it in plexiglass and put it in someone’s office,” Mr. Marciano said. “It should forever be part of the folklore of the place.”


Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 10th, 2009, 07:19 PM
So the Dolans are good for something.

March 10th, 2009, 08:14 PM
So it seems.

Theater officials have said that the cost of the renovation would be recouped during the lease, and that ticket prices would not increase.

I wonder if they can keep their word.

March 11th, 2009, 09:15 AM
03 February 2009

P & G Cafe: De-Signed (http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2009/02/p-g-cafe-de-signed.html)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_nswHPYi_dEw/SYhQN2839VI/AAAAAAAAGVQ/Vnr5QjvknUA/s400/-2.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_nswHPYi_dEw/SYhQN2839VI/AAAAAAAAGVQ/Vnr5QjvknUA/s1600-h/-2.jpg)

A watchful reader sent me these sad pictures of the Upper West Side's classic tavern, the P & G Cafe, which closed on Jan. 31. It has been shorn of it fabulous neon sign, as you can see.

Nothing left to do but wait until it reopens (hopefully, with sign) at its new location (http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2008/12/go-to-p.html).

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nswHPYi_dEw/SYhPLUxKD6I/AAAAAAAAGVA/I-ocoGxuQXM/s400/-1.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nswHPYi_dEw/SYhPLUxKD6I/AAAAAAAAGVA/I-ocoGxuQXM/s1600-h/-1.jpg)

Posted by Brooks of Sheffield at 3.2.09 (http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2009/02/p-g-cafe-de-signed.html) http://www.blogger.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif (http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=21554899&postID=6527054992323354353)


john (http://www.blogger.com/profile/02618757815305250565) said... It will definitely be at the new location. The bartender told me there just wasn't enough room for the full sign but only for the part pitured. The owner plans on keeping the rest in his garage.
2/03/2009 7:44 AM (http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2009/02/p-g-cafe-de-signed.html?showComment=1233675840000#c46103399013 86910066)http://www.blogger.com/img/icon_delete13.gif (http://www.blogger.com/delete-comment.g?blogID=21554899&postID=4610339901386910066)

Jodi (http://www.jodiverse.com/) said... Just this morning, as I was leaving Verdi Square's north side, I glanced over at the P&G and saw the signs gone. I felt like my stomach was literally (yes, literally) going to rise up from my viscera and make its way out my mouth. I remember feeling the same way when the Iridium changed. I can't walk by and see it in its current incarnation without wanting to cry.
2/03/2009 10:56 AM (http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2009/02/p-g-cafe-de-signed.html?showComment=1233687360000#c10864005558 04051505)


March 18th, 2009, 06:55 AM
March 16, 2009

Around the Block: Upper West Side (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/archives/2009/03/post_2.html)

http://blogs.nypost.com/re/assets_c/2009/03/uws%20streetscene%20open-thumb-288x212.jpg (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/photos/uws%20streetscene%20open.jpg)

For many New Yorkers, the mere mention of the Upper West Side (http://www.nypost.com/realestate/neighborhoods/manhattan/upper_west_side.htm) sends them into paroxysms of yawning. Some refer to the area -- which stretches from Riverside Drive to Central Park West and from Lincoln Center north to around 100th Street -- as a virtual suburbia: sidewalks filled with strollers and jogging mommies; avenues lined with characterless big-box stores; oversized, unremarkable restaurants (though the latter is slowly changing).

http://blogs.nypost.com/re/assets_c/2009/03/ZABARS58VW-thumb-195x292.jpg (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/photos/ZABARS58VW.JPG)

Sure, it might not be the most exciting neighborhood, but the UWS is one of the city's most livable -- and family-friendly -- areas, thanks not only to its variety of housing, but also to its sheer number of amenities. It lays claim to not one, but two of the city's largest, most popular parks: Central Park and Riverside Park. Some of the best grocery/specialty food stores are practically all in a row along Broadway: Fairway, Citarella, Zabar's and Barney Greengrass. And unlike the neighboring Upper East Side, the UWS is serviced by not one, but two subway lines: the B and C along Central Park West and the 1/2/3 along Broadway.

The Ansonia

Some of the city's most recognizable prewar residential buildings are here, too: The Dakota at 72nd St. and CPW (home to John Lennon); The Beresford at 81st St. and CPW (with residents including Jerry Seinfeld); and The Ansonia (http://www.ansoniacondo.com/)at Broadway and 73rd St. (where "Single White Female" was filmed).

Much of the rest of the neighborhood is made up of townhouses and prewar buildings housing "classic six" apartments (that's a two-bedroom with a formal dining room and :a "maid's room"), with prices averaging $1,200 per square foot.

http://blogs.nypost.com/re/assets_c/2009/03/Apthorp_ParkingGarage79th%20St-thumb-200x301.jpg (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/photos/Apthorp_ParkingGarage79th%20St.jpg)

In fact, you can buy into one such iconic prewar building: The Apthorp (390 West End Ave.), where Nora Ephron and Cyndi Lauper once rented enormous, stabilized apartments, is becoming a condo. The conversion however, hasn't been going smoothly, with some tenants refusing to vacate and its two developers, Mann Realty and Lev Leviev's Africa-Israel, fighting rather publicly. Despite the controversy and general uncertainty surrounding the project, it'll cost you big bucks to live in this landmark: On the market is a 3,331-square-foot four-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath unit for $7.5 million (with common charges of $3,427), or $2,250 per square foot.

http://blogs.nypost.com/re/assets_c/2009/03/TheOlcott32JA-thumb-200x134.jpg (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/photos/TheOlcott32JA.jpg)

Other conversions of historic buildings include at left, The Olcott (27 W. 72nd St.), a former hotel built in 1925 that features grand Art Deco touches, and the nearby Apple Bank Condominium (http://www.applebankcondo.com/) (2112 Broadway), which has housed a bank in its lobby since 1928. In the former, you can pick up a 723-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath unit for $965,000, or a four-bedroom penthouse with terrace for $12.5 million. In the latter, an 1,839-square-foot one-bedroom duplex with 21-foot ceilings has seen its price slashed from $3.5 million to $2.6 million.

Further north on Broadway, Avonova (http://www.avonova.com/)(219 W. 81st St.) is the conversion of an elegant 1911 Beaux Arts building into 115 one- to three-bedroom residences. Currently, eight units are for sale, averaging $1,360 per square foot, including a two-bedroom, two-bath residence priced at $1.98 million.

http://blogs.nypost.com/re/assets_c/2009/03/921_10738_The_Harrison__205_West_76th_Street_06948 7a45472_zoom-thumb-195x209.jpg (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/photos/921_10738_The_Harrison__205_West_76th_Street_06948 7a45472_zoom.jpg)

New-construction condos are rarer on the UWS, given that much of the neighborhood is landmarked. But a handful of ground-up buildings in what would be considered "prime" UWS -- the 70s and 80s from CPW to West End Ave. -- are rising. Robert A.M. Stern's The Harrison (http://www.theharrison76.com/)(205 W. 76th St.) promises green living in its 132 residences -- the project is anticipating LEED silver certification. Residents can take advantage of a 35,000-square-foot Equinox club and Equinox's Fitness Lifestyle, which promises extra services like in-room spa treatments. Since sales started in summer 2007, 89 of its units are in contract at an average of $1,500 per square foot. Still on the market: a 532-square-foot studio for $765,000 and a two-bedroom, two-bath unit for $2.05 million.

Nearby, another green building is going up at 200 W. 72nd St. at Broadway. Yet to be named, the project will have 196 luxury rental apartments, ranging from 680-square-foot studios to 1,600-square-foot three-bedrooms, plus five floors of retail. The 19-story glass tower, which boasts high-efficiency plumbing, electrical systems and appliances, is applying for LEED Silver certification upon its completion, set for the end of this year.

http://blogs.nypost.com/re/assets_c/2009/03/535%20West%20End%20Ave%20POOL%20%20by%20Patrik%20L o-thumb-190x128.jpg (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/photos/535%20West%20End%20Ave%20POOL%20%20by%20Patrik%20L o.jpg)

Another newbie is 535 West End Ave. (http://www.535wea.com/), a 20-story tower rising near 86th Street that's being designed in a prewar style, according to its developer, Extell. That means details like herringbone floors, traditional moldings and fireplaces, and La Cornue ovens in the custom kitchens. The full-service building will have a pool (shown), billiards room and "pram storage" (how swellegant!). Of the 22 full- and half-floor residences, only a handful remain, priced at around $2,600 per square foot. Which means a flexible four-bedroom will run you $9.25 million, or you can spring for the massive 6,637-square-foot six-bedroom, 6 1/2-bath for $25 million.

http://blogs.nypost.com/re/assets_c/2009/03/arielEAST1-thumb-144x355.jpg (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/photos/arielEAST1.jpg)

Slightly more affordable digs can be found at the upper end of the neighborhood, in the 90s. The sister buildings Ariel East (http://www.arielcondos.com/) (2628 Broadway) and Ariel West (http://www.arielcondos.com/) (245 W. 99th St.), designed by Cook + Fox Architects and Cetra/Ruddy, average around $1,200 per square foot. (Shown is Ariel East.) While the tall, glassy towers might look a bit out of place in the otherwise fairly low-rise area (one is 37 stories; the other is 31 stories), the project isn't hurting for buyers, thanks in part to its large, family-friendly apartments and amenities like an indoor pool and a La Palestra club. Out of a collective 137 units, only 13 are still available, including a four-bedroom, three-bath condo for $2.85 million at Ariel West, and a two-bedroom, two-bath residence at Ariel East for $1.95 million.

Most other projects in that area are conversions:100 West 93rd St. (http://www.100westcondos.com/), near Columbus Avenue, with studios and one-, two- and three-bedrooms priced at under $1,000 per square foot; 314 W. 100th St. (http://www.314w100.net/), between Riverside Park and West End Avenue, with one- to three-bedrooms averaging $950 per square foot; and also going for about $950 per square foot are units at 220 W. 93rd St. (http://www.220west93.com/), including a 1,728-square-foot two-bedroom priced at $1.65 million. (There's also the troubled Park Columbus rental-to-condo conversion at 101 W. 87th St., which was to have been completed this year but where construction has halted and the on-site sales office has closed.)


Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc.

March 27th, 2009, 04:34 PM


By Patty Lee

March 19, 2009

Preservationists’ efforts to landmark a West Side powerhouse got a boost when Community Board 7’s Parks and Preservation Committee voted to support the move at its meeting last week.

Several preservation groups, including Landmark West, the Riverside South Planning Corporation and the Powerhouse Group, gathered to speak about the historic significance of the building.

The structure, the former Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Powerhouse at West 59th Street and 11th Avenue was built in 1904 to provide electricity for New York City’s first subway system. The powerhouse is currently owned by Con Edison, which has obtained a permit to remove the building’s last remaining smokestack.

Elizabeth Clark, a spokesperson for Con Edison, said in a statement, “The stack has not been in use for 16 years. Its condition is deteriorating and that is a safety issue for the community.”

The Interborough Rapid Transit Powerhouse at West 59th Street and 11th Avenue. Photos By Andrew Schwartz

But Kate Wood, executive director of Landmark West and a professor at Columbia University, argued that the smokestack should be kept. Her students, from Columbia’s master’s program in historic preservation, have been studying the powerhouse since the beginning of the year and believe the smokestack is one of the original five built in 1904.

Full article HERE (http://westsidespirit.com/?p=1716#more-1716)

© 2009 Manhattan Media.

March 30th, 2009, 11:45 AM
March 2009

Emery Roth: Another perilous time for designing icons

Architect Emery Roth's San Remo and Beresford built during city's other Depression

http://s3.amazonaws.com/trd_three/images/69439/emory_roth_articlebox.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/assets/69439)
Emery Roth

By Greg Aunapu

Architect Emery Roth's two most ambitious projects, the Beresford and the San Remo, both on Central Park West, were built during an economic meltdown much like the one the city is experiencing today.

Indeed, the buildings could not have been built at a worse time: right before and after the catastrophic stock market crash of 1929. The group of investors who developed both buildings subdivided the largest apartments, increasing the San Remo from 122 to 142 units, and struggled to find renters. The lender to the projects collapsed, bank executives were indicted for speculating with depositors' funds and then in 1940, the buildings were sold together for a mere $25,000 more than their mortgages were worth.

"It was sort of like buying the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth for pocket change," said one real estate investor who was quoted in Steven Ruttenbaum's 1986 book, "Mansions in the Clouds: The Skyscraper Palazzi of Emery Roth." Like the great ocean liners, Roth's apartment buildings ultimately came to be recognized as iconic, bringing him great recognition.

The twin-towered San Remo, between 74th and 75th streets, is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city and is home to Bono, Steve Martin and Steven Spielberg, while the Beresford, between 81st and 82nd streets, counts Jerry Seinfeld, John McEnroe and Glenn Close among its high-profile residents.

In addition to the San Remo and the Beresford, Roth put his mark on the city skyline with lavish structures like the St. Moritz Hotel, the El Dorado and dozens of others. Roth — who died in 1948 in his late 70s — not only survived the boom-and-bust cycles of two depressions and two World Wars, but also went on to design roughly 250 buildings and to become one of Manhattan's most prized residential architects.

Humble beginnings

Roth was born to a Jewish innkeeper in Hungary, one of eight children. In 1884, after his father died and his family plunged into poverty, Roth — then only 13 — boarded a steamer for America with a family acquaintance.

He wound up in Bloomington, Ill., and survived by shining shoes and working odd jobs before becoming an apprentice to a demanding German architect. The apprenticeship paid off when Roth was hired by Chicago's most prestigious architectural firm, Burnham & Root.

By that time Roth had become a skilled draftsman and was hired to design façades for the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. According to history books, it was there that he met Richard Morris Hunt, known as the "dean of American architects."

In 1894, with the country in a depression, Roth moved to New York to join Hunt's studio, which counted wealthy New York families like the Vanderbilts and the Astors as clients. That experience would serve him well later in his career, when he began working in the emerging area of luxury apartment hotels.

However, Roth would need to work his way up first. In 1898, he struck out on his own, buying a small architectural firm for $1,000.

His first commissions were small projects from the Hungarian community on the Lower East Side, including a number of vacation houses in Far Rockaway and the Catskills.

Then, in 1899, Roth made the leap to apartment buildings with a seven-story Italian Renaissance-influenced structure on 82nd Street and Broadway called the Saxony. From there he was able to get more work on Manhattan's West Side — which was popular among newly affluent Jewish New Yorkers, actors and artists.

Breaking the mold

Even as his reputation grew, Roth would find that as a Jewish immigrant with no degree, he was shut out from commissions on the blue-blooded East Side.

Instead, he worked for scrappy developers targeting the nouveau riche, sometimes even taking an equity interest in the building.

The kind of speculators he worked with needed to squeeze in as many apartments as possible under the prevailing regulations, which tightly restrained building height. While many architects shunned such commissions, Roth later said he enjoyed working with that kind of "tough hombre."

Roth regularly supplemented his drawings with detailed information about costs so "his plans could pass the scrutiny of lending institutions with little questioning," Ruttenbaum wrote.

Roth ultimately moved beyond those buildings and earned a reputation for masterfully melding pragmatism with aesthetics, blending classical themes into castle-like edifices rising into opulent temple-like domes and cupolas that hid unsightly water towers, an innovation that became known as "Roth Towers."

Andrew Dolkart, the director of the historic preservation program at Columbia University, said Roth "was one of the great architects during a major wave of speculative building."

"He did some very special buildings and is important for designing some significant, high-quality apartment houses for the affluent and upper-middle class," Dolkart told The Real Deal.

Ruttenbaum wrote that other architects of the day were generally constrained by the placement of fixed columns, which forced them to design quarters branching off a single dark hallway. As a result, food from the kitchen often had to be carried past several bedrooms all the way to the dining room.

In an interview with The Real Deal, Richard Roth Jr. — Roth's grandson and a third-generation architect who retired as head of Emery Roth & Sons — said his grandfather introduced a new layout influenced by his Beaux Arts training at the Columbia Exposition.

"He dispensed with the hallway and designed rooms branching off a central gallery foyer, which was a more livable arrangement, more space-efficient, and allowed for larger rooms and closets," he said.

Another of Roth's grandsons, Richard's brother Emery Roth II, wrote that Roth "created … a more spacious and gracious way to live. Because he 'fitted' them so well, some of his buildings have come to symbolize an age of graciousness and luxury that has not been repeated."

Soaring career

By 1903, Roth's Hotel Belleclaire, a daring 10-story Art Nouveau building at Broadway and 76th Street with a newfangled steel-skeleton frame, was completed. It immediately helped push his career to the next level; the development firm Bing & Bing hired Roth and gave him a place to refine his foyer-based design.

Despite Roth's design innovations, he was always pragmatic. He once said, "The primary purpose of building apartment houses is to create the best possible return on the investment. A building that does not pay is poor architecture, no matter how interesting the design, costly the construction, or clever the layout."

By 1925, Roth's career was soaring. He completed the 540-foot Ritz Tower at 465 Park Avenue and 57th Street, which boasted suites of up to 18 rooms, offering unparalleled panoramic views of the city. The city's tallest all-residential structure until 2001, it became home to actress Greta Garbo and newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, who bought the building.

Still, some architects disliked the Ritz's design — one dubbed it a "skypuncture" — and in 1927 Roth was rejected in his first attempt to join the American Institute of Architects.

Supporters successfully pushed for his acceptance a few months later. In his book, Ruttenbaum suggested that Roth was probably rejected because he was Jewish. Nonetheless, Roth never forgot his roots, designing several synagogues, as well as churches, for the Hungarian community in the city.

Twin Towers

At the height of the 1920s boom, Roth employed some 50 people at his firm. But despite his success, Roth remained modest, and often referred to his projects as "skyscratchers" instead of "skyscrapers."

He was, however, one of the most prolific architects in the city and was at the height of his career by the time he designed the San Remo. It was the city's first twin-tower high-rise, a design Roth used to comply with the 1929 Multiple Dwelling Act, a restriction on tower volume. The "twin" design cut down on space-wasting corridors, creating apartments with more views and semi-private elevators. Baths, meanwhile, were fitted with glass enclosures and multiple showerheads.

The two-tower design influenced other architects who planted similar structures along Central Park West, including Margon & Holder, who co-designed the Art Deco El Dorado with Roth.

In the 1930s, Roth further embraced the Art Deco movement, designing several such buildings for Bing & Bing. He moved with the times, however, later creating the more streamlined Modern-influenced Normandy masterpiece at 140 Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson River.

Roth had four children; before he died, his sons Julian and Richard gradually took over the business, later specializing in glass towers across the city. Under their leadership, Emery Roth & Sons either designed or worked on the MetLife building, the World Trade Center, Citigroup Center and the GM Building. On the intersection of Fifth and Park avenues, one of the busiest and most posh places in the city, three of the four corners have buildings designed by three generations of Roth architects.

Soon after Richard Jr. retired, the company ceased operations, but he retains the rights to the firm's name, while his grandfather's legacy lives on in the skyline of the city.


© 2009 The Real Deal

March 30th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Do they mean 57th & Park?

March 30th, 2009, 03:14 PM
Do you mean the Ritz Tower reference Derek ?

109 E 57th St./455 Park Ave

April 2nd, 2009, 05:28 PM
Ansonia got her wraps taken off a few days back..

April 2nd, 2009, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the update NYkid17.

Nice shot of the Ansonia.

April 16th, 2009, 07:53 AM

Company wants to offer a slice of the neighborhood for a hefty price

By Dan Rivoli

April 14, 2009

To become an Upper West Sider, there is the time-consuming process of scouting the neighborhood, finding an apartment, signing a lease, moving and (usually) paying market-rate rent. But a company wants to give people the chance to live in the neighborhood without actually making the move—all for around $60,000 a week.

Fine Times Inc., a real estate company, is seeking to convert a vacant landmarked Beaux Art-styled rowhouse into units for a “private residential club” called the Harmonia.

The club, to be located at 15 W. 68th St. and Central Park West, will allow wealthy prescreened “members” to bring up to 22 guests to the proposed eight- to 12-unit building for tens of thousands of dollars a week. One member and their nearly two-dozen guests will be allowed to reside in the building at a time.

http://i512.photobucket.com/albums/t323/ourtownnews/Harmoniaas.jpg Photo by Andrew Schwartz

This proposal would be the first of its kind in New York City. Fine Times already has a private residential club in the Bahamas, a building being restored in Venice and is searching for property in London, according to Mitchell Korbey of Herrick Feinstein, a lawyer representing the project.

Korbey said the rate, which has yet to be finalized, could be as high as $50,000 to $60,000 per week.

The company claims the Harmonia would provide a private chef, live-in manager, garage space and one communal kitchen.

The club is marketing the Harmonia through advertising at cultural events to a top echelon of wealthy clients with a taste for fine art and museums.

To complete this project, the company is taking advantage of a land use provision that allows for a change in zoning or land use in a landmarked building that includes a preservation plan. The interior, however, can be changed at the owner’s discretion.

While the property’s facade is not in dire need of maintenance, Community Board 7 members applauded the fact that the plan would provide ongoing upkeep.

Council Member Gale Brewer agreed that it was a good thing to have a maintenance plan, but said that the proposal to construct an “island Caribbean on 68th Street” was odd.

“It’s very strange and bizarre,” Brewer said. “We think of these kinds of places in the Bahamas, Vienna, not in residential neighborhoods.”

The company has started the process in getting approval for the project.

Lawyers and architects have presented the proposal to Community Board 7 committees three times already.

At the last meeting, on April 13, the board’s Land Use and Parks and Preservation committees voted in favor of altering the building’s entrance to be handicap accessible, and approved the preservation plan that has been submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

“This is the only salvation for this building,” said Lenore Norman, co-chair of the Land Use Committee. “I’m not wild about the use.”

With a positive advisory vote, Fine Times will push forward with the plan, which will be presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on April 21. The proposal will then go to City Planning and eventually return to the board for review. Both the City Council and mayor will also have to sign off before it can be finalized.

Community groups are awaiting more details before passing judgment on the plan, according to a representative of the West 68th Street Block Association, who did not want to be named so as to not speak for the group.

“The block is pretty split. Some in favor, some not. It’s just too new,” said the representative. “They want to do something that is not commonplace in New York.”


© 2009 Manhattan Media

April 16th, 2009, 09:17 AM
Interesting concept.

I can imagine from time to time some of the guests will be call-girls.

April 18th, 2009, 03:49 AM
April 19, 2009
Upper West Side

Living Large in the Land of Zabar’s


WHEN you think of the Upper West Side, you think of the lines at Zabar’s, the benches on the Broadway malls and prewar apartment buildings with musty odors and narrow hallways. Even though there have always been pockets of luxury in the neighborhood, and even as the area has grown increasingly expensive in recent years, the area remains associated in many minds with certain trappings of middle-class life.

This is one reason that eyebrows were raised a month ago when local residents learned of a plan to establish a residential club for the extremely wealthy in a town house at 15 West 68th Street, just off Central Park West.

Under the terms of the proposal, a European real estate company named Armonia would lease the building from its current owner, a local real estate management firm called Fine Times. It would then charge members of the exclusive club at least several thousand dollars and, perhaps, as much as $50,000 a week to stay in the house for short times. Membership would be restricted to people of a minimum net worth, a level yet to be set. A live-in residence manager and possibly a butler would cater to their needs.

All in all, according to a presentation by representatives of the companies at a community board meeting a few weeks ago, the club would offer its upper-crust members a chance to live like Upper West Siders.
Well, maybe not.

“I find it amusing,” said Page Cowley, an architect who sits on the community board, “the statement that this is for families that want to live like an Upper West Sider, and yet they come with chefs and chauffeurs. We don’t live like that on the West Side.”

Armonia, which has properties around the world, operates what it calls a residential club in two 18th-century government compounds in the Bahamas. The company is establishing a similar club in a 15th-century palazzo in Venice.

Ari Sklar, an Armonia spokesman, said revenues from these clubs allow the company to finance extensive historical restorations of the properties where they are based.

Not unlike the Venetian palazzo, the stately town house on West 68th Street is prized for its historical value and architectural splendor. Built in 1909, it has a limestone facade, a mansard roof and an oval-shaped mahogany staircase. Though originally built as a private house, at some point in its 100-year history the house was carved up into apartments.

Armonia’s plans call for restoring the building to its former glory as a one-family residence, though, of course, the one family residing there could change as often as every few weeks. The community board, whose role is only advisory, generally supports the company’s preservation goals, but questions remain about the plan’s viability.

“It’s mind-blowing, in today’s economic times,” Ms. Cowley said, “to feel that there are enough people who would spend $50,000 a week.”


April 18th, 2009, 05:12 AM
To get to the heart of New York City, head to the Upper West Side

By Raphael Kadushin, Special to the Star Tribune
Last update: April 11, 2009 - 11:22 PM


The best show in New York isn't on Broadway. And the best time to catch it is on Sunday morning, just when the whole famously sleepless, manic city finally settles down for a tranquil hour or two, and the yellow cabs, suddenly aimless, have the long, empty streets to themselves. That's when you open the door of Zabar's Deli, on the Upper West Side, to the sounds of excited, hungry voices, and the smell of imported cheese and smoked fish, and what you locate is the authentic epicenter of a certain kind of New York.

That's because this is a real working deli, not some faux version flogging a few slices of leathery corned beef, and because it's as much a neighborhood hangout as a food emporium. Grab a basket, fight your way through the crowd, and pile up on the challah, babka and chive cream cheese. Then join the thickest lines circling the real heart of Zabar's and maybe the whole Upper West Side. That's the smoked fish counter, where the maestros of whitefish slice through the velvety sides of nova salmon (their first love) with the grace of a sushi chef and shave off carpaccio-thin, almost translucent sheets that they sometimes hold up to the light, like a designer admiring the drape of a cut.

