New York Songlines: 60th Street

West End | Amsterdam | Columbus | Broadway | Central Park W | 5th Ave | Madison | Park | Lexington | 3rd Ave | 2nd Ave | 1st Ave | York




HUDSON RIVER

Riverside Park South, New York City by Emilio Santacoloma, on Flickr It was called the Muhhekunnetuk by the Mahicans, meaning the River That Flows Both Ways--a reference to its formal status as an estuary or fjord, a glacier-carved branch of the sea with salt water as high as Newburgh and tides all the way up to Troy. Originally known by the Dutch as the North River--as opposed to the South River, now called the Delaware--its current name honors Henry Hudson, the English explorer who sailed up it in 1609.



Riverside Park South

Riverside Park South, Memorial Day weekend 2010 - 30 by Ed Yourdon, on Flickr

This new green space on the Hudson was created on part of the site of New York Central's 60th Street Rail Yard, which stretched from 59th to 72nd streets, serving as a transfer facility for rail cars brought across the river by ferry--Manhattan then as now being unequipped with a rail bridge or tunnel that can handle freight traffic. After New York Central became Penn Central, it was known as the Penn Yards; with the collapse of the rail industry, it was abandoned in 1976. Riverside Park South, Memorial Day weekend 2010 - 10 by Ed Yourdon, on Flickr

As early as 1962, there was talk about turning it into a real-estate development--originally in partnership with the Amalgamated Lithographers Union, to be called Litho City. Developer Abe Hirschfield was involved with a plan for the yards called Lincoln West that fell through in the early '80s. Donald Trump took over the project in 1985 with a plan called Television City (later Trump City), which would include studio space for NBC and a 152-story tower designed by Helmut Jahn.

Facing strong community resistance and financial troubles, Trump adopted an alternative scaled-back proposal called Riverside South that added 23 acres of green space to Riverside Park--creating an annex called Riverside Park South.


S <===     WESTSIDE HIGHWAY     ===> N

Officially renamed the Joe DiMaggio highway by baseball-obsessed Mayor Giuliani. Between 1929 and 1951, an elevated highway was built here; it was closed in 1973 for safety reasons and finally torn down in 1989.

Riverside Center

The final piece of the Riverside South development project. Though associated with Donald Trump, the project has been out of his control since 1994, and the unbuilt portions were sold against his will to the Carlyle Group and Extell Development. Construction on this parcel was supposed to begin in 2012.


S <===     WEST END AVENUE     ===> N

South:

Corner (10 West End Ave): Urbani Truffles, high-end fungi. A family business since 1850.



248: Manhattan Movement & Art Center







Corner (2 Amsterdam): Concerto Apartments, a 35-story building from 1991. Olympic Flame Diner on the ground floor.

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Abraham Joshua Heschel High School

Corner (20 West End Ave): A private, pluralistic Jewish school founded in 1983. Its namesake was a rabbi who taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America after fleeing the Third Reich, becoming an activist for civil rights and against the Vietnam War.

Lander College for Women

227: A branch of Touro College focused on Judaic Studies, particularly study of the Torah.

Corner (210 W 61st): PS 191, the Museum Magnet School, a K-8 public school that takes advantage of the Natural History Museum, Lincoln Center and other nearby cultural institutions.


S <===     AMSTERDAM AVENUE     ===> N

South:

John Jay College

2009-12-04 JJAY - 12 by aloucha, on Flickr

Corner (1 Amster- dam): North Hall, aka the N Building, a four-story annex to CUNY's school of criminal justice built in 1955; it formerly served as a shoe factory. It's named for John Jay, president of the Continental Congress and co-author of the Federalist Papers.

Professional Children's School

132: A small private middle and high school founded in 1914 to educate young people working in the performing arts--originally mainly on Broadway and vaudeville, later including many ballet dancers and classical musicians. It's been at this location since 1956.

