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Thread: Upper West Side Story

  1. #1

    Default Upper West Side Story

    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.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Hof; October 2nd, 2011 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2

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    "Where does Seinfeld park his Porsches?"

    Bwahahaha, lemme know please .....

  3. #3

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    Shott On Location: Getting Hammered At P&G Bar

    by Chris Shott Published: November 9, 2007 Tags: Real Estate, NIGHTLIFE, P&G BAR, Retail, Upper West Side

    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 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.

  4. #4

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    Upper West Side, Amsterdam Avenue.






  5. #5

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    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.

  6. #6

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    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.

  7. #7

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    Upper West Side

    At Peak Times, a Hungrier Meter?

    By ALEX MINDLIN
    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.

  8. #8

    Default The Dakota

    Big Deal

    A Repository for the Rich

    By JOSH BARBANEL
    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 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, 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, 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. The company, which specializes in BMW, 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, 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 The New York Times Company

  9. #9
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Beautiful building. I always think of Rosemary's Baby when I see it.

  10. #10

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    ^ It's cleaner now, not as gloomy.

  11. #11
    http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z Front_Porch's Avatar
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    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}

  12. #12
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianac View Post
    Upper West Side, Amsterdam Avenue.





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

  13. #13

    Default West End Avenue

    Upper West Side

    A Bid to Shield a Row of Sturdy Soldiers

    By ALEX MINDLIN
    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.

    Annie 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, 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 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.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/ny...ml?ref=thecity

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  14. #14

    Default Zabars

    A Lifetime Amid the Lox and Rugelach

    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
    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 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.

    Multimedia


    AUDIO 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. 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, 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, 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.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/31/ny...l?ref=nyregion

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by brianac; May 31st, 2008 at 07:43 AM.

  15. #15

    Default West End Avenue

    Streetscapes | Readers' Questions
    Two Different Developers Gave Block Its Character

    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
    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.

    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

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/re...ref=realestate

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

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