Now that, my mom would say, is New York, and she would know. Native New Yorkers transplanted to the Midwest, my parents could never forget their home or the smell and sounds of a real deli, and Zabar's was the first place we'd stop when we returned for holidays and long summer stretches. So I suppose that's part of the reason the Upper West Side seems like the true New York to me.


May 14th, 2009, 02:26 PM
May 14, 2009, 12:21 pm

The P&G Bar Returns, Quietly

By Glenn Collins (http://wirednewyork.com/author/glenn-collins/)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/14/nyregion/14pg.480.jpgGlenn Collins/The New York Times
The new street sign at P&G is a placeholder until the old neon sign can return.

In the sorry roster of Manhattan watering-holes-that-were, the Lion’s Head succumbed to terminal writer’s block, the taps at Runyon’s tapped out, Fubar was crushed by a 146-ton crane and even the Navy couldn’t save McHale’s. Now, dozens of city saloons are struggling for survival in the downturn.

But the P&G Bar is back.

The taphouse that inhabited 279 Amsterdam Avenue at West 73rd Street for 66 years — with its landmark red, green and yellow neon sign that adorned decades of films and television shows and was a boozy backdrop in the lives of generations of Upper West Siders — was a neighborhood cause célèbre before it shuttered Jan. 26 because of a rent increase.

On Friday, without so much as an announcement, the new P&G quietly opened its doors to customers: Six blocks to the northeast, at 380 Columbus Avenue on West 78th Street, the bar has been reanimated in the subterranean domain of the former Evelyn Lounge, a neighborhood warhorse named for Evelyn Nesbit, the girl on the red-velvet swing, who is believed to have lived upstairs.

“We didn’t want to make a big thing out of it,” said Steve Chahalis, a 47-year-old fourth-generation barkeep who is the proprietor, with his 73-year-old father, Tom. They have signed a $20,000-a-month lease for 20 years.

The original P&G was depicted in “Seinfeld,” “Will and Grace” and “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” and served as a way station for the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers, given its proximity to the Beacon Theater. Mr. Chahalis isn’t taking bets on Gregg Allman, but a modest throng of customers has already ventured down the worn steps to push through the doors of his pub.

“We’re getting great response from our longtime customers,” said Tom Chahalis, the P&G patriarch. “Everyone knows everyone.”

P&G loyalists are kicking the tires, “and we’re spreading the word,” said Kenneth Powell, 51, a Manhattan jewelry maker who was a regular in the old P&G for 11 years.

“I worried whether the new location would work,” he said as he surveyed the renovated space, hoisting his usual: Absolut cranberry with a lemon twist. “But it’s homey. More spacious. There’s a comfort level here.”

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/14/nyregion/14pg2.190.jpgDavid Goldman for the New York Times
The old P&G Bar neon sign, before it was removed on West 73rd Street, last December.

Remnants of the rusted, water-damaged neon sign removed from Amsterdam Avenue (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/west-side-loses-a-neon-landmark/?emc=eta1) are being restored, and the Chahalis family has submitted three exterior design proposals to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is expected to take several months to approve any reinstallation.

“We hope to have the corner crown of the old P&G sign up in the new location,” said the senior Mr. Chahalis.

For now, a temporary vinyl sign flops in the breeze, emblazoned with the words “Coming Soon the Return of P&G.”

As for the beloved neon martini glass on the old sign, Steve Chahalis said, “We may mount it on the wall inside the bar — presented like a work of art.”

He sighed and surveyed the four-room space. “So far it is definitely a work in progress.” So much so that a team of cable guys was drilling into the stone wall to install the third of six flat-panel television screens, as customers obliviously sipped their brews.

The 2,700-square-foot space is three times as large as the old P&G. The new real estate features a small stage for live music (three groups have already played), a fireplace (as yet unrevived), two pool tables and a dartboard. A baby grand piano is on the way.

A high-definition projector awaits the bar’s first official movie night, “when people bring in their DVDs and we vote for which one to play,” the younger Mr. Chahalis said.

“The Evelyn used to look like a train wreck, but it has good bones, and the basic structure is awesome,” he added.

Instead of the famously kitschy forest-and-Austrian-castle mural gracing the north wall of the old P&G (painted in 1943 by a talented imbiber who requested his remuneration in rye whiskey), the proprietors have ripped out the Evelyn’s tired drywall to reveal original rusticated structural walls of Manhattan schist. They are believed to date from 1889, when the space was used as a stable, Steve Chahalis said.

The bar is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 4.a.m., and for the first time, management has taken the cheerful step of establishing a happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Four bartenders and two porters from the old staff have been hired back, and waitresses will follow when the kitchen opens in six weeks or so. The bar currently seats 80, but when food arrives the capacity is expected to rise to 118.

WiFi is already up and running. Aside from the two framed pictures of the old P&G behind the new bar, there is a northernmost area — dubbed “the Shrine Room” — where “we took the whole mirrored back bar of the original P&G and installed it in the wall, so you can still imagine that you’re in our old place,” Tom Chahalis said.

Moreover, a cherished 30-foot section of the oaken Amsterdam Avenue bar will serve as an elbow-bending amenity for patrons at a pool table, dartboard and some chess tables.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/05/14/nyregion/14pg.190.jpgGlenn Collins/The New York Times
The longtime barkeep Charlie Rosario behind the bar at the new P&G.

More startlingly, for those who remember the diminutive former space, there is now a below-ground terrace accessible through two restored and varnished French doors. They open onto a narrow concrete patio far below the railing at West 78th Street that will soon offer outdoor tables and a refuge for smokers.

“I call it the pit,” the younger Mr. Chahalis said, deadpan.

Mr. Powell finished his vodka and bade farewell to Charlie Rosario, a bartender for the last eight years who has been “drinking at P&G since ’85,” he said.

Mr. Rosario scooped up the glass, wiped the bar. “Thumbs up so far,” he said.

If the legacy of the old P&G is still honored with sacred relics, the doomed former alehouse exerts its pull in other ways. It was a painful emotional experience to dismantle the original P&G, so much so “that it made me physically ill,” said the younger Mr. Chahalis, who grew up in the place.
“But,” he added, “I’m way more happy — to be here — than sad from leaving the old P&G.”


Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

May 14th, 2009, 02:30 PM
Fingers crossed for the sign.

Remnants of the rusted, water-damaged neon sign removed from Amsterdam Avenue (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/west-side-loses-a-neon-landmark/?emc=eta1) are being restored, and the Chahalis family has submitted three exterior design proposals to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is expected to take several months to approve any reinstallation.

“We hope to have the corner crown of the old P&G sign up in the new location,” said the senior Mr. Chahalis.

May 30th, 2009, 02:50 AM
Any Upper West Siders on here who were "distressed" by this forced abstinence?

More seriously, is this going to become an even more common occurrence with the economic downturn?

Three Hours Without Bagels, and Distress on the West Side

By GLENN COLLINS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/glenn_collins/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and SEWELL CHAN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/sewell_chan/index.html?inline=nyt-per)


For a few hours on Friday, the shuttering of H & H Bagels (http://www.hhbagels.net/%28S%28k5hzqjmpinpxpvalekjkud55%29%29/FAQ.aspx?SelectedIndex=3) on Broadway at West 80th Street left a hole in the heart of the Upper West Side.

New York State tax authorities shut down the bagel (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/b/bagels/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) emporium, renowned even before it was featured on “Seinfeld” and in the Tom Hanks (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/tom_hanks/index.html?inline=nyt-per) film “You’ve Got Mail,” for three hours on Friday because its owners had failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in sales and withholding taxes.

The authorities also shut down the H & H bagel factory in Hell’s Kitchen.

The closing, however temporary, was met with considerable distress. If the store were to shut for good, it would be “a tremendous loss to the fabric of the neighborhood and the culture of the Upper West Side,” said Anne Blackman, a retired benefits officer, who had arrived at the store to buy two dozen bagels to ship to a nephew, Lowell Kane, an anthropology student at Texas A & M University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/t/texas_a_and_m_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org).

Never modest about the authenticity of its basic menu item, which costs $1.30, the store has long boasted on its awning and in its advertising that its product is “like no other bagel in the world.”

Readers of the Zagat (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/z/zagat_survey/index.html?inline=nyt-org) guides have called H & H, in the publisher’s quoted patois, “heaven with a hole in the center” and a “benchmark” for “fat,” “perfectly crafted rings” with “just the right consistency” to be “addictive” — citations noted on plaques placed proudly on the store’s walls.

After the shop reopened, Eliza Gordon-Lipkin, a medical student, bought a dozen bagels — “six sesame, two everything, three plain and a poppy,” she said — to ship to her boyfriend, Erick Sager, a doctoral candidate who is in Minneapolis. “It’s his favorite place,” Ms. Gordon-Lipkin said of H & H, and if it closed permanently, “he wouldn’t know what to do.”

Clerks at the store’s counter said they were not permitted to speak with a reporter, and a woman who identified herself as “Blanca, just Blanca” at the H & H main office said the closing was “a misunderstanding that has been cleared up, and all is O.K. with H & H now.”

She said the store’s owners and lawyer were not available for comment.
The State Department of Taxation and Finance, however, said it was more than a misunderstanding.

First Toro Family Limited Partnership, the entity that owns the H & H store at 2239 Broadway, and the owners of the bagel-making plant, at 639 West 46th Street, collectively owed more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes, and numerous efforts to make them pay had been unsuccessful, said Thomas Bergin, a spokesman for the department.

First Toro paid $25,466 on Friday afternoon to get the Upper West Side store reopened. That included payment on two tax warrants, for $16,482 in sales taxes and $6,803 in withholding taxes, that were filed earlier this year.

“We’ll seize scores of businesses over the course of a year,” Mr. Bergin said. “We file warrants when it’s clear there is some danger that we’re not going to be able to collect the money — or to send the message to the taxpayer that we’re serious about moving forward.”

Mr. Bergin said that as of Friday, the agency’s supervisors had not been notified that the factory’s tax liabilities had been paid. He said its owners — Sixth Toro Family Limited Partnership and United Production Services — owed more than $80,000 in sales and withholding taxes.

That includes three liens against Sixth Toro, totaling $26,539, and four against United Production, totaling $57,392. Mr. Bergin said previous tax warrants had been filed against H & H, though he knew of no instances in which the businesses had been shut.

Martha Sosyk — who described herself as a homemaker from Riverdale, and in answer to a question about her longevity, replied, “ageless” — emerged from H & H after a trek to Zabar’s (http://www.zabars.com/our-store-on-broadway/OUR_STORE_ON_BROADWAY,default,pg.html) across the street. Rummaging in her bag of sesame, blueberry and plain bagels, she offered a large chunk to her questioner. “Have some. You’ll be doing me a favor — these are so fattening,” she said, taking a bite, then frowning. “Not a very strong blueberry taste. The bagels in Riverdale are better.”


June 6th, 2009, 06:58 AM
Inside the Apthorp: After two years of controversy, Upper West Side icon shows signs of hope

BY Jason Sheftell (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Jason%20Sheftell)
Friday, June 5th 2009, 4:00 AM

Fountain in the courtyard of the legendary Apthorp.
The majestic Apthorp, as seen in 2009.


The statue "Lady at the Bath" (circa 1861 Florence, Italy) by Richard Saltonstall Greenough inside the main gate of The Apthorp.


Photos: The Apthorp (http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/galleries/cccc/cccc.html)

With vaulted hand-carved limestone entrances leading to a 12,000-square-foot courtyard as pretty as any Roman aqueduct, the Apthorp has always fallen into that category of real estate that says, "If you can afford to live there, then you should."

That has held true an entire century, with the wealthiest families in America (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/United+States) living there through the 1920s and celebrities such as Nora Ephron (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Nora+Ephron) and Cyndi Lauper (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Cyndi+Lauper) in modern times.

Last year, arguably the most recognizable apartment building on the upper West Side celebrated 100 years of giving New Yorkers a one-of-a-kind place to live. Built in 1908 by the Astor family as New York (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York)'s most luxurious
apartment house, the 103 dwellings, as large as 12 and 13 rooms, rented for more than $1,000 back then.

But the building received no formal 100-year party. There was no "Apthorp Day." No fireworks were set off in the courtyard, no schoolkids ran around with Apthorp balloons.

The ownership was mired in controversy over the building's direction. The salespeople from Prudential Douglas Elliman (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Prudential+Douglas+Elliman+Real+Estate) were planning a marketing strategy. The tenants, those who had not yet accepted cash offers to vacate their apartments or had their rent raised to prices they could not afford, saved their money.

"The more the owners did here, the more they got stuck in it," says Ronald Blumer (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ronald+Blumer), a co-chair of the Apthorp Tenant Association (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Apthorp+Tenant+Association) and documentary filmmaker who co-wrote an episode of Ric Burns (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ric+Burns)' "New York" series. "We hope things get better."

That may happen soon. Lawsuits between tenants and owners have slowed. Sales prices have been reduced, and improvements to the building's elevators and foyers should begin soon.

Most important, a resolution of the ownership was announced this past Wednesday. The Feil Organization (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Feil+Organization), known for amicable relationships with rent-stabilized tenants, will take over the management of the building's transition.

Since the building's purchase for $426 million in 2006 at the height of the real estate boom, approximately 65 units are vacant, with 32 ready to be sold. Some are perfectly restored; others available "as is," allowing any new owner to update these monstrous pieces of living history themselves.
Lost in this real estate story is the Herculean job done by the project's architects, Ingrid Birkhofer (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ingrid+Birkhofer) and Fernando Papale (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Fernando+Papale), the husband-and-wife team from BP Architects. Awarded the Apthorp remodeling for their plan to return the interiors to original layouts and architectural details, Birkhofer and Papale are committed to preserving the past and modernizing the Apthorp with bigger kitchens and better plumbing.

"This is about identity of the building," says Birkhofer. "Other architects wanted to gut the characteristics and moldings. We have a different concept of design than to destroy history."

Inside the Apthorp's humongous apartments, the hallways are 44 inches wide, much broader than most Park Ave. homes. Each room is as grand as the next, with entrance foyers so large they would be bedrooms or dining rooms in other luxury buildings. When the Astors built the Apthorp, naming it after the old owner of the farm site, each apartment was given different period details in terms of moldings, carved plaster and marble.

"New York is what it is because of buildings like this," says Papale. "It is why people come from all over the world to be here."

Determined not to turn the Apthorp into the next Plaza Hotel (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Plaza+Hotel), where New York history was massacred by poor layouts and claustrophobic rooms, owners and architects executed a long-term project, with skilled artisans restoring apartments as they become vacant.

The 11-foot ceilings and eight-foot windows were kept, and the huge internal corridors are as they were when the first renters moved in. A master plan for the building gave the Apthorp 16 locations where new plumbing, electrical wires and air-conditioning systems will run from apartments to building systems.

"We chose smaller locations to run the systems rather than one central shaft," says Papale. "We disturb fewer tenants that way, as 60% of the shafts are in existing service areas."

While the architects administer incredible care, the Prudential Douglas Elliman sales team is under pressure. They must sell 25 of the available units so that the owner's offering plan, approved by the State Attorney General's office, can continue to operate for another year. Under New York State law, if a plan to convert rentals to condominiums does not have signed contracts for 15% of the units within 15 months of the filing date, then the plan must be abandoned and the sponsor can submit a new plan after one year. That means no sales or income for the building owner beyond the rent it can collect, something that could jeopardize ownership structure.

With a slew of apartments in various conditions to show prospective buyers, reps from Elliman don't seem worried. On a recent Sunday, the sales team busied itself with a showing every half hour. The courtyard buzzed with entire generations of families waiting to see available units, which start at $2 million for one-bedrooms. Doormen in uniforms just six months old manned the four lobby areas. Children skipped around the two working fountains.

"We're selling an icon here," says Karen Mansour (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Karen+Mansour), Elliman's director of sales for the project. "There are no comparables in this neighborhood or city. We will reach our conversion goal."

Upscale brokers who criticize the building's non-double-sink master bathrooms or lack of walk-in closets should examine their understanding of the emotional connection between buyer and home. Aren't there enough luxury bathrooms with radiant heat and Corian counters? Leave the bathrooms as they were in 1908, when the wealthiest people in the city lined up to live here. So what if a new owner or their guest has to use the toilet within touching distance of the sink? The living room will be the size of small ballroom. The dining area will have hand-carved plaster and wooden walls approved by an Astor.

The people who live there already know this. Every tenant who walks in and out of the building reports a positive shift in their psyche the moment they hit the courtyard.

"Living here was overwhelming at first because of the sheer size," says Jennifer Post (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jennifer+Post), an interior designer in her third Apthorp apartment who has worked in all the top upper West Side buildings. "You feel the enormity of history in this place. It makes you automatically feel grand."

http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/2009/06/05/2009-06-05_inside_the_apthorp_after_two_years_of_controver sy_upper_west_side_icon_shows_sig.html

June 7th, 2009, 01:27 AM
June 7, 2009
Living In | The West 80s

Near a Museum, With Stroller and Labradoodle


BETWEEN PARKS A view of Amsterdam Avenue at 80th Street, where sidewalks can get choked with dogs, children, shoppers and diners.

Central Park West has dazzling apartment houses like the Beresford at 81st Street and the St. Urban at 89th


535 West End Avenue



More Photos > (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/06/07/realestate/0607-livingin_index.html)

IN 1968, when Billy Amato moved to West 80th Street, it had poor lighting, no trees, a crime problem and a population of rooming houses charging renters $6 a day. Central Park, just on the other side of the American Museum of Natural History, was a dusty mess, and the immediate area had just one place to eat, a diner on Columbus Avenue called Cherry Restaurant.

“They were abandoning the brownstones here,” said Mr. Amato, who now heads his street’s block association. “I walked down West 80th Street and it looked like a war zone to me.”

Today, of course, the West 80s of that era seem like fiction. After years of work from block to block by people like Mr. Amato, the neighborhood has flourished, and the blooming flowers, meticulously kept brownstones and superior collection of brunch spots betray nothing of the blighted past.

Instead, the neighborhood has become a haven for families, dog fanciers, foodies, and even — on television, at least — Liz Lemon, the lead character of the show “30 Rock,” whose idea of a wild night is staying in her Riverside Drive apartment and eating cheese.

“It’s a little boring, but that’s just the way it is right now,” said Penny Ryan, the district manager of Community Board 7. “Things are quiet in the 80s, and people are doing a good job with their blocks.”

In real estate terms, a quiet area where people are doing a good job with their blocks translates into high demand and higher prices. Today those prices are easing off somewhat; and even as people continue to clamor for the neighborhood’s co-ops, only one new condo project, 535 West End Avenue, is currently rising.

The quiet feel of the 80s is what brought Zanda Lynn and her husband, Jim Daigle, to their three-bedroom co-op on 84th near Central Park West — the architecture, the comfy restaurants, the skyline lower-slung than on the Upper East Side, Ms. Lynn’s previous neighborhood. Mr. Daigle had lived in the 80s before and needed no convincing. In March, the couple moved in.

“We’re one of the few people who actually bought an apartment in 2009,” said Ms. Lynn, who works for a bond-rating company.

They were perhaps prudent to do so, as the apartment they had their eye on last spring had fallen pleasingly in price by the time they went into contract, to $1.925 million from $2.8 million. Fresh from their wedding last month, Mr. Daigle and Ms. Lynn are still trying out the bounteous supply of local restaurants (a favorite is Kefi, a Greek taverna on Columbus Avenue). And they spend mornings with their border collie mutt, Nikita, in Central Park, where they are hardly alone among the dog owners.


The dogs are everywhere — one could be excused for thinking leases in the West 80s required residents to obtain Labradoodles or shiba inus. (On Riverside Drive the other day, however, a man was seen walking a tabby on a leash.) And there is plenty of space for canines to run free, with Riverside Park and Central Park flanking the neighborhood. Before 9 in the morning, the parks are essentially dog conventions.

But even dogs need homes to return to, and between the parks the area offers the gamut of housing styles, from the opulent to the modest. Central Park West has dazzling apartment houses like the Beresford at 81st Street and the St. Urban at 89th. The blocks between Central Park West and Columbus are where one finds most of the area’s beloved brownstones, though they can also be found here and there between Broadway and Riverside Drive. The theme of co-op towers is dominant on West End and on Riverside, though some houses have held on.

Broadway courses through the neighborhood with its chain stores, banks, wireless shops and, yes, Zabar’s. But the dueling Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues have more variety.

In the first years that Mr. Amato, the block association president, spent in the West 80s, the two streets were little more than truck routes filled with bar-and-restaurant supply stores.

Now Columbus, especially around the American Museum of Natural History, has fashionable shops, while Amsterdam maintains various identities. From 80th to about 82nd Street, a frat row of bars like Jake’s Dilemma and the Gin Mill packs in the postcollegiate crowd, while a little farther north, bruncheries like Good Enough to Eat and E. J.’s Luncheonette attract long lines on weekend mornings.


With such a voluminous range of styles, properties naturally have a voluminous range of prices. At present, 99 listings are in contract, from $239,000 to $23 million, said Louise Phillips Forbes, an executive vice president at Halstead Property. Yet as everywhere else in the city, brokers are now finding that they attract interest in a property only when they cross an invisible threshold into what buyers see as good value.

Sherry Matays, a senior vice president at the Corcoran Group, said no place had been immune.

When Ronald Lense, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman, first discussed selling a two-bedroom co-op on 84th Street a year ago with its longtime owner, a classical musician, the price discussed was $1.35 million. Eventually, the apartment went on the market at $1.095 million; only recently, when the price dropped to $995,000, did it attract interest.

“Where the prices seem really reasonable, i.e., 20 percent below the highs,” said Lisa Lippman, a senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens, “people will pay asking price and sometimes over.”

Town houses sold a year ago from $5 million to $20 million, Ms. Lippman said; they now go as low as $4 million and rarely over $10 million. Prices for condominiums and co-ops vary based on qualities like proximity to a park, view and amenities. Deanna Kory, a senior vice president at the Corcoran Group, sold a two-bedroom apartment on 86th Street near Riverside Drive in April for $1.47 million.

For buyers wanting new construction, closings on the condos at 535 West End Avenue start at the end of this year. The building is reported to be over 60 percent sold. Units are larger than in older co-op buildings, with up to seven bedrooms, taking up entire floors or half floors. Prices range from $9.25 million, for a five-bedroom with 3,744 square feet, to $19 million for six bedrooms with 6,637 square feet.

In rentals, walk-up one-bedrooms typically start at around $1,800 per month; two-bedrooms begin at around $2,800. Prices can extend into the stratosphere from there, depending on park proximity, the presence of doormen and other factors.


It’s hard to resist the gravitational pull of the glass-encased orb on 81st Street that is the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History; parents may also appreciate the greenmarket that pops up on the grounds.

When one tires of recreation in the parks, one can pitch in to keep them lovely; the Riverside Park Fund and the Central Park Conservancy welcome volunteers, as does the West Side Community Garden on 89th Street.


Parents like Public School 9 on 84th Street, the Sarah Anderson School, where last year 98.7 percent of students met math standards and 89 percent met English standards. The school has a gifted-and-talented program.

Last year at Middle School 245, the Computer School, just south of the area on 77th Street, math standards were met by 83.9 percent of students, English standards by 78.8 percent.

Among private schools are Yeshiva Ketana at 89th Street and Riverside Drive; the Calhoun School at West End Avenue and 81st Street; the Rodeph Sholom School on 83rd and 84th Streets; and the Dwight School on Central Park West at 89th Street.


The No. 1 train stops at 86th Street and Broadway, getting to Midtown in 10 minutes and to Lower Manhattan in about a half hour. The B and C stop at both 81st and 86th Streets along Central Park West, providing another quick conduit to Midtown; the C gets riders to the financial district in about 25 minutes, though the B veers into Brooklyn instead of traveling below Canal Street.


The West 80s were already attracting residents in 1844, the year that Edgar Allan Poe wrote “The Raven” in a farmhouse on what became West 84th Street. Soon came Central Park and a plan for the area’s streets, which were filled with town houses as the 19th century waned. Local fortunes fell after World War II, as drugs and crime eventually took hold, but an influx of new residents and civic pride began to turn things around again by the 1980s.


June 19th, 2009, 09:05 AM
Streetscapes | 135 West 70th Street

An Improbable Cradle of Rock Music

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=CHRISTOPHER%20GRAY&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=CHRISTOPHER%20GRAY&inline=nyt-per)

1928 and 2003











NOW it is cloaked in white netting, its movie-set facade as secret as the fraternal society that built it in 1927. But later this summer the ghostly renovation wrapping will come off the spectacular Pythian Temple, at 135 West 70th Street, one of the greatest productions by the theater architect Thomas Lamb.

The Knights of Pythias was founded in 1864, taking the name from the legendary friendship of Damon and Pythias.

Fraternal orders flourished after the Civil War, and by the 1910s and ’20s, the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, the Masons and other organizations felt the need for huge lodges, sometimes with hotel rooms. One of these is the Level Club of the Masons, on 73rd Street west of Broadway, Romanesque in style with a cascade of setbacks, completed in 1927.

The Pythians completed their high-rise house that same year. About 150 feet tall, it was built mostly in buff brick and terra cotta. Sprinkled over the surface is some of the most brilliant polychrome terra cotta in New York, but because it is hidden away on a narrow side street, many veteran New Yorkers have never seen it.

The Pythians had an eye for drama, and hired Lamb, a Scottish-born specialist in magnificent movie palaces. The architect created a blockbuster synthesis of Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian motifs evoking the grandeur of D. W. Griffith’s Babylonian movie set for his 1916 “Intolerance.”

Lamb’s $2 million center, to be shared by the 120 smaller lodges in the city, had 13 lodge rooms, a gym on the roof and bowling and billiards in the basement. Lamb was fortunate that the lodge rooms did not require windows, and the plain walls gave his structure a brute strength rare in architecture.

The Pythian Temple’s ground-floor colonnade, with Assyrian-type heads, is centered on a brilliantly glazed blue terra-cotta entry pavilion. The windowless middle section steps back at about 100 feet up, with four seated Pharaonic figures similar to those of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. Two more setbacks rise to a highly colored Egyptian-style colonnade, and to giant urns carried by teams of yellow, red and green oxen. In a rendering, the urns are lighted with fires.