Notable alumni include Milton Berle, Sidney Lumet, Elliot Gould, Christopher Walken, Rita Moreno, Carrie Fisher, Macaulay Culkin, Martha Plimpton, Phoebe Cates, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ricki Lake, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christina Ricci, Scarlet Johansson, Melissa Joan Hart, Beverly Sills, Marvin Hamlisch, Yo-Yo Ma, Buddy Rich and Savion Glover.

Church of St. Paul the Apostle

St. Paul the Apostle by Paul R. Alexander, on Flickr

Corner (415 W 59th): This is the largest Catholic church that is not a cathedral in the United States; it serves as the Mother Church of the Paulist Fathers, the Catholic religious order. Its cornerstone laid on July 4, 1876, it was designed by Jeremiah O'Rourke using 1,500-year-old Ravenna basilicas as his model. The interior features an altar by Stanford White, stained glass by John La Farge and statuary by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

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Fordham College at Lincoln Center

155 (block): The Jesuit-run Fordham University was founded in the Bronx in 1841, but almost from the beginning it had a presence in Manhattan--moving those operations to the Upper East Side in 1968 as part of the Lincoln Square redevelopment project. Fordham Residence Hall on Manhattan by killsound, on Flickr

Corner: At the southwest corner of this block is McMahon Hall, a 20-story residence hall for Fordham named for Father George McMahon, a Jesuit priest who was in Fordham's administration for 40 years.



Lowenstein Center

Fordham College at Lincoln Center Reunion by fordhamalumni, on Flickr

The main building of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, it houses the College of Liberal Studies and the graduate schools of Education, Social Service and Business Administration.














Corner: The Main Entrance to Fordham's Lincoln Center Campus, through which one can enter the Lowenstein Center and the School of Law.


S <===     COLUMBUS AVENUE     ===> N

South:

Coliseum Park Apartments

Corner (345 W 58th): Built in 1957 along with the now-demolished New York Coliseum, this 14-story, two-winged red-brick complex has 590 apartments.

Time Warner Center

Time Warner Center by saitowitz, on Flickr

Corner (10 Columbus Circle): This 2003 megastructure, a home for the media giant, was designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The first major skyscraper built after September 11, it features twin towers-- with 55 stories, half of the World Trade Center's reach. The massive complex includes a hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, and a performance space for Jazz at Lincoln Center. Shops over there by roboppy, on Flickr Also some of the most expensive restaurants in New York City, including Masa ($300-a-plate sushi), per se and V Steakhouse.

Built on the site of the New York Coliseum, Robert Moses' 1954 convention center (Leon and Lionel Levy, 1954), widely viewed as an eyesore--and as a white elephant after the Javits Center opened in 1986. Demolished 2000.

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45 (corner): A 35-story building from 1981. Alan's Farmland, a deli/sandwich shop, is on the ground floor.











17: Former headquarters of American Bosch Magneto Corporation, U.S. subsidiary of the world's largest auto parts company. Now the Information Hall of the New York Institute of Technology, a private research university.

11: Gabriel's Bar & Restaurant, Northern Italian favored for pre-opera dining





7 (corner): The Columbus Circle Building (aka the COVA Building, 1841 Broadway) went up 1921. From 1959 to c. 1973 this was the headquarters of Atlantic Records--also the location of Atlantic Studios, where many classic albums were recorded, including the Velvet Underground's Loaded and Talking Heads' Fear of Music.


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Trump International Hotel

Trump Globe by edenpictures, on Flickr Trump International Hotel & Tower, NYC by faungg, on Flickr Built in 1968-71 as the Gulf + Western Building, headquarters of the conglomerate that owned (among many other things) Paramount Pictures, Stax Records, Sega and Miss Universe, and later Simon & Schuster and Madison Square Garden. Purchased by the Trump Organization, it was stripped down to its skeleton and given an entirely new facade designed by Philip Johnson and Costas Kondylis. The makeover, completed in 1997, increased the number of floors from 44 to 52, due to decreased ceiling heights.

The building was the setting of the movie Tower Heist.

