I took a walk on Riverside Drive today, completing the west side of Broadway from 181st Street to 153rd Streets, on a beautiful sunny day. Being a little humid did not help but as the day wore on it got cooler and nicer to walk. Riverside Drive breaks into breaks into two sections around 161st Street with one section ending at Broadway and another part aligning the park. I decided to take the long route first and walk down to about 143rd Street, enjoying the views of the park and stopping to look at the views of the palisades in New Jersey There are lots of scenic spots to view from.
Riverside Drive if full of interesting architecture
I stopped for lunch at George’s Pizza at 726 West 181st Street, a well-known pizzeria that has been around since 1960 (now closed). They have a great lunch special of two giant slices and a can of soda for $5.00 and the pizza here is really good. The pizza maker makes a nice sauce, and it has a rich flavor to it. It was a nice lunch.
Georges Pizza at 726 West 181st Street (Closed in 2017)
The pizza was perfectly cooked and with the size of the slices, I did not need any dinner. It is a small hole in the wall place that is popular with the locals and was very busy that afternoon. You really need to check it out when in the neighborhood. The pizza cook is a really nice guy to boot.
The pizza is delicious!
I doubled back up Broadway to about 156th Street and started the walk-up Riverside Drive from here. What’s nice about this section is the stone wall along the pocket park that lines this section of the drive. They make a nice bench for conversing with people as many residents seem to take advantage of during the day. There were lots of people socializing on this sunny afternoon.
Audubon Park and the cemetery is the border of Washington Heights and Harlem
What’s nice about the little park between the streets is the rock formations similar to the one you will see around 190th Street harking back to a time that this area was dominated by rocky hills not paved smooth by roads and housing developments. There is a natural beauty to this park.
The brownstones that line this area are surrounding by potted plants and window boxes, showing a colorful display of seasonable flowers and plants. They accent the buildings very well. I was able also to finish all the side streets between Riverside and Broadway noticing that a lot of these buildings are now under renovation. I just crisscrossed the streets between Riverside Drive and Broadway going up and down hills.
More and more of these buildings are going from rentals to condos and you can see the money that is going into upscaling them. You can see it from the lobbies that you can view from the street to the new windows and sandblasting that is going on in the front of many of these buildings. This part of the neighborhood is going through a major transition.
I doubled back down Broadway to look over the selection of restaurants that were closed the last time I walked this part of the street and took a long walk on 155th Street down to the bridge. It really is a funny thing about 155th Street, how much it changes from one side of Manhattan to another.
The Polo Grounds Apartments are on West 155th Street
For some reason, you really can feel the difference from one side of the street to the other. By Riverside Drive, it is all brownstones and pre-war housing that is being renovated. This housing stock had been built during the turn of the last century and is much different from tenement housing in the middle of the neighborhood.
By the other side by the bridge, it is a large public housing complex. The Polo Ground Housing Complex I found out later on is one of the most dangerous in the City and I had walked all over the complex to see what it was all about. I could not believe that because I did not see anyone around. It is not the most attractive place to live as it looks very generic.
I headed back to Audubon Terrace that afternoon, but the gates were then locked and both museums and the college located there were closed at the time I visited.
Audubon Terrace is on one side of East 155th Street
On a break it was back to the lady who sells the shaved ice for a mango ice cup. I really look forward to those two scoops of mango ice. It must be all the years that I lived in the islands myself. I still am trying to find the elusive Guamanian treat of a combination of soft serve, shaved ice and lining it with fruit syrups. Now that was heaven on a hot day.
The last part of the day was spent walking up the east side of Broadway. Not knowing when I started on this side of the street, I walked from 155th Street to 207th Street. It didn’t take as long as I thought but my feet reminded me it was a distance. It was interesting to see all the restaurants I tried, all the stores I entered and all the bakeries I had to stop in, all delicious and very reasonable. There are many great business owners up here. I made it to 207th Street when it got dark.
The outdoor cafes of Dyckman Street were in full swing that evening with such a warm night and everyone was out eating dinner and just enjoying the first warms days of the Fall. New York really comes alive at night, especially in this area where people are still in Fort Tryon Park jogging, walking or just out playing dominoes. You see that side of people that enjoy living in this neighborhood. All the restaurants were packed on this warm evening.
The restaurant scene along Dyckman Street in Inwood just keeps growing.
Please read my other blogs on walking Washington Heights. It was a big area to cover:
Day Twelve: Walking West of Broadway to West 170th Street:
Day Thirteen: Walking Broadway west of 193rd to 165th Streets
Day Fourteen: Walking south down Broadway west of 174th to 164th Streets
Day Fifteen: Walking west of Broadway from Washington Heights to Harlem:
Day Seventeen: Walking the border of Riverside Drive in Washington Heights from 181st to 153rd Streets:
Day Eighteen: Walking down Broadway from Wadsworth Terrace to Wadsworth Drive:
Day Nineteen: Walking the East side of Broadway from 193rd to 155th Streets:
Day Twenty-One: Walking Washington Heights from Amsterdam Avenue to Highbridge Park:
Days Twenty-Five and Twenty-Six: Crisscrossing Broadway from 181st to 155th Streets:
Day Thirty-Six: Visiting the Little Red Lighthouse and the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights:
Day Forty-One: Walking Dyckman Street from 207th Street to 155th Street and the Polo Grounds Apartments:
Places to Eat:
726 West 181 Street
New York, NY 10033
My review on TripAdvisor:
(Now Closed for Business)
Visit the shopping area of 207th Street with all its great Dominican Restaurants and stores