Tag Archives: Mobilization for Change Community Gardens

La Perla Community Garden

Day Eighty-Three: Walking the Streets of Manhattan Valley/Bloomingdale from West 110th to West 96th Streets from Central Park West to Riverside Drive August 3rd-9th, 2017

It took a couple of days to give the neighborhood a long walk, but I covered all the space in three days. This is such an interesting neighborhood and so many people took an interest in what I was doing over in the time I spent here.

It was hot and humid my first day in Manhattan Valley at 81 degrees. I got up to neighborhood in the later afternoon after a long day wrapping spoons at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. It may not sound that exciting but it is one of the most important  stations at the kitchen. You need a constant supply of silverware to help feed everyone.

I started the walk at the E subway station on the edge of Central Park. On a hot day, the park was packed with people getting a tan, fishing in the Meer, walking their dogs or just hanging out. This part of the summer is nice because the tourists are walking around and it is fun to watch them make a fuss at everything.

Harlem Meer.jpg

Harlem Meer in northern Central Park

The first couple of blocks along 109th and 108th Streets are filled with prewar apartment buildings, schools and small playgrounds and many small brownstones. A lot of the buildings in this area are being sandblasted back to their former glory. Closer to the parks, the buildings have an elegant feel with their carved marble fronts and small gardens and potted plants decorated them. The sign of a doorman says that this area is getting more expensive.

On 107th Street, I saw many beautiful buildings in various stages of renovation on all the blocks as this are is beginning to become part of the Upper West Side fabric. Many of the small brownstones along Manhattan Avenue had been swept in their fronts and their plants were in full bloom. Again, I love the block between 106th and 107th Streets. Tucked in between all those little mansions and brownstones is The Nicholas Roerich Museum at 319 West 107th Street

Nicholas Roerich Museum.

The tiny Nicholas Roerich Museum is packed with interesting art

The Museum was founded in 1949 to house a permanent collection of over two hundred paintings by the Russian-born artist, poet, philosopher and humanitarian, Nicholas Roerich. The museum also houses a library of books and maintains an archive and a collection of artifacts relating to the areas of Roerich’s interests (Museum guide).

Nicholas Roerich Museum I

The art at the museum has a Asian influence to it

When you reach Riverside Drive, there is a beautiful line of old marble mansions that line the drive from 106th to 105th Streets. These were built at a time when money was no object and living along the park was a sophisticated choice. These homes are all being renovated and one wonders if they are going to become private homes again. When rounding 107th Street along Riverside Park, take time to look at these homes from the park side and you can imagine the view they have from the front of these homes.

I walked all around Riverside Park in this part of the neighborhood and it is just beautiful when the trees are in full form. The shade trees and paths offer refuge from the hot sun and it is fun to watch the neighborhood kids play in the playgrounds with their parents and nannies. It is nice to see a group of kids enjoying nature and not glued to a cell phone. From the park, these are the most gorgeous views of the Hudson River with the cliffs in New Jersey in the background and a constant stream of boats in the river passing you by.

Riverside Park 110th Street II

Riverside Park is just breathtaking

I made a lunch stop at SheShe Pizzeria at 961 Columbus Avenue at 107th Street (See my TripAdvisor review and my blog DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@ WordPress.com). This small pizzeria has delicious food with the most reasonable lunch specials. Their lunch menu has ten lunch specials for $5.00 including a personal pizza with pepperoni that I had with a Coke for lunch.

sheshe pizza

SheShe Pizza at 961 Columbus Avenue

This small ten inch pizza was freshly cooked for me by the owner of the restaurant. It was loaded with pepperoni and cheese and when it came out of the oven was cut into four generous slices. The sauce is flavorful and the slices are all stringy and gooey with the melted cheese. It is the perfect lunch/dinner if you have a good appetite. Their spaghetti and meatballs was terrific too that I had another day I was in the neighborhood for lunch. The service is very warm and welcoming and he remembered me from a few days earlier.

