Tag Archives: La Crosta Pizzeria

La Crosta Restaurant & Gourmet Pizzeria 436 East 72nd Street New York, NY 10021

In honor of Small Business Saturday, I am featuring wonderful reasonable restaurants in New York City. Don’t miss this pizzeria’s lunch specials. They are excellent!

La Crosta Pizza II

The selection of entrees at La Crosta Pizzeria.

Dining on a Shoe String in NYC

La Crosta Restaurant & Gourmet Pizzeria

436 East 72nd Street

New York, NY 10021

Phone: (212) 472-5004

Fax: (212) 472-4999

Free Delivery

Open 7 days a week from 11:00am-10:00pm

All major credit cards excepted

http://www.lacrostapizzanyc.com

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d2285056-Reviews-La_Crosta_Restaurant_Gourmet_Pizzeria-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I came across La Crosta when I first started to walk the rim of the middle section of the Upper East Side for my blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com” and found it was hidden behind some scaffolding around the building that it is located in. I saw several people walking in and decided to take a peek at the menu. It was very nice, very reasonable and had a nice selection. Their reviews on both TripAdvisor, Google and Yelp were very encouraging so when I did the extensive walk of the Avenues and then the Streets of the neighborhood, I decided to try it for lunch a few times. I have to say…

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The Upper East Side

Day One Hundred and Four: Walking the Streets of the Upper East Side from East 84th Street to East 72nd Streets February 22nd-March 10th, 2018

I started walking the streets of the Upper East Side on the gloomiest misty day. After a long day at the Soup Kitchen taking tickets, I wanted to break out and do some walking. This was not the day to do it. I only got through three blocks. I was able to get through East 72nd Street after lunch, then East 73rd, 74th and 75th Streets before I called it quits. It just got so misty and then really rained. Nothing is worse than New York City in the rain when you need to be outside.

I started my after another day at Holy Apostle’s Soup Kitchen working taking tickets from the guests. I swear I think that sometimes they think it is a restaurant. Some of them get a little entitled but I understand. When you have nothing you want to have some say in something you are involved with on a daily basis. Being near the end of the month, many of them were running out of money and it got very busy. What I really like about being a part of the Soup Kitchen is not only am I giving back to the city but that in some small way I am helping deal with the homeless problem in NYC. It may not be the solution but it gives the homeless and working poor help through the process.

I started my walk with lunch at La Crosta Restaurant & Pizzeria at 436 East 72nd Street (See review on TripAdvisor & DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com). They have wonderful lunch specials and for $7.00, I ordered Spaghetti and Meatballs. It was enough to feed two people. I got what looked like almost a pound of pasta and three large meatballs and a side of bread. More than enough food for the rest of the day. Add in a meat pinwheel (made with sausage, ground meat and pepperoni $2.50), it was some meal. I have to admit though they do throw in the spices. I highly recommend the restaurant.

La Crosta Pizzeria

La Crosta Restaurant & Pizzeria

In the gloom of the walk, I have to admit that the side streets of the Upper East Side are far different of the Avenues. Most of the streets have not been plowed over for new office and apartment buildings although on some blocks it is slowly happening. The real character of the neighbors of the Upper East Side is in the side streets. Here there is still a combination of brownstones, small stone apartment buildings and on some streets wooden homes and stone carriage houses, reminiscent of and ‘Old New York’, when the wealthy used this a summer retreat and later the outer blocks from their Fifth Avenue homes to house their horses and carriages. Its ironic today how valuable and desirable these buildings are now.

Carriage houses on East 72nd Street

The carriage houses along East 72nd Street

Walking along East 73rd Street between Madison and Lexington Avenues you can see the carriage houses of the wealthy that have now been converted into homes. These beautiful stone structures sit gracefully, still awaiting the carriages return. I was surprised to see so many left noting most of these structures from the old Fifth Avenue mansions have been torn down.

Rounding Fifth Avenue going on to East 74th Street and Fifth Avenue, I needed to make a bathroom pit stop and walked into Central Park to the Kerbs Boathouse. This is located by the entrance near East 72nd Street and when the bathrooms are open, it has a clean, well-maintained place to do your business. The Kerbs Boathouse was built in 1954 on the site of a former wooden structure and during the summer months the pond in front of it is loaded with kids sailing motorized boats.