Directly south of the building is a 40-foot chrome-plated globe, seemingly inspired by Queens' Unisphere. Below the globe is the entrance to the Columbus Circle subway station.


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Central Park

Central Park, New York by  Mathew Knott, on Flickr

Arguably the greatest work of art in all of human history. At least, I have been known to make that argument.

An 853-acre expanse of green in the middle of Manhattan, it's the most-visited public park in the world, with 25 million visitors annually. Responding to calls from civic leaders like William Cullen Bryant, the city acquired the land in 1853 and held a design contest in 1857, choosing the Greensward Plan of Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux (rhymes with "Walks"). After the moving of 3 million tons of earth and the planting of 270,000 trees and shrubs, the park--almost entirely landscaped, despite its naturalistic appearance--opened to visitors in 1859 (though not officially completed until 1873).

The entrance here is known as the Merchant's Gate-- appropiately enough for the entrance nearest Trump Tower and Time Warner Center.

Maine Monument

Maine Monument - Horses and Victory by  kempsternyc, on Flickr USS Maine Monument by  mttsndrs, on Flickr

The 1913 memorial honors the 266 sailors who died in the 1898 explosion of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor, which served the same role in the Spanish-American War that WMDs did in the Iraq War. William Randolph Hearst, who helped turned the accident into a war, used his New York Morning Journal to lobby for a memorial. Originally intended for the mouth of New York Harbor and then for Times (then Longacre) Square, it ended up here as a counterbalance to the Columbus Circle column erected in 1892.

The monument's architect was H. Van Buren Magonigle and its sculptor Attilio Piccirilli, whose studio carved the NYPL's lions and the Lincoln Memorial's Lincoln. The bronze figure of Columbia Triumphant atop the memorial was cast from the Maine's own guns. On the ship's prow at the front of monument are allegorical figures of Courage, Peace and Fortitude led by a youthful Victory; on the sides are the Atlantic and Pacific, while in the back is Justice Receiving Back the Sword Entrusted to War.

The gate at 7th Avenue is known as the Artisans' Gate--that is to say, the entrance for skilled workers, many of whom have no doubt come from the Garment District to the Park via Seventh Avenue.


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Bolivar Plaza

NYC - Central Park: Bolivar Plaza - José Martí statue by wallyg, on Flickr

The entrance at Sixth Avenue was dubbed the Artist's Gate by the Central Park commissioners in 1862, but, like most of the other entrances, wasn't marked until 1999. The plaza here--which is the top of the Avenue of the Americas--features statues of Latin American liberators.

Jose Marti, a journalist and poet (he wrote the words to "Guantanamera"), was killed fighting for Cuban independence in 1895; he had spent the previous three years in exile in New York. He's a hero to both pro- and anti-Castro Cubans; this statue was given to the city by the Castro government in 1965, after having been donated for that purpose by the sculptor, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington. It depicts Marti being fatally wounded.


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NYC - Central Park: Bolivar Plaza - Simon Bolivar Statue by wallyg, on Flickr Central Park by peterjr1961, on Flickr

Jose San Martin, toward the center of the plaza, was a general who led the rebellion against Spain in Argentina, Chile and Peru. This sculpture is a gift from the city of Buenos Aires, a smaller-scale copy of the 1862 statue by Louis Joseph Daumas that presides over that city's Plaza de San Martin. It was installed here in 1951 after we sent Buenos Aires a statue of George Washington.

Simon Bolivar, on the east side of the plaza, liberated Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia (which was named in his honor). The statue by Sally James Farnham was a gift from Venezuela installed in the park in 1921 and rededicated here in 1951 to celebrate the renaming of the Avenue.

The Pond

Central Park foliage photo-walk, Nov 2009 - 09 by Ed Yourdon, on Flickr The Pond by ET calls home, on Flickr

Olmstead and Vaux set this lovely and tranquil artificial lake below street level so as to immediately bring visitors out of the city into a more pastoral experience. It's also one of the most beautiful views into the park from outside.