To work off all this good food, stop back at the ‘Mobilize for Change’ Community Garden across the street at the corner of 107th Street and Columbus Avenue and stroll through the gardens again. The gardens are in full bloom and it is a nice place to just walk around the paths and look at the progress of the individual vegetable gardens. The tomatoes are really coming in.

Mobilization for Change Community Garden II.jpg

Mobilization for Change Community Garden

One  the most beautiful buildings in the neighborhood along Central Park West and 106th Street is 455 Central Park West, the old New York Cancer Hospital. Years ago when I was walking around the neighborhood, this was an abandoned building that was all boarded up and graffiti ladened.  Now it is park of an exclusive apartment complex. The hospital part of the apartment building was build in 1887 with additions in 1889 and 1890. It  was designed by architect Charles Coolidge Haight in the French Chateaux style with English Gothic trim (City Realty).

New York Cancer Hospital II

To live in the Victorian section of the building must cost now millions of dollars. The whole building was renovated back to life and is one of the most unusual pieces of architecture in the neighborhood with an incorporated tower behind it. It is also rumored to be haunted.

New York Cancer Hospital

455 Central Park West the old New York Cancer Hospital is now luxury condos

In between Columbus and Manhattan Avenues on 105th Street is the La Perla Community Garden. The garden was created around 1992 when a group of neighborhood citizens got together to clean out a garbage dump of a lot and turned it into a vibrant garden with paths leading through trees, flower and vegetable beds. There is even original graffiti art from one of the local artists all along the walls of the building that surround it.

La Perla Community Garden.png

La Perla Community Garden

I talked with one of the creators of the garden, Carmen Ortiz, talked with me that afternoon. “It took about ten years to clean the lot out and that was constantly throwing out the garbage to the curb just to get all the debris out. We have worked so hard to create and maintain the garden and now a piece of it is being sold off.” Currently the middle part of the garden was owned by two couples but the taxes are getting too high and the neighborhood is changing so fast, that it was cost effective to sell it. Now the left side of the garden will be a new townhouse while the rest of the garden will remain.

“It’s sad because we do so much for the community here,” Ms. Ortiz added. “We will be having a flea market this weekend and have Jazz Concerts here. During the holidays, we have events for the neighborhood children. You can see by the plantings, everyone has a plot here.” Several raised beds contain various vegetable plantings. I just hope that building this new townhouse does not affect the garden to the point where nothing can grow there. Its a sad commentary to the city when something that New Yorkers spent their time on to make better improved the neighborhood to the point that it was its own demise in the end.

Along West 104th Street between Central Park West and Manhattan Avenue, you will see another set of Community Gardens which is interesting because the plot has a prewar apartment building right smack in the middle of it. The center piece of this garden is the Jesus Crawford Rose Garden which was just losing the last of its blooms when I visited it. This was named after the creator of the garden.

Mobilization for Change Community Garden.jpg

Community Garden

Just like ‘Le Perla’ and ‘Mobilization for Change’ gardens, this garden has added much needed green space to the neighborhood with trees and raised vegetable gardens that add that sense of neighborhood to the street. At the height of the summer, it is nice to see all of these gardens in full bloom and the fresh vegetables on their way.

Walking through the Douglass Houses and the projects in general are always amusing to me. I never know the reception I will get. For the most part, I crisscrossed through the walkways of the projects from 104th to 100th Street. I visited all the playgrounds and community areas to sit and people just ignored me but looked out of the corner of their eyes to see what I was doing.

Douglass Houses NYC.jpg

Douglass Houses

I watched some kids playing on the swings and some people attending the community gardens that they had planted but for the most part I saw a lot of socialization along Columbus Avenue. Many groups of men set up tables and while blasting Spanish music played cards and domino’s and watched the neighborhood go by. I am sure that for all the game playing these guys know perfectly well what is going on around them and the surrounding buildings. That struck me as watching everything.