Kerbs Boathouse.jpg

Kerbs Boathouse Central Park

Some of the statues that surround the Conservatory pond are the famous ‘Alice in Wonderland’ located in the Margaret Delacourt Memorial that was built in 1959 by Spanish born American artist Jose de Creeft. The artist studied at the Academie Julian in Paris and studied under artist Mariano Benlliure at the Artistic Foundry of Masriera Campins.

Jose de Creeft artist

Artist Jose De Creeft

https://americanart.si.edu/artist/jose-de-creeft-1169

It was commissioned by George Delacourt for his wife, Margarita, who loved to read the book to her children. It is one of the most popular statues in Central Park (Central Park Conservatory).

Alice in Wonderland Statue.jpg

Alice in Wonderland Statue

‘Hans Christian Anderson’ statue that faces the other side of the pond. This statute was created in 1958 by artist Georg John Lober for the 150th Anniversary of the author’s birth. It had been commissioned by the Danish American Women’s Association in his honor. Georg John Lober was born in Chicago and was based later on out of New York City. He studied at the Beaux Arts Institute of Design and National Academy of Design working under artist Gutzon Borgium. In his later years, he worked for the New York Municipal Art Commission (Wiki).

Georg Lober

Artist Georg L. Lober

https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/georg-john-lober-papers-7898

You should take some time to walk around the pond and see both statues especially the detail work of the ‘Alice in Wonderland’. These are the favorite of many adults and children alike (Central Park Conservatory).

Hans Christian Anderson.jpg

Hans Christian Anderson Statue

Before you exit the park at East 72nd Street, take a moment to look at the Waldo Hutchins Memorial as you are exiting the path up the hill.  It was named after the State Representative and Central Park Commissioner Waldo Hutchins.

Waldo Hutchins

Representative Waldo Hutchins

Here in certain times of the year, you can follow the shadows of the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Equinox and follow the shadow to the exact line that follows when the Equinox hits New York City. I am sure this is something most people miss.

Waldo Hutchins Bench

The Waldo Hutchin’s Bench in Central Park

By the time I rounded East 74th Street, I had had enough. The rain and mist was getting to me and I was getting tired. I doubled back to the subway and headed home. I would start the walk again later in the week.

My second day in the Upper East Side was much nicer on a sunny day and the weather was about 51 degrees F. It was perfect to walk around. I had spent the morning in Newark, NJ at the Newark Museum for the reopening of the entrance of the museum on Washington Street. It had not been opened since the early 90’s (At least as long as I have been a member and I just celebrated by 25th year . I was honored as a Museum Fellow the night before at the Annual Meeting of the Newark Museum).

It was a big to-do with high school marching bands, politicians including the Mayor of Newark and many council people and all sorts of city and museum officials. The museum put its best foot forward with reopening the museum to the city. After a few speeches, there was an official ribbon cutting ceremony and then everyone entered the museum. Since I had been here the night before for the Annual Museum Membership meeting, I had toured the whole museum including the new Mediterranean and African exhibition’s (which you should not miss). After the museum opening, I just hopped the train over to Manhattan.

Newark Museum Opening

Newark Museum front entrance Grand Opening

The Celebration at the Newark Museum

I took the Q train back up to the Upper East Side and walked to Fifth Avenue and continued the walk starting at the top of East 74th Street and Fifth Avenue. I wanted to see the street again without all the gloom and rain. The park still does not have that touch of Spring yet but you can see by the buds on the trees that its coming.

I passed the old carriage houses again to get a better look at the doors they use as an entrance and think what a creative layout for a house now. I bet those owners didn’t realize how trendy they would be eighty years later or that some family would be living where their horse and carriage had once been.

As I crossed onto East 75th Street, I noticed there were more carriage houses between Lexington and Madison Avenues. These must have been back to back stables for the wealthy. Outside these two rows of carriage houses and the one closer to the East River, all the rest must have been knocked down over the years.

I stopped again as I rounded East 76th Street as it was getting dark and threatening rain again. The weather has been such a mixed bag in the month of March and I didn’t want to risk it.

I doubled back up Lexington Avenue to the Burger One Coffee Shop at 1150 Lexington Avenue (See review on TripAdvisor and DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com). I had passed the restaurant as I criss-crossed the neighborhood and watched how the cook was making everything through the window.  I had a cheeseburger with fries ($8.00) that was one of the best burgers I had had in a long time. Freshly scooped from fresh ground meat and cooked on the grill right in front of me. The right amount of carmelization and perfectly cooked. Everything on the menu is below $10.00.