Published photographs of the lobby show a double-height space in what appears to be polished black marble, with Egyptian decor, like a winged orb, or perhaps Isis, over the doorway.

Various organizations rented space at the temple, including, in 1928, the Women’s 13 Club, whose dinner there featured spilled salt, smashed mirrors and ladders to walk under.

In 1930, the Level Club went into foreclosure, but the Pythian Temple had a more solid foundation. Indeed, in 1932 The New York Times reported that the trustees planned to turn over the operating profits to unemployment relief. That doesn’t quite square with a 1940 tax exemption case in New York State (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/?inline=nyt-geo) Supreme Court, which found that the temple had had no net income since the day it opened. The clubhouse was then valued at $625,000.

Nevertheless, the Pythians somehow hung on, renting space to Decca Records. In 1954, Bill Haley and His Comets recorded “Rock Around the Clock” there, and Buddy Holly (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/buddy_holly/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Sammy Davis Jr. (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/sammy_davis_jr/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Billie Holiday (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/billie_holiday/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and others are also said to have used the studio.

In November 1956, the singer and actor Paul Robeson (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/paul_robeson/index.html?inline=nyt-per) spoke at the temple at a meeting of the National Council of the American-Soviet Friendship Association, and according to The Times “hailed the achievements of the Soviet Union.” He and others leaving the building, including clueless Pythians, were bombarded with eggs, tomatoes and other missiles by protesters incensed by the brutal Communist suppression of the Hungarian revolt only days before.

The Pythians departed in 1958, leaving behind halberds, staffs, magic wands, coffins with skeletons, lanterns, thrones and Egyptian garb, The Times reported. The grand structure was bought by the New York Institute of Technology.

In the early 1980s, the architect David Gura oversaw a radical conversion of the Pythian Temple into apartments, a devilishly complicated alteration because of large beams, the windowless facade, and double-height lodge and other rooms. He inserted banks of windows into the facade as gently as possible, and added greenhouse-type structures on the upper terraces.

The white netting, put up for a facade restoration project by Luke LiCalzi Engineers, should come down by the end of July. Then, the Pythian Temple will rock the block again.


June 19th, 2009, 11:25 AM
When I first moved to NYC I stayed for a couple of weeks at a friend's top (6th) floor apartment directly across from the Temple :D

August 31st, 2009, 04:35 PM
Downturn Catches Up to Cafe Frozen in Time

By CARA BUCKLEY (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/cara_buckley/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: August 30, 2009

No one got the chance to say goodbye to Café des Artistes, the storied New York City restaurant that served up Old World fare under the gaze of the painted nubile nudes that perkily graced its walls.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/08/31/nyregion/31artistes.inline.650.jpgSuzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Café des Artistes, seen here in 2003, a landmark restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, has struggled financially.

The restaurant had closed on Aug. 9 for a monthlong vacation and was to reopen Sept. 14. But on Friday, facing steady losses and a union lawsuit, its owners made what they described as a wrenching decision to close the landmark cafe on West 67th Street for good.

“It’s a very sad day for us,” said Jenifer Lang, whose husband, George Lang, has owned the restaurant since 1975. “It’s a death in the family.”

It was also the death of an intrinsic part of old New York. Countless couples got engaged in the glow of the restaurant’s dim, romantic lighting. Stars flocked there during its heyday. Business deals were forged. Yet for better or worse, as the latest foodie craze swept the city, the restaurant kept serving its standbys, like pot-au-feu and salmon four ways, considered classics by some and relics by others. It stayed frozen in time, like an Upper West Side Miss Havisham.

Mrs. Lang, 58, said that the restaurant’s business had been hurt by the economic crash but that its problems ran deeper. Café des Artistes was unionized, and she said the restaurant paid about $250,000 a year to cover its employees’ health and pension benefits, an amount she said the restaurant struggled to cover. Mrs. Lang also said the couple, whose home is half a block from the restaurant, put in $2 million of their own money to keep it running over the last 10 years.

“It makes it difficult to run a restaurant most of the time,” Mrs. Lang said of the union benefits. “When the economy is down, it makes it impossible.”

The final straw, Mrs. Lang said, was a lawsuit recently filed against the restaurant by the union demanding past benefit assessments.
Bill Granfield, president of Local 100 of Unite Here, the union representing the cafe’s 50-odd employees, said the restaurant had fallen behind on its payments for medical insurance and welfare funds, forcing the union to demand payment in court. He also said workers in 2003 took a pay cut and agreed to switch to a cheaper medical plan to ease the restaurant’s financial pressures.

“And here we are six years later, facing what might’ve been inevitable,” said Mr. Granfield. “We think Mr. Lang is a great figure in the restaurant industry, a great person, and it’s a great restaurant. But it feels like time passed it by a while ago.”

The Café des Artistes sits in the lobby of Hotel des Artistes, a part Gothic, part Tudor revival co-op building designed by George Mort Pollard that opened as artists’ studios in 1916; the restaurant opened a year later.

Howard Chandler Christy (http://www.americanartarchives.com/christy,hc.htm) painted its walls in the ’30s, according to Mr. Lang’s memoir, “Nobody Knows the Truffles I’ve Seen,” (http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/22/reviews/980322.22kummert.html?scp=3&sq=%20%E2%80%9CNobody%20Knows%20the%20Truffles%20I %E2%80%99ve%20Seen,%E2%80%9D%20&st=cse) creating 36 nudes, including one man, speculated to have been modeled after Buster Crabbe.

It is unclear what will become of the space, or the murals, all of which belong to Hotel des Artistes, Mrs. Lang said.

Mr. Lang, 85, was a violinist and a child prodigy from Hungary. He bought the restaurant in 1975, transforming it, for a while, into the toast of the town.

“It was one of the places that we would go all the time, after concerts,” said Itzhak Perlman (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/itzhak_perlman/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the violin virtuoso and conductor, who still fantasizes about a Café des Artistes dessert: pound cake flavored with fresh orange and topped with whipped cream.

The restaurant became a home away from home for many, including journalists at ABC News, whose studios are across the street.

“I loved it,” said Lynn Scherr, a longtime ABC News correspondent. “Eating at a place with naked women on the walls is not my favorite venture,” she added, “but I guess they’re artistic.”

Café des Artistes faced tough competition from illustrious restaurants in the neighborhood, including Picholine on West 64th Street, Jean Georges at the Trump International Hotel and Daniel Boulud (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/daniel_boulud/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s Bar Boulud on Broadway, all vying for the Lincoln Center (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/lincoln_center_for_the_performing_arts/index.html?inline=nyt-org) crowds. “The pie is certainly smaller for us now,” said Terrance Brennan, Picholine’s chef and proprietor.

Passers-by and longtime customers lamented the closing, though several had noted a decline in foot traffic. Richard Perl, who lives in Hotel des Artistes, said while he liked the cafe, he would rather spend the money at Jean Georges. Rita and Bernard S. Berkowitz recently bought an apartment across the street, partly because of its proximity to the cafe where they had been regulars for 30 years.

“Now we’ll have to sell the apartment!” Mrs. Berkowitz said, only half in jest.

Through its windows on Sunday, the restaurant was already emanating an abandoned air. Sunlight filtered in weakly, catching dust particles hanging midair. Faint traces of dust lined the stilled ceiling fan, and the leaves of the abundant potted plants had begun to wilt.

It was only the naked nymphs, with their glowing skin and warm eyes, that seemed able to stay suspended in time.

Rebecca White contributed reporting.


Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

August 31st, 2009, 06:43 PM
Businesses can no longer afford health coverage for their employees, even with the "cheaper" plans. They are closing because of it. This is ridiculous.

When will this country get true health care reform...it seems less and less likely under Obama or any president because the country is really run by the huge, f**ked up corporations that are profiting from the status quo while small business and entrepreneurs go under.

August 31st, 2009, 11:09 PM
Health care reform won't occur any time soon because many Americans are dumb and psycho. Have you seen the lunatics at the town hall meetings ranting about Washington's alleged interference with their doctors?

September 1st, 2009, 06:53 AM
a wrenching decision to close the landmark cafe on West 67th Street for good.

“It’s a very sad day for us,” said Jenifer Lang
It's a sad day for all of us. This place had real class.

Another piece of New York heritage heads for the graveyard.

Glad to see you back, brianac.

September 1st, 2009, 08:05 AM
Reviews are mixed.


September 1st, 2009, 08:33 AM
I've been several times and have found it to be superb --though I can easily see how proponents of the nouvelle might find it lacking; for these folks a dish needs to look like a Kandinsky.

An intensely romantic place ... for those who can hook into the romance.

The prices were high. Very high.

I'm very sorry it's gone; it was a relic of New York's heyday.

A classy joint.

September 2nd, 2009, 06:17 PM
In 2002, while rambling about the West Side, I came upon the place and had to go in for a drink and check it out. I was scoping out the neighborhood and remembered reading about it, maybe in "New York" magazine or maybe I heard that Woody Allen went there, or something...

Just to say that I've done it, I stopped into Cafe des Artistes for a quick gin and tonic.

Just to say that I bailed out fast, I downed my $12.50 shot of gin (plus $2.00 tip) and booked before they charged me for the lemon or before I spent anything else. I looked at their menu and plotzed. Their Pot-au-feu, the signature dish, was $29-, a la carte. This was '02, remember...Too much for pot...

The place was nearly empty and the lonesome rooms seemed to be from my father's time; the pace of things going on around me and the decor of the dining rooms seemed to be movie-like, staged, a fading elegance. Maybe the place looked better after dark, I just don't know.
I admired the murals and I hope they are preserved or put back before the public somehow.

Fortunately, I had a sports coat on. They expected jackets. And I could still smoke at the bar.

September 2nd, 2009, 07:57 PM
It was definitely an after-the-sun-goes-down place. Best for anniversaries, engagements, important birthdays. Old time Romance was the key.

September 2nd, 2009, 08:17 PM
Fortunately, I had a sports coat on. They expected jackets.
Once, when I showed up without one, they went in back and provided a jacket. No charge.

September 7th, 2009, 07:49 AM
Does anyone have any later news or photographs regarding this construction?

If so I would be glad to see it posted here.

Photograph by Jim Henderson 17th May 2009

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/62/Bwy_95_IRT_headhouse_2009.jpg/797px-Bwy_95_IRT_headhouse_2009.jpg (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Bwy_95_IRT_headhouse_2009.jpg)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/96th_Street_(IRT_Broadway_%E2%80%93_Seventh_Avenue _Line)

September 7th, 2009, 08:49 AM
Looks like it landed from Mars.

September 7th, 2009, 09:31 AM
Hi ablarc.

Let's hope the finished aricle looks better than this rendering.


September 7th, 2009, 04:34 PM
I can't recall: what was wrong with the previous headhouse?

Picture, anyone?

September 7th, 2009, 05:17 PM
Picture of what used to be there HERE (http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?44173) (1995)

Seems that the 96th Street Station (http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?44173) was oddly configured with bad access (due to existing sewer lines at the time of construction). Passengers had to walk down from the sides of Broadway and then under the tracks to get to the platforms:

96th Street Station · Opened 10/27/1904

Express station with four tracks, two island platforms. 96th Street was built in a similar fashion to the Contract I express stops at Brooklyn Bridge and 14th Street: two island platforms for the express trains and two shorter side platforms for the local trains.

Before the advent of ten-car locals the side platforms were probably used for local trains; since it would have been operationally logical to use the center island to allow local passengers easy transfer to the express, the local trains may never have used the side platforms exclusively for service, and in any event the practice did not last long.

Access to the station is provided from stairways along the sidewalks of Broadway to the side platforms; access to the center island platforms is via a crossunder passage running underneath the platforms. At Brooklyn Bridge and 14th Street, these side platforms have been closed and walled off; access to trains remains via those stations' mezzanines with stairs down to the island platforms. Because of the location of a large sewer line under 96th Street, no mezzanine was built at this station, thus requiring the underpass.

[There has been ongoing debate regarding the headhouse in Broadway's center median on the north side of 96th Street. It was suggested that this headhouse, similar to others along the Broadway IRT, provided an entrance directly to the north end of the island platforms. However, photographic evidence of this intersection indicates that the headhouse post-dates the year 1924; and anecdotal evidence from 1947 notes that the headhouse was used as a "comfort station" (a.k.a. public restroom). The conclusion on the matter, then, is that the headhouse is not and never was used as a subway entrance; nor was it even built by the IRT company. The structure is now a community center called the West Side Broadway Mall.]

The station was renovated in 1950 to accomodate longer trains. It was both extended (with a second entrance on 94th St. created) and widened (the tracks were moved and the platforms were widened). You can see differences in the walls and ceiling at the south end, and you can still spot a seam in the platforms where they were widened. Another renovation of the station is planned within the next several years, but because of its unusual design, it may never be made more efficient. Riders may continue to have to go downstairs and then back up to transit the station.

September 7th, 2009, 05:20 PM
There is no headhouse. Stairways on the sidewalks.

September 7th, 2009, 05:26 PM
Found some stuff.


The bad is that to accommodate the headhouse, the center mall is being widened, and the sidewalks narrowed to maintain traffic lanes.

September 7th, 2009, 05:26 PM
^ So will the circulation quandary be solved?

September 7th, 2009, 05:33 PM
This cutaway shows access directly to the center and side platforms from the new headhouse (but those entering from the sidewalks will still need to cross under):


September 7th, 2009, 05:40 PM
For subway riders, it seems yes.

Passengers have to enter on either the southwest or southeast corners of Broadway. They must walk down one narrow staircase to reach the turnstile area. After swiping through, riders then have to walk down another set of narrow staircases to each a tunnel underneath both the uptown and downtown platforms. Then, straphangers have to walk up yet another staircase to reach the platform.

It will also reduce the total elevation change for passengers from 43 feet (down-down-up) to just 19 feet (down)

Maybe no for pedestrians. I learned a new word from the MTA (a negative-positive, like calling a loss negative earnings) - "disbenefit."

As a native of the Upper West Side, though, I’m much more concerned with the decrease in available sidewalk space. The new plans call for moving Broadway nine feet on either direction to compensate for the wider island in the center of Broadway. While the sidewalks would be 15 feet wide, that’s a big decrease from their current width of 23 feet.

September 7th, 2009, 05:43 PM
Removing 25 trees.

September 10th, 2009, 07:18 PM
March 16, 2009

Around the Block: Upper West Side (http://blogs.nypost.com/re/archives/2009/03/post_2.html)

Most other projects in that area are conversions:100 West 93rd St. (http://www.100westcondos.com/), near Columbus Avenue, with studios and one-, two- and three-bedrooms priced at under $1,000 per square foot; 314 W. 100th St. (http://www.314w100.net/), between Riverside Park and West End Avenue, with one- to three-bedrooms averaging $950 per square foot; and also going for about $950 per square foot are units at 220 W. 93rd St. (http://www.220west93.com/), including a 1,728-square-foot two-bedroom priced at $1.65 million. (There's also the troubled Park Columbus rental-to-condo conversion at 101 W. 87th St., which was to have been completed this year but where construction has halted and the on-site sales office has closed.)


Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc.

September 10, 2009 3:37 PM

Yair Levy declares Upper West Side project bankrupt

End for 95-unit Park Columbus is latest of series of setbacks for developer who hit partner with ice bucket.

By Amanda Fung (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/personalia?ID=19)

Beleaguered real estate developer Yair Levy, a partner in the failed condo conversion of the Sheffield57 in midtown, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on another one of his projects—Park Columbus, an Upper West Side condo conversion.

YL West 87th Holdings, which is part of Mr. Levy's YL Real Estate Developers, owes $20 million to its creditor, Manhattan-based Garrison Investment Group, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York. Gary Kushner, an attorney at the law firm of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, who represented Mr. Levy in the filing, confirmed that the developer has filed bankruptcy on the property, but could not elaborate immediately. YL Real Estate and Garrison could not be reached immediately for comment.

Park Columbus, formerly a rental building known as Columbus Green located at 101 W. 87th St., was a 95-unit condo conversion. Earlier this year, the project's construction stalled and shortly afterward the New York state' Attorney General's office declared the Park Columbus' offering plan ineffective, according to sources. In addition, Halstead Property, which was retained by YL to market the condo units, sued the developer for $75,000 in outstanding fees and expenses. The status of that lawsuit could not be determined immediately. Halstead declined to comment.

This Upper West Side conversion is the latest of a string of failed projects for Mr. Levy, who several months ago was charged with assaulting his business partner Kent Swig with an ice bucket. Earlier this month, Anglo Irish Bank moved forward with its plans to foreclose on Mr. Levy's Battery Park City condo conversion at 225 Rector Square. Mr. Levy reportedly defaulted on a $165 million mortgage loan to convert that 304-unit rental building. The bank is reportedly preparing to put the building up for auction shortly.


© 2009 Crain Communications, Inc.

October 30th, 2009, 06:05 AM
Streetscapes | The Evelyn

The Building Denies It Ever Met That Showgirl


The P & G Cafe now occupies the bottom portion of the Evelyn, an 1885 apartment house
at Columbus and 78th Street, pictured left at around 1913 and today.

THE P & G Cafe, as famous on the West Side for its neon sign as for its beer, has pulled up stakes from Amsterdam Avenue and 73rd Street and moved to the bottom of the Evelyn, an 1885 apartment house at Columbus and 78th.

The owners intend to reinstall the sign, but in the meantime something else has returned: the famous story about the building having been named for Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/stanford_white/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s mistress.

Certainly, that was a neat trick — considering she was an infant at the time.

The big Dakota, at Central Park West and 72nd Street, was in midconstruction in 1882 when an inventor, James O’Friel, began work on a less ambitious apartment house at Columbus and 78th. It was to be eight stories high with a mansard roof, and according to a press account, was to have a “Russian bath” in the basement.

Emile Gruwe, a Belgian-born architect who had done at least one other large apartment house, designed a blocky red-brick structure peculiar for its second-floor portrait sculptures of giddily smiling female figures with bare breasts. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/l/landmarks_preservation_commission/index.html?inline=nyt-org) describes it as “Free Classic.”

Something went wrong, and with the 1882 new building application is a note that says: “Stopped — no money.”

In March 1885, the building, then five stories high, went into foreclosure and was bought by Phineas Smith and Edward Milliken, iron merchants.

Their architects, Douglas and John Jardine, then requested permission to complete the building, although they did so only through the seventh floor.

Seen from the street, the sixth and seventh floors are obviously from a different hand.

In November 1885, The New York Times carried an advertisement for “elegant suites of apartments” in the Evelyn, the earliest known use of the name. A later advertisement said that rents for the one- to three-bedroom apartments ranged from $80 to $150 a month.

An early plan for the Evelyn shows an awkward layout, with many long halls and, in one case, a bathroom in a two-bedroom apartment accessible only through the second bedroom.

Early tenants included a lumber dealer, a carpet merchant, a cheesemonger and a few lawyers. Some idea of their social expectations may be inferred from an 1887 ad placed by a resident of the building in The Times: “Wanted — a Protestant girl to cook, wash and iron.”

The Evening Telegram reported in 1904 that passers-by had noted “strange and uncanny shadows” on the curtains of a third-floor apartment at the Evelyn, “as if some one were being savagely beaten.” The police investigated and determined that the alarming shadows were cast by “a young student who indulges in physical culture by means of ‘home exercises.’ ”

The legend that the Evelyn was named for Evelyn Nesbit is not only well worn, but also full of holes. Introduced to Stanford White in 1901, at about age 16, she was his mistress until he moved on to other dalliances. She married Harry K. Thaw in 1905; he killed White in a jealous rage a year later.

Google yields almost 2,000 hits for a Boolean search of “Evelyn Nesbit” with “Evelyn Lounge,” the bar that occupied the building’s basement space until recently.

James Trager’s book “The New York Chronology: The Ultimate Compendium of Events, People and Anecdotes From the Dutch to the Present” (HarperCollins, 2003) even maintains that the Evelyn was built by the Thaw family.

But neither Nesbit nor Thaw ever lived there, before or after their marriage.

When they were in New York, their residences tended to be boarding houses and hotels, like the old Lorraine, at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 45th Street.

The Evelyn has been in a landmark district since 1990, and is listed in both the 1988 and 2000 editions of Norval White and Elliot Willensky’s “AIA Guide to New York City (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo),” so it is not difficult to establish that the building went up when Nesbit was but a babe in arms.

We also have her mother’s word: In an interview in The Times in 1906, she maintained that her daughter, despite her showgirl past, was completely virtuous and that “I have thought more than once of that Christmas in 1884 when that sweet, pure and lovely child was born.”

So who was the Evelyn named for? Builders have always seen a name as a way to give their projects a little personality. So by World War I, it was possible to live in the Rochambeau, the Salome, the Yucatan, the Yosemite and the Ben-Hur. Some developers incorporated family names: Julius Sandler called his 500 West 122nd Street building Reldnas Hall. And Charles Hensle named his apartment house at 449 West 123rd Street after his daughter Ruth.

As for the iron merchants who took over the building, Mr. Milliken was unmarried, and his mother was named Hettie or Hetta.

The 1880 census for Mr. Smith lists his wife, Ella, and three sons: Clarence, Stewart and Phineas Jr. Later records also record a daughter, born on April 15, 1884, perhaps just learning to walk when the partners bought the building a year later.
Her name? Eveline.


November 30th, 2009, 06:28 PM
Browsing around on Google Maps street view, and came upon the site of the old P & G Cafe on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and W73rd St.

It all looks a little bit naked now.


This is how it looked in the 1999 Garry Marshall film "Runaway Bride".



And this is Richard Gere in the same film, as he approaches the P & G. Notice the rear of the Beacon Theatre on the left side of Amsterdam Avenue.


December 1st, 2009, 03:02 PM
The new location for P & G is a pretty cool space - stone walls, arched openings between the more or less spacious rooms. I recently saw a friend's band there. The sign would certainly make it easier to find, you would barely notice it was there if you weren't looking for it.

December 18th, 2009, 11:21 PM
You may be interested in my new book "Prewar Shopping: A Guide to the Finest Manhattan Prewar Apartment Houses".

It documents hundreds of UWS prewars, and has new color photos of many. Helping prewar lovers and buyers alike, search by architect, such as Rosario Candela and Emery Roth. Many other architects too. To find both their fabulous work, but their lesser known work, such as the fine center hall plans in 800 West End Avenue at 99th Street, by Rosario Candela.

Be interested in people's comments for the 2nd edition.

January 12th, 2010, 05:13 AM
This cutaway shows access directly to the center and side platforms from the new headhouse (but those entering from the sidewalks will still need to cross under):


Looks like some progress on this.

[Via Curbed Photo Pool/SpecialKRB (http://www.flickr.com/photos/specialkrb/4187677508/in/pool-curbed)]

A tipster dropped the above photo of the 96th Street subway station into our Flickr pool with the headline "new shroud, still loud." Indeed. Contrary to rumors (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/09/16/96th_street_subway_overhaul_is_complete_says_trade _mag.php#more) that the renovation of the Broadway station has already been completed, it appears to be very much a work in progress. As of April, it was on track to be $26 million cheaper (http://curbed.com/archives/2009/04/29/cashstrapped_mta_tinkering_with_new_96th_street_st ation.php) and done 20 months ahead of schedule. Until that day comes, we'll just have to use our imaginations and the smattering of available renderings.

http://curbed.com/archives/2009/12/17/uwss_subway_station_of_the_future_slowly_takes_sha pe.php

January 12th, 2010, 11:14 PM
Upper West Side: Empty Storefronts

January 11, 2010, by Fawnia Soo Hoo

Last November, we assessed the retail changes on the Upper East Side, so now let's take a look across town on the Upper West Side, where some interesting changes are taking place. So far, there are 27 empty retail storefronts (and that's not including the fifteen empty restaurant sites) along the main Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues shopping corridors.

Doomsayers and recession porn fanatics may start to predict another retail bust area, but from what we can see, the situation is not so dire. The streets are still teeming with shoppers; stores like Loehman's, Victoria's Secret, Coach and Intermix, while offering sales, still stand strong. Plus, who can forget about the new Apple Store and the much-anticipated Trader Joe's opening? While Plaza Too, Shabby Chic and neighborhood faves will be missed, it seems like a good number of the empty spaces held stores that were just not resonating with the nabe shoppers anymore (goodbye copy shop and scarf store). Plus, as we gathered intel on foot, we even witnessed prospective new tenants calling landlords on the spot to inquire about empty spaces.

There are empty storefronts to keep an eye on though, including the mysterious Custo Barcelona that has been threatening to open in the former Penang restaurant space since Spring 2008 and the two still empty units in the former Reebok space on Columbus (while the third unit is now occupied by one of the infamous Uggs locations). To follow the action, we've mapped out all the empty retail spaces on the Upper West Side.

The map, this way>> (http://ny.racked.com/archives/2010/01/11/upper_west_side_closings.php#more)


January 12th, 2010, 11:29 PM
West-Park Church Finally Gets its Landmark Status

January 12, 2010, by Sara

At long last, a victory for preservationists hoping to protect Amsterdam Avenue's West-Park Presbyterian Church: the building was landmarked today along with five other properties, according to the folks at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The long-running controversy over the church's fate included a few serious demolition-nearly-in-progress scares and often pitted preservation cheerleaders in lengthy hearings against church officials, who hoped to add some kind of money-making residential development to the building. Nor is landmarking an absolute guarantee that the building's future is secure, since West-Park, like many houses of worship, lacks the cash it needs for serious restoration. Still, we're betting the UWS preservation-happy crowd will be partying tonight.

The other 5 Landmarks (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=312596&postcount=222)

West Park Presbyterian coverage (http://curbed.com/tags/west-park-presbyterian-church) [Curbed]

http://curbed.com/archives/2010/01/12/uwss_westpark_church_finally_gets_its_landmark_sta tus.php

January 14th, 2010, 01:30 AM
That is good news, Merry. There's a beautiful church on the nw corner of 79th and B'Way that a greedy developer sought to raze when the market was booming. Hopefully, it will be landmarked too.