Nestling as it does the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, an area of the park where people are kept out for the sake of wildlife, The Pond is a favorite stop for ducks, geese, seagulls and other waterfowl. The ducks that Holden Caulfield worries about in Catcher in the Rye are swimming in The Pond.


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Grand Army Plaza

DSC05745 by Kramchang, on Flickr This plaza, technically a part of Central Park but really a distinct entity, is bifurcated by Central Park South, a layout inspired by Paris' Place de la Concorde. It honors the Grand Army of the Republic, the powerful post-Civil War veteran's organization, comparable to the American Legion.











General Sherman Monument 01 by ChrisM70, on Flickr

The northern half of the plaza is dominated by Augustus St. Gaudens' gilded statue of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, who marched through Georgia and declared that "war is Hell." The female figure leading Sherman, said to represent Peace, is modeled on St. Gaudens' mistress Davida Johnson.









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Scholar's Gate

This entrance to the park is The Scholar's Gate--because the NYPL is 17 blocks south? It is and was intended to be the busiest entrance to the park.

Freedman Plaza

Living Sculpture I by edenpictures, on Flickr

Doris Freedman, the plaza's namesake, was the city's first director of cultural affairs, the founder of the Public Arts Council and president of the Municipal Arts Society. Appropriately enough, her plaza is home to a series of temporary sculptural installations.

Wien Walk

Portrait of a Girl by ~W~,  on Flickr Entering the park from Freedman Plaza, you will find many sketch artists and a few puppeteers or balloon animal makers. There used to be more masseuses.

It's named for Lawrence Wien, a real estate lawyer who once owned the Empire State Building and the Plaza Hotel. He gave millions of dollars to Central Park and other nonprofit causes, particularly Columbia University.


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South:

Corner (785 5th Ave): Parc V Apartments, 18 white-brick stories designed by Emery Roth & Sons and completed in 1963. "Would be unattractive even in a slum"--City Review It replaced a 10-story luxury apartment building, built in 1903 to a Henry J. Hardenbergh design.

The Harmonie Club

4 East 60th Street by edenpictures,  on Flickr

4: A social club founded in 1852; it thinks of itself as the second-oldest club in the city, after the Union Club. Originally restricted to men of German descent and primarily devoted to "communal singing and group forensics," it came to be seen as the pinnacle of the Jewish social scene. It moved to this clubhouse designed by Stanford White in 1905.

The American Jewish Committee met here in the 1930s; Albert Einstein held events here to publicize the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany. Michael Bloomberg resigned his membership here before he first ran for mayor in 2001.

Copacabana Site

10 East 60th Street by edenpictures,  on Flickr

10: In 1940, one of New York City's most famous nightclubs opened here, named for a beach in Rio de Janeiro and backed by prominent mobster Frank Costello. It featured the biggest stars of the 1940s and '50s, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Sid Caesar and Groucho Marx.

Lena Horne broke the color barrier here in 1945, though it was some time after that that blacks were allowed in as customers as well as performers. On May 16, 1957, the New York Yankees--including Micky Mantle, Yogi Berra and Billy Martin, whose 29th birthday it was--got into a brawl here with a bowling team from New Jersey who were calling Sammy Davis Jr. names.

The story of The French Connection started here when Detective "Popeye" Doyle becomes interested in a drug dealer flashing a wad of cash here. That incident appears in the film version; the nightclub also appears in a famous long-take sequence in Goodfellas, as well as being featured in Raging Bull, Tootsie and Carlito's Way--not to mention an eponymous 1978 song by Barry Manilow.

After becoming a disco in the 1970s, the club closed its location here in 1992; several homes later, it's now on 47th Street.

This space is now the restaurant Rouge Tomato and the lounge StirRED.

14: Was Hotel Fourteen, a "seedy" hotel that served as David Ben-Gurion's unofficial headquarters when he was rallying support for the creation of the state of Israel. It was nicknamed "Kibbutz 14." Teddy Kollek, future mayor of Jerusalem, ran an arms smuggling operation from here as well.