Burger One Restaurant.jpg

Burger One Restaurant at 1150 Lexington Avenue

The next day I spent the morning in Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen again working in the prep kitchen. There was a lot of bonding while I cut up eight boxes of chicken breasts and helped prepare some frozen vegetables. I swear we are always busy there but the numbers never seem to reflex it. We only did 875 lunches for guests.

I headed uptown on the Q subway and made from the 72nd Street stop and walked up to East 76th Street. This area of the neighborhood is dominated by the hospitals.  Lenox Hill Hospital sits at the head of the neighborhood starting at Park Avenue and I swear it is always busy here. As you head further down East 76th Street, it is a sea of graceful brownstones and marble homes. Take time to look at the detail work on the buildings and you will see the craftsmanship of a different era when time was spent making these masterpieces.

One of the more interesting buildings on 77th Street is at 459 East 77th Street. It is a home with the accents of a former church. You can see how they redesigned it keeping the detail work as part of the home. As you head toward John Jay Park at the end of the block note that the bathrooms are open until 5:00pm. By the early afternoon, school let out and the park was dominated by kids, nannies and parents just trying to relax. On a clear day, the view to Roosevelt Island is dominate and take time to really see what the island has to offer.

John Jay Park

John Jay Park on FDR Drive

When rounding the block onto East 78th Street, you get to see the beauty of the Gilded Age’ mansions starting with the old James Duke mansion on the corner of the block off Fifth Avenue. The home had built in 1912 by architect Horance Trumbauer and had been copied from a French Hotel. It has replaced another mansion on the same site.

I had read online after the death of James B. Duke, both Doris Duke and her mother decided to donate the mansion to New York University in 1954. It now houses the NYU Institute of Arts.

Duke Mansion

Duke Mansion Fifth Avenue

The old Payne Whitney Mansion also on Fifth Avenue serves as the French Consulate. It was built by Stamford White in 1906 for Payne Whitney and his wife, Helen.  After their deaths, the home became the consulate.

Payne Whitney Mansion

The Payne Whitney Mansion

These mansions are part of the line of ‘Gilded Age’ mansions that line East 79th Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue. Homes like this have disappeared off Fifth Avenue, being knocked down for apartment buildings or have been converted into stores, museums or consulates. Still the workmanship and the stone work on these buildings are impressive and you really need to notice the detail work.

Mansions on 79th Street

Gilded Age mansions on East 79th Street

There are other beautiful homes to look over are the brownstones that line 210-216 East 78th Street. There is such magnificent detail work to these brick row houses that all sit in a line on the south side of the street between Park and Lexington Avenues. They have a New England feel to them. Most of East 78th Street is line with a juxtapose of different style homes and really shows its uniqueness from block to block on the way to East End Avenue.

There are some interesting stores along East 78th Street, one of them being the Tiny Doll House at 314 East 78th Street. This unique store is the last of its kind in New York City according to the owner. The store is filled to the brim with dollhouses and furniture and accessories for them. There is even handmade items locked behind cases in the store for the collector who knows quality. Even the food for the tables looks real.

Tiny Doll House

Tiny Doll House Store at 314 East 78th Street

Turning the corner at East 80th Street, you really see some impressive old mansions. First there is the Vincent Astor mansion at 130 East 80th Street. The house was built by architect Mott B. Schmidt for Mr. Astor in the early 1900’s and upon his death traded hands until the New York Junior League bought the house in 1947 who owns it now. The house has a graceful elegance to it.

Vincent Astor Mansion

The Vincent Astor Mansion at 130 East 80th Street

A few doors down is the George and Martha Whitney home at 120 East 80th Street. Built by the firm of Cross & Cross this elegant was built in 1930 but harks back to a time of a more Federalist look with the brick face and portical in the front.

George and Martha Whitney Mansion

George and Martha Whitney Mansion at 120 East 80th Street

Towards the end of the block, you are treated to Lester’s Department Store at 1534 Second Avenue (See LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com). I walked the whole store and was impressed by their assortment of children’s and teen wear. It reminded me of a ‘preppie’ clothing store of the 70’s and 80’s. They even have a camp registry. I thought about the lucky kids who got to buy their clothes here before spending their summer away from their parents. Who really lucks out in that situation?