Its at 100th Street where Manhattan Valley joins the rest of the Upper West Side as new office and apartment buildings have been built along Columbus, Amsterdam and Broadway. This area is guarded by a police and fire station around the corner so there is action here all day long.

You can go to the bathroom either in Fredrick Douglass Park near 104th Street or at the Whole Foods at 100th Street. Stick with Whole Foods as it is cleaner and cooler plus you can use the water fountain.

When I was walking in between Riverside and West End Avenues, I came across a community bench designed by artist Linus Coraggio who lives on the block (website: LinusCoraggio@verison.net). It just so happened the artist was outside fixing his motorcycle and we got to talking about his work.  He showed me the bench and all its detail work. He had lived in the area for many years and had watched it change from bad to better.

Linus Corragio.jpg

Artist Linus Coraggio

https://linuscoraggio.com/

His current specialty is welded, crafted figurative and abstract sculpture and furniture. I even read online that Ringo Starr is one of his clients. He was showing the work he was doing on the brownstone he was living in, doing work around the railing and in the foyer of the building all the ceiling work. His attention to detail and to how the work flows is a sign that he takes his time with each piece. It is an interesting set of artwork with all sorts of bends and twists to the metal work.

Check out this YouTube Trailer on the artist

He even has a chair he created right in front of the building. It twists and turns and the metal work is extremely creative in that you can tell the detail and the amount of time to get the metal to work in this fashion. You almost don’t want to sit in it. He told me he currently has a show going on in the East Village and a studio up in Ellenville, NY. Just stop on this block alone to see his craftsmanship. It is beautiful.

On 99th Street just off Amsterdam Avenue, there is the Church St. Michael’s Parish at 225 West 99th Street, which has the nicest garden to sit in. It is a nice place to relax and just think. Tranquil is the word for it.

Church of Saint Michael

The Church of Saint Michael at 225 West 99th Street

It is beautifully planted and everything was in full bloom. It was nice to just stop and take a break here. Take a look at their postings as they have a lot of activities going on.

A couple of mornings later, I came back to finish the bottom part of the neighborhood and walked 96th Street again to see how the neighborhood transitions. The streets between 96th and 98th Streets are filled with smaller marble brownstones and many attractive prewar apartments. There are a lot of businesses transitioning along these streets as I see many of the older businesses now sitting empty with ‘For Rent’ signs telling the rents are changing in this part of the neighborhood as well. Soon they will be filled with the next wave of chain stores and glitzy restaurants.

This part of the neighborhood was easy to walk because the Central Park West Apartments and their playground stop the side streets between 98th to 99th Streets and the rest of the complex is gated off. My suggestion is do not try to walk through the complex because the signs are very blatant that they are watching you. You can see from the streets though there is a large parking lot and several well landscaped paths surrounding the buildings. I was just surprised they built these and the projects right next to one another.

Central Park West Towers

Central Park West Towers have a lot of security

I stopped at Telo Deli at 23 West 100th Street for some of their homemade empanadas ($1.25). They were so good I had to go back a second time for another which made the man behind the counter pretty happy. Try the pizza and chicken ones. They are generously filled and cooked perfectly. It is a good place to stop for a reasonable snack.

My last part of the day before I walked across Central Park to start my trip to Coney Island for my ‘Q to Q subway trip’ from 96th Street on the East Side to Coney Island on Stillwell Avenue, I stopped back at SheShe Pizzeria at 961 Columbus Avenue, to try one more thing on the lunch special menu. This was one of the inspirations for my new blog “DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com’. For $5.00, these lunches are exceptional.

sheshe pizza.png

SheShe Pizza

I tried the side order of ziti with meatballs and it was more than a side order. You got a very generous portion  of perfectly cooked ziti with about three fresh meatballs that were sliced on top and then put under the broiler. I could just about finish it. The meatballs had a nice garlicky taste to them and the sauce was well spiced. It looked like the owner was happy to see me again. I will be back again for another personal pizza.