January 14th, 2010, 06:18 PM

LL. If you mean the 1st. Baptist Church I agree.


The First Baptist Church in the City of New York relocated to 79th and Broadway in 1891. This fourth church building stands near the site where its first Pastor, John Gano, escaped an ambush as he left the city to join General Washington as a chaplain. The church’s original building was on Gold Street, and was desecrated by the British during the Revolution. A second building was later built on Broom Street. It later moved to Park Avenue and 39th Street.

In 1891 the current church building was erected by architect George M. Keister, who applied a Biblically related symbolism to the edifice. In the last few years the church has been engaged in a number of renovation projects. A new roof was completed a few years ago and major interior renovations have been made.

Two of its pastors have served as chaplains of the U.S. Congress. One was a founder of Brown University. Altogether its 18 pastors have written over 300 books.

http://firstbaptist-nyc.org/content.cfm?id=200 (http://firstbaptist-nyc.org/content.cfm?id=200)

January 14th, 2010, 06:20 PM


January 15th, 2010, 03:53 AM
I'm not generally a fan of religious architecture, but I think the West-Park's sandstone is lovely.

I also agree that the 1st Baptist should be landmarked too. It fits in well with the character of the UWS.





February 2nd, 2010, 04:50 AM
I try to avoid sensationalist stories, but I think this is quite worrying.

Convicted child rapist is Upper West Side super

W. Siders terrified of kid-rape super


February 1, 2010

A registered high-risk sex offender who served more than 14 years in prison for vile attacks on three Long Island girls works as a super at several Upper West Side buildings -- where tenants have complained he has tried to shake them down for sex, The Post has learned.

William Barnason, 57 -- whose registry indicates one female victim older than 17 -- has access to keys for the more than 50 apartments in the three buildings he oversees, which terrifies some residents.

"It seemed so unbelievable that someone would allow a registered sex offender -- Level 3, a rapist -- would allow them to have keys," said Carol Engle, a resident. "Just a total disregard for the safety and well-being of people."

In September 1987, Barnason -- already in prison for sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl -- was sentenced to 10 to 20 years after pleading guilty to rape, sodomy and sexual-abuse charges related to an attack on three Suffolk County girls between ages 5 and 7.

Barnason -- who was denied parole four times before his 2001 release -- made other children watch him abuse the girls, a Suffolk County prosecutor said at the time.

He was hired by landlord Stanley Katz shortly after his release.

Barnason, whose sex-offender designation means he is considered to be at a high risk of re-offending, lives at 144 W. 73rd St., where he is the super and rent collector, a job he also holds at two other Katz buildings -- 140 and 142 W. 75th St.

Engle, 43, said that in May 2007, Barnason threatened to keep her $2,000 deposit if she didn't pay another $1,000 for the first month's rent -- even after Katz had agreed to let her move in mid-month. Then, she said, he made a salacious offer.

"He said, 'If we were friends, I could help you out, and I could pay,' " Engle recalled.

"I said, 'You mean if I had sex with you? That's what you're trying to say?' And he said, 'Yes and . . . not just once. I'd come over a couple of times a week, and I could help you out.' "

She angrily refused, and Katz let her move in. Engle later stopped paying rent because she said she was being overcharged and is about to be evicted.

Another female tenant, who in Manhattan Housing Court filings has cited Barnason's criminal past and current alleged harassment in an effort to avoid eviction in a rent dispute, said she would not have moved in had she known his status.

"Multiple times, he said, 'If you want to hook up once or twice a week, I can pay your rent, and I can get you a bigger apartment,' " recalled the 22-year-old, who requested anonymity. "I said, 'F- - - off.' "

That woman's legal filings say that Barnason, "when residents have been late in payments . . . pressures them to have sexual relations with them."
When The Post approached Barnason, he said, "I got nothing to say to you."

Katz's lawyer, Santo Golino, said the landlord denies the allegations and only recently learned of Barnason's criminal history. He said there were no plans to dismiss him.


February 3rd, 2010, 04:38 AM
Shrine to a Special Ship Is Given to a Public Display


Mario J. Pulice collects artifacts from the ocean liner Normandie.
Above, a piano made by Gaveau in 1935 and designed by Louis Süe.

SS Normandie video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyxQQndVwuU&feature=player_embedded)

Wednesday is when the movers will show up, ready to pack box after box and load everything onto the truck and leave Mario J. Pulice’s landlocked apartment looking less like a ship.

A very special ship, to be sure: the luxury liner Normandie, the seagoing Art Deco tour de force of the 1930s.

Mr. Pulice, the creative director at Little, Brown & Company, the publishing house, has turned his two-bedroom on the Upper West Side into something of a shrine to what was once the largest, the fastest and — according to him, anyway — the most beautiful ocean liner in the world.

His living room looks something like a state room on the Normandie, from the off-white color scheme to the Jean Dupas panels on the wall to the blond-wood Gaveau piano in the corner. Once, that baby grand was a permanent resident of the suite in which Marlene Dietrich was a mere guest.

His dining room has chairs from the first-class dining room. He even has the chairs’ original upholstery. “I took it off because it’s too fragile,” he said.
And he has silver ice buckets engraved with the CGT logo, for Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, the French Line’s French name in initials. And a Jean-Maurice Rothschild chair from the Grand Salon, with its bright Aubusson fabric. And crystal from Lalique and china from Limoges. And so on, and so on.

“It’s very much like you’re walking into that ship,” said Mary Pelzer, the director of the South Street Seaport Museum. “He lives and breathes it as if he worked on it.”

The movers will take much of Mr. Pulice’s collection to Ms. Pelzer’s museum, where a major exhibition about the Normandie, “Decodence,” will open Feb. 18. “Decodence” will trace the Normandie’s glamorous beginnings and its ignominious end, flopped over on its side after a fire at the Passenger Ship Terminal in Manhattan.

“What makes his collection so good is its manageability,” said John Maxtone-Graham, a maritime historian and the author of the book “Normandie” (Norton, 2007). (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/09/nyregion/thecity/09read.html) “One is transported back to that immortal, prewar flagship. It is all there.”

Or almost all. The exhibition will include some items that are not Mr. Pulice’s, among them the Normandie’s wheel. It belongs to Mr. Maxtone-Graham, who bought it for $200 from a shipyard worker in New Jersey who had stowed it away 30 years before.

To walk into Mr. Pulice’s apartment ahead of the movers is to walk into a place as spotless as the Normandie’s engine room must have been. It is also to encounter mascots who probably wonder about all this ship talk. One is Pasquale, an Abyssinian cat whose reaction to visitors is to bare his fangy little uppers and hiss loud and long. The other is Reno, who is more easygoing.

Their master has had a thing for ships ever since he was a child. He has scale models of the Queen Elizabeth II and a sign on the door to his home office from the S.S. United States that says “Tourist Purser’s Office.” Yes, he was on the Queen Mary 2’s Dramamine-defying maiden voyage in 2004.
But the Normandie is first in his heart, even though he never saw it. It sank 20 years before he was born.

“It was like a club,” he said, and its passengers were celebrities. Marlene Dietrich was photographed at Mr. Pulice’s piano. Johnny Weissmuller did not swing across the first-class deck the way he did in the Tarzan movies, but he was photographed diving into the pool on the Normandie.

And then there was Joseph P. Kennedy, the ambassador to Britain. Mr. Pulice said Kennedy’s fondness for the Normandie posed a touchy diplomatic problem. Kennedy was posted to a place that ruled the waves, or liked to think it did. “The press releases were edited to say, ‘Ambassador Kennedy arrived today by steamship,’ ” Mr. Pulice said. They did not mention that the steamship he arrived on was French.

Ms. Pelzer and Mr. Maxtone-Graham said that Mr. Pulice’s collection is one of two in this country that are of such quality. Mr. Maxtone-Graham said Mr. Pulice’s was all the more noteworthy because “the objects are not arranged as in a gallery, but as integral components of his apartment.”
“He lives with and in them,” Mr. Maxtone-Graham said.

Mr. Pulice headed into his dining room and pulled out a hat that looks like the ship that he said could have been made by Hermès, and silverware from designers who worked for Christofle. “That’s the great thing about the Normandie,” he said. “Everything was designed for it. It was like a W.P.A. project for France, and became an opportunity to showcase the best in technology, the best in design.”

After only 139 crossings between Europe and the United States and two trips to Rio, the Normandie was to get a makeover while moored at Pier 88 in New York. It was to become an American troopship, the Lafayette. As crews raced to convert the ship for war duty, a spark from an acetylene torch started a blaze in a stack of life vests and the flames spread “like fire in dry grass,” according to Harvey Ardman’s book “Normandie: Her Life and Times” (Franklin Watts, 1985).

By the end of 1942, much of the grand and glamorous Normandie had been sold. More would be sold later, after a failed attempt to salvage the ship. Mr. Pulice said he bought the panels in the living room from a man who had won them, in a poker game, from a salvage worker. “He told me the Navy, in lieu of payment, would say, ‘Take what you want,’ ” Mr. Pulice said.
The piano is from the suite Deauville; it was auctioned in December 1942 for $200.

“I bought it for $75,000” in 2001, he said. “I had to go into my 401(k) for that. I’m still paying it back.”

And no, he does not play.

Mr Pulice with a model of the Normandie. “It was like a club,” he said.


February 18th, 2010, 03:17 AM
Duane Wants Early Board 7 Bike Lane Review

By Dan Rivoli

February 17, 2010

With many community leaders on board for the new protected bicycle lanes planned for Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, State Sen. Tom Duane wants the Department of Transportation to release the plan for full public review sooner than usual.

Duane sent a Feb. 9 letter to the department, signed by other West Side elected officials, asking for the plans to be sent to Community Board 7.
“The Department of Transportation’s outreach efforts and consultation has been excellent to date,” Duane said. “And there’s no reason to think releasing the proposal and subjecting it to final review would derail their proposal.”

These new bicycle lanes will drastically change the character of Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, between West 59th and 110th streets. Unlike the painted bicycle lanes that run through Central Park West and on West 77th and 78th streets, the new lanes will be physically separated from automobile traffic, possibly by a row of parked cars or a concrete barrier.

A bike lane like this is slated for Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, between West 59th and 110th streets. Photo by Andrew Schwartz

Businesses that need street access for deliveries and cab drivers who need to pick up and drop off passengers usually complain when street space is taken away. But if the final plans are released early, Duane argued, stakeholders will be able to make suggestions and have these concerns addressed before the lanes are installed.

Duane is speaking from experience on this issue. When the city’s first protected bicycle lane was installed in the Chelsea part of Duane’s district, modifications were required.

“Some of the discussion and debate continues [in Chelsea],” Duane said. “Though I don’t expect zero controversy, I do think there will be a minimal amount of controversy if the Department of Transportation follows what we’ve asked for on the West Side.”

Scott Gastel, a spokesperson for Department of Transportation, said the department will consider the request as the plans for the protected bicycle lanes are developed.

Peter Arndtsen, district manager for the Columbus/Amsterdam Business Improvement District, said that the department has been responsive to community needs and has been inclusive of the stakeholders affected by a protected bicycle lane.

“There are some businesses that are excited about it. There are some that are very concerned with it and would be opposed to it if they couldn’t talk through some of their concerns,” Arndstsen said.

Wiley Norvell, spokesperson for Transportation Alternatives, said that the department has reached out to a broader group of community stakeholders in the Upper West Side since the Chelsea bicycle lane was installed. Norvell said he expects the department to release the plans to the community board.

“Generally speaking, there’s almost always a community board presentation and comment period that takes place on bike lane projects,” Norvell said. “The difference is at what stage they are presented.”


© 2009 Manhattan Media.

March 23rd, 2010, 06:06 PM
nycgeo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycgeo/3761306058/sizes/l/)

March 25th, 2010, 10:12 PM
When the Middle of the Street Is the Perfect Meeting Place


Michael Korson, left, and Felix Torres, right, on neutral ground on 86th Street.

There are two veteran doormen who work directly across the street from each other at the western end of 86th Street near Riverside Drive. The doormen, Michael Korson and Felix Torres, work similar schedules.

At quiet moments in their shifts – like last Saturday afternoon — they walk out from their respective perches and meet in the middle of the street to swap sentences like seasoned talk-show co-hosts.

“He comes halfway and I come halfway,” said Mr. Korson, 56.

“This way,” Mr. Torres said, “we don’t have to argue about which one of us is going to meet the other one at his building.”

“It’s like the world leaders,” Mr. Korson said. “We meet at a neutral site – and we talk about the weather, the residents, the tips, the girls, everything.”

Mr. Torres: “We’re both Yankees fans, so we talk about how the Yankees are going to repeat this season, and win it all.”

Mr. Korson, who grew up in Flushing, Queens and now lives in Kew Gardens, works the door at the Clarendon, at 137 Riverside Drive, tending the main entrance on the south side of 86th Street. He has done this for nine years.
“Before that, I used to star in adult films,” he said. “Just kidding. I was a doorman in another building.”

Mr. Torres is 67, ventured north from Puerto Rico at age 18 and has lived in the Bronx ever since. For 30 years he has worked at the Normandy, at 140 Riverside Drive with an entrance on the north side of 86th Street. He pointed to the Clarendon’s upper floors and told how the five top floors used to be the home of the legendary publisher William Randolph Hearst.
“You know who else lived there,” he said. “Babe Ruth’s mistress, and Jack Dempsey.”

“There’s a story,” Mr. Korson said, “that Hearst kept the top floor for his mistress and had a trolley car overhead to carry her down the street from Broadway.”

(This may be an exaggeration molded from several stories: that Hearst kept a private elevator from the street level, and that he built an iron walkway to the roof of the adjacent apartment building, for clandestine access to his lavish quintuplex, which encompassed 30 rooms. Hearst did keep his mistress there, however: an actress named Marion Davies, who was a 17-year-old Ziegfeld girl when he met her.)

The warmer weather is good for the friends’ midstreet chats, and not just because the sun draws them outdoors.

“When the weather’s like this,” Mr. Korson explained, “it’s not as busy for us because a lot of people in these buildings, they have country houses and lots of places to go to on the weekends. They all leave and there’s very little traffic on the block, so we can stand in the middle of the street like this and not have to worry.”


April 4th, 2010, 09:28 AM
mudpig (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yukonblizzard/4487863235/)

May 18th, 2010, 08:33 PM

vim25 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vim25/4363323383/sizes/l/in/set-72157607100133608/)

May 18th, 2010, 09:46 PM

®oland (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41813717@N05/)

May 31st, 2010, 10:51 PM
San Remo and El Dorado

NYC10021 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lbreiss/4654132817/sizes/l/)

NYC10021 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lbreiss/4654229056/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

June 2nd, 2010, 07:44 AM
Riverside Drive house with link to 1800s stage actor hits market at $21.5M

By Candace Taylor

From left: Actress Amelia Bingham, 103 Riverside Drive, actor Joseph Jefferson

When British actor Edward Sothern was cast in 1858 as slow-witted Lord Dundreary in a New York production of the popular play "Our American Cousin," actor Joseph Jefferson -- who was playing the lead role -- reportedly gave him a now-famous piece of advice: "There are no small parts, only small actors."

Jefferson, who is widely credited with coining the oft-repeated phrase, also dabbled in real estate, and a house he once owned at 103 Riverside Drive, between 82nd and 83rd streets, is now on the market for $21.5 million.

The landmarked 26-foot-wide house is listed with Vandenberg's Dexter Guerrieri. According to city property records, it was purchased for $3.85 million in 1997 by financier Richard Schneider and his wife Tami. Schneider retired in December 2008 as a managing director at hedge fund Highbridge Capital.

Guerrieri declined to comment on the current owners other than to say the family is relocating.

The mansion is one of only a few remaining townhouses that look directly onto the Hudson, Guerrieri said.

"A house facing the river doesn't come on the market very often," Guerrieri said, noting that each of the six floors has windows overlooking the water.

The landmarked house was one of six homes built on spec around 1899 by architect and developer Clarence True, who built hundreds of houses on the Upper West Side in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

According to New York Times stories from the era, Jefferson frequently lent money to real estate purchasers. In 1902, he sued to foreclose on 103 Riverside Drive, and then spent $40,000 to purchase it in order to protect his interests.

A few years later, the row of houses later became controversial when a judge required the owners to cut the fronts off their homes because they protruded onto city land.

In 1911, the house was purchased by popular Broadway actress Amelia Bingham. She festooned the facade with statues and placed a large bust of Shakespeare above the front door, making it a popular tourist attraction.

After Bingham died in 1927, the townhouse changed hands several times before being purchased in 1997 by the Schneiders. The house has a wood-paneled elevator and a fifth-floor home theater. The top floor has an independent one-bedroom apartment that can be used for a live-in nanny, maid or other staff member, the listing says.


June 5th, 2010, 02:29 AM
At the Ardsley, Art Deco the Way It Was


The restored lobby at the Ardsley, where a black marble desk greets visitors.


THE lobby of the Ardsley, a co-op on Central Park West at 92nd Street, is ready for its close-up. The designer Scott Salvator spent about two years restoring the building’s Art Deco interior — a series of spaces totaling about 4,000 square feet — before declaring the job complete. Though the work was largely finished over a year ago, Mr. Salvator wasn’t happy until a mirrored wall constructed off-kilter was rebuilt and paint-splattered curtains were replaced.

A specialist in high-end house and apartment design, Mr. Salvator said he rarely accepted lobby commissions, because he disliked working for committees. “There’s the agita of joint decision-making,” he said, and then the result gets “boiled down to some common denominator.”

One of the reasons he made an exception for the 1931 Ardsley is that it was designed by Emery Roth, the legendary Manhattan architect whose works include the San Remo and the Eldorado, also on Central Park West. And it is pure Art Deco, a style Mr. Salvator finds uplifting. (During tough times, he said, “If you’re going to have something awful, like a war, you at least want someone dancing down a stairway in a tux.”)

A former lawyer who wears double-breasted suits with bow ties (so his well-heeled clients, he said, “don’t mistake me for the pool boy”), Mr. Salvator was delighted to find that the lobby hadn’t been significantly altered in 80 years. “It was merely in disrepair,” he said. “Bravo.”

Mark Friedman, a real estate executive who serves on the co-op board, promised Mr. Salvator he would never to have to answer to more than three board members at a time.

Still, Mr. Salvator said, he received comments from some of the building’s fiercely protective owners. Before the job got under way, one man said, “I don’t like what you’ve done.” Mr. Salvator responded that he hadn’t done anything yet. The man, according to Mr. Salvator, shot back, “Well, I don’t like what you will do.”

But according to Mr. Friedman, an overwhelming majority of owners were supportive of the restoration. He wouldn’t say how much the building spent, only that the work didn’t require a special assessment and would probably pay for itself many times over by increasing the value of the building’s nearly 200 units. (Recent sales have included a four-bedroom four-bath apartment for more than $6 million, and a one-bedroom one-bath apartment for just under $1 million.) Joanne Ollman, the president of the co-op board, said the building spent less on decoration than on mechanical upgrades, including central air-conditioning, new wiring, and plumbing repairs to prevent the recurrence of leaks that had damaged the lobby’s plaster moldings.

Surprisingly, given the building’s pedigree, no one was able to locate a photo of the lobby as it looked in 1931. That gave Mr. Salvator more freedom than he might have had. After burrowing into the walls to extract layers of old paint, he chose the color of one of the layers, which he calls “sea thistle.”

“I said to the board, ‘This is the original color,’ ” he recalled, “and they said, ‘How do you know?’ and I said, ‘Because I like it.’ ” He added that there were other layers of “more earthy” colors; one of them, moss, “was a downer,” he said, adding: “I don’t use colors that require Zoloft. And a lobby of teal wasn’t happening in my lifetime, either.”

His biggest change was to the outer lobby — he calls it the anteroom — where he commissioned a monumental desk in the same black marble that Roth chose for the baseboards. He also filled a hole in the wall where there had been an old intercom panel with a handsome new clock. (Although it has Art Deco-style hands, it also has a high-tech movement that automatically adjusts for daylight time.) And he lacquered the ceiling to make it reflect people’s movements through the lobby.

In the largest space, the elevator lobby closest to Central Park West, Mr. Salvator installed murals digitally printed on canvas. He added a huge Art Deco chandelier bought at an antiques store in Manhattan — a purchase that Mr. Friedman called the building’s “one splurge.” Art Deco-style chairs are covered in a mohair that is “good for hundreds of thousands of rubs,” he said, alluding to the tests by which commercial fabrics are rated.

Along the hallway to the rear elevator lobby, Mr. Salvator added console tables and silvery drapes and avoided items, like down lights, that would have been anachronistic in an Art Deco building. “He brought it back to the spirit of Emery Roth,” Mr. Friedman said.

Ms. Ollman is particularly pleased with one of Mr. Salvator’s moves. “He installed a mirror,” she joked, “that makes everyone look 15 pounds lighter.” Mr. Salvator said the mirror had been “intentionally distorted, to look old and more period, and by accident it makes people look thinner.”

Is it the kind of accident that makes co-op owners happy?

Mr. Salvator responded: “New Yorkers are a tough audience. I can guarantee a perfect lampshade, but I can’t guarantee happy.”



June 5th, 2010, 11:28 PM

40 Riverside Drive at West 76th Street



June 29th, 2010, 06:43 AM
247 Central Park West



July 1st, 2010, 07:48 PM
What to do on a crummy day? Head on over to Zabars at 80th and Broadway. Get some yummies. Sneak them into the coffee shop of the Borders (I think) big book store up the road, grab a book and coffee and have a good scoff.

I think the architecture is awesome around the entire area. Just like anywhere in New York pick your grid and walk it. Enjoy.

July 20th, 2010, 05:43 AM
What a mish-mash streetscape. Shame - I think the building looked better before :mad:. The building on the right of it is gorgeous.

One of These UWS Townhouses is Not Like the Others

July 19, 2010, by Joey





http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4120/4809469636_95fa2db29e_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4120/4809469636_2573d52292_o.png) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4097/4809469922_c58a32ebbd_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4097/4809469922_8413e79567_o.png) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4121/4809469812_66517fd4db_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4121/4809469812_0972ddb2cc_o.png) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4094/4808847545_9c1fa7a362_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4094/4808847545_3276ae0610_o.png) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4118/4809470056_ca05661ee3_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4118/4809470056_4bcc4f60b2_o.png)
(click to enlarge)

Every now and then a townhouse emerges from behind the scaffolding after a lengthy renovation looking nothing like its previous form, or anything else in the neighborhood. We've seen it in Turtle Bay (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2009/05/27/revealed_turtle_bay_townhouses_crazy_game_of_punch out.php), and now we're seeing it at 252 West 75th Street on the Upper West Side, where a tipster writes:
This townhouse, at 252 W 75th Street was empty for years, then stripped to beams, and then rebuilt over an insanely long period of several years. Looks cool, and way out of place on this UWS block (but, in my opinion, in a good way). Scaffolding came off months ago, so what's up? Condo, rental?At one time, yessir, but after a painstaking process this multi-family dwelling has been consolidated into a very modern mansion. Let's review!
The building in its previous form (seen in the photo gallery above) sold in 2005 for $3.925 million, to an LLC. Plans to convert the townhouse to single-family use and expand it to just under 5,800 square feet were filed the next year by architect Michael Zenreich (http://www.mzarchitects.com/) on behalf of the owner, but the plans came under scrutiny. An amendment was later filed to eliminate a curb cut and garage from the plans, "done to lift administrative hold," according to the application. Eventually things were good to go, leading to this new kid on the block.

A Stamford-based lawyer acting as an agent of the anonymous owner has signed off on the deed and permits over the years, and when we dropped by the get some pictures of the house a polite builder told us the owner is a very private person who wouldn't be crazy about us snapping shots, and a peek inside was out of the question. But the outside sure is something to look at on its own, right?

Permits: 252 West 75th Street (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByLocationServlet?requestid=1&allbin=1030735&allstrt=WEST+++75+STREET&allnumbhous=252) [DOB]

UPDATE: With apologies to the very private owner, we've snagged some interior renderings of the house from the website of workshop/apd (http://www.workshopapd.com/project/75?sort=position), a firm that worked on the project. They've been added to the gallery.

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/07/19/one_of_these_uws_townhouses_is_not_like_the_others .php

July 21st, 2010, 01:30 PM
The pricks who ruined that townhouse are real schlongs.

How can the wangs who control things in this city let facade genocides like this happen?

Where were all of the schlongs who line up to oppose tall buildings when this crime was being perpetrated? Was it not fashionable to protest this?

These schmucks should be castrated.

July 21st, 2010, 05:35 PM
It looks like a very nice new hospital wing.

August 10th, 2010, 06:30 AM
Second Act for Café des Artistes


The fabled Café des Artistes will reopen under Italian ownership early next year with a new menu and name but the same Old World ambience.

Restaurateur Gianfranco Sorrentino has reached an agreement to rent the space on the ground floor of a landmark co-op, Hotel des Artistes, a year after the abrupt closure of the restaurant due to financial losses and the costs related to having a unionized work force.

Mr. Sorrentino secured the 15-year lease on Friday and aims to open by February or March. He said he intends to retain the charm of the Old World café but shift the cuisine to what he knows best: authentic southern Italian food. "We really care about the quality and the ingredients of our food," Mr. Sorrentino said. "And of course the place is so beautiful, so charming and historic, so we really don't want to change the character. We want a better lighting system for the murals and to update the place, give it a few contemporary touches."

Mr. Sorrentino said the work force will not be unionized and the restaurant's name will change to reflect the southern Italian focus.

Café des Artistes' was known more for its romantic ambience and Parisian flair than its food; its most famous distinction was the six murals of wood nymphs decorating its walls. The naked nymphs were painted in the 1930s by the artist Howard Chandler Christy, a former resident of the co-op.

full story (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703589404575417703823668796.html?m od=rss_newyork_main)

August 10th, 2010, 07:01 AM
Wood nymphs and Southern Italy do not really go together. It's just not wood nymph territory.

