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Thread: Upper West Side Story

  1. #46
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Leave that corner with Gray's Papaya alone.

  2. #47


    Quote Originally Posted by brianac View Post
    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.

  3. #48


    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    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.

  4. #49

    Default The Valets Work. The Garage Doesn’t.

    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.

    G. 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 The New York Times Company

  5. #50

    Default A Water Gate to the City

    Water Gate to the City.

    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 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 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 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.


    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by brianac; September 27th, 2008 at 08:01 AM.

  6. #51

    Default A Water Gate to the City

    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.

  7. #52


    New York Times

    October 2, 2008, 10:18 am

    The Sad Business of Saying Goodbye

    By Peter Khoury

    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 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 — for whatever reason — may not amount to a hill of beans, particularly in these economic times. But where am I to get my meatloaf?

    That was my big concern on Monday when I walked to one of my favorite diners, 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, 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.
    To All of our loyal
    customers Thank you
    very much for all the
    support Throughout the years
    Trolley’s family

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  8. #53


    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.

  9. #54

    Default Plumbing Riverside Park

    Plumbing Riverside Park

    by Nancy Butkus
    September 23, 2008

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

    Nancy 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 or write Riverside Park Fund, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 455, New York, NY 10115.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group

  10. #55


    October 9, 2008, 11:16 am

    Seeking to Preserve West End Avenue

    By 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, is now calling on the Landmarks Preservation Commission 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. 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.

    “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 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by brianac; October 9th, 2008 at 06:43 PM.

  11. #56


    ^ Good call. West End Avenue has a rare degree of architectural harmony.

    Wish they'd put those cornices back, though.

  12. #57


    Trader Joe’s Invades the Land of Zabar’s

    10/9/08 at 5:40 PM

    Photo: Getty Images

    Trader Joe's, 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 and Citarella 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

    Copyright © 2008, New York Media LLC.

  13. #58


    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.

  14. #59


    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.

    Shake Shack UWS, 366 Columbus Ave., no phone yet
    Initial Projection: October
    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, 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.

  15. #60


    Church Snags West 83rd Street Building

    by Dana Rubinstein
    October 14, 2008

    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, 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,

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