Each year I so look forward to the month of July, and as Simon and Garfinkel eloquently highlight in a song loosely based on an English nursery rhyme about the migrant “Cuckoo”: “July, she will fly, and give no warning to her flight. Summer does not last forever and disappears before your even realize it. So, as July ends, let’s all take advantage of August!
This month’s Culturally Inclined focuses on Midtown East discovering Michelin restaurants, art galleries, neighborhood shops, greenspaces amidst skyscrapers, music venues, therapeutic spa sanctuary’s, history of the area, market report and so much more. Midtown Manhattan is used to refer to either to a district or a group of neighborhoods and districts in Manhattan. The Greater East Midtown business district is one of the highest-profile business addresses in the world. The area comprises more than 60 million square feet of office space and numerous Fortune 500 companies. Midtown East boundaries are not perfectly clearly delineated and most refer to the area between (34th)/42nd and 59th Streets, and between 5th Avenue and the East River and encompasses: Sutton Place, Turtle Bay, Murray Hill, Kips Bay and Tutor City. The architecture of the buildings in Tudor City are classified as neo-Gothic or Mock Tudor and Jacobethan known as the first residential skyscraper complex in the world and features the hidden gem of a green space, Tudor City Greens. It’s truly a charming, quiet enclave worth a visit.
Many people who arrive in New York pass through the most iconic landmarks such as Grand Central Station under its sparkling celestial skies reminding us of ancient navigation practices and during your travels there are spots for shopping and fine dining including the 1913 New York institution the Oyster Barand Campbell Apartment bar. The Chrysler Building, an Art Deco-style Skyscraper designed by architect William Van Alen for a project of Walter P. Chrysler, an American automotive industry executive and for 11 months the world’s tallest building. Rockefeller Center, built in 1930 to be the grandest plaza in all of New York and recognized by the “heroic sized Atlas – a half-man, half-god giant known as Titan, who helped lead a war against the Olympic gods. After the Titans’ defeat, Atlas was condemned to carry the world on his shoulders as punishment”, the United Nations, an 18 acre complex on the East River designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer completed in 1952, the Lipstick Building created in 1986 by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee its red granite and stainless exterior with its oval contour stands in three layer stacked like an opened lipstick tube. And the Empire State building that provides a spectacular light show each dusk.
City Planning officials recently approved a plan to rezone a portion of Midtown East to allow for taller buildings and “Landmarks like St. Patrick’s and Grand Central Terminal to be able to sell of their treasure trove of air rights for millions”. In aims of revitalizing Midtown East as “the premiere business district and economic engine for our city”. Amidst the glorious architectural history are new exciting plans for developments and revitalization: Condominium Residence the Lindley, Dumont Hotel rental conversion, 27-Story Pestana Hotel, 35 Story, 67-Unit Condominium Tower at 200 East 59th Street, The restoration of Waldorf Astoria Hotel, One Vanderbilt a new 57-floor skyscraper for office use when complete will be the fourth-tallest building and so much more on the horizon.
Midtown East is where one can go shopping and lunch at renowned Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, or for a spa retreat at famed Prive Salon located within the landmarked Sherry-Netherland Hotel and Susan Ciminelli Day Spa. And on occasion I pop into Hotel Elysée home to the famed Monkey Barwhich opened in the depths of the Great Depression. “The tiny room was formally named The Monkey Bar in the early 1950’s when the mirrors came down and were replaced by wrap-around hand-painted murals of monkeys by caricaturist Charlie Wala.”
Some great spots in Midtown East to enjoy the summer weather are the Water Club, Salvation Taco & Roof Top Bar, River Park farm to table restaurant, Bryant Park open air café, 2nd Avenue Kosher Deli, Crave Fish Bar, Radiance Tea House and Books, Sea Fire Grill.
I do NOT want to say good bye to July! Can’t it stay July all year long? I really won’t even complain about the heat, promise! But as it goes, I guess all good things must come to an end. Even Fairytales come to an end just like summer.
If you would like to meet for a summer lemonade and catch-up give me a jingle.
“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world”. F. Scott Fitzgerald