August 21st, 2010, 01:00 AM
iPhone App To Showcase Upper West Side History

By Leslie Albrecht

UPPER WEST SIDE — There's nothing like technology to make history come alive. That's the thinking behind plans to create an iPhone app walking tour of the Upper West Side.
A preservationist group, Landmark West!, is developing the smartphone application, which they believe will be the first of its kind devoted to the Upper West Side.

"We've been looking for ways to embrace technology to spread our message as broadly as possible," said Cristiana Peña, director of community outreach for Landmark West!
The group is also using technology to raise the money they'll need to create the iPhone app. Instead of hitting up its usual donor list for contributions, Landmark West! posted the iPhone app project on Kickstarter, a website that collects donations for creative projects.

Landmark West! wants to raise $3,000 by Sept. 21. The money will pay for professional software developers to create the app.

The group plans to use the voice of preservationist and Columbia University professor Andrew Dolkart for the iPhone app, which will guide users along Central Park West to such sites as The Dakota and the New York Historical Society.

Landmark West! is a 25-year-old nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the Upper West Side's historic buildings. The group recently led an effort to make West Park Presbyterian Church at West 86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue an official landmark.

The group also hosts lectures and school programs to educate people about the Upper West Side's architectural heritage. The iPhone app will help them reach a much wider audience, Peña said.

Traditional walking tours reach 20 or 30 people at a time, while an iPhone app — easily purchased with the touch of a button — can reach anyone who's walking along and gets curious about a building they see, Peña said.

Dolkart, who helped found Landmark West!, leads regular walking tours that are popular with history lovers, she added.

"I'm sure people will like the idea of having Andrew Dolkart in your pocket whenever you want to learn about a building," Peña said.

American Museum of Natural History Launches 'Indoors GPS' App (http://dnainfo.com/20100805/upper-west-side/american-museum-of-natural-history-launches-indoors-gps-app)
Walking Tour Journeys into Upper West Side's Hidden Past (http://dnainfo.com/20100726/upper-west-side/walking-tour-journeys-into-upper-west-sides-hidden-past)


August 24th, 2010, 09:28 AM

:confused: :rolleyes:

"Think about it. If everybody in Manhattan had a garden like that in front of their building, what it would look like? There would be no oxygen left in the city."Memorial Garden Uprooted in Row Between Landlord and Tenant

A West 105th Street building owner said a garden planted in part to honor a 9/11 victim was a nuisance.

By Leslie Albrecht

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2010_08_R6965_082010_Landlord_Forces _Tenant_To_Move_Garden_That_.jpg

UPPER WEST SIDE — To neighbors, the hydrangeas, basil and strawberries that made up a makeshift 9/11 memorial in front of 319 W. 105th Street was a welcome bit of nature that brightened the city landscape.

To the building's owner, it was a nuisance.

Landlord Joey Franco told tenant Takeo Lee Wong to get rid of the sidewalk garden, which Wong planted to honor a neighbor who died after the World Trade Center attacks.

It flourished over the years into a sprawling collection of more than three dozen planters, window boxes and pots in front of Wong's first-floor apartment.

Franco said the garden, and the soil and shovels that went with it, took up too much space and blocked an entrance to the basement.

"It became overwhelming to the building," Franco said. "It just kept on getting larger and larger.

"Think about it. If everybody in Manhattan had a garden like that in front of their building, what it would look like? There would be no oxygen left in the city."

Wong obeyed his landlord's order Friday by moving his plants across the street to neighbors' stoops and sidewalks.

Now there's a patch of bare concrete where the garden once lived in front of Wong's apartment.

He says he's the victim of an harrassing landlord who cares too much about money and too little about the neighborhood.

Franco said Wong is exaggerating the garden's importance.

"This is the first time I've heard it was a 9/11 memorial, this is the first time I've heard that people love it," Franco said. "It's ridiculous."

Neighbors said Friday they were stunned that anyone would object to the garden.

The mini-farm started with plants that a neighbor gave to Wong when she was sick with cancer thought to be linked to breathing toxic air at the World Trade Center site.

The neighbor died, and Wong kept her memory alive through her plants.

"9/11 really accented the fact that life is very fragile and you could go at any moment," Wong said. "In your final days, one thought comes to your mind: what have I done to leave something good?"

"For me, it will be the magnificence of that," Wong said, gesturing to the garden in its new home across the street.

The leafy menagerie includes purple and gold orchids, sweet potato plants with long green tendrils, Italian parsley, even a baby watermelon the size of a tennis ball.

As the garden grew, it gave neighbors something to talk about and brought people on the block closer together, some said.

On the block on Friday, friends and strangers alike stopped to comment on the disappearance of the garden in front of Wong's building.

"It's a heartbreak," said one man, shaking Wong's hand.

"What happened?" said Bobby Schraud, a building superintendent on West 103rd Street. "Oh my goodness. Why? It was so beautiful."

Schraude told Wong, "It was a joy to pass by this block. I felt like I was in some kind of paradise. Now it's like walking through a desert. It's like something you would see in Hunts Point in the Bronx."

But residents on the side of West 105th Street and Riverside Drive where Wong's garden now lives said they were thrilled by the leafy addition to their stoops and sidewalk.

"Absolutely gorgeous," called out one man walking by.

"This looks beautiful, thank you," said a passing woman.

A woman walking her dog stopped in front of the garden's new home. "Oh my gosh, very nice! Is this for a movie?"

Wong replied, "No, it's real life."


September 3rd, 2010, 05:24 AM
Three Apples of Somebody’s Eye


No. 266 West End Avenue, built in 1896, designed by Rudolph Daus

In 1944 a new owner, working with the architect Harry Hurwit,
extended the top floor.


No. 788 West End Avenue was built in 1896

A bit east of West End, No. 233 West 100th Street went up
as a private house in 1889

No. 233 West 100th Street today, shorn of its stores

IN its original incarnation, West End Avenue was a boulevard de la haute bourgeoisie, the West Side’s counterpart to Madison Avenue. The avenue and its flanking streets were lined with architecturally varied row houses and near-mansions. Of the few that remain, three in particular are of interest, bearing distinctive traces of the attentions of recent owners.

The most ambitious town house still standing on West End Avenue is No. 266, between 72nd and 73rd, built in 1896 by Julius Jaros, an importer. It was designed by the Paris-trained Rudolph Daus, who pulled every Beaux-Arts lever he could for the scrumptious French Renaissance limestone mansion — for example, the elaborate door frame and top-floor window dormer in front of the sloping tile roof. Mr. Jaros imported Vin Mariani, a cocaine-infused wine endorsed by Queen Victoria, Sarah Bernhardt, Jules Verne and Pope Leo XIII.

It is sometimes said that Mae West occupied the house for a time with her sister, Beverly, who is indeed listed there in a 1933 directory.

The house was converted to apartments, and in 1944 a new owner, working with the architect Harry Hurwit, extended the top floor to accommodate more units. Usually such alterations have gruesome results, but Mr. Hurwit’s work was remarkably benign. Although he sacrificed the sloping tile roof, he retained almost perfectly the intricate stone dormer.

Sometime before 2000 a later owner removed the top-floor extension, restoring the dormer and the sloping roof, substituting, however, a broad skylight for the tile. Over the last few years the old Jaros house has been dark, the windows blacked out. The current owner, who asked that his name not be used, has been returning it to a single-family dwelling.

Mr. Hurwit’s interior alterations were also unusually sensitive, and remarkable ceiling paintings, molding, trim, wood carving and other details survive. The owner said: “I’m a modernist by nature, but this thing spoke to me; it was like a wounded thing that needed healing.” The house is listed with Sotheby’s for $30 million, and the Web site shows multiple interior views (www.sothebyshomes.com/nyc/sales/0017170 (http://www.sothebyshomes.com/nyc/sales/0017170)).

Up past 98th Street is 788 West End Avenue, a more modest house built in 1896 as part of a long-gone row. The architect, John G. Prague, developed a peculiar bow-fronted design with a recessed mansard roof. The developer and builder, Peter Brennan, lived there with his family into the 1920s.

Like the Jaros house, the Brennan house was converted to apartments, but although the exterior is in good condition, little remains inside. In 1979 it was bought by Hilario Villavicencio, who was living there. Some time later he began an unusual campaign of decoration, picking out existing exterior details in high color and adding others.
Thus, floral ornament and dragon heads are highlighted in brick red, gold and forest green. Mr. Villavicencio also took a woman’s head from a statue and mounted it on the second floor, giving her golden hair, bright red lips and a white hat.

“I try to make something alive, something different, “ Mr. Villavicencio said in a voice resonant of his native Cuba. “But some people they don’t like it; they say it looks like a circus. Hey, you can’t please everyone.”

His artistic efforts blaspheme every commandment in the preservation bible, which is why it is one of the most delicious sights on West End. But he better hurry with his latest project, which is to replace one of his dragon heads — salvaged off a school building — with a whole dragon, holding a shield and also painted, because landmark designation for West End appears to be coming in the near future.

Two blocks away, east of West End, is No. 233 West 100th Street, which went up as a private house in 1889. But it was auctioned in 1894 and became the Red Cross Hospital.

On May 12, 1898, The New York Sun reported that volunteers were packing sulfur powders there for battlefield use in the Spanish-American War; the lecture that afternoon was “Bandaging.”

After the war the house was sold to the Nameoki Club, called the “little wigwam” of Tammany Hall by The New York Times in 1932. Later the ground floor was built out for shopfronts, and by the 1970s the building was occupied only by two stores, the whole a shambling near-wreck. It was soon rescued by John D. Kuhns and his wife, Rosemary, who gradually renovated it for their own residence. Over the last several years further renovation work by a new owner has resulted in a new bell-shape tower, made out of standing seam copper, a striking piece of metal work, although the original roofing was slate.

Back at 266 West End, the owner says, restoration hardware arrived unbidden on his doorstep. Some time ago someone knocked on the door and handed him a brown cardboard box, saying that it was “the wish of a dying man” that the contents be returned, having been stolen years ago.

“It was packed in newspapers from the 1970s,” the owner said, “a wild-looking bronze Neptune head a foot high that was originally on the front door — you can still see the shadow.”


September 18th, 2010, 10:45 PM
223 West 80th Street

The area around this and the museum is great.

September 18th, 2010, 11:01 PM

September 24th, 2010, 12:15 AM
Apparently Borders will no longer be opening a stores at Columbus Square :(

And of course the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble is closing in a few months :(

October 5th, 2010, 05:28 AM
Here are a couple of my favourites from the comments:

Keep digging! The economy’s down there somewhere!
— Perfect Gentleman

Worker #1: “I’d heard of alligators in the sewer, but never whales.”
Worker #2: “Yeah, the pets people flush on the UWS are getting more and more exotic.”
— BryanWest 82nd Street, 9:15 A.M.



Caption contest! Write your own in the space below.


October 22nd, 2010, 07:18 AM
Institutional Investing, Along Central Park West


Central Park West, looking south from the Dakota Building, 1887.

The impassive neo-Classic facade of the New-York Historical Society at 77th Street and Central Park West is an odd duck on a residential street.
This is the central portion of the society in 1908.

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The New-York Historical Society as it appears now.

THE impassive neo-Classic facade of the New-York Historical Society at 77th Street and Central Park West, now covered by construction scaffolding, is an odd duck on a residential street. But the historical society, opened in 1910, is part of Central Park West’s shadow civic history, and the museums and similar structures now there predate almost all of its apartment houses.

The entire area west of Central Park was essentially empty in the early 1870s, when the American Museum of Natural History got its big square site from 77th to 81st Street, fronting on what was then Eighth Avenue. With an initial section completed in 1877, the museum was meant to expand like a flat Tinkertoy, leg after leg forming a giant network and filling up Manhattan Square.

But the museum was as out of place as a glacial erratic, for it at first seemed that the park frontage would be developed with grand single-family houses, a 24-carat mirror image of the golden prestige of Fifth Avenue. The Real Estate Record and Guide reported in 1879 that Edward Clark, then planning his magnificent Dakota, was considering building “a spacious residence” on his park-front property.

He did not, but in the 1880s the journal continued to predict mansions along Central Park West, and began to complain about the lack of restrictions reserving the area for private houses. Certainly few millionaires would have wanted to live next to the 1887 New York Cancer Hospital, on the block front from 105th to 106th Streets. This remarkable red brick and brownstone chateau was among the first cancer hospitals in the United States, with round wards to diminish hiding places for germs. It also had ventilating towers to exhaust contaminated air, which then wafted slowly down over the neighborhood.

Not surprisingly, in 1890 the real estate expert Frank R. Houghton, in The Record and Guide, lamented that the street had become “too public a thoroughfare” for private houses, and in 1892 the New-York Historical Society bought the plot of land just south of the Museum of Natural History. It did not start construction until 1904, and even then the grand, Ionic-style front did not extend to the corners; those were finished in 1938.

There was once a five-story apartmentlike building at Central Park West and 97th Street, built in 1893 with the approval of Louis Pasteur as a center for research on rabies, tetanus and other diseases. The roof of this Pasteur Institute was covered with cages and pens for sacrificial guinea pigs, sheep, dogs and rabbits; the structure was demolished in the 1950s for Park West Village.

In 1894, while the historical society’s project matured, the Women’s Hospital, then on Park Avenue and 50th Street, bought the frontage on Central Park West from 92nd to 93rd Street for a Spanish-style design of six pavilions with numerous open galleries.
The hospital was never built, nor was a new house for the West End Club, projected in 1895 for the northwest corner of 75th Street. By 1900 Central Park West was firmly in the hands of apartment builders.

Even so, in 1902 a group of Cuban investors proposed a huge jai-alai building between 62nd and 63rd Streets — a project that ended in financial disputes within a year. One block north, the New York Society for Ethical Culture built its crisp Beaux-Arts style school in 1903 and then its brooding Art Nouveau meeting hall in 1910.

At the same time, the German-Jewish Progress Club, seeking to increase its membership, moved over from Fifth Avenue to a robust neo-Classic structure at the north corner of 88th Street, which was demolished in the 1980s.

In 1909, one of the most remarkable theaters in the history of the city went up on the jai-alai lot: the high-minded, high-cost New Theater, established by a dozen or more millionaires who wanted to improve the cultural tone of the New York City stage. With philanthropic support, it was meant to be above the needs of commercial theater, and the construction budget of $1.7 million delivered a building comparable in grandeur and finish to the New York Public Library; both were designed by Carrère & Hastings.

However, good intentions can be expensive, and this noble vision lasted only two seasons. Commercial operators, at one time including Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., took over and changed the name to the Century Theater, wiping out the smell of charity.

Central Park West’s final burst of civic confidence erupted in the late 1920s, for the Century site. Irwin S. Chanin, the ebullient architect/developer, proposed Central Park West’s tallest structure, a 65-story “Palais de France,” a combination cultural, trade, government and office structure devoted to French interests. Designed by the Chanin firm, the skyscraper, reaching back to Broadway, was to be in plate glass, treated to produce special lighting effects.

But either high-rise Francophilia was too weak or apartment construction impetus too strong. Mr. Chanin soon changed the project to the twin-towered Century Apartments, one of the series of great apartment structures that today define the boulevard.

Remaining are the historical society, the natural history museum, the Ethical Culture complex and the old cancer hospital, now apartments, to mark this peculiar tangent on this most unusual street.


November 3rd, 2010, 08:39 AM
Café Des Artistes Murals to Be Restored for New Restaurant

The legendary murals from the shuttered Cafe Des Artistes will get a new life at the new Leopard at Des Artistes.

By Leslie Albrecht

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UPPER WEST SIDE — Fans of a legendary Upper West Side restaurant that closed last year will forever miss the food, but at least they'll soon be able to enjoy the romantic pastel canvases of nude women that have hung on its walls for decades.

When Café Des Artistes closed in August of 2009, property manager Gerard Picaso told Crain's New York that the murals could be removed if the new owners didn't want them.

But Gianfranco Sorrentino and Paula Bolla Sorrentino, the restaurateurs taking over the space at 1 W. 67th St., now say the revamped murals will be "the stars" of the decor at the new eatery, to be named The Leopard at Des Artistes.

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"The restoration will [restore] the original color vibrance, fix some cracks, and repair the surfaces so they can look their best," Paula Bolla Sorrentino wrote in an e-mail.

The legendary Howard Chandler Christy murals — which depict naked young women frolicking through nature scenes — will be highlighted by a special lighting system, Sorrentino said. The restoration is set to take place in 2011.

The Sorrentinos, the owners of Il Gattopardo on West 54th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, say they're now interviewing staff in Italy for their new restaurant off of Central Park West.

As for cuisine, The Leopard at Des Artistes will serve "Southern Italian dishes with extreme respect to the Italian culinary traditions," said Paul Bolla Sorrentino in an e-mail.


November 3rd, 2010, 01:10 PM
Please let me know how the food is. :)

November 4th, 2010, 10:18 AM
^ Not me, it's a long way to go just for dinner ;) :).

November 12th, 2010, 06:53 AM
On the West Side, New Condos with an Old Look


The Harrison and other new West Side apartment buildings are taking design cues from landmark neighbors.

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The 18-story Laureate, at 76th Street and Broadway, is scheduled
to open next year. Prices will start at $1.7 million, for a one-bedroom.

GREGG WOLPERT, the developer of a new 76-unit condominium on the Upper West Side called the Laureate, did not have to look far to come up with a style for the building. He says he merely had to glance out his bedroom window in the Apple Bank at Broadway and 73rd Street.

Directly across Broadway is the Ansonia, the lavishly ornamented Beaux-Arts apartment house whose domes, sloping roofs and long rows of brackets have bedazzled generations of passers-by.

When the Laureate, on Broadway at 76th Street, opens next spring, its facade will include elements derived from its more extravagant neighbor. Among them are grooved stone blocks, curved corners and latticework balconies.

“We wanted the look of prewar buildings,” said Mr. Wolpert, a president of the Stahl Organization, which owns or has a stake in other historic buildings in the area, including the Ansonia and the Apple Bank condos. “We are very sensitive to this look.”

In the last few years, beginning with Robert A. M. Stern’s 15 Central Park West, some new uptown condos have shunned gleaming facades in favor of something more muted.
One of those is the Harrison, designed by Mr. Stern’s firm, whose entrance is steps away from the Laureate, on 76th at Amsterdam Avenue. Indeed, the reddish stone base of the building evokes a number of Romanesque town houses around the neighborhood.

All but one of the Harrison’s 125 units have sold since 2008, said Susan M. De Franca, the president for sales of the Related Companies, which developed it, with just a seven-bedroom unit remaining, for about $10 million.

Another recent example is 535 West End Avenue, a 20-story brick-and-limestone structure completed this year by the Extell Development Company. This building, too, has a rounded corner, and metalwork in spider-web patterns on some windows. Half of its 22 condos have sold so far, according to the real estate Web site Streeteasy.com, including a five-bedroom for $8.6 million.

The interiors of the Laureate tilt toward a period look, too. Baseboards, herringbone wood floors and layouts with long halls recall apartments built in the early 20th century, said James Davidson, a partner in SLCE Architects, the firm that handled most of the design.

“We thought there was a shortage of quality facades in the neighborhood,” said Mr. Davidson, who grew up on Central Park West, adding that “it would have been an opportunity missed” if the firm had chosen large glass walls.

Moving forward 110 years, the 18-story Laureate has amenities like wine refrigerators and a soundproof music practice room. It will also have a pair of parking garages (the site’s previous use) and a Duane Reade pharmacy, which will take a 10,000-square-foot space.

There remains a two-story 12,500-square-foot berth for another retailer.

The Laureate’s sales office, to be run by Brown Harris Stevens, will not open until January, although Mr. Wolpert said 600 prospective buyers had asked to be kept informed of the building’s progress as of late October.

The least expensive apartment is a 920-square-foot one-bedroom for $1.7 million, or $1,800 a square foot. The most expensive non-penthouse is a five-bedroom with 3,300 square feet, and a view north up Broadway courtesy of that rounded corner, for $8.33 million. That works out to $2,500 a square foot. The six penthouses average $3,000 a square foot, Mr. Wolpert said.

In an area where new condos typically bring $1,200 a square foot, the Laureate’s pricing seems high, said Lawrence Schier, a broker with the Corcoran Group who frequently sells on the Upper West Side. “It looks very, very elegant from the outside, and when I see it, I’m sure it’s going to be drop-dead,” said Mr. Schier, who lives nearby. “But people will be shellshocked to learn the prices.”

On the other hand, the location, near subways and grocery stores including Trader Joe’s, Citarella and Fairway Market, will increase its appeal, said Mr. Schier, who observed that there were few new condos in the area.

One competitor is Linden78, a brown-brick edifice on 78th Street off Broadway that appears to have recovered from setbacks: In 2009 its developer, Urban Residential, had to give buyers their money back after missing construction deadlines.

Now controlled by the Capmark Financial Group, the lender, the 21-story building also has a new sales team, the Marketing Directors, which replaced the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. Its 32 units, which have two to five bedrooms, range in price from $1.6 million to $8.4 million, or $1,300 to $1,800 a square foot, said Jacqueline Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors.

Yet Mr. Wolpert likes the Laureate’s chances. “There are a lot of people out there, in good times or bad,” he said, “that have a lot of wealth.”


December 10th, 2010, 06:53 AM
Row Houses Gone Wild


Interactive Feature (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/12/realestate/20101212_STREETSCAPES.html?ref=realestate)

Row houses by Holman Smith: the intact No. 271 and the not-so 269 and 267.

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The newest thing on the block is the nine-story apartment house at No. 235, based on an Ajello design of 1912.

THEY say free-range chicken is better — how about free-range blocks? Seventy-First Street from West End to Broadway rises steeply midblock and then, like a roller coaster — wheeee! — hurtles downhill. The architecture has a certain giddy touch, joyously untempered by the good taste of contextualism so often claimed as an urban ideal.

Here modern sticks its elbow in the ribs of Victorian, red brick wrestles with white, lugubrious brownstone takes a poke at the lighter colors of the Renaissance, and, in one building, the early 20th and 21st centuries tussle. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will consider designating the hodgepodge a landmark in June.

Starting from West End, the Mutt-and-Jeff houses at 274 and 276 got their differing gables, arches, stained glass, oriels and arches from Edward Angell, who designed them in 1896. No. 276 was occupied by Robert M. Van Arsdale, a publisher of railroad trade magazines.

No. 274 has a wide, half-round rocky arch over the first-floor windows, but 276 has an impossibly chunky projecting oriel over the front door, a Victorian equivalent of the Whitney Museum’s overhang. The houses compete with each other like squabbling siblings.

Across the street, the scrumptiously intact 271 West 71st is a fragment of a row of 13 houses designed in 1886 by Holman Smith. These, too, were supposed to look different from one another, with multiple sandstone hues and painted cornices, assorted roof lines and the varied placement of large open bays. This type of row was described more than once as a “reign of terror.”

In 1887 an anonymous critic in The Real Estate Record and Guide admired the energy of the unruly row, but found that “one of these new houses would be a great relief in a brownstone block, but such an accumulation of them is rather bewildering.”

You’d never guess, but 269 was part of the same row, pretty much intact until 1983 when, after a fire, the lawyer Jenik Radon refaced it and gave it a strange double-height window, behind which is a two-story-high space. If you can get past the modern materials, it is a fitting successor to the original row.

A few lots east, the 1950 Godmothers League building pokes its streamlined, swooping nose into the block. Despite its late date, Sylvan Bien styled it in a sort of 1930s industrial moderne. The building, originally a shelter for infants, has not recovered from the replacement of the original buff brick with red by an uninformed administrator in 1993.

He said at the time, “I felt it was boring,” breezily describing it as “Beaux-Arts school, or maybe the Bauhaus."

The idiosyncrasy of the 1880s returned in 1925, with the peculiar apartment house at 251. Henry Herts designed it as a co-op, with a rough stucco facade trimmed in brick.

The terra-cotta work — two oxen-headed, winged serpents with intertwined dragon tails — is typical of Herts’s ingenuity. But the beauty part is the little roundel of leaded glass with the address picked out, once illuminated from the inside but now, according to a resident, dark.

Across the street runs a string of houses built two at a time, or so it seems. In this case the developer James A. Frame, working with the architects Thom & Wilson, put up a row of 10, made to appear as five independent pairs, from 236 to 254. Designed in 1892, they came just as the funereal brownstone model was giving way to a lighter palette, and Frame hedged his bets: some pairs are brownstone, and some are light orange brick with cream-colored trim and Renaissance detailing, something like the Century Association on West 43rd Street.

This block has an unusual triplet of Ajellos; that is, the work of the apartment house architect Gaetano Ajello, at 235, 220 and 225, all for the interrelated Paterno-Campagna family. Want a whiff of the “Old West Side” before the hedge funders arrived? Step into the lobby of 225, with its old rusting doors, cheap lighting fixture, tired linoleum, helter-skelter intercom panel. Yes, my children, that’s the way it was, way back in the Age of Rent Control.

In 1932, the private-house era of the block nearly over, No. 212 was a speakeasy, with a dance floor and separate women’s bar. Prohibition agents raided it that year, seizing 50 bottles of “alleged liquor,” as The New York Times scrupulously put it. A recent owner has festooned the architectural decoration with gold paint, a startling sight.

The newest thing on the block is the nine-story apartment house at No. 235, based on an Ajello design of 1912. And based means really based: the developer, James Rinzler, preserved the first two floors, but stripped the upper facade, plunking down a sort of Regency-ish red-brick top designed by the architect Mario Arbore. Preservationists greeted it with hoots, and it violates several commandments of the preservation bible, including “Thou shalt not change anything prewar” and “If thou must change something, thou must make it look as if it had always been there.”