As I finished my walk of Manhattan Valley, I really felt that neighborhood aspect of this community. For a section of a major city, this had a small town friendly feel about it. The people here, no matter where they live want this to be the best community it can be and I was impressed by all the free time the residents donate to make it that way. Whether it was Carmen Ortiz and her partner in the garden, Bob, spending their time weeding beds to Linus Coraggio donating his creativity to building a bench for people to relax in to the guys playing dominoes watching what everyone was doing, I could feel the sense of neighborhood here.

The residents here really care.

 

Places to Eat:

 

Telo Deli

23 West 100 Street

New York, NY  10025

My review on TripAdvisor:

 

SheShe Pizza

961 Columbus Avenue

New York, NY  10025

(212) 222-7201

sheshepizzatogo.com

Open: Sunday-Saturday 24 hours

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d5007563-Reviews-Sheshe_Pizzeria-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/diningonashoestringinnyc.wordpress.com/174

 

 

Places to visit:

 

Linus Coraggio Bench

West 100th Street Between Riverside Drive and West Side Drive

https://linuscoraggio.com

 

St. Michael’s Parish Church Garden

225 West 99th Street

New York, NY  10025

(212) 222-2700

http://www.saintmichaelschurch.org

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d548868-Reviews-Church_of_St_Michael-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

Jesus Crawford Rose Garden

West 104th Street

New York, NY  10025

 

Le Perla Community Garden

76 West 105th Street

New York, NY  10025

https://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/58547/

https://www.facebook.com/laperlagarden/

 

Mobilization of Change Community Garden

955 Columbus Avenue

New York, NY  10025

https://www.facebook.com/MFCGarden/

 

Nicholas Roerich Museum

319 West 107th Street

New York, NY  10025

(212) 864-7752

Hours:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday-Friday: 12:00pm-4:00pm

Saturday-Sunday: 2:00pm-5:00pm

Closed: Major holidays

Admission: Admission is free, though donations are welcome.

http://www.roerich.org

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d136141-Reviews-Nicholas_Roerich_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/visitingamuseum.com/2002

Straus Park in the Upper West Side

Day Eighty-One: Walking Manhattan Valley (the Bloomingdale District) along the Avenues from West End Avenue to Manhattan Avenue from West 110th to West 96th Streets July 31, 2017

Manhattan Valley (the Bloomingdale District) is the imagine of what people would think the Upper West Side is like in the 1970’s. It reminded me of an old Woody Allen film. It still has that old New York feel to it before gentrification rolled over the lower part of this side of the island. I think what keeps the neighborhood grounded is the Douglass Housing Complex in the middle of the neighborhood which runs from 104th Street to 100th Street from Amsterdam Avenue to Manhattan Avenue. The Park West Apartment Condo Complex anchors the southern part of the neighborhood.

The fringes of this neighborhood on all sides are quickly gentrifying from the sandblasting of buildings and new businesses along Broadway to almost everything north of 104th Street to 110th Street from Riverside Drive to Central Park West. Everything seems to have scaffolding in front of it, already is being cleaned and buffed or in the process of it. It is a mixture of old and new and it seems that the population likes it this way. The one thing I have to say it feels like a real neighborhood.

The Dutch called the area, “Bloemendaal”, which translates to “Valley of Flowers” as the area was once home to many farms and forests. The whole area was once the summer home to the wealthy residents from downtown and as the city grew, the area was dissected by the street system. There are still many pocket parks, community gardens and playgrounds plus it is bounded by Riverside Drive and Central Park.

Bloomingdale section

Bloomingdale in its rural days

My day began with another busy day at the Soup Kitchen. I admit I don’t think that in this economy I don’t think it is going to be getting slower. We’re consistent every time I am there. Not the 1500 meal days we used to have but it still gets busy. I work the busy  extra Bread station and they love their raisin bagels when we have them. I did not get of there until 12:30pm.