CIT Building

650 Madison Avenue by edenpictures,  on Flickr

Corner (650 Madison): Built as an eight-story glass box in 1957, designed by Harrison & Abramovitz; in 1987, a 19-story green-glass tower was added, designed by Fox & Fowle. The City Review calls the original structure Harrisson & Abramovitz's "masterpiece," but says the addition made it "even better." CIT was an insurance company; it moved out in 1981.

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Metropolitan Club

New York City day trip, Dec 6, 2008 by flickr4jazz, on Flickr

1 (corner): A club founded in 1891 for the rich and powerful who weren't yet blue-blooded enough for older, snootier clubs, with J.P. Morgan as its first president and Cornelius and William K. Vanderbilt among its original members. The clubhouse was built in 1894, designed by Stanford White, with an east wing with a majestic semicircular gateway added in 1912.



Metropolitan Club by lakewentworth, on Flickr














25April2007 083 by ShellyS, on Flickr






































654 Madison Avenue  by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (654 Madison): Calvin Klein's flagship store is in a 23-story neo-classical building from 1927. The designer installed huge glass windows when it moved in in 1995.


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South:

Corner (645 Madison): The Pan Ocean Building, a 22-story building from 1971 designed by Emery Roth & Sons.







NYC-Spring-2011- - 096 by hmcfabulous, on Flickr

26: Gene's Coffee Shop, classic diner




30: Alessi, Italian design store






















Corner (510 Park): An attractive, 15-story brick-and-limestone apartment building, put up in 1925 as a cooperative by Starrett Brothers to a F. H. Dewey design. Philip Barry, who wrote The Philadelphia Story, moved here in 1948 and died of a heart attack here the following year.

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Corner (655 Madison): A 24-story building from 1950

29: Anya Hindmarch, designer known for her "I'm not a plastic bag" canvas tote

35: Philippe, Chinese restaurant opened by Philippe Chow, who was the executive chef at Mr. Chow on 57th Street for 26 years, but is not related to that Mr. (Michael) Chow.

43: The Cinema Cafe, a restaurant where you can watch classic films during dinner

Grolier Club

Grolier Club by edenpictures, on Flickr

47: The booklovers' club was established in 1884 (named for Jean Grolier, famous 16th century collector) and has been collecting, printing and displaying books about books ever since. Thomas DeVinne (of the DeVinne Press Building) was a founder and early president. This 1917 building by Bertram Goodhue is the club's third home and second clubhouse, having moved here from a landmarked building on East 32nd.

Christ United Church

60th Street by rfzappala, on Flickr

Corner (520 Park): Built in 1932, but designed by architect Ralph Adams Cram to look centuries old, with patched limestone and brick walls and pillars that look like they were salvaged from Roman temples. Here Henry Fonda married Frances Brokaw on September 16, 1936. The marriage produced two children--Jane and Peter--but ended in divorce in 1949; Frances committed suicide a year later.


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South:

515 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, New York City by rfzappala, on Flickr

Corner (515 Park): This 43-story highrise is the tallest residential building on Park Avenue. The tower was designed by Frank Williams & Associates and built by the Zeckendorf organization in 2000. It replaced a 1910 pallazo designed by Ernest Greene; when that building was bought by the Jewish Agency, it evicted the Syrian mission to the U.N. in favor of tenants like the World Zionist Organization.

106: Sunberry's Cafe, coffeeshop

116 East 60th Street by edenpictures, on Flickr

116: Kar Won, Chinese, in a five-story brownstone pleasantly overgrown with ivy.





International Plaza

International Plaza by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (750 Lexington): This 31-story blue cylindrical tower, topped with a Sumerian-style cone, is a 1989 work by Helmut Jahn.

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Corner (521 Park): This 12-story apartment building went up in 1911, designed by William Boring. When the sixth floor of this building was on the market in 2012 for $23.5 million, it was advertised as "The Return of the Gilded Age." Indeed.