Lester's.jpg

Lester’s at 1534 Second Avenue

https://shop.lesters.com/

I finally had to stop at Lexington and East 81st Street as it was getting dark. I never can believe how long it takes to walk these streets especially on this side of time. I took a second trip to Burger One on Lexington Avenue and had dinner this time trying their turkey club sandwich with fries ($9.50). It was excellent.

The sandwich was made with fresh turkey and the tomatoes were ripe. I could barely finish it. This is when I added to my blog, ‘DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com. This is a place everyone should know about. I just thought it was funny the way they looked at me when I walked in. With all the hundreds of customers they must have one of the owners gave me a happy but suspicious look when I walked in for a second time. I thought how could she remember me.

My last day of walking the neighborhood, I had taken a walking tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue and 79th Street of one of the galleries. I love the Met. You can get lost in it for the entire day and never see everything. We were doing a tour of the American Galleries and looking over some of the famous paintings. After the tour, I just wanted to get some air and finished this part of the neighborhood.

Metropolitan Museum of Art II

The Metropolitan Museum of Art at 1000 Fifth Avenue

I started by double backing on East 84th Street and remembered that I had done most of this area in the Fall. It is amazing how fast time goes. I turned the corner onto East 83rd Street and walked towards Madison Avenue and stopped in Sugarfina at 1100 Madison Avenue (Now closed). This is a whirlwind of sweets with a creative twist to the packaging and a price to match. Everything here is very expensive for a piece of candy. They let me have a sample of the sample of the candy, this is more of a business account store. Still the packaging is great.

Sugarfina Madison Avenue

Sugarfina Madison Avenue t 1100 Madison Avenue (Now Closed)

As you walk down East 83rd Street, take a look up and admire 222 East 83rd Street. The brick work and landscaping makes this home really stand out among the bigger apartment buildings on this part of the block. This beautiful standout was built in 1901 (Streeteasy).

222 east 83rd street

222 East 83rd Street is such a beautiful building

There are two places you should not miss when walking East 82nd Street. One is the Hungarian House at 213 East 82nd Street. The beauty of this brick building is matched by its mission of being the center point of Hungarian-American culture and relations. It really does offer a lot of programming while being a center point of Hungarian culture in New York City.

Hungarian House.jpg

Hungarian House  at 213 East 82nd Street

Around the corner from the Hungarian House is the original Ottomanelli Brothers Butcher Shop at 1549 York Avenue. The store has been a neighborhood staple since 1900 and has all sorts of wonderful meats, pastas and groceries that you might need as well as a hot food section that many patrons were taking advantage of when I visiting that afternoon.

Another gem of a store I discovered when I was finishing East 81st Street was Art for Eternity at 303 East 81st Street (See LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com). This unique art gallery offers a selection of Pre-Colombian Art of museum quality. I saw many interesting bowls and vases. When talking with gallery Director Howard Nowes, he gave me a detailed tour of the works, showing me the detail work of many pieces and explaining their purpose. It was like being back at the Met.

Art for Eternity II

Art for Eternity at 303 East 81st Street

I ended my last day in the neighborhood at another early morning tour at the Met, seeing the new Pre-Columbian exhibition, “The Art of Luxury”, which showcases the treasures of early American art. My last lunch on the Upper East Side was at Harbs at 1374 3rd Avenue near 78th Street (See review on LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com). It is a cross between an English and Japanese bakery shoppe. They have a wonderful lunch special for $20.00 (See my review on TripAdvisor).

The meal consisted a large cup of English tea, for lunch a Croque-Monsieur (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with mustard butter) with a side salad with buttermilk dressing and for dessert, a small slice of Mocha cake which was layered with a rich mocha creme. It was a great meal with excellent service.

Harbs II

Harb’s at 1374 Third Avenue

Not such a bad way to end my walk on the Upper East Side.