Indeed, from the architectural history point of view, Mr. Arbore got the quoining wrong, the cornice wrong, the lintels wrong, the windows wrong — everything wrong, at least through the lens of preservation. But within the context of contemporary work, if you accept the strange decision to partially strip the old building, something quite unusual was done, something completely original — a remarkable, even admirable feat in the narrow-margined world of New York real estate.


January 26th, 2011, 06:00 PM
Photo from Google Street View.


Archives (http://www.nytimes.com/)

Streetscapes/Mulliken & Moeller, Architects; Upper West Side Designs in Brick and Terra Cotta


Published: September 14, 2003

THE architectural firm of Mulliken & Moeller, little known today, produced an unusually vigorous series of brick and terra cotta Upper West Side apartment buildings, including two notable pairs -- on Amsterdam Avenue from 72nd to 73rd and Central Park West from 85th to 86th. All four early 1900's buildings have had recent restoration work that has brought attention to the long-forgotten partnership.

Harry Mulliken and Edgar Moeller were born in the early 1870's, Mulliken in Illinois and Moeller in New York, where his Prussian-born father was a fresco painter. Both graduated with the class of 1895 from Columbia University's School of Architecture, but they were at first not associated. One biographical entry says that Mulliken worked with the Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham and then the New York architect Ernest Flagg.

In 1901, soon after Mulliken established his own practice, he filed plans for a one-story wooden tool shed on West 114th Street; it was only 15 feet wide, but it was for clients who would prove very helpful to his career: James and David Todd.

In 1902, when Moeller joined his former classmate, they were kept busy by a string of commissions from the Todds: the Bretton Hall Hotel, on the east side of Broadway from 85th to 86th Streets; the Hotel York, at the northwest corner of 36th Street and Seventh Avenue; and the Aberdeen Hotel, at 17 West 32nd Street, notable for its voluptuously modeled curved limestone entryway.

These share what was becoming Mulliken & Moeller's trademark: a vigorous contrast of flat brick and extensive, highly sculptured cream-colored terra cotta, often organized around a large central bay. Architecturally the designs were no more sophisticated than the usual speculative project, but Mulliken & Moeller so often repeated the same basic solution that their work has acquired a familiarity that gives it a stature beyond its actual accomplishment.

In 1903 the Todds gave the architects their most memorable commission, the astonishing plum-colored Lucerne, at the northwest corner of 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. (Some documents credit the design only to Mulliken.) The partnership's standard design was transformed by executing the terra cotta in a deep plum color and giving the brick a variegated red and purple cast, making the Lucerne a rich furnace of late sunset shades.

The Todds had a career that also left an impression on New York. James Todd arrived here in 1896 after practicing medicine in Minnesota and joined forces with his brother to build a string of buildings, culminating in their last joint work, the 1916 office building at 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, at 45th Street.

Dr. Todd next formed a partnership with other real estate operators, and put up other distinctive works, including the 1921 Cunard Building at 25 Broadway. The firm later evolved into the Todd Robertson Todd Engineering Corporation, which built the Graybar Building at Lexington Avenue near Grand Central Terminal. It was hired by the Rockefeller family to build and maintain Rockefeller Center. Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and former head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, is a grandniece of the two Todd brothers.

In 1905 Mulliken & Moeller began, also for the Todds, the Severn and Van Dyck apartment buildings, on the east side of Amsterdam Avenue from 72nd to 73rd Street.

Completed in 1907, these 12-story twins helped define the triangle of Verdi Square. The architects tweaked their formula of brick contrasted with a wealth of terra cotta ornament -- in this case supplying a surfeit of terra cotta.

Over a three-story-high rusticated limestone base, the orange-tan brick is marked by heavy terra cotta quoins -- the blocklike forms that run up the corners -- as well as by balconies, windows joined by vertical bays, and curved pediments broken not only at the top, in the usual way, but at the bottom. The normal projecting cornice was lowered two floors, perhaps in an attempt to make the buildings seem smaller. Apartments rented for from $160 to $320 a month.

In the same year, Mulliken & Moeller received a commission from a different consortium of developers to build another matched pair of 12-story apartment buildings, the Central Park View and Rossleigh Court, on Central Park West from 85th to 86th Streets.

Executed in red brick with terra cotta, these are less encumbered by terra cotta ornament but repeat the dropped-cornice motif.

The apartments were characteristic of the decade's self-described luxury buildings: the most desirable apartment in Rossleigh Court was organized around a 14-by-19-foot parlor at the corner of 85th and Central Park West, with a library on one side, a dining room with an apparently nonworking fireplace on the other, and a long hall leading to three bedrooms sharing a single bath.

Included were wall safes, a central vacuum-cleaning system, rich onyx paneling in the lobbies and an automatic mail delivery system that used a small elevator to each apartment. Rents ranged from about $75 to $250 a month.

Mulliken & Moeller continued to work into the 1910's, with varied projects, including the Tudor-style Runoia apartments at 267 West 89th Street and the expansive apartment building at 530 West End Avenue, at 86th Street, which had some 17-room apartments inside its rich brown brick and Spanish Baroque terra cotta facade. Mulliken was an owner of both structures.

AFTER 1910 their practice slowed. Mulliken died in 1952, followed by Moeller in 1954.

Little is known about the personal lives of both men, although a 1921 article notes that Moeller was a member of the Norwalk Yacht Club and the St. George's Snowshoe Club of Montreal.

Over time Mulliken & Moeller's works have received rough treatment. Half the Lucerne's cornice was missing for several decades, until it was restored in 1999, although not to the original design. Many of the apartments of the Central Park View, now named Orwell House, were subdivided, and facade elements were removed from both it and Rossleigh Court. The Van Dyck and Severn accumulated a collection of storefronts to match the din of traffic roaring by along Amsterdam Avenue.

Now scaffolding is up around Orwell House and Rossleigh Court, for cleaning and miscellaneous repairs. And the Van Dyck and Severn have received top to bottom renovations that include facade cleaning, new coordinated storefronts and new lobbies, designed by the architects Adams Soffes Wood, now Soffes Wood.

Michael Laub, one of the partners who bought the Van Dyck and Severn in 1996, estimates that $4 million has been put into them, including installing new elevators and new windows and removing the dropped ceilings in the lobbies. He said that few of the apartments had been subdivided, and that the exterior appearance assures that when the apartments come on the market ''people are very anxious to rent.''

The 72nd Street location, he said, has become ''one of the best corners in Manhattan.''


February 4th, 2011, 05:22 PM


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The Ardsley, 320 Central Park West at 92nd Street, in the early 1930s. Contrary to reports, the Depression did not halt work on it

An Oft-Told Tale

Q. I live in the Ardsley at Central Park West and 92nd Street and am the editor of our building newsletter. When I moved in in 1960, I was told that construction had “stopped at the 10th floor during the Depression.” I have tried to verify this but have had no luck. Can you suggest anything? ... Ellie Azenberg, Manhattan

A. As you imply, caution is necessary with the old “ran out of money before the building was finished” tale, inaccurately attached to many buildings. For instance, Emery Roth’s 1926 Alden, at Central Park West and 82nd Street, was designed and completed as a 15-story building. But it was reported in this very newspaper in 2000 that it was stopped at the 15th story in 1928, when the developers “ran out of money.”
The Ardsley, built by the developer Henry Kaufman, was also by Roth, who filed plans in 1930 for exactly what was completed the following year, a 19-story building with a penthouse.
However, sometimes a grain of truth is buried in even the most unlikely tale, and a rendering from the Roth archives shows almost exactly the same building, but with a five-story needlelike tower on top, which was of course not built.
The Ardsley was one of the early buildings in New York to have cantilevered corner windows, in which the steel frame permits the omission of a corner pier. In 1930, The New York Sun counted it as eighth in line, the first being the little Childs building at 604 Fifth. Thus, said The Sun, architecture is “beginning to reflect more definitely the idea of steel construction.”
Had Kaufman properly forecast demand when he began work in 1930? Probably not — many developers assumed the property market would return quickly. An advertisement in 1931 promised “Rentals that are 1931 values.” However in 1933 Kaufman lost the building in foreclosure, another shadow in the Depression’s deepening gloom.

E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com


February 5th, 2011, 01:47 AM
The UWS: Now There's an App for That

February 4, 2011, by Joey Arak


UPPER WEST SIDE—You've read about the Dakota's alleged misdeeds (http://ny.curbed.com/tags/the-dakota), now see it in person! Our friends at Landmark West! (http://www.landmarkwest.org/) have created what they think is the first neighborhood walking tour app for NYC. And it's free! Sometimes we feel like tourists on the UWS, so we're glad this guide to 35 local landmarks exists, even if we don't have an iPhone (StarTAC forever!). The Landmark West! Walking Tour is free. Download it here (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/landmark-west-walking-tour/id408498230?mt=8).

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/02/04/the_uws_now_theres_an_app_for_that_20_pines_brush_ with_fame.php

February 8th, 2011, 08:08 PM
Upper West Siders Send Valentines to Beloved Landmarks

A photo project called Love Your Landmark collects images of people posing with the buildings they love.

By Leslie Albrecht

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R1445_UWS_Love_Your_Landmark s_020811.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R4386_UWS_Love_Your_Landmark s_020811.jpg

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R6388_UWS_Love_Your_Landmark s_020811.jpg

Who says Valentine's Day has to celebrate love between people?

Upper West Side preservation group Landmark West! is asking lovers to declare their feelings for the buildings in their lives with a month-long photo project called "Love Your Landmark."

Upper West Siders pose with a sign that reads "I (heart) This Landmark" in front of their most beloved buildings, then submit their photos to Landmark West!
Entries collected so far include Lincoln Center, Bethesda Terrace in Central Park and the 1904 Ansonia Hotel.

People can visit official landmarks such as The Dakota or The Ansonia, but they're also encouraged to shower their love on buildings that have personal meaning, said Cristiana Pena, director of community outreach at Landmark West!.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be a recognized New York City landmark," Pena said. "It could be the coffee shop where you go every morning to have a bite to eat."

She added, "Who knows, someone could take a picture of an interesting building or site that’s been an unknown treasure."

The results are posted on the Landmark West! blog (http://landmarkwest.blogspot.com/search/label/LYL).

If the photo includes an official city landmark, the picture will be added to Landmark West!'s buildings database (http://www.landmarkwest.org/landmark_search.php), an online collection of information about the Upper West Side's historic buildings.

The Love Your Landmarks project was inspired by a similar effort by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. People posed in front of sites that were important to them holding signs that said "This place matters (http://www.preservationnation.org/take-action/this-place-matters/)."

To download a "I (heart) This Landmark" sign, click here (http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs077/1102771162711/archive/1104372854895.html).


February 10th, 2011, 09:23 PM
Taken from one of the ugliest buildings in the neighborhood.

boscdanjou (http://www.flickr.com/photos/boscdanjou/5247536923/sizes/l/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)

boscdanjou (http://www.flickr.com/photos/boscdanjou/5247536923/sizes/l/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)

boscdanjou (http://www.flickr.com/photos/boscdanjou/5247536923/sizes/l/in/pool-35034350743@N01/)

February 15th, 2011, 05:35 PM
There goes one of my favourites.


Upper West Side Diner Forced to Close After 11 Years Updated 3 hrs ago

February 15, 2011 2:17pm

Manhattan Diner is one of several businesses at Broadway and West 77th Street that says it is closing.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110215/upper-west-side/upper-west-side-diner-forced-close-after-11-years#ixzz1E4NOdYg2

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R7671_UWS_Manhattan_Diner_To _Close_021511.jpg
Manhattan Diner plans to close in a few months along with several other businesses on Broadway and West 77th Street. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

By Leslie Albrecht
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — A 24-hour neighborhood diner that's served as a second home to some customers is closing after more than a decade on Broadway and West 77th Street to make way for a mysterious new development.

Sam Anastasiou, co-owner of Manhattan Diner, said he'll close up shop in between two and six months because property owner Friedland Properties wants to tear down his building.

Anastasiou said he didn't know whether he would try to move his restaurant to a new location. "I have no clue what's going to happen," Anastasiou said. "I'm in the street."

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_lrgimage_2011_02_R919_UWS_Manhattan_Diner_To _Close_021511.jpg
Manhattan Diner's owner says they restaurant will close in a few months to make way for new development. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

The 11-year-old greasy spoon restaurant is one of several businesses on the east side of Broadway between West 77th and 78th streets that say they're being pushed out to make way for new development (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110210/upper-west-side/longtime-broadway-businesses-clearing-out-for-new-development-on-upper-west-side).

The block includes New Pizza Town, Laila Rowe, Cosi, Susie's Nails, World of Nuts candy shop and several other small merchants. Some, such as Laila Rowe, say they're closing by the end of February. Others say they'll stay until early spring.

Friedland Properties did not respond to several requests for comment. The Department of Buildings website doesn't list any current demolition permits for buildings on the block.

"Those guys don't care, you're just a number to them," said Manhattan Diner co-owner Sam Anastasiou.

Diner manager Asti Vouvourakis said customers were "hurt" by news of the closing. Manhattan Diner has served as a second home to many neighborhood regulars, Vouvourakis said.

"It's not only the food, it's the family," Vouvourakis said. "It keeps the neighborhood together. It makes people happy. A good diner, people feel good about it."


Longtime Broadway Businesses Clearing Out for New UWS Development (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110210/upper-west-side/longtime-broadway-businesses-clearing-out-for-new-development-on-upper-west-side)

A slew of longtime neighborhood businesses on Broadway say they're being pushed out of their spaces to make way for new development. [DNAinfo]

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110215/upper-west-side/upper-west-side-diner-forced-close-after-11-years#ixzz1E4NocbuS

February 16th, 2011, 08:34 PM
This sucks. But for the building on the south corner which houses the diner, the other buildings are quite nice.

February 16th, 2011, 08:48 PM
[QUOTE=Derek2k3;351941]Taken from one of the ugliest buildings in the neighborhood.


This area is magnficent.

February 19th, 2011, 12:03 PM
H&H Bagels Backer Declares Bankruptcy Updated 36 mins ago

February 19, 2011 10:50am
Updated February 19, 2011 11:20am

Bad news for bagel lovers — one of the companies supporting landmark H&H Bagels filed for bankruptcy Friday,

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/image_xlimage_2009_11_R7415_H_and_H_BAGELS_TAX_FRA UD_111709.jpg
H&H Bagel store on Broadway and 80th Street (Flickr/Scott Beale)

By Tara Kyle
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Bad news for bagel lovers — one of the companies supporting Upper West Side landmark H&H Bagels filed for bankruptcy Friday, according to the New York Post.

H&H affiliate Garden Operations Realty listed a debt totaling $5.1 million, including $3.4 million in IRS debt and back taxes owed to New York and New Jersey, the Post reported (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/bagel_biz_is_pread_too_thin_aPy1tXPyrOCtM6JIIdfmqL ).

The bankruptcy papers indicate that the crisis and a related rent fight could force a shutdown of the bagel company's Seacaucus, N.J., baking facility, according to the Post.

H&H owner Helmer Toro wrote in the filing that all this, plus a lawsuit connected to the rent dispute, resulted in a loss of capital and made it difficult for his company to acquire new financing, the Post reported.

The bankruptcy case follows a turbulent few years for the acclaimed baker.

Last year, Toro was sentenced to 50 weekends in jail (http://www.dnainfo.com/20100722/upper-west-side/hh-bagels-boss-gets-50-weekends-jail-for-tax-scam) following a grand larceny guilty plea in a tax evasion case. And in 2009, the tax dispute forced Toro to temporarily close both H&H's W. 80th St. and Broadway and W. 46th St. and West Side Highway shops.

Writing in the bankruptcy filing, Toro attributed his most recent woes to country's financial crisis.

"The situation was the product of the poor economy affecting the company," Toro wrote, according to the Post. "Business has been increasing as the economy improves."

Follow Tara on Twitter @TaraDKyle (http://twitter.com/TaraDKyle)

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110219/chelsea-hells-kitchen/hh-bagels-backer-declares-bankruptcy#ixzz1EQQIksx9

February 20th, 2011, 09:42 AM
Upper West Side Diner Forced to Close After 11 Years[/SIZE][/B] Updated 3 hrs ago[/COLOR][/LEFT]

February 15, 2011 2:17pm

Manhattan Diner is one of several businesses at Broadway and West 77th Street that says it is closing.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110215/upper-west-side/upper-west-side-diner-forced-close-after-11-years#ixzz1E4NOdYg2

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R7671_UWS_Manhattan_Diner_To _Close_021511.jpg
Manhattan Diner plans to close in a few months along with several other businesses on Broadway and West 77th Street. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

By Leslie Albrecht
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — A 24-hour neighborhood diner that's served as a second home to some customers is closing after more than a decade on Broadway and West 77th Street to make way for a mysterious new development.

[LEFT][COLOR=#000000]Sam Anastasiou, co-owner of Manhattan Diner, said he'll close up shop in between two and six months because property owner Friedland Properties wants to tear down his building.....

The one advantage of this is that the new building hopefully will block views from B'Way of the POS Linden 78.

February 22nd, 2011, 04:38 AM
Newly Renovated UWS Intersection is Dangerous, Locals and Officials Say

February 21, 2011 8:07pm

The 96th Street subway station is shiny and new, but nearby traffic is a mess, officials say.

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The new 96th Street subway is sleek and modern, but officials say the make-over has made the intersection more dangerous. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

By Leslie Albrecht
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — A $65 million makeover brought a sleek new entrance to the 96th Street subway station, but officials and locals say the renovation has made nearby traffic uglier, and more dangerous, than ever.

Pedestrians cross Broadway to reach the bustling subway stop, which serves the 1 local line as well as the 2 and 3 express lines, and like most New Yorkers they stride into the crosswalk when there seems to be a break in traffic.

But those bold walkers can't see the turn signals guiding cars, and they don't realize they're sometimes stepping into the path of cars turning left onto southbound Broadway from westbound West 96th Street.

"The way it currently is, it's not flowing very well at all," said Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, who represents the 69th District.

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Officials say the recently reconfigured intersection at West 96th Street and Broadway is confusing for pedestrians. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

O'Donnell says he is so worried about unsafe conditions at the busy crossroads that he wrote a letter earlier this month to the DOT, voicing concern about "construction, timing of turn signals and general pedestrian confusion" at the intersection. O'Donnell wants DOT to run a safety inspection at the intersection.

The DOT could not be reached for comment Monday.

The subway renovation, which took three years, narrowed Broadway, added turn lanes and ate up sidewalk space. In the wake of the renovation, pedestrians and drivers alike are playing fast and loose with the traffic signals.

O'Donnell says problems at the intersection are compounded by cars racing to reach the West Side Highway via West 96th Street now that the West 95th Street highway on-ramp is closed. Parents at nearby P.S. 75, at West 96th Street and West End Avenue, say they worry, too, about the onslaught of cars.

Police at the NYPD's 24th Precinct have also asked DOT to make safety improvements at the intersection and have even gone as far as submitting a list of suggestions, including using signs to warn people leaving the subway station from a median in the middle of Broadway to watch for turning vehicles, and prohibiting left turns onto Broadway from 96th Street.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_lrgimage_2011_02_R230_UWS_96th_Broadway_Dang erous_Intersection_021611.jpg
Officials say changes at West 96th Street and Broadway have created dangerous conditions. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

A traffic sergeant described the crossroads as a "thorn in his side" at a recent 24th Precinct Community Council meeting.

One precinct member said he didn't believe there had been any serious accidents at the intersection, however, the precinct was unable to provide any data on the matter.

Marilyn Bravemen, a local resident who lives across the street from the busy transit hub, says she loves the new elevators at the 96th Street subway (http://www.dnainfo.com/20101109/upper-west-side/straphangers-welcome-new-elevators-at-96th-street-subway).

But she worries about pedestrians hustling across Broadway, and she's asked Community Board 7 to take action.

"There's all kinds of potential for an accident," Braveman said. "It really needs a comprehensive solution by DOT."

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110221/upper-west-side/newly-renovated-uws-intersection-is-dangerous-locals-officials-say#ixzz1EgA6HHGs

February 23rd, 2011, 01:23 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Niko's (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2011/02/nikos.html)


Niko's Mediterranean Grill on the Upper West Side has closed after 50 years.

They added this note to their Yelp listing: "Sun 2/13 was our last day. Forced to sell lease (http://www.yelp.com/biz/nikos-mediterranean-grill-and-bistro-new-york). Will miss you all. Please support Big Nick's on Broadway."

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mWG6wWC3QcQ/TWGiTHQeU2I/AAAAAAAAMTE/nULwEGinm9w/s320/screen-capture-5.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mWG6wWC3QcQ/TWGiTHQeU2I/AAAAAAAAMTE/nULwEGinm9w/s1600/screen-capture-5.jpg)

Niko's Mediterranean Grill & Bistro on Broadway between West 76th and 77th.

Thanks to blogger and JVNY reader Marty Wombacher (http://www.martyafterdark.com/) for sending in these shots of the restaurant's goodbye sign, where Big Nick says the decision to sell the lease was "difficult and painful," but "it is time to cut back":

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vsPtjHpG_XI/TWGjUtu-T1I/AAAAAAAAMTM/VmOa_YF3Yrk/s320/niko%2527sthree.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vsPtjHpG_XI/TWGjUtu-T1I/AAAAAAAAMTM/VmOa_YF3Yrk/s1600/niko%2527sthree.jpg)

See what a final meal at Niko's looked like from the blog Stuff I Ate (http://www.lkpheartsfood.com/2010/11/nikos.html).
And the owners' other Upper West Side restaurant, Big Nick's pizza and burger joint, remains open--go there (http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2009/05/big-nicks.html).

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZFcrqjU2t40/TWGmB_pIsLI/AAAAAAAAMTU/RQRTZ3lWAhw/s320/nikossix.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZFcrqjU2t40/TWGmB_pIsLI/AAAAAAAAMTU/RQRTZ3lWAhw/s1600/nikossix.jpg)

As for what might come next to this corner, Marty offered a theory:

"When I was looking through the windows an old woman came up and asked if I lived on the block. I told her I did years ago and was surprised that this place was closed. She said she was too. Then I jokingly said, 'Well, you can look forward to another Starbucks on the block.' She spat out, 'They put a f*****g Starbucks in there and I'll f*****g firebomb the place!'"


February 23rd, 2011, 01:34 PM
Natural History Museum Renovation Plans on Display Updated 15 mins ago

February 23, 2011 1:18pm

The AMNH's restoration plans will be revealed at Community Board 7's Preservation Committee tonight.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_02_R1314_UWS_Museum_Renovation_ 022311.jpg
The American Museum of Natural History has restoration plans for the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. (Getty Images/Andrew Burton)

By Leslie Albrecht
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — The public will get a glimpse of plans to restore part of the American Museum of Natural History Wednesday night.

Community Board 7's preservation committee will host a presentation by museum officials on the restoration of AMNH's Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.

The renovation will include improvements to visitor safety and exits, as well as restoration of architectural features, according to Community Board 7's preservation committee meeting agenda.

The cornerstone for the museum’s first building at West 77th Street and Columbus Avenue was laid by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in 1874; the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall and Rotunda opened in 1936, according to the museum's website.

A five-story high cast of a Barosaurus dinosaur, "the world's highest freestanding dinosaur display," has loomed over the Roosevelt rotunda since 1991.

Last year the museum restored murals in the Roosevelt hall as part of an ongoing renovation project, the New York Times (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E02E4DA1630F932A15755C0A9669D8B 63&ref=theodoreroosevelt) reported.

Representatives of the museum could not be reached immediately for comment on Wednesday morning.

Community Board 7's Preservation Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. at 250 W. 87th Street. Read the agenda at Community Board 7's website (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb7/html/agendas/committee_agendas.shtml#Preservation2).

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110223/upper-west-side/natural-history-museum-renovation-plans-on-display#ixzz1EoBUcmKR

April 23rd, 2011, 12:40 AM
This is actually quite clever, I think. I hope it comes in different colours, though.

The Incredible, Foldable Upper West Side Apartment!

April 22, 2011, by Sara Polsky









Eric Schneider knows how to make a 450-square-foot Upper West Side studio feel spacious: spend a year in one half the size in Japan, then come home and hire architect friends to configure his UWS home. The result, designed by Normal Projects and highlighted in freshome, is so nifty we can't stop clicking through the photos. The walls fold! They also manage to create, in various configurations, a living room, kitchen, breakfast nook, desk, closet, bookshelves, bed, and guest bed. Excuse us while we go look at the photos again.

Unfolding Apartment by Normal Projects (http://freshome.com/2011/04/20/small-manhattan-apartment-unfolding-apartment-by-normal-projects/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreshInspirationForYourHome+% 28Fresh+Inspiration+for+Your+Home%29) [Freshome]
Unfolding Apartment (http://www.normalprojects.com/?p=182) [Normal Projects]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/04/22/the_incredible_foldable_upper_west_side_apartment. php

May 6th, 2011, 09:37 AM
Row House Wrangler, Chuck Wagon Consultant


316-326 West 85th Street

90th Street and West End Avenue

West End Avenue and 85th Street

Detail of the carved ornament above the doorway

Detail above the roofline

West 88th Street

83rd Street and Riverside

Riverside Drive at 80th Street

426 Columbus Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets

Riverside Drive at 77th Street

249 West End Avenue near 71st Street

THE Landmarks Preservation Commission has proposed three sprawling West End Avenue historic districts, each a segment of the great north-south swath of the apartment house boulevard. They happen to capture a particularly picturesque little row of houses at 316-326 West 85th Street, among the earliest of the designs by the remarkable Clarence True.

People had been complaining about the New York row house for decades, but no one did anything about it until this obscure architect burst upon the scene.

Born in 1860, Clarence Fagan True worked in the office of the Gothicist Richard M. Upjohn until he went out on his own in 1884 with a few minor commissions, like two in Queens: a Queen Anne cottage in Flushing and a Gothic-style clubhouse for the Aerial Athletic Association in Woodside. Then, in 1890, he made a sudden and successful entry into the Manhattan market, with 22 houses in a single year on the Upper West Side.