Eglise Francaise du Saint-Esprit

New York City, Nov 29, 2008 by flickr4jazz, on Flickr

109: The origins of this French-speaking Episcopal church go back to 1687, when a church was opened on what is now Battery Place to serve the large influx of Huguenot refugees from the persecutions of Louis XIV. It joined the Episcopal Church in 1802, getting dispensations to worship in French and accept Christians of all denominations. The congregation moved to a former school here in 1941. The Children's All Day School, a preschool founded in 1975, is also housed here.

119: Gourmet Park




127: Cafe Metro

Le Veau d'Or

129: A classic French restaurant ("Golden Calf"--though it also could be translated "Veal of Gold") that opened in 1937 and still has basically the same menu it had then. The likes of Orson Welles, Truman Capote and Princess Grace used to dine here; food critic Craig Claiborne called it the one restaurant he couldn't live without.

Corner (770 Lexington): Nineteen stories from 1960, designed by Schuman & Lichtenstein


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South:

Bloomingdale's

Bloomingdales by wwarby, on Flickr

Block: Starting out selling hoop skirts on the Lower East Side in 1861, the Bloomingdale brothers had a proto-department store, the East Side Bazaar, by 1872, which they moved to the corner of 59th and Lexington in 1886. By the 1920s, they had expanded to fill the entire block. In Bloomingdale's by edenpictures, on Flickr

It became part of Federated Department Stores (parent company of Macy's) in 1930; the following year, the cobbled-together store here was remodeled in a unifying Art Deco style. The store is credited with inventing the designer shopping bag in 1961; Queen Elizabeth shopped here in 1976.

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Subway Inn Bar in the Rain by roccocell, on Flickr

143: The Subway Inn, classic dive bar opened in 1937. Has a great neon sign.

145: Green Cafe






151: Mariella Pizza Brinkley's Station by roccocell, on Flickr


153: Brinkley's Station, gastropub--formerly Desmond's. The building was originally a carriage house, then a bank.







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South:

Brasserie 360 by edenpictures, on Flickr

200 (corner): Brasserie 360--because it's at 3rd and 60th. Used to be Yellowfingers. The building dates to the 1860s.

206: Patsy's Pizzeria, local chain, used to be Arizona 206 in the 1980s, a trendy Native American-themed restaurant.

220: Antiquities M, part of an Antique Row here that has waxed and waned here since World War II

224: Lerebours Antiques; Just Bulbs

All Saints Episopal Church

Roosevelt Island by wwarby, on Flickr

230: Originally The Free Chapel of St. Thomas Church, established as a mission church on the Lower East Side by St. Thomas Episcopal Church. It moved to this location in 1872, and the present building, designed by C.E. Miller, dates to 1894. (The current facade, put up in 2002 and modeled on the Bodleian Library at Oxford, was designed by Samuel G. White, great-grandson of Stanford White.) The chapel was renamed All Saints when it got its independence in 1965.

236: Eileen Lane Antiques

Roosevelt Island Tramway

Cable Car by catchesthelight, on Flickr

It's like taking an amusement park ride to work. Built in 1976 as a temporary alternative to a long-delayed subway project.

It's attacked by the Green Goblin in Spider-Man, and it also appears in the Rafael Yglesias movie Dark Water.

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Dylan's Candy Bar

IMG_2516.JPG by Coco Mault, on Flickr

Corner (1011 3rd Ave): The flagship of a chain of candy boutiques, opened in 2001 by Dylan Lauren, daughter of designer Ralph Lauren. It's said to stock 7,000 kinds of candy; the Olson Twins, Katie Holmes and Suri, and Madonna are said to be regular customers. There's an episode of Project Runway where the contestants are required to make clothes out of candy purchased here.

211: This was Theatre East, a basement cabaret where Forbidden Broadway ran for many years.