 

How to get there:

The Subways The 6 & Q trains

 

Places to shop:

 

The Tiny Doll House

314 East 78th Street

New York, NY  10028

(212) 744-37195

http://www.tinydollhouseny.com

Open: Sunday Closed/Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Review on LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/littleshoponmainstreet.wordpress.com/25

 

 

Art for Eternity

303 East 81st Street

New York, NY  10028

http://www.artforeternity.com

(212) 472-5171

Open: Sunday Closed/Monday-Friday 11:00am-6:00pm/Saturday 11:00am-5:30pm

My review on LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/littleshoponmainstreet.wordpress.com/30

 

Sugarfina

1100 Madison Avenue

New York, NY  10028

madison@sugarfina.com

(This location is now closed down)

 

Lester’s Department Store

1534 2nd Avenue

New York, NY  10021

(212) 734-9292

http://www.lesters.com

Open: Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm/Monday-Friday 10:00am-7:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

My review on LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/littleshoponmainstreet.wordpress.com/194

 

Where to eat:

 

La Crosta Restaurant & Pizzeria

436 East 72nd Street

New York, NY  10021

(212) 472-5004

Open: Sunday-Saturday 11:00am-9:30pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d2285056-Reviews-La_Crosta_Restaurant_Gourmet_Pizzeria-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/diningonashoestringinnyc.wordpress.com/552

 

Harbs

1374 3rd Avenue

New York, NY  10075

(646) 896-1511

http://www.harbsnyc.com

Open: Sunday 11:00am-9:00pm/Monday-Thursday 11:00am-9:00pm/Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d9455491-Reviews-Harbs-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/littleshoponmainstreet.wordpress.com/71

 

Burger One Coffee Shop

1150 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY  10075

(212) 737-0095

http://www.burger1nyc.com

Open: Sunday 8:00am-5:00pm/Monday 6:00am-8:00pm/Saturday 7:00am-5:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d550667-Reviews-Burger_One-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/diningonashoestringinnyc.wordpress.com/560

 

What to see:

The Alice in Wonderland Statue

https://www.centralpark.com/things-to-do/attractions/alice-in-wonderland/

https://www.centralparknyc.org/attractions/alice-in-wonderland

 

The Hans Christian Anderson Statue

https://www.centralparknyc.org/attractions/hans-christian-andersen

https://www.centralpark.com/things-to-do/attractions/hans-christian-andersen/

 

Statutes in Central Park at 72nd Street

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sculptures_in_Central_Park

 

Gilded Age Mansions

East 79th Street from Fifth Avenue to Madison Avenue

 

John Jay Park

FDR Drive

Between East 78th and 76th Streets

New York, NY  10021

(212) 794-6566

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/john-jay-park-and-pool

 

Metropolitan Museum

1000 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY  10028

(201) 535-7710

https://www.metmuseum.org/

Open: Sunday-Thursday 10:00am-5:45pm/Friday-Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d105125-Reviews-The_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

John Jay Park on the Upper East Side

Day One Hundred and Two: Walking the Avenues of the Upper East Side from East 84th to 72nd Streets between Fifth Avenue and FDR Drive February 14th-20th, 2018

I took some time out after Soup Kitchen to get some exercise and start my walk of the Avenues of the Upper East Side. I spent the whole morning making lasagnas for lunch the next day and I was tired as it was that afternoon. I ended up walking from 9th Avenue and 28th Street to Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street to pick up movie tickets at the MoMA for that afternoon and then walked to Fifth Avenue and East 72nd Street and walked down to East 72nd Street to re-walk York Avenue from East 72nd Street to East 84th Street and then walk the remaining Avenues. It was turning to twilight when I last walked it and I wanted to see it again. The neighborhood like the rest of Manhattan is changing.

You really are seeing an area in its own transition especially along the Avenues. The side streets have kept their character to a certain point but on the Avenues the old brick buildings and brownstones are giving way to large apartment buildings like its neighbor to the north in the Yorkville, Carnegie Hill and even East Harlem. More and more of the main thoroughfares are becoming large residential buildings.

I started the day first having lunch a small pizzeria called La Crosta Restaurant and Gourmet Pizzeria at 436 East 72nd Street (See review on TripAdvisor) for a slice of pizza ($4.00). I needed my carbs for the walk ahead of me. This small pizzeria has a really nice menu with very fair prices. The pizza is really good and they have a good sauce on the pizza which really makes the pie.

La Crosta Pizzeria

La Crosta Restaurant and Gourmet Pizza at 436 East 72nd Street

I would revisit the restaurant again later the next week to try their meatball sub with mozzarella ($7.95) to see if it would make the cut for my blog, DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com (which it has see the review on the site) and was impressed by the sandwich. They loaded the sandwich with homemade meatballs and then loaded with shredded with cheese and finished off in the oven. It was some sandwich.

