The neighborhoods on either side of Central Park are called the Upper East Side, on the east to the East River and the Upper West Side on the west to the Hudson River. Shall I tell you about some of my walks around these neighbourhoods?
UPPER WEST SIDE
I’ll start in the west, where I have found several places that appear in movies and books. The first one is recommended to me by my friend Benito, who’s got great knowledge of the city. He knows that I like cute cafes to read or work, so when I return to NY I’ll let you know on social media if Rosetta bakery meets my expectations.
Next to it and for opera lovers there is the Metropolitan Opera Lincoln House.
If you remember the post about Philadelphia and my last one about NY where I told you about two of the branches of what is probably the most famous bookstore in the world, Shakespeare & Co from Paris. The westernmost is at 2020 Broadway. Although I love cafes in bookstores, my experience in this one with croissants and hot chocolate was terrible.
There are many historical and impressive buildings in the city, on Instagram I showed you the Dorilton which was originally built as a chateau. In front is Verdi Square, where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks crossed paths in “You Got an Email.”
You will remember the Café Lalo as a meeting place for Meg and Tom and the Café Luxemburg set of “When Harry met Sally”. Both parts of our walk today.
The oldest museum in NY is the New York Historical Society. A good plan for the winter months.
You will agree with me that the art of Kobra is a big part of the decoration of NY but if you are a fan of the street artist Banksy you should know that his work “the boy with the hammer” is claiming your attention at 233 W 79th Street.
Ana, a follower and mommy of the Maltese Milo who knows I love churches, assured me that I could not miss the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and I, obediently, went to see it, it is a little further north, a few streets from Columbia University. She was right, it was like finding a European cathedral from some centuries ago in the middle of a modern city. My favourite part is “The poet’s corner” dedicated to American Literature, tiles covered with phrases written by all the great American writers.
In front of it is the popular Hungarian Pastry Shop, there’s a long queue, and since I spent a couple of months in Budapest during the pandemic, where I tried some delicacies, I decided to continue on my way.
UPPER EAST SIDE
The 32 W 89th is the street where the friends in the movie “When Harry found Sally” lived and from there I cross the park as right on the other side of it is the first place I’d like to show you. The Bluestone Lane Upper East Side Cafe at 1085 5th Ave, an Australian coffee chain where they serve a very yummy hot chocolate and the avocado toast that I like so much. Virginia tells me that their coffee is delicious, although a bit pricey. And why am I talking about this one in particular? because its location is curious, it is inside a church, yes, you read correctly, it is one street from the famous Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art.
Walking on 5th Ave we pass by the Metropolitan Museum, aka the Met. By Albertine Books, the most important French bookstore in the country. A little gem that lives hidden inside the French embassy and has, in addition to a large selection of books, a ceiling full of beautiful stars. Do not miss the Venetian room, it’s divine.
The New York Society Library at 59 E 79th St. is the oldest in the city since 1754. It was opened by a group of men who said that making books available to the public would make society more prosperous. I agree.
Another historic hotel that this city has is the Carlyle Hotel, where Woody Allen plays on Monday nights, Elizabeth Taylor or Paul Newman stayed, JFK’s favorite, where Marilyn used to visit him, and place where Louise and Carrie have a drink in Bebelmans bar in the first Sex and the City movie. It seems that this hotel is very camera friendly.
More nice cafes, Ralph’s Cafe at 888 Madison Ave. As you may have imagined, the café also gives entrance to the clothing and accessorie store Ralph Laurent. Make sure you don’t queue for the take away coffee if you want to sit in the room where they serve you a real cup, like we did.
Also in 864 Madison is Ladurée, a divine Parisian pastry shop whose specialty is macaroons. There is space to sit and have a drink.
Further east is Holly’s apartment from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” that I already told you about and next to the park the Frick Collection, a museum located in an old house that belonged to millionaire businessman. It’s temporarily closed and the collection is at 945 Madison Ave. at 75th St.
At 939 Lexington Ave is the other Shakespeare & Co bookstore.
There is an exhibition venue half palace, half armory, the Park Avenue Armory where they celebrate the old book fair in the month of April. I write it down in the agenda. Remember that nearby is Argosy Bookstore, a beautiful old books bookstore.
The Barbizon Hotel is where the protagonist of “In Pursuit of Happiness” stays, if you have read “I’m back New York” is my reading suggestion.
Today my recommendation comes from Edward Rutherford’s pen and his book “New York” , a chronicle of the city from 1664 when it was called New Amsterdam until September 11th. Through the stories of several families he takes us to all those places and streets that we know so well while telling us the story of the city. If you like historical novels and New York, this book is a good plan.