It is the weekend and if you have spent the last few days traveling around the city on BlogTour NYC and exploring the wonderful array of design resources at the AD Show, you might be ready to trade in your heels for a comfortable pair of flats and enjoy a bit of down time roaming the Upper West Side.
If you have just joined the tour, we began our journey on 55th Street and the river and just visited The Beacon Theatre. We are now approaching Broadway and 75th Street where we can pop into Barney’s Co-op to pick up something to wear for our night at the museum.
We continue to Central Park West and 76th Street and The New York Historical Society, home to the NY Historical Society Library and Museum. Founded in 1804, the building was completed in 1908 and was designed by York and Sawyer. The Museum is the oldest in NYC and just recently received a 70 million dollar facelift. The exterior is magnificent in the daytime and breathtaking at night, when the windows are illuminated in color.
Right across the street running between West 77th Street and West 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue is The American Museum of Natural History, one of the world’s largest museums. The Museum was founded in 1869 and the first building’s cornerstone went up 1874.
The 77th street building, designed by J.Cleveland Cady, opened in 1877 and is a splendid example of neo-Romanesque architecture. The Columbus Avenue corner tower is magnificent and is illuminated at night.
The main entrance on Central Park West, anchored by The New York State Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt monument was completed in 1936 by John Russell Pope and is a Beau Arts beauty.
Around the corner on 81st Street is The Hayden Planetarium part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space of the American Museum of Natural History. Built in 1935 and designed by architects Trowbridge & Livingston, the Planetarium was demolished in 1997 and the new Rose Center designed by James Polshek opened.
If you are hungry you can stop for a quick burger and fries at Shake Shack on 77th and Columbus or a wonderful meal at Momoya on 81st and Amsterdam. You can never go wrong eating at Nice Matin on West 79th street and there is NOTHING like a fresh warm cookie from Insomnia Cookies right across the street. Open until 3AM , you can satisfy your sweet tooth almost any time, day or night.
As we head west on 79th Street The Apthorp looms large. Designed by Clinton & Russell, it was completed in 1908. The spectacular Renaissance Revival building with a magnificent interior courtyard occupies an entire square block between West 78th and West 79th streets and between Broadway and West End Avenue. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and its residents have included Cyndi Lauper, Nora Ephron and Conan O’Brian.
No visit to the Upper West Side can be complete without a visit to Zabars. Perched on the corner of 80th Street and Broadway, this neighborhood landmark with an incredible selection of cheeses, breads, prepared foods, gourmet treats and housewares is probably best known for its appetizing. Zabars smoked fish including whitefish, sturgeon and of course, Nova Scotia salmon are legendary. We just picked up a pound today sliced by non other than Jerry.
If it is a lovely day or evening and you are still hungry, although that hardly seems possible, head further west to the 79th Street Boat Basin and enjoy a burger, a frosty cold beer or just the sunset at the Boat Basin Café. It is the perfect way to end a perfect day in my neighborhood. I hope you’ll come back soon and perhaps share your Upper West Side Story.