La Crosta Pizza II

The lunch specials at La Crosta Pizza are excellent

After lunch, I walked the length of York Avenue. I had really misjudged this part of the neighborhood when really looking at it. When walking York Avenue I started to notice a difference in the architecture once you hit about East 80th Street. The lower part of the avenue is being knocked down and rebuilt while up in the 80’s, you still have a fair amount of small buildings and businesses.

When I crossed over to John Jay Park again for a bathroom break (note this bathroom when walking around the neighborhood. They keep it really clean). I wanted to take another look at the Douglas Abdell statues in the park. They are off to the side of the park in the pathway leading to East 75th Street from Cherokee Place.

Abdell Statute JJP

Eaphae-Aekyard #2 by artist Douglas Abdell

Really take time to look at the two sculptures. There is a uniqueness to them. It like the way the artist twisted the work to get the geometric forms that he did giving it a juxtaposed pattern.

Abdell Statute JJP II

Kreyeti-Ackyard #2 by artist Douglas Abdell

Douglas Abdell is an American Artist whose work has been seen all over the world. The two statues, Eaphae-Aekyard #2 and Kreyeti-Ackyard #2 use the artists sense of vertical, diagonal and horizontal patterns to create the works (NY Parks System). You really have to take time when in the park to take a look at these two statues and judge for yourself.

Douglas Abdell artist

Douglas Abdell the artist

http://www.artnet.com/artists/douglas-abdell/

First Avenue has a bevy of interesting local restaurants and stores that are concentrated up in the 80’s and while walking up to the upper 80’s, I had to stop by my standby place, Glaser’s Bake Shop at 1670 First Avenue for dessert. You can’t walk around the Upper East Side without coming to Glaser’s (now closed). I love this place!

Glazer's Bake Shop

The now closed Glaser’s Bake Shop at 1670 First Avenue (now closed)

I got one of there freshly baked chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, which was filled with a mocha cream ($3.50) that was out of this world! I think I have been concentrating on this part of town just so that I can visit here. Everything always looks so good.

It was so sad when they closed

Second Avenue is very similar in feel to First Avenue. In the 70’s, there is a lot of change in the businesses to more commercial establishments with the 80’s still being dominated by more local restaurants and shops. The buildings above East 80th Street are still the smaller brick and brownstone buildings holding the local businesses.  All throughout the Avenue there are pockets of local stores and restaurants.

Park Avenue between East 72nd and 84th Streets still is an Avenue of quiet elegance with beautiful older apartment buildings and co-ops that line the beautifully decorated gardens that line the median and the fronts of several buildings. There is very little commercial businesses on the street less a flower shop here and a dry cleaner there type of thing. It is a block after block of pre-war buildings that have not changed much except for sandblasting clean the exterior of the outside. In the Spring, Summer and the holiday season, the median is nicely landscaped and decorated.

Madison Avenue is mainly a upscale shopping district that is getting too expensive for its own good. In the lower 70’s, I saw a lot of empty spaces cramped in between the over-priced clothing and jewelry stores. I think the rents are pushing out the first wave of shops that moved here after Fifth Avenue got too expensive. Even the rents here are getting to be too much. I am beginning to see these upscale shops moving to Lexington and even Third Avenues in the 70’s. This is pushing out the mom & pop places that dominate those Avenues. It still is one of the premier shopping districts in Upper Manhattan where many European merchants open.

The stores that are located on the Avenue you still have to be buzzed into and is lined with expensive clothing, jewelry, art and decorative stores with a few boutique hotels and restaurants. In the past few months that I have been walking the neighborhood, I have seen some of them move off and to other locations in the surrounding streets. As the twenty year rents are up, many of the traditional businesses from the 1970’s, 80’s and even the 90’s are giving way to chains or just empty store fronts.

Madison Avenue Shopping District

Madison Avenue Shopping District

Fifth Avenue is always a treat. Most of the buildings in the area have not changed and stayed mostly residential. It is lined with elegant marble apartment buildings and some modern day structures. The park is still quiet with the last days of winter slowly becoming behind us. Still on a semi-warm day, there are still kids playing in the playgrounds. I swear, nothing stops these kids. It still is part of the “Museum Mile” and there are smaller gallery spaces and museums.