I started the walk at 110th Street with lunch at my new favorite Chinese restaurant, Hunan Chen’s Kitchen at 1003 A Columbus Avenue (See TripAdvisor review and DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com). I had an order of their Orange Chicken and it was out of this world. The food there is excellent and for the size of the portion and the quality of the dishes, this place should be on everyone’s map. The orange chicken was perfectly cooked, crisp from the deep fry and the fried rice is good for a lunch portion. Their egg rolls are quite good as well.

Hunan Chen's Kitchen.jpg

Hunan Chen’s Chinese Restaurant

(Note to all readers: I have added a new blog site along with ‘VisitingaMuseum.com’ to accompany ‘MywalkinManhattan.com’. The new site is called ‘DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com’, where I will be featuring restaurants I find on my travels around the island and beyond for under $10.00. There have to be more people like myself who are on a budget).

I had my lunch on the benches by the entrance of Morningside Park and on a sunny day, there is nothing like it. It must be a favorite of the neighborhood because I found myself with a crowd around the benches. I guess the park’s lurid past is behind it now as I watched a soccer game from the bench as I was eating. It is a nice place to relax and gather your thoughts.

Morningside Park

Morningside Park

After lunch, I started walking the Avenues that go up and down the neighborhood. This side of the island is a little smaller than the East Side of the park, six streets as opposed to eight. It was still quite the walk.

Morningside Park III

Where I like to eat my lunch when I am at Morningside Park

My first street was Manhattan Avenue and this street is just as juxtaposed as the other neighborhoods uptown. You can go from luxury brownstones to the projects in just one block. Lining Manhattan Avenue from 106th to 105th Streets are some of the most picturesque brownstones with front gardens and potted plants that you will see in the city. Each one is nicer than the other and seem unique in their own way because of their design and their plantings. I can imagine how they must decorate around the holidays.

Once you pass 104th Street, the large Fredrick Douglass Houses start to dominate the neighborhood.  I think that the project has kept this part of Manhattan from fully gentrifying as it dominates the whole core of the neighborhood from 104th to 100th Streets from Manhattan Avenue to Amsterdam Avenue. Like most of the housing complexes I have walked through, everyone pretty much ignored me. Tables of older Dominican men played cards and dominoes on a nice day, young mothers were in the playgrounds, which were nicer then most of the complexes I have seen and one family even had a lemonade/snack stand near the Youth Hostel on Amsterdam Avenue between 104th and 103rd Streets.

Fredrick Douglass Houses.jpg

Fredrick Douglass Houses

Manhattan Avenue stops at 100th Street in front the big Central Park West Condo complex which looks like middle-class housing to me. All I know is that they want you to stay out of the complex. There are signs all over the place that the through ways are for residents only and there is security all over the place. I won’t be able to walk through that too quickly.

Columbus Avenue below 100th Street joins the rest of the Upper West Side with shops and restaurants and a large Whole Foods which is a nice place to go to the bathroom if you need it and to fill up water bottles. Above 100th Street, it is dominated by the housing complex and then it changes back to small stores and prewar apartments.

A nice stop is the ‘Mobilization for Change Community Garden’ at Columbus Avenue at 107th Street. What a beautiful pocket park. It has colorful flower beds to walk through and there are elevated vegetable gardens that residents plant in and all the plants are in the stage of maturity that herbs are standing tall and vegetables are ready to ripen. It is a nice place to sit and relax.

The people there are very nice and talk about their role in helping make the garden what it is today. Take time to walk the path through the garden. This garden was created in the late 1980’s, when the neighborhood was not so nice and it was a dumping ground. The community really transformed this lot into something special.

Mobilization for Change Community Garden

Mobilization for Change Community Garden

Columbus Avenue dissects the Park West Village Apartment complex, so you get to see the planted gardens and paths that lead through the complex. Behind that, starts the modern shopping district. This area is totally being rebuilt and there are new buildings all over this section of the neighborhood. I was not able to walk through the complex as security is all over the place. There are also cameras all over the place. So I just walked around it.

