Welcome again to all our friends joining us for BlogTour NYC and The AD Home Design Show. Spring has arrived in the city and the landscape is changing daily. Whether you were with us for Part I, or are just joining us for this post, we have lots more to explore on the Upper West Side.
After visiting some of the sights from West 59th street to West 67th Street, we are now approaching West 72nd Street and Central Park West where the majestic Dakota stands. Best known for being John Lennon’s residence and the place of his murder as well as the building where Rosemary’s Baby was filmed, the Dakota is still an illustrious address. Designed by architect Henry Hardenberg of Plaza Hotel fame, The Dakota was completed in 1884. It is believed that the building received its name because it was located in what was then an extremely remote part of the city, which seemed as far away as the Dakotas.
Directly across from The Dakota as you enter Central Park you will find Strawberry Fields and the Imagine inlaid mosaic dedicated to the memory of John Lennon on what would have been his forty fifth birthday; October 9th 1985. It is a wonderful place to pause and drink in the beauty of Central Park.
As we return to Broadway on Seventy Second Street, we are greeted by the wafting aroma of the delectable dogs served by that iconic eatery, Gray’s Papaya. Gray’s Papaya was founded in 1973 and is open 24/7 year round. You would be hard pressed to find a better tasting dog at any price!
Across from Gray’s Papaya smack dab in the middle of what is Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, we see the Seventy Second Street subway station, which opened in October 1904.
As we continue north on Broadway we reach Verdi Square where the Giuseppe Verde Monument, dedicated to the famous composer was created by Pasquale Civiletti and erected in 1906. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the square was referred to as “Needle Park” because it was known as a haven for dealers and drug users alike. It was also the location and the subject of the movie The Panic in Needle Park.
The very next block (Broadway between 73rd & 74th Streets) is home to The Ansonia. Originally designed as a Beaux Arts residential hotel by French Architect Paul E.M. Duboy, it was completed in 1904. It boasts a rich history and famous clientele including Caruso, Toscanini, Ziegfeld, Dempsey and the Bambino himself. In the 1960’s and 70’s its basement housed the infamous Continental Baths, where Bette Midler began her career. In the late 70’s the Baths became Plato’s Retreat, a notoriously famous, or should I say infamous sex club. It is now a residential condominium and still a sight to behold…and ALL G rated!
If hot dogs weren’t your fare, no need to worry, Fairway Market’s flagship store is on the very next block. With an incredible assortment of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, coffees, prepared foods, fresh meat, fish and a huge organic department and café, you are sure to find something to nosh. And they are open from 7 am to 1 am daily.
And…if you are still hungry, directly next door is Citarella another wonderful place for fresh meet and fish, baked goods, prepared foods, cheeses and more. We Upper West siders like to eat!
On the south side of Broadway, directly across from Fairway and Citarella is the Historic Beacon Theatre. The Beacon Theatre was designed by Chicago architect Walter Ahlschlager and opened in 1929. An Art Deco styled theatre, it showcased vaudeville acts, musical productions, drama, opera, and movies. It was designated as a landmark in 1979 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
With its stellar acoustics, it is still a favorite venue for performance artists with many returning yearly. The Allman Brothers are one such group and are performing nightly through Sunday.
Enjoy the day and rest up for the last leg of the journey!