Of the first group, 10 in all, there is the picturesque surviving row at 301-309 West 89th Street, with peaked roofs and the sine qua non of house design since the 1860s, high stoops. A few months after receiving the 89th Street commission, True drew up a three-house row for the west side of West End Avenue, from 88th to 89th Streets, no longer standing.

Built for the developer Richard G. Platt, these were in a pleasant Renaissance style, but instead of the usual 10- or 12-step stoop, their entrances were nearly at grade, only two or three steps up. Research by the architect and preservationist Jill Szarkowski indicates that these were the first of True’s low-stoop houses.

Before 1850, the typical New York row house had a fairly low entrance. The high stoop was apparently introduced to more clearly separate the service areas on the street floor from the rooms for entertaining on the parlor floor. This development was received without protest, even though it meant the owners had to climb a flight of stairs to get out of the weather.

True continued to work with the high stoop. There is one on the speculative town house he designed in early 1892 for Platt at the northeast corner of 85th and West End. But his low-stoop solution gained ground, as with the dusky red sandstone pair at 157-159 West 88th, completed later in 1892 for the developer Charles Judson.

Judson was also the client for True’s cute little row at 316-326 West 86th Street, with overhanging tile roofs, speckled brick facades and two- to four-step-high entrances. The rusty red sandstone on the ground floor, from the Maynard quarry in western Massachusetts, is pitted and weathered like some ancient Attic monument.

For a new practitioner, True hit the ground running: 29 houses in 1891; 34 in 1892; 33 in 1893. He designed a picturesque little oyster market on Columbus Avenue near 80th, now a Patagonia store, illustrated in the online edition of this column. Another project was an unrealized design for a fantastical, Dakota-like apartment house at West End and 86th Street.

In early 1893 True spoke on the subject of domestic architecture with The Real Estate Record and Guide. He considered the money spent on the high stoop wasted — half the cost of the entire front — and derided the standard brownstones as “mostly bad copies of the Farnese Palace” that ought to be torn down.

Toward the end of the 1890s True began building on his own account, turning to Flemish and Northern European sources, with stepped gables, light colors and large round corner bays, like the group still standing at the south corner of 80th and Riverside.

True had a plan for the entire block of 92nd Street between West End and Riverside, including a row on the south side set back from the street in a soft arc, like a London crescent. But he was able to build only the gabled, dormered group standing at the northwest corner of 92nd and West End.

What The Record and Guide called in 1899 “the best design that has ever left his boards” is the seven-house red brick group in the Flemish style at the northwest corner of 90th and West End.

Architecture — really, real estate development — was good to Clarence True; the 1900 census records him in a Mamaroneck house with his family of five plus a butler, a cook, a coachman and a housemaid.

His son, Roland, joined the firm around 1910, and Clarence True & Son became known for smaller projects, but nothing with the sweep and originality that the father brought to the Upper West Side in the 1890s.

However, as Capt. Clarence True of the National Guard, he did design a model chuck wagon for his 300-man battalion of the 71st Infantry when it crossed into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa in 1916. Captain True addressed the problem of feeding soldiers on the move: how to keep a cooking range going while under way, provide bread and stew immediately after stopping, preserve meat, dispose of trash.

As he did with the Upper West Side row house, Clarence True, who died in 1928, rethought the entire concept.


May 6th, 2011, 09:46 AM
Advocate Leads Tour of 50-Year-Old Urban Renewal Fight

A Saturday walking tour explores the impact of the city's history of bulldozing tenements on the Upper West Side.

By Leslie Albrecht

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_xlimage_2011_05_R7427_Walk_Tours_Urban_Renew al_History_050511.jpg
A rendering of Wise Towers, the public housing development built during urban renewal on the Upper West Side.
(Courtesy of Kelley Williams)

UPPER WEST SIDE — Kelley Williams was a teenager when the city announced its plan to bulldoze her building as part of a swath of Upper West Side tenement buildings slated to be torn down in the name of urban renewal.

She fought back, successfully organizing tenants in her West 88th Street building to stop the demolition. A half-century later, her childhood home is now a low-income co-op building, and an example of the battles spawned during the urban renewal plan that Williams will discuss during her one-time walking tour Saturday.

"Connecting to the history, and understanding how a building remained low-income or how we got a middle-income building constructed, will make people have a better connection to the West Side," said Williams, executive director of Strycker's Bay Neighborhood Council, which has fought to bring back people displaced by the city's urban renewal plan.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_lrgimage_2011_05_R7161_Walk_Tours_Urban_Rene wal_History_050511.jpg
The city's 1959 preliminary map for
urban renewal on the Upper West Side.
(Courtesy of Kelley Williams)

The walking tour will visit 20 sites on the city's 1959 urban renewal plan for the Upper West Side, which spanned from West 87th Street to West 97th Street between Central Park West and the east Side of Amsterdam Avenue.

The area was home to a mix of low-income Puerto Ricans, whites and African-Americans, and was considered blighted. Urban renewal was intended to revive the neighborhood without destroying its character, according to the 1959 plan.

"This urban renewal was supposed to be different," Williams said. "They were going to do it in stages and be focused on not necessarily completely bulldozing a neighborhood. The goal was to maintain the ethnic and economic diversity of the neighborhood, but to improve the quality of the housing."

http://s3.amazonaws.com/sfb111/story_lrgimage_2011_05_R4392_Walk_Tours_Urban_Rene wal_History_050511.jpg
The Upper West Side's Park West Village,
once known as Manhattan Town,
was built during urban renewal in the 1950s.
(DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

The results were mixed, said Williams.

At West 91st and Columbus Avenue, the tour will visit a spot known as "Site 30" where 70 families agreed to leave their homes. They were promised slots in public housing, but that housing was never built, Williams said.

Ultimately, urban renewal paved the way for the gentrification of the Upper West Side, creating the diverse, yet wealthier neighborhood that exists today, said Williams.

Williams said she hopes the walking tour will help people recover a sense of community that's been lost on the Upper West Side.

The tour runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sat. May 7. It begins at the William F. Ryan Health Center at 110 West 97th Street, and ends at the northeast corner of West 87th Street and Columbus Avenue. For more information, visit the tour's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#%21/event.php?eid=208109365875248).


May 19th, 2011, 06:24 AM
Ornamental Urns Sawed Off Historic UWS Building

Residents were dismayed last week when workers removed ornamental urns from the facade of 333 W. 86th Street.

By Leslie Albrecht

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slide show (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110518/upper-west-side/ornamental-urns-sawed-off-historic-uws-building/slideshow/popup/76934)

UPPER WEST SIDE — Kennedy Fraser's apartment is near the bustling corner of West 86th Street and West End Avenue, but the urn on her terrace takes her back to a different place and time.

The neoclassical decorative urn reminds Fraser of the type of ornament a 18-century English gentleman would have brought back from Europe after his Grand Tour and installed in his garden, she said.

But to building management, the urn — one of about 20 that decorate the 1926 facade of Fraser's building — is a safety hazard.

Fraser was crushed last week when a worker showed up without warning and used a circular saw to lop off two of the three urns on her 17th-floor terrace. Workers removed about five urns in all from the building, Fraser said.

"To me, this is an act of cultural vandalism," said Fraser, who moved into the building in 1976. "The urns represent something in the cultural history of New York — a wish for beauty, elegance and culture. It's what gives life meaning, that things go back into the past. We look at these urns and they resonate with us."

Fraser rushed out to her balcony and confronted the worker, shouting "Illegal! What are you doing?" She said the man responded simply, "Garbage." Fraser said she "flung her arms" around a third urn on her terrace to save it from being tossed out.

Fraser and some of her neighbors confronted building management, and made enough of a fuss that building officials agreed to temporarily halt the removal of the urns, they said

To Fraser and her neighbors, the urns are a highlight of their prewar structure. Long ago, the 22-story building was the Cambridge Hotel, a residential hotel where tenants dressed for dinner and took their meals in a restaurant with white-gloved attendants, Fraser said.

About ten years ago, Atria Senior Living took over 333 W. 86th St. and turned it into an assisted living facility. Now the building is a mix of longtime tenants and about 150 Atria clients, an Atria spokeswoman said. She declined to say how many longtime tenants like Fraser still live in the building.

Building managers recently hired an engineer to "evaluate and assess" the building's facade to make sure it meets building codes, Atria spokeswoman Amy Schuster said. The engineer suggested removing the urns as a safety precaution, Schuster said.

"Obviously from a historical and architectural perspective, we want to do what's best in preserving that, but keeping everyone safe is by far the most important issue," Schuster said. "Our highest priority at all times is ensuring the safety of the people who make their homes with us."

Fraser and her neighbor Marjorie Palmer point out that Atria touts the building's prewar architectural details in marketing materials, and even features a photo of one of the urns on its website (http://www.atriaseniorliving.com/community.aspx?id=7400).

Palmer says Atria, based in Lousville, Ky., seems tone deaf to neighborhood concerns about historic preservation. Atria's West 86th Street building is one of about 800 Upper West Side structures that preservationists are hoping to landmark in a massive historic district (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110323/upper-west-side/massive-uws-historic-district-greeted-with-mixed-reviews-at-first-hearing).

"(Removing the urns) is absolutely contrary to the spirit of what's happening in this neighborhood now, which is to preserve the beautiful architectural features," Palmer, who's lived in the building since the early 1960s, said.

The residents' cause has won the attention of Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side. Rosenthal told DNAinfo she's asked the Department of Buildings to investigate whether Atria has the proper permits to remove the urns.

The building is listed as "calendared for landmark status" on the DOB's website, which usually means it can't be touched, Rosenthal said.

"It's a good thing that tenants and other people who care about such things are vigilant, otherwise a lot of laws would be skirted," Rosenthal said. "It's these kinds of touches that are unique to the buildings of the West Side. If they're removed, it lessens the aesthetic value of the building."


May 19th, 2011, 01:26 PM

June 9th, 2011, 07:10 AM
Interesting analysis of this much changed area particularly, with the upcoming demise of 207 West 75th Street.
The article is too large to be inserted here, but worth a look.

Stable Row and the
Geography of Parking Garages in Manhattan

At the turn of the 20th century, horses were a primary provider of motive power and New York City was home to an estimated 74,000 horses and 4,600 stables. The Upper West Side was becoming a fashionable neighborhood of row houses and apartment buildings. Amsterdam Avenue was the area's chief service corridor, which undoubtedly reduced the avenue's desirability for residential purposes compared to the blocks to the east and west. The blocks between Broadway and Amsterdam and West 75th to West 77th streets became the home to a number of stables and the area became known colloquially as "Stable Row." (CPC 2007, Lueck 2006)

As automobiles and trucks replaced horses, many of the Stable Row buildings became garages, were replaced by new garage buildings and/or came to house automobile-associated businesses. City directory listings mapped below show the speedy transformation of stables around Manhattan into parking garages in the first two decades of the 20th century. The 1907 directory (Trow 2007) lists 71 garages and 681 livery stables in Manhattan (58 and 534 of those addresses, respectively, remained geocodable in 2009). By 1926, almost all of the stables were gone, replaced by 394 listings for garages out of 1,355 total listings for auto-related businesses (1,068 were geocodable in 2009). By 2009, an online yellow pages site for NYC (nyc.com 2009) listed 916 unique garages (848 geocodable) in Manhattan, although barren areas may indicate that this listing has significant omissions.


July 1st, 2011, 05:18 AM
Twins, but They Don’t Dress Alike


The Evanston at 610 West End Avenue, top, shares a silhouette, along with many other details,
with its cater-corner sibling, the Admaston, bottom, at 251 West 89th Street.

THE unique development of one West Side block produced an unusual pair of near-twin buildings. But no matter how far out the windows they stretch, the residents of the Evanston, at 90th and West End, will never be able to see the facade of its mate, the Admaston, at 89th and Broadway.

After the Civil War, big things were expected of Broadway on the Upper West Side. But exactly what things no one quite knew, and most owners held their properties off the market. Thomas W. Evans was one of these, purchasing the entire block from Broadway to West End, from 89th to 90th, in 1873. Dr. Evans, a dentist practicing in Paris, had become rich while tending to the teeth of Emperor Napoleon III.

Dr. Evans died in 1897, and his estate did not sell the land until after the subway came up Broadway in 1904, with a stop at 91st Street. The Evans block was unusual in that it had not been divided into lots, and in 1909 the investor Robert Emmet Dowling paid $1.25 million for it.

Because of the recent construction of the full-block Apthorp, at 79th, and the Belnord, at 86th, it seemed possible that the Evans block, too, would be the site of a giant courtyard building. But most apartment buildings were built for resale, and the buyers for a single massive structure were necessarily limited. So Dowling sold his property in five pieces, two of the corners to George F. Johnson Jr. and Leopold Kahn, who had already built large apartment houses.

The New York Times predicted Johnson and Kahn would put up “two of the most magnificent apartment houses on the West Side,” and in 1911 they completed the Admaston, at 251 West 89th, and its fraternal twin, the Evanston, diagonally opposite, at 610 West End.

George and Edward Blum designed both, using their trademark Secession-like styling, with hypnotic lacy runs of terra cotta, beige tapestry brick with deep-struck joints, and extensive and inventive use of iron ornament.

The Admaston had no cornice but did have a continuous iron balcony one floor below the roof. The Evanston had a typical projecting cornice, since removed, and a striking, owl-face iron fence around the ground floor, and trapezoidal projecting balconies, still there. The buildings were joined by two other apartment houses, at 89th and West End and at the middle of the block on 89th, and a theater on 90th and Broadway, restricted to four stories in height for the following decade.

A writer for The Times in 1911 regretted Dowling’s decision to divvy up his land, made, he said, at the expense of “working out a harmonious appearance for the entire block.”

The Admaston has stores on Broadway. Perhaps to make up for this indignity, it has one of those sprawling West Side lobbies, easily the equivalent of a three-bedroom apartment. The five- to eight-room apartments there rented early on for $100 to $200 a month. The Evanston had much fancier apartments, including duplexes of up to 10 rooms. One was advertised in The Times for $375 a month.

Census returns for 1920 for the Evanston show mostly clothing and dry goods executives, but there was also a musical contingent, including Julius Witmark, one of the founders of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as Ascap, and George Maxwell, its president.

In 1923 Maxwell was accused in a bizarre case in which scores of anonymous letters mailed to prominent New Yorkers alleged, in what The Times called the “most vulgar and common terms,” intimate relations between Maxwell and various married women. These letters were usually sent to the husbands. Maxwell was indicted, but the case was later dropped. He remained head of Ascap.

Over time, the West Side fell a couple of pegs on the economic and social scale, especially buildings on Broadway. In 1948 detectives working on a $75,000 jewelry burglary raided the Admaston apartment of William Bruley, and ultimately recovered a 68-carat diamond pendant. The Times took care to note that the thief’s den had a radio in every room, and that the men arrested there were watching a television.

Although the Evanston was converted to a co-op in the 1960s, the Admaston was, like most West Side buildings, a creature of the rent-regulated economy, which meant minimal maintenance, fluorescent lights in the lobby and a day-shift doorman, if that. In the mid-1980s, the Evanston decided to redo the lobby but could not afford the restoration of the deteriorated terrazzo, and covered it with thin marble applique. While intended to exude elegance, the look was down market.

The Admaston was converted to condos around the same time, but did not address its lobby until a decade later, when it laid similar marble over the terrazzo in its entry, and put up a canvas canopy, a sine qua non for a co-op.

Within the last decade, the Evanston has taken up its marble squares, and restored the terrazzo, an expensive but tasteful change. The co-op also took down its awkwardly designed canvas canopy, flooding its lobby with light.

However, this is hardly news to me. As the brother of twin sisters, I can tell you they swap clothes all the time.


September 3rd, 2011, 03:27 AM
(large image)

More stunning NYC photos by Michael Huitt:


October 31st, 2011, 06:52 AM
Oh, I'm in love. I want this. Only $2m...maintenance ($2,912) a bit steep, though <sigh>.

1 West 67th Street, Upper West Side

http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1466/0505/1279148_162876_l_gallery.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1466/0505/1279148_162876_l_gallery.jpg)

http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1466/0505/1279148_162876_l_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1466/0505/1279148_162876_l_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5554/1279148_162826_l_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5554/1279148_162826_l_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5542/1279148_162834_l_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5542/1279148_162834_l_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5536/1279148_162838_l_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5536/1279148_162838_l_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5530/1279148_162842_l_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5530/1279148_162842_l_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5524/1279148_162846_l_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5524/1279148_162846_l_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5548/1279148_162830_l_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5548/1279148_162830_l_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5518/1279148_162850_f_thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/assets/properties/images/1465/5518/1279148_162850_f_gallery.jpg) http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/images/dingbats/street-view.png?1319728740 (http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/properties/152583-1-west-67th-street-upper-west-side-manhattan#)
(click to enlarge)


The Hotel Des Artistes, 1 West 67th, is located off Central Park West. One of Manhattan's most famed and illustrious cooperatives, the Neo-Gothic-style building is legendary in its location, architecture, and residences. This one of a kind duplex loft has breathtaking Central Park and city skyline views. The spectacular living room has 22-foot ceilings, 14-foot high windows and a wood-burning fireplace. The upper level has a dramatic dining area, windowed kitchen with washer/dryer and spacious bedroom with large closets. This extraordinary apartment represents the best of the building's renowned heritage as a true work of art. The full-time staff will meet your every need. The Hotel Des Artistes has a pool, squash court, gym and roof-deck. Residents receive discounted fare at the world famous restaurant Leopard des Artistes. Pets are allowed.


October 31st, 2011, 08:35 AM
That building once had a Cafe in the lobby - cafe des artistes. My 'history of interiors' class was taken there by our college professor for an 'educational' field trip: located only a few blocks from campus it did not require much of a 'trip'.

November 17th, 2011, 06:34 AM
Not quite as good as the originals, but still positive.

Return of Decorative Urns Delights UWS Residents

By Leslie Albrecht

UPPER WEST SIDE — Massive ornamental urns that were sawed off an Upper West Side building have been replaced with lighter weight fiberglass replicas, delighting residents who decried the urns' removal, the New York Times reported (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/the-urns-return/).

Residents at 333 W. 86th Street were crushed in May when workers removed several decorative urns that graced the facade of the 22-story building. Writer Kennedy Fraser, who lives on the building's 17th floor, told DNAinfo then (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110518/upper-west-side/ornamental-urns-sawed-off-historic-uws-building) that lopping off the urns was "an act of cultural vandalism."

Building management said the urns' removal, first reported by DNAinfo (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110518/upper-west-side/ornamental-urns-sawed-off-historic-uws-building), was necessary because the heavy masonry objects were a safety hazard that could topple to the ground and harm a passer-by.

News of the urns' removal prompted an outcry from the preservation group West End Preservation Society and action from State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal. She investigated whether building management had the proper permits to remove the urns and found that the urns were removed legally.

Rosenthal helped broker a deal to replace the lopped off urns with exact copies made of lighter weight fiberglass, the Times reported. The replicas were made using molds of the original urns, a neoclassical architectural detail that harkens back to the early days of the 1926 building.

Making the copies was costly, but worth it, said Amy Schuster, a spokeswoman for Atria Senior Living, which runs an assisted living facility inside 333 W. 86th St. "This more expensive solution was important in honoring the architectural beauty of the building," Schuster told the Times.

The new urns were installed last week to positive reviews from both the Landmarks Preservation Commission and residents.

"I don't know who made these replicas, but they were incredible craftsmen," Fraser told DNAinfo in an email. "They are gorgeous."


November 17th, 2011, 07:27 AM
Holy sh.it! This place is awesome!


November 17th, 2011, 08:14 AM
Not quite as good as the originals, but still positive.

They're exact replicas of the removed ones. You can see pictures of them in the Times article. Maybe it's confusing because the building seems to have different styles of urns.

November 17th, 2011, 09:29 AM
Yes, I know. I just meant that it would have been better had the original urns remained intact.

February 3rd, 2012, 11:38 PM
Retail Limits in Plan for the Upper West Side


Chase bank and a Duane Reade share the same block of Columbus Avenue.

Across New York City, the proliferation of chain stores, banks and pharmacies in the past decade or so has robbed many neighborhoods of the quirky one-of-a-kind shops that give those places their distinct personalities and where customers can form a relationship with their shopkeepers.

Now the city is proposing to erect a fire wall in one neighborhood — the Upper West Side — that may discourage chain stores and preserve the neighborhood’s commercial character and its vibrant street life. Supporters believe, and opponents fear, that it could serve as a blueprint for other neighborhoods.

The proposal would amend the neighborhood’s zoning to limit the ground-floor width of all new stores to 40 feet on two major commercial thoroughfares — Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues — and banks to 25 feet on those two avenues, and on Broadway as well. The 40-foot number was chosen because most are already narrower than that, and 25 feet was regarded by officials as a “workable width” for ground-floor banks.

The district covered by the proposal — roughly 72nd to 110th Streets, though on Columbus the new zoning would apply no farther north than 87th Street — already has 29 banks, 24 of them on Broadway. The Department of City Planning did not tally chain retailers, but dozens have cropped up on all three roads. Chains have so transformed Broadway that the new regulation aims to stop only banks there.

Many West Siders — and a neighborhood councilwoman, Gale A. Brewer — have complained that these national businesses gobble up what were once clusters of smaller stores. “Stores are the soul of the neighborhood,” Councilwoman Brewer said. “Small pharmacies, shoe stores, they mean everything to us.”

One Duane Reade on Amsterdam Avenue, between 78th and 79th Streets, takes up more than three-fourths of the block; a Chase Bank on Broadway between 89th and 90th takes up half a block. One side of Amsterdam between 76th and 77th consists almost entirely of an Equinox gym, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Crumbs cupcakes and Giggle baby products.

“Each block has a Duane Reade,” said Kenneth Yoo, owner of Paper House, a party supplies store on Amsterdam near 73rd. The large stores make it hard for small businesses, he said: “All the stuff we have, Duane Reade has, too — and cheaper.”

Susanna Brock, 27, a Harvard graduate who teaches at a private school in the area, lamented how hard it was to find “interesting boutique stores” in which to browse. “If I come out during one of my breaks, there’s no store to go into,” she said. “What am I going to do, look at toothpaste at Duane Reade?”

Mel Wymore, who until recently was chairman of a local community board on the West Side, has argued that big banks and large pharmacies have a “deadening” impact on street life and eat up sidewalk space.

“When a bank closes at night, it becomes dead space,” he said. “A retail establishment, on the other hand, is interesting to look at. Even when it’s closed, it engages the pedestrian.”

But critics, like the Real Estate Board of New York, which represents landlords, say the proposal is misguided and chains and large drugstores are proliferating because people like them. Stores like Duane Reade and CVS, said Steven Spinola, the board’s president, have become the new five-and-dimes, places where customers can find everything, like light bulbs, shoelaces and a gallon of milk, in one spot.

“If CVS is such a terrible store for the area,” he said, “then why are they getting a tremendous number of customers?”

In a way, the proposal is intended to encourage more stores like Stoopher &Boots on Amsterdam Avenue, Stephanie Goldstein’s idiosyncratic but tidy shop of ladybug-shaped night lights, dinosaurs made of socks and other hand-crafted what-nots. Scout, her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, is a regular there; he would probably not be found in a chain.

Such singular shops, as well as locksmiths, florists, picture framers and others stores catering to everyday needs, once bred prolifically on the West Side, helping the neighborhood keep its loose-limbed character. But they have been disappearing, replaced by banks and chain retailers like Banana Republic and Victoria’s Secret. The neighborhood has lost the Maxilla and Mandible store, a three-decade-old fixture that specialized in fossils and skulls, and Ottomanelli Brothers butcher shop, which offered meats not found in supermarkets.

Planning officials insist they are not trying to block chains. They could still be on Amsterdam or Columbus Avenues, but they would have to expand onto the second floor or deeper within a building’s core. Food stores like Trader Joe’s would be exempt from the new zoning.

City officials point out that limits on the ground-floor frontage of banks have in recent years been tried successfully, if on a smaller scale, on 125th Street, and more than 40 years ago on Fifth Avenue, though in neither case was a 40-foot limit imposed on frontage.

Ms. Goldstein said she worried that limiting frontage would still allow national businesses to occupy the smaller spaces. “It’s not protecting the kindof store,” she said. “It’s protecting the size of the store.”

Another skeptic is Mitchell L. Moss, a professor of urban planning at New York University, who said the West Side, once an enclave of professionals in relatively low-paying intellectual trades, was drawing chain stores because it has different newcomers, many of them affluent. It has also seen the building of tall condominiums and co-ops with footprints ideal for large stores. “The West Side is no longer a hotbed of liberals, artists, poets and activists,” he said. “It has entered the 21st century with Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Century 21.”

Arguing that the zoning is addressing a nonexistent problem, Mr. Spinola pointed out that fewer than 45 of the 900 stores in the district that would be affected are now wider than 40 feet. More crucial to the fate of small stores, he said, are rising commercial taxes.

Mr. Wymore, who is running for a City Council seat, said the proposal was no panacea because merchants were also being pushed out by rising rents, partly a function of the West Side’s wealthier population and partly the result of landlords’ preferring deeper-pocketed retailers.

Rachaele Raynoff, a spokeswoman for the planning department, insisted that the agency had no intention of copying the proposal elsewhere. “We believe that neighborhoods are very specific,” she said. “There’s no cookie cutter, one size fits all.”

The new zoning resolution, which is under an advisory evaluation by the neighborhood community board, must be approved by the planning department and the Council (the Council typically defers to a member’s wishes on neighborhood issues).

The support of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration is already assured, since the planning department would not pursue the zoning plan without the blessing of City Hall.

Interviews suggested that smaller merchants feel endangered. “It’s a sense of pride to own your own business, to have independence, but you’re always on edge,” said Elias Makriyianis, who for 25 years has operated Amaryllis Florist on Amsterdam Avenue near 73rd.

Many people worry that with every small store’s closing, the experience of shopping begins to lose its relish. Kate Kaminski, 34, an assistant at Gary Tracy, an optometrist on Amsterdam, said the trinkets at chain stores were often mass produced, while those at hole-in-the-wall stores were often original or offbeat.