Fifth Avenue Museum Mile

Fifth Avenue on the Museum Mile

On my second day walking the Avenues, I doubled back to FDR Drive to walk along the riverfront. This is a juxtaposed position. There is no one clear walking path on FDR Drive. The cross over pedestrian bridge is at East 78th Street by John Jay Park and you can cross over to walk along the East River. It was 72 degrees the second day on the walk and it just gorgeous outside. Everyone had the same idea that I had and I saw many people walking their dogs or jogging along the water.  The walkway is currently being renovated so it stops around 71st Street.

I doubled back to John Jay Park and walked the remainder of FDR Drive by sidewalk around East 79th Street, with many cars driving by at full speed. The sidewalk ends at 72nd Street at the Con Ed building and I don’t suggest walking any further. There is a slim strip of edge of sidewalk and unless you want to be hit by a car, walk back down East 72nd Street. It is full of guys coming and going for work so it is very busy on this street during the day.

I went back to East 78th Street and went back on the bridge and proceeded to walk up the walkway to East 84th Street to Carl Schurz Park. School had let out by this point and both this park and John Jay Park were loaded with kids for the rest of the afternoon. All of them obviously enjoying the surprisingly warm weather. When walking across East 84th Street, the southern part of the park, I came across a plaque dedicated to Archibald Gracie, whose estate used to be located here and whose family Gracie Mansion is named after (the Mayor’s residence).

Gracie mansion

Gracie Mansion, the home of the Mayor of New York City

Gracie, who was a merchant and shipbuilder and good friend of John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, had bought the land around what was called “Horn’s Hook” in 1798 and built the wooden home as a county estate. The house had been headquarters for many prominent residents of the city as Gracie’s position changed to include insurance and banking. He had to sell the house in 1823 to pay off debts and it was acquired by the city in 1891. After different uses, it was renovated and now serves as the residence of NYC Mayor and his family.

Archiebald Gracie

Archibald Gracie, the builder of Gracie Mansion

I walked down East End Avenue and walked all the side streets between East 84th to East 79th Streets where East End Avenue ends. Most the streets have a dead end with a beautiful view of the river the most scenic at East 72nd Street, where you can sit on the benches and just watch the river. Here starts the Weill-Cornell Medical Center so you will be sharing space with many of the hospital workers out on a break.  It also offers views of Roosevelt Island (see Day Ninety Five “Walking Roosevelt Island”) especially Lighthouse Park.

Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island is wonderful to explore on a warm sunny day

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park at the tip of Roosevelt Island

As you walk past buildings along the river, you will see the old sign for the “East Side House Settlement” at East 76th Street, which used to be the home for the establishment which is one of the oldest non-profit social service organizations in New York City. It was founded here in 1891 and moved to the South Bronx in 1962. The building still stands now part of the Town School but the sign still stands as a testament to where it was founded. You can see the sign carved in the stone from the FDR Walkway.

Walking York Avenue, you will pass the same type of construction along the Avenue as the smaller brownstone buildings give way to the larger apartment complexes.  There is a little gem off York Avenue at 502 East 74th Street. This small carriage house seems out of place in the neighborhood but has been around since the Civil War. It had been converted to manufacturing in 1892 and most of its existence had been a place of manufacturing. It now has been restored and is now a private residence.

Another building that is interesting is at 450 East 78th Street, a small wooden structure that houses an antique and a blinds store’s that was built in 1910. This small building is relic of a time when this area must have been filled with homes like this. Martine’s Antiques located in one of the stores is a treasure trove of small items and is worth the trip inside. It really stands alone in a neighborhood in constant change.

Martine's Antiques

Martine’s Antiques at 450 East 78th Street

I followed York Avenue up to 84th Street and crossed down to Third Avenue. Third and Lexington Avenues are very similar in look and in businesses. Third Avenue and Lexington Avenue in the 70’s are really going through a transition as rents are forcing older businesses out. That classic 90’s look of the Avenues is giving way to either empty store fronts or upscale restaurants and shops that should be on Madison Avenue.

Still there are a lot of those businesses hanging that still give it the neighborhood feel and that is more in the low 80’s. One of those businesses is the Lexington Candy Shop at 1226 Lexington Avenue, where I had lunch (See review on TripAdvisor). Founded in 1925, it is a reminder when these type of stores used to dominate New York City until the arrival of McDonald’s in the 1970’s. Even the automate’s gave way by the early 80’s.