Park West Apartments

Park West Village Apartments cuts the neighborhood in half

At the bottom of Columbus Avenue, a new complex of buildings has been built with all new shops and a new Whole Foods are right across from the Douglass Houses. 100th Street is the obvious border of the Upper West Side to this neighborhood. This is when you see the community really mixing. I saw a lot of Whole Foods bags heading up the road. The Whole Foods is nice because it is also a place with a nice public bathroom and a place to fill your water bottle. The only other option is the Fredrick Douglass Park and their bathroom which needs a lot of work.

Amsterdam Avenue is a continuation of what it is uptown. A transformation of a neighborhood depending on the block that you live on. Everything above 104th Street and below 100th Street is quickly improving with old prewar apartments under scaffolding and new restaurants replacing old ones. Little by little the area is starting to change. Even the Amsterdam House, a public housing unit, is getting a make over right across the street from Fredrick Douglass Park.

At Amsterdam Avenue and 104th Street is the Youth Hostel that sits on the fringe of the Fredrick Douglass Houses. I was wondering why there were so many twenty year olds in this area walking around and speaking so many languages. (These kids fill all the reasonable restaurants in the area that inspired my blog, “DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com”).  There are so many great restaurants in the area where you can eat for under $10.00 and I wanted to let everyone know that they are there). This area gets very active later in the day when everyone comes back from visiting other parts of the city.

Between 100th and 99th Streets, St. Michael’s Church dominates the street with the most beautiful stained glass windows and the architecture is amazing. Really take a good look at the detail work of the building. On the way back up, walk through the Fredrick Douglass Park and watch the neighborhood come alive. There are kids screaming in the pool, hipster types playing soccer in the field and mothers from all over the neighborhood playing in the park with their kids and socializing with one another. This is where the neighborhood really mingles and you see it come alive.

St. Michael's Church.jpg

St. Michael’s Church

Rounding Broadway is where you see the real changes happening in the neighborhood. Broadway is where the neighborhood shines with its diversity of businesses and housing. Being two blocks from the Douglass Houses, it also shows how the fringes of this neighborhood are starting to change. Older businesses are next to newer hipper restaurants and it makes a nice mix. Some of the most interesting buildings are in this area and really look up as you walk around or you might miss it.

The most interesting aspect of Broadway is the landscaped ‘Mall’ that runs in the middle of the street and gives nature its due throughout the neighborhood with trees and flowers lining the middle and benches to relax and just walk the world go by.

At 107th Street and Broadway is Straus Park, dedicated to Isidor and Ida Straus who died in the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. The Straus family had ownership of Macy’s Department Store at the time and had been very prominent in the business world. I remembered when I had worked at Macy’s that there had been a park dedicated to them.

Straus Park II.jpg

Straus Park at Broadway and 107th Street

This graceful park is lined with trees, flowers and bushes and is beautifully landscaped to match the Broadway Mall across the street. There are lots of benches to relax in and the park is well maintained by the neighborhood. The four days I spent in the neighborhood there was always someone weeding, pruning or watering something. It is a nice place to take a book or get some writing done. Many of the residents socialize here and it is a nice gathering place. The memorial dedicated to the two of them is simple and graceful and fits into the park nicely.

Just across the street from the park inside the walls of the Broadway island, take at look at ground level and you will see the mosaics of the Duke Ellington Memorial. This small display tucked into the walls of the island is almost hidden so you have to sit down to see it or you will miss it.

The park also dissects the streets, where Broadway and West End Avenue fork and separate into two different streets. Walking down Broadway when you reach 103rd Street, artist Joy Brown has another one of her ‘people’ statues that I had seen further uptown.

Ms. Brown was born and raised in Japan and concentrates on larger installations.

Joy Brown Artist I

Artist Joy Brown

https://www.joybrownstudio.com/

Here the adult was walking with her child. These statues are whimsical and almost like a animated character in 3D. Many of her statues line Broadway at various streets uptown.

joy-brown.png

Joy Brown’s Statue on Broadway

On the island on Broadway between 106th and 107th Streets look to the bottom of the wall and you will see the most interesting artwork in memory of Duke Ellington. Look by the walls by the benches and you will see the mosaic on both parts of the wall.