“When they close,” she said, “you lose beautiful quality products.”


October 10th, 2012, 10:06 AM
joejosephs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joejosephs/8055099114/sizes/k/in/photostream/)

October 10th, 2012, 09:30 PM
I love the UWS. I can't wait for the day when the crappy Gray's Papaya is gone.

October 11th, 2012, 05:51 AM
There are some magnificent buildings along West End Avenue (#199).

Does anyone know if the third building along (tallest) on the left has a name?

November 13th, 2012, 04:49 AM
A Scene From Cuban Sugarcane Fields Will Endure on Columbus Avenue


David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
High-relief mural at the former Victor's Cafe, 240 Columbus Avenue, at West 71st Street,
depicts a guajiro, a peasant farmer, in a Cuban sugar field. It is modeled on Victor del Corral.

David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
Oxen, under yoke, haul a cart filled with sugarcane in the Victor's Cafe mural.

David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
The Victor's Cafe mural by Arturo Martín Garcia, as it appeared this week.

Damon Winter/The New York Times
As it appeared in February.

Landmarks Preservation Commission
As it appeared about 20 years ago.

Courtesy of Monica Zaldivar
As it appeared about 40 years ago.

For more than four decades, the yoked oxen have lumbered toward Columbus Avenue through the towering grasslands along West 71st Street, pulling a cart piled high with sugarcane. A young guajiro has stood nearby — momentarily at rest from his toils — gazing not into space but into his own future.

Nine months ago, the future looked dark (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/mural-by-kilgannon/).

That guajiro, the peasant farmer shown on the high relief mural outside the former Victor’s Cafe at 240 Columbus Avenue, is (or was) Victor del Corral of Guanabacoa, Cuba. In 1957, Mr. del Corral immigrated to the United States. Six years later, he opened Victor’s Cafe. Craig Claiborne told readers of “The New York Times Guide to Dining Out in New York” in the late 1960s: “Anyone with a passion for Cuban food would look hard in this city to find a more auspicious source than Victor’s.”

Victor’s was a neighborhood institution, where Cuban expatriates and Lincoln Center concertgoers could feast on seafood stew, white bean soup and roast pig. In 1971, Mr. del Corral commissioned a relief mural, in plaster and marble dust, from the sculptor Arturo Martín Garcia.

David W. Dunlap/The New York Times Detail of the mural.

“Victor’s vision was to remind Cuban exiles living in New York that one must work hard to make it in life, but at the same time to never forget one’s roots,” said his granddaughter Monica Zaldivar, who now runs the cafe. It has been at 236 West 52nd Street since 1980.

Subsequent tenants of the Columbus Avenue address preserved the mural. But when Greg Hunt and his partners came along this year with plans to reopen the spot as Cafe Tallulah, they made it plain that — in their minds, at least — the artwork was doomed.

“The location has been an eyesore for years and we’re investing close to $2 million to renovate it and make it wonderful again,” Mr. Hunt said in February. “I don’t want to open with two decrepit, sappy cows. (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/mural-by-kilgannon/)”

Preservationists looked at the beasts differently; and not just because it was obvious at a quick glance that they were not cows.

Manuel R. Castedo, president of the nonprofit Cuban Cultural Center of New York, a nonprofit organization, said, “If the mural is, explicitly, an invaluable imprint of Cubans in the great metropolis, on a larger scale it is a reminder of all other immigrant communities who have prospered in New York City and made it their home, including the artist himself.”

David W. Dunlap/The New York Times Detail of the mural.

Mr. Martín was graduated in 1949 from the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, in Marianao, a suburb of Havana. He died in 1985. If his work is not the equal, say, of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s in Boston, it still has an undeniable vitality. And it certainly captures the spirit of the Upper West Side 40 years ago.

“The work is emblematic of a notable moment in this neighborhood’s larger history,” said Arlene Simon, president of the preservation group Landmark West! A representative of the group testified against Mr. Hunt’s plans at a hearing of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Feb. 21.

The matter was before the commission because 240 Columbus Avenue is in the Upper West Side-Central Park West Historic District. A facade alteration like the one Mr. Hunt proposed is subject to the commission’s approval. It was clear at the hearing that some commission members believed that a case could be made for requiring Mr. Hunt to keep the mural in place as a record of Victor’s.

“This came up as one of the pre-eminent businesses that helped to save the Upper West Side,” one of the commission members, Michael Devonshire, said at the hearing. He added, “I think that this mural is representative of that resurgence.”

Whether Mr. Hunt would have prevailed or not at the commission became moot when Cafe Tallulah reappeared in March to say it was keeping the mural. Robert B. Tierney, the commission chairman, told Mr. Hunt and his partners: “It’s very important to save the mural, and I’m glad the whole process has produced this and that you’ve chosen to go in that direction.”

On its Facebook page in June, Cafe Tallulah said of the old mural: “Although we weren’t crazy about it at first, over time it grew on us. We gradually came to the realization (especially over the last few days) that it is unique, quirky and fun.”

Recently, the mural has been transformed from dull brown to dazzling white by a primer coat that sharpens every point on each sugar cane stalk and transforms the grass strands from a muddle to a biomorphic fantasy. (The final color will be off-white.)

“It really is wonderful,” said Ms. Zaldivar, Victor del Corral’s granddaughter. “I live in the area, a block away, and I was delighted to see it was restored.”

When Ms. Simon of Landmark West! learned that Cafe Tallulah would open Dec. 1, she said, “I’m going to be 76 that day, so I definitely have to go celebrate.” After an instant’s happy reflection, she added, “There may be a God after all.”

Courtesy of Monica Zaldivar
Arturo Martín Garcia working on the high-relief mural at Victor's Cafe in 1971.

Courtesy of Monica Zaldivar
Workmen installing the segments showing a cart wheel, left, and an ox, right.

Courtesy of Monica Zaldivar
Mr. Martín and Victor del Corral, the namesake of Victor's Cafe and the model
for the barechested figure of the guajiro in the sugarcane fields.


November 13th, 2012, 01:16 PM
Great restoration.

November 16th, 2012, 09:25 PM
The Skinny Shops of Columbus Avenue

By Michelle Young

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Shoe-Repair_2_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Shoe-Repair_2_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg)
Angelo’s Shoe Repair at 228 Columbus Avenue, one of the many skinny shops along this Upper West Side thoroughfare

I’ve been living on the Upper West Side since the early ’90s when the area was not quite the vibrant corridor it is now. One of the curious developments in the urban fabric of Columbus Avenue are the skinny shops that exist between buildings. A while back ScoutingNY (http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=5662) pointed out one of the skinniest magazine shops in New York, the Smoke Shop at 208 Columbus Avenue (pictured below, its official name is quite amazingly, the “Amazing Store & Smoke Shop.”). This isn’t a one-off occurrence however. The occupation of these narrow shops between buildings is part of a special zoning plan from the city of New York, which seems to have reinforced and/or extended already existing usages of in-between spaces along this avenue.

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Smoke-Shop_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Smoke-Shop_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg)T
he Amazing Store & Smoke Shop: 208 Columbus Avenue

Columbus Avenue between 72nd and 87th Streets, and a large swatch of Amsterdam Avenue is part of the U (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zh_special_purp_mn.shtml#special_enhanced)pper West Side Special Enhanced Commercial District (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zh_special_purp_mn.shtml#special_enhanced). These districts are instituted in order to “promote and maintain a lively and engaging pedestrian experience along commercial avenues.” [Zoning Resolution Article XIII Ch. 2 (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/art13c02.pdf)]. In addition to a 50% minimum for commercial activity along the street wall, it also allows for freedom in store size and configuration:

Overall store sizes are not restricted, and stores can be laid out with any configuration, including the basement, second story, wrapping behind, or along corner frontages.

More specifically, it allows for the unique in-between building spaces to be activated:

Any ground floor level use with a non-conforming street wall width may be continued or changed to another use
permitted by the applicable district regulations.

Here’s a roundup of some of these unique shops along Columbus Avenue:

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Gas_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Gas_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg)
Gas Bijoux Boutique (originally from France)

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Reamir-and-Co.-Barber-Shop_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Reamir-and-Co.-Barber-Shop_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings.jpg)
Reamir & Co Barber at 303 Columbus Avenue, where most of the barbers are from Kazakhstan

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Shoe-Repair-Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Shoe-Repair-Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg)
John’s Shoe Repair at 190 Columbus Avenue

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Crocs_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Crocs_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Building.jpg)
Chase Bank and a little section of the Crocs store occupy this space on Columbus Avenue and 72nd Street

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Wine-and-Roses_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Wine-and-Roses_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings.jpg)
Creative decoration on the extension of Wine & Roses at 286 Columbus Avenue

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings_Unleashed-Thomas-Drugs.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings_Unleashed-Thomas-Drugs.jpg)
Between Unleashed and Thomas Drugs on Columbus Avenue between 66th and 67th Street

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings-Sido-Falafel.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings-Sido-Falafel.jpg)
Sido Falafel (with the red awning) at 267 Columbus Avenue

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings-Golden-Key-Locksmith.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings-Golden-Key-Locksmith.jpg)
Golden Key Locksmith 328-A Columbus Avenue

This one is not a shop at all but is my personal favorite, located between the old Pioneer supermarket and the restaurant Tenzan at 289 Columbus Avenue. I wonder if the pediment design was left over from any previous buildings that used to be on this site:

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Pioneer_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/Pioneer_Columbus-Avenue_Skinny-Buildings.jpg)

According to Streetsblog (http://streetsblog.net/2012/07/16/skinny-storefronts-a-must-for-walkability/), skinny storefronts allow for cheaper rents and more independent stores, giving shoppers more options:

In short, the old style is a hands-down win for pedestrians. Everyone knows this – that’s one reason old retail areas in cities and towns across America have far more character than the new ones. But they just don’t build them like they used to.

Indeed, many of the shops on Columbus Avenue are quite narrow, even if not between buildings. New shops are opening every day, like the new French tea shop Palais des Thes (http://us.palaisdesthes.com/) at 194 Columbus Avenue which opened this morning. As Upper West Siders, we’re proud that at least Columbus Avenue has zoning in place to ensure a vibrant walking experience, despite the drastic changes on Broadway over the last 20 years.

http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/PalaisdesThes_Columbus-Avenue_New-York-Opening_Michelle-Young-001.jpg (http://untappedcities.com/newyork/files/2012/11/PalaisdesThes_Columbus-Avenue_New-York-Opening_Michelle-Young-001.jpg)
French tea brand Palais des Thes opens today in a former dry cleaning location. They directly source teas from around the world.


November 17th, 2012, 11:01 AM
Exactly what the doctor ordered.

November 17th, 2012, 10:16 PM
^ What, French tea...or...?

Long time, no hear, ablarc. Great to see you here again.

I hope your "doctor" reference doesn't mean anything serious? Best wishes from Oz.

November 18th, 2012, 08:10 AM
^ Doctor of Urbanity prescribes wee mom-and-pops for scale and diversity.

(Also help control cellulite.)

November 19th, 2012, 01:33 AM
Exactly what the doctor ordered.

welcome back. long time no post!

March 9th, 2013, 10:00 PM
I was on the UWS on March 9th and walked by Gray's. I cannot wait for that filthy eyesore to come down. A grease fire started by a bunch of burning rats would be appropriate. Thereafter, I'd like a neoclasical, brick and limestone structure on this site.

March 11th, 2013, 01:21 AM
That might be what you'd like, but you'd end up getting a pile like the metal and glass thing that went up across Broadway.

Long Live Gray's!!

March 11th, 2013, 01:35 PM
That might be what you'd like, but you'd end up getting a pile like the metal and glass thing that went up across Broadway.

Long Live Gray's!!

That new tower stinks, but it's still better than Gray's and Sleepy's. That site is horrible.

March 11th, 2013, 02:13 PM

Gourmet Mag says you're not a real New Yorker LL!;)

March 11th, 2013, 02:40 PM
The same site/corner: this building is directly behind/above the Grays Papaya & Sleepys building.

The huge billboard on the building reads: "depression is a flaw in chemistry not character". This somewhat odd advert has been up there for ages......


April 8th, 2013, 09:40 AM
Oh, I'm in love again <sigh>...

Multi-Terraced Upper West Side Penthouse Wants $15 Million

by Jeremiah Budin

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178e3f92ea1353f0784ee/46249729.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178e3f92ea1353f0784f1/46249729.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178d5f92ea1353f0784a4/46249510.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178d5f92ea1353f0784a1/46249510.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178d7f92ea1353f0784ae/46249514.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178d6f92ea1353f0784ab/46249514.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178d9f92ea1353f0784b8/46249519.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178d8f92ea1353f0784b5/46249519.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178dbf92ea1353f0784c2/46249526.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178daf92ea1353f0784bf/46249526.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178ddf92ea1353f0784cc/46249534.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178dcf92ea1353f0784c9/46249534.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178def92ea1353f0784d6/46249714.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178def92ea1353f0784d3/46249714.jpg)http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178e0f92ea1353f0784e0/46249550.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178e0f92ea1353f0784dd/46249550.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178e2f92ea1353f0784ea/46249552.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/516178e1f92ea1353f0784e7/46249552.jpg)

Sometimes a penthouse turns out to just be an apartment on the top floor of its building, and that's always disappointing. But sometimes a penthouse shows up with glass walls and 1,700 square feet of terraces, and that's just magical. #PHW at 40 West 77th Street (right next to the Natural History Museum), which just hit the market for $14.95 million, has not one, not two, but four terraces, facing in every direction. The interiors are almost irrelevant, but they're nice too. "Imagine [the] brunches," the brokerbabble whispers seductively. Indeed—just close your eyes and imagine those brunches, gazing out over the Natural History Museum, eating fruit salad, the spring breeze blowing gently on your face. It's almost as if you're there right now.


Listing: 40 West 77th Street #PHW (http://www.corcoran.com/nyc/Listings/Display/2516089) [Corcoran]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/07/multiterraced_upper_west_side_penthouse_wants_15_m illion.php

January 14th, 2014, 12:32 AM
Covertly Touring The Apthorp's Roof, A Landmarks Battleground

by Hana R. Alberts

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43402f92ea165f9003740/IMG_0284.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43403f92ea165f9003743/IMG_0284.jpg)
The proposed addition would be concentrated on the West End Avenue side of the full-square-block building,
with parts sprouting off onto the northern and southern sides (79th and 78th streets, respectively).
This photo was taken facing west, on the Broadway side of the rooftop.

The battle over the proposed rooftop addition (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/07/12/developers_hope_to_give_apthorp_four_new_penthouse s.php) for Upper West Side grande dame the Apthorp (http://ny.curbed.com/places/apthorp) has been rollicking thus far. At a September community board meeting, residents, neighbors, and preservation groups spoke out against it, leading CB7 to issue a resounding "no" (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/09/24/neighbors_give_apthorp_penthouse_addition_a_resoun ding_no.php) to Area Property Partners' penthouse plan. Then the proposal moved on to Landmarks, where starchitects including Robert A.M. Stern. A. Eugene Kohn, Michael Graves, and David Childs sent in supportive statements—also against the addition (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/11/13/four_starchitects_join_the_antiapthorp_penthouse_p arty_bus.php). The meeting ran so long that most of the commissioners had left by the time the public had finished delivering testimony, and now the issue is back on the LPC's agenda (http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/calendar/01_14_14.pdf) (warning: PDF!) for tomorrow. It's the last item listed on the schedule, meaning commissioners expect this one to take awhile.

Curbed took a tour of the existing rooftop, which is semi-off limits due to structural concerns. A central issue in this debate is whether adding the four penthouse units—currently represented by the scaffolding erected up there (which used to be covered by orange netting so that folks could see its approximate visual impact)—degrades the landmark in any way. Two main detractions have been that it will impair the symmetry of the Apthorp's vaunted courtyard, which is also landmarked, and that it will close in the loggias, or pergolas (different folks have called them different things). These covered areas, punctuated with arches on both sides, would be incorporated into the (presumably pricey) apartments, and many have held that these symmetrical passageways are integral to the building's 1909 Italian Renaissance design. Check out this wealth of (admittedly amateur) photos of the rooftop and mocked-up scaffolding up close for the first time ever. Refresh your memory with the renderings (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/11/13/four_starchitects_join_the_antiapthorp_penthouse_p arty_bus.php), then place your bets on what Landmarks will say tomorrow in the comments section below.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4330ff92ea1555b01ac32/IMG_0318.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43310f92ea1555b01ac35/IMG_0318.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433c8f92ea11aba012a86/IMG_0247.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433c8f92ea11aba012a89/IMG_0247.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43313f92ea11ad800ca99/IMG_0312.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43314f92ea1555b01ac46/IMG_0312.jpg)
This photo was shot in what is currently the public area of the roof, which is on the southeast side of the building.
It's a little pocket where residents can go... when it's not snowy. The public area used to be bigger, but the addition
of HVAC machinery on the building's eastern side and the claimed structural instability of the loggias has limited the public rooftop space.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433cdf92ea11aba012aa5/IMG_0250.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433cef92ea11aba012aa8/IMG_0250.jpg)
The southern (78th-Street-side) loggia.

(http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433dcf92ea11aba012aee/IMG_0261.jpg) Looking across the courtyard to the 79th Street (northern) loggia.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433e7f92ea11aba012b27/IMG_0264.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433e8f92ea11aba012b2a/IMG_0264.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433edf92ea11aba012b45/IMG_0269.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433eef92ea11aba012b48/IMG_0269.jpg)

(http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433f3f92ea11aba012b66/IMG_0273.jpg) Looking south down Broadway.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433fcf92ea11aba012b95/IMG_0274.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433fdf92ea11aba012b98/IMG_0274.jpg)
Looking north up Broadway.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43408f92ea165f900375e/IMG_0277.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43409f92ea165f9003761/IMG_0277.jpg)
Some residents in the existing penthouses have private terraces, which will be somewhat affected by addition.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433faf92ea11aba012b8b/IMG_0275.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d433fbf92ea11aba012b8e/IMG_0275.jpg)
More copper, looking west to the Hudson with a northward angle.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43400f92ea165f9003736/IMG_0276.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43401f92ea165f9003739/IMG_0276.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43419f92ea165f90037ae/IMG_0288.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4333af92ea11ad800cb25/IMG_0306.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4333ef92ea11ad800cb36/IMG_0299.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4333ff92ea11ad800cb39/IMG_0299.jpg)
One more look at the northern bit of the addition...

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43344f92ea11ad800cb54/IMG_0298.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43345f92ea11ad800cb57/IMG_0298.jpg)
... and the southern bit.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43335f92ea11ad800cb0e/IMG_0302.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43336f92ea11ad800cb11/IMG_0302.jpg)
Exiting via the southern loggia.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4332cf92ea11ad800caf3/IMG_0303.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4332ef92ea11ad800caf6/IMG_0303.jpg)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43332f92ea1555b01acb1/IMG_0308.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43333f92ea11ad800cb07/IMG_0308.jpg)
A lovely building with terra cotta detailing across 78th Street, just because.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4332af92ea11ad800cae9/IMG_0310.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d4332bf92ea11ad800caec/IMG_0310.jpg)
Looking south down Broadway again.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43337f92ea11ad800cb18/IMG_0300.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52d43338f92ea11ad800cb1b/IMG_0300.jpg)
And, lastly, down into the courtyard.

Developers Hope to Give Apthorp Four New Penthouses (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/07/12/developers_hope_to_give_apthorp_four_new_penthouse s.php) [Curbed]
Neighbors Give Apthorp Penthouse Addition A Resounding No (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/09/24/neighbors_give_apthorp_penthouse_addition_a_resoun ding_no.php) [Curbed]

Many more pics:

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/01/13/covertly_touring_the_apthorps_roof_a_landmarks_bat tleground.php#comment-1524198

August 26th, 2014, 04:45 AM
Superb shot.



September 28th, 2014, 04:01 AM
Upper West Side Rowhouse With a Rather Severe Haircut


Then-and-now views of Clarence True’s 1899 rowhouses at 301 West 90th, at West End Avenue.
The roof was much altered in the 1950s by a brick addition.
Credit Left: Office for Metropolitan History; right: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

The remarkable Clarence True, the West Side’s most inventive architect, almost always worked the side streets, designing rows of houses by the half-dozen; that’s where the developers were. But he did leave a remarkable corner with his trademark ebullient Flemish tops, at West End Avenue and 90th Street. Will they ever recover from the butchering of the roof line in the 1950s?

full article (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/realestate/upper-west-side-rowhouse-with-a-rather-severe-haircut.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0)

January 25th, 2015, 04:25 AM
Developer Will Plop 8 More Stories Atop Upper West Side Rental

January 23, 2015, by Jessica Dailey

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/500x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54c2579cf92ea1211b01c2a3/711-west-end-avenue.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54c2579cf92ea1211b01c2a3/711-west-end-avenue.jpg)

The owner of 711 West End Avenue, a six-story rental building at 95th Street, plans to build an eight-story, 65-unit addition atop the current structure, and a new website (http://www.711westend.com/) appeared, offering renderings and details about the development. At first read, it seems like the site was created by the developer in an attempt to assuage concerns of the current tenants, but West Side Rag reports (http://www.westsiderag.com/2015/01/22/new-website-details-controversial-8-story-west-end-avenue-addition) that it was actually created by a tenant after a meeting with the developer "to provide a portal for information and updates from the developer." The site details (http://www.711westend.com/about-the-project.html) how the new building will be constructed and what improvement current tenants can expect, and it makes a point to say that there will be no "poor door." Kaled Management (http://www.kaled.com/) currently runs the building, and they will be working with developer P2B Ventures (http://www.p2bventures.com/about/). PBDW Architects (http://www.pbdw.com/) will design the addition.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/500x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54c2579df92ea1211b01c2a7/711westendave-1.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54c2579df92ea1211b01c2a7/711westendave-1.jpg)

According to the site, the addition will be more like a new building, as it won't really sit on top of the existing structure. "The new building will be supported by a separate structure of steel columns and beams placed around the exterior of 711 West End Avenue. The new building is not structurally dependent in any way on our building, and our foundations will not support any additional weight." (Hm. Someone please explain how this works. Will new piles be driven?) From the renderings (well, sketches, really), it doesn't look that bad or incongruous, but then again, they look like watercolors, so artistic liberties were taken.

A new entrance will be constructed on West 95th Street, along with a lobby and elevators for the addition. A floorplan shows that the new lobby and existing lobby, which will be completely renovated, connect, but the website also says that there will be "one primary entrance." Other improvements include a renovated garage with a "porte-corchere" and a landscaped driveway, plus the garage will be topped with a shared garden. All of the existing windows will also be replaced, and all units will receive wall-mounted air-conditioners that connect to a central system. The new building will have its own separate amenities, but the website doesn't say what or where they will be.

The website gives no timeline for the project, except to say that once construction starts, it will take up to two years to complete.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/500x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54c2582ff92ea1211b01c3eb/711-westend-map.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54c2582ff92ea1211b01c3eb/711-westend-map.jpg)

From the comments on West Side Rag (http://www.westsiderag.com/2015/01/22/new-website-details-controversial-8-story-west-end-avenue-addition), it seems that feelings among the current tenants are mixed, but City Council member Helen Rosenthal already launched a campaign (http://www.westsiderag.com/2014/12/30/new-10-story-condo-planned-to-be-built-on-top-of-current-west-end-avenue-building) to try and stop the development by getting the Landmarks Preservation Commission to extend the Riverside-West End Avenue historic district to include this block.

711 West End Avenue (http://www.711westend.com/) [official]
New Website Details Controversial 8-Story West End Avenue Addition (http://www.westsiderag.com/2015/01/22/new-website-details-controversial-8-story-west-end-avenue-addition) [WSR]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/01/23/developer_will_plop_8_more_stories_atop_upper_west _side_rental.php#comment-1735700

February 10th, 2015, 01:26 AM
Bland 22-Story Box o' Condos Will Rise on the Upper West Side

February 9, 2015, by Zoe Rosenberg

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/500x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54d8c1eff92ea132bb002530/15-West-96th-Street.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54d8c1eff92ea132bb002530/15-West-96th-Street.jpg)
Image via New York YIMBY (http://newyorkyimby.com/2015/02/revealed-15-west-96th-street-22-story-condominium-tower-coming-to-the-upper-west-side.html).

YIMBY has scored renderings (http://newyorkyimby.com/2015/02/revealed-15-west-96th-street-22-story-condominium-tower-coming-to-the-upper-west-side.html) for a new, rather tall mixed-use development that will rise in place of three five-story apartment buildings (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/05/31/rising_from_the_ashes.php) on the Upper West Side. The new 22-story building, developed by Sackman Enterprises and designed by SLCE, will have five floors of community space topped by a residential amenity space and 16 condos. Other than the duplex penthouse, each residence will take up one full floor. Because the development on West 96th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue falls on the north side of the street, just beyond the neighborhood's landmarks district, the project can be built as-of-right.

Revealed: 15 West 96th Street, 22-Story Condominium Tower Coming to the Upper West Side (http://newyorkyimby.com/2015/02/revealed-15-west-96th-street-22-story-condominium-tower-coming-to-the-upper-west-side.html) [YIMBY]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/02/09/bland_22story_box_o_condos_will_rise_on_the_upper_ west_side.php

September 15th, 2015, 09:38 PM
Very cool 5 1/2 minute NYT video on the UWS, specifically the W 90s, which doesn't get it's due. I'll readily admit I haven't been up that way in I think years now.


September 16th, 2015, 06:39 AM
I can't believe that the filthy Grays Papaya is still on B'Day. It's such an eyesore.

September 16th, 2015, 10:24 PM
Thanks for posting the video, maria :).

The UWS would be my first choice if I had the opportunity and could afford to live in NYC.

Those brownstones are superb and the other residential architecture is rich in diversity...and hardly any boxy, concretey, glassy thingies :).