Lexington Candy Shop

Lexington Candy Shop at 1226 Lexington Avenue

https://www.lexingtoncandyshop.com/

I had eaten here several times before and I wanted to know if it was still as good as it once was then. Trust me it is still great and it is a real New York experience to sit at the counter.  I ordered a regular burger and a strawberry milkshake, both of which were excellent.

Lexington Candy Shop II

The inside of the Lexington Candy Shop is very unique and old fashioned

The burger was perfectly cooked with fresh lettuce and tomato on the side and the milkshake was made with Basset’s of Philadelphia ice cream, which I have mentioned in my blogs to Philly and is one of the best ice creams on the market. Both the food and service make Lexington Candy Shop a ‘must see’ for out of towners.

Third Avenue especially in the low 80’s still holds onto it classic New York look but I am afraid not for long. It looks like the whole Avenue is giving way to larger apartment complexes and office buildings. Even the traditional shopping district on 86th Street is giving way to all new buildings. Once the home of Gimbel’s Uptown, the neighborhood is slowly going upscale with a new Shake Shack and Brooks Brothers.

Still there are many unique stores in the area. Flying Tiger Copenhagen recently opened at 1286 Third Avenue, which has great novelty items for kids and seasonable gift items. The sad part is that everything seems to be made in China, not Copenhagen. If you like unusual novelty items, this is the place.

Another great store for kids and one of the oldest toy stores in the city is Mary Arnold Toys at 1178 Lexington Avenue. They have a nice selection of commercial toys and novelties. Most of the items you can find cheaper in other stores though but still it is a great store to look around.

Mary Arnold Toys

Mary Arnold Toys at 1178 Lexington Avenue

For many, the Upper East Side still has the feel that it has always had since the 1960’s and admittingly not much has changed in some parts of the neighborhood particularly around the side streets but massive changes on the Avenues are happening as rows of brownstones and small buildings give way to large apartment and building complexes and along the East River, there is a lot of construction along FDR Drive. Pretty soon that will all be luxury buildings as well.

The Upper East Side can be accessed by Subway on the number 6 or the G line. Go to the G line to see all the artwork.

 

Places to Eat:

 

La Crosta Restaurant and Gourmet Pizzeria

436 East 72nd Street

New York, NY  10021

(212) 472-5004

http://www.lacrostadanyc.com

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d2285056-Reviews-La_Crosta_Restaurant_Gourmet_Pizzeria-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com:

https://diningonashoestringinnyc.wordpress.com/2018/02/24/la-crosta-restaurant-gourmet-pizzeria-436-east-72nd-street-new-york-ny-10021/

 

Lexington Avenue Candy Shop

1226 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY  10028

(212) 288-0057

https://www.lexingtoncandyshop.com/

Open: Sunday 8:00am-6:00pm/Monday-Friday 7:00am-7:00pm/Saturday 8:00am-7:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d522599-Reviews-Lexington_Candy_Shop-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

Glaser’s Bake Shop (Now Closed)

1670 First Avenue

New York, NY  10028

(212) 289-2562

http://www.glaserbakeshop.com

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d930552-Reviews-Glaser_s_Bake_Shop-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com:

https://diningonashoestringinnyc.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/glasers-bake-shop-1670-first-avenue-new-york-ny-10128/

 

Places to Visit:

 

Flying Tiger Copenhagen

1282 Third Avenue

New York, NY  10001

(917) 388-2812

http://www.flyingtiger.com

Open: Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm/Monday-Saturday 10:00am-8:00pm

 

Mary Arnold Toys

1178 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY 10028

(212) 744-8510

http://www.MaryArnoldToys.com

Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm/Monday-Fridat 10:00am-6:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

 

Martine’s Antique Store

450 East 78th Street

New York, NY  10075

(212) 772-0900

Open: Sunday Closed/Monday-Friday 1:00pm-7:00pm/Saturday 1:00pm-6:00pm

 

Places to see:

 

John Jay Park

FDR Drive

Between East 78th and 75th Streets

New York, NY  10021

(212) 794-6566

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/john-jay-park-and-pool

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/john-jay-park-and-pool/history

Open: Sunday-Saturday 7:00am-10:00pm

 

Artist Douglas Abdell Statues

The Abdell statues are located just outside the park by East 76th Street.

https://www.askart.com/artist/Douglas_Abdell/103789/Douglas_Abdell.aspx

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/john-jay-park-and-pool/monuments/1768