Being so humid that day, I made a pit stop at McDonald’s. I stopped for one of their frozen strawberry lemonade’s. I swear, that drink is one of the best things to drink on a humid day. It cools you inside and out. I ordered a medium and I did not need to drink anything for the rest of the walk. I was totally refreshed.

McDonald's Strawberry Lemonade

McDonald’s Strawberry Lemonade in one of the unofficial drinks of “MywalkinManhattan.com”

Take a look at the Metro Theater, closed now, to see the interesting Art Deco details on the building. It would be nice if this could be opened in its original shape but for now it stands boarded up awaiting its fate. A lot of Broadway is now being lined with new apartment buildings and shops that are connecting it to the rest of the Upper West Side.

Metro Theater.jpg

Metro Theater on Broadway

West End Avenue is onto itself as a more residential block. I get the impression by the people walking around this street that they take themselves a little too seriously. Everyone I saw had this determined look on their faces. I could not figure out why.

The buildings that line the street between 106th to 96th Street are mostly prewar apartment houses with detailed marble carvings. The side streets are lined with a combination of old brownstones and smaller apartment houses. Planters with small trees and flowers dominate the buildings and give it a more European feel to them. One of the most beautiful buildings on the block is at 925 West End Avenue.

The building was built in 1899 and known as The Alimar. It was designed by Elisha Harris Janes and Richard Leopold Leo and built by Hamilton W. Reed. The team that designed this building also built the equally beautiful Dorilton on Broadway near West 72nd Street. Really look up at the details (City Realty).

925 West End Avenue.jpg

925 West End Avenue

It is a marble building where you see numerous faces and animals carved into the marble. There are two similar buildings like this in the neighborhood but this one is most spectacular. Look at the grill work and the windows and it will make you fall in love again with the treasures that the city offers.

I took a detour off West End Avenue to walk down several of the side streets to see how nicely the buildings blended into Riverside Park. The block between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive are the most gentile part of the neighborhood and show off some its oldest architecture.

Riverside Park.jpg

Riverside Park in the Bloomingdale section of the Upper West Side

This is a classic New York neighborhood showing the ‘old’ New York. As I said earlier, there is something very mid-70’s to early 80’s about this part of the Upper West Side. Its changing but not like the hyper-luxury buildings further downtown. Its like walking around the city at a time when New York City was getting better for New Yorkers not a real estate investment from abroad.

This is one of the more “New York” neighborhoods in Manhattan.

 

Places to Visit:

 

Strauss Park

West End Avenue & 107th Street

New York, NY  10025

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/strauspark/

Open:  Sunday-Saturday 6:00am-1:00am

 

Morningside Park

West 123rd-West 110th along Morningside Avenue

New York, NY  10026

(212) 639-9675

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/morningside-park

Open: 6:00am-1:00am

 

Mobilization for Change Community Garden

955 Columbus Avenue

New York, NY

https://communitygarden.org/find-a-garden/gardens/mobilization-for-change-community-garden/

https://www.facebook.com/MFCGarden/

 

Places to Eat:

 

Hunan Chen’s

1003 Columbus Avenue A

New York, NY  10025

(212) 222-1118

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d4980909-Reviews-Hunan_Chen_s_Kitchen-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/diningonashoestringinnyc.wordpress.com/24

 

McDonald’s

2726 Broadway

New York, NY  10025

(212) 222-8714

Open: 24 hours

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d15254991-Reviews-McDonald_s-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/diningonashoestringinnyc.wordpress.com/541

 

Things to See:

 

Joy Brown Statues (now closed)

http://joybrownstudio.com/

http://broadwaymall.org/public-art/

Video on the Exhibition:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/joy-brown-on-broadway-nyc

 

Duke Ellington Memorial Mosaic

On the Broadway Island from West 106th-107th Streets