219: Phoenix Antiques

Serendipity 3

Frozen Hot Chocolate Cutie by Hamburger Helper, on Flickr

225: A classic ice cream parlor, complete with Tiffany-style lamps, that opened in 1954, said to have been a favorite of Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and Jacqueline Onassis. It takes its name from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendib" (aka Sri Lanka), whose talent for chance discoveries gave us the term "serendipity." Noted for its frozen hot chocolate.

239: Ann-Morris Antiques

241: C. Puente Antiques

243: Bermingham, antiques

245: Allstate Antiques

247: Duncan Antiques




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South:

Queensboro Bridge

Queensboro Bridge by Darks Adria, on Flickr Officially since 2011 the the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, it's also known as the 59th Street Bridge-- this is the bridge that Simon & Garfunkel sing about in "Feeling Groovy."

Completed in 1909, the bridge is mentioned in The Great Gatsby: "The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world". It features as an icon in Woody Allen's Manhattan and the TV series Taxi.


















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The Blue Room by edenpictures, on Flickr

Corner (1140 2nd Ave):The Blue Room, sports bar




Evans View by edenpictures, on Flickr

305: Evans View, a 39-story condominium with a tiny footprint, built 1987--originally called Memphis Uptown. The AIA Guide calls it "lanky, proud, colorful and witty."

309: Hookah Cafe




Sapphire New Yorkby edenpictures, on Flickr

333: Sapphire New York, the New York outpost, opened in 2009, of a Las Vegas "gentlemen's club." This space used to be Scores (later Scores East), an upscale strip club made famous by Howard Stern--and brought down by prostitution charges.

Corner (1097 1st Ave): John & Tony's Pizzeria


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South:

Bridgemarket

by Kramchang, on Flickr

A vaulted space under the Queensboro Bridge, with a ceiling covered in Gaustavino tile. Long neglected as city storage space, it was converted in 1999 into a Food Emporium and a Conran's Restaurant & Housewares Store.

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More bridge.
















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24 Sycamores Park

2001 Summer NYC - 24 sycamores playground by CaptainKidder, on Flickr

A block-sized playground that was cobbled together by the Parks Department in 1943. The park was named in 1985 when it was threatened with development, with Commissioner Henry Stern choosing the name to indicate that the trees had been counted and would be missed if any disappeared. Since a restoration in 1995, however, there have actually been 26 sycamores in the park.


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Andrew Haswell Green Park

This four-block-long riverfront park honors probably the most important New Yorker you've never heard of. Green proposed uniting the five boroughs into one city in 1868, and was president of the Consolidation Inquiry Committee that finally achieved that goal in 1898.

As president of the Central Park Board of Commissioners from 1857 until 1871, he was a key voice in selecting Olmstead and Vaux's Greensward Plan and realizing the designers' vision. He also pushed for creating Riverside, Morningside and Fort Washington parks.

He helped found the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the Bronx and Central Park zoos. He was an early voice for historical preservation and helped save City Hall.

Despite being arguably the most influential leader in New York City's history, he's virtually unknown today; it's a sad irony that he was murdered in 1903--by a killer who mistook him for somebody else.

Construction on the park,

East River Pavilion

Aycock's "East River Roundabout" Best Enjoyed From Afar by bicyclesonly, on Flickr Formerly a Department of Sanitation waste transfer station, this area was taken over by the Parks Department to meet community demand for open space. Opened in 1994 but closed again in 2001 because the pilings it was built at were four-fifths eaten away. The Pavilion itself is the skeleton of the former garbage shed. Atop the structure is Alice Aycock's East River Roundabout, a spiraling aluminum sculpture.


East River

Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge and Midtown Manhattan at Night, NYC by andrew c mace, on Flickr Roosevelt Island & UES - NYC (4-26-06) by hotdogger13, on Flickr

Not actually a river, but a tidal estuary connecting New York Harbor with Long Island Sound. Legend has it that mobster Dutch Schultz put his associate Bo Weinberg in a set of cement overshoes and dumped him in the East River--the origin of the popular stereotype.












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