Upper East Side and Museum Mile,
A mirror image of the Upper West Side on the right side of Central Park is the Upper East Side. Unlike its twin brother, the Upper East Side is much less homogeneous. Closer to Fifth Avenue, life is gathering momentum, and the farther to the East River, the richer the cultural agenda, the more ordinary architecture, and cheaper restaurants — although the latter is not all that bad.
Blue blood flows through the veins of Vernee East Side, and blue-wise grandmothers, the heirs of Vanderbilts, Carnegie, and Astorov, stroll through its wide streets. Ward McAllister (Ward McAllister), the secular arbiter of the 19th century New York, introduced the theory of “four hundred chosen ones”, believing that only four hundred New Yorkers – and no more! – truly affect the life of the city. After the opening of Central Park in 1876, they, representatives of the richest families in New York, began to massively move to the Upper East Side, creating here a kind of “reservation” for the rich and famous. First, luxurious private mansions grew along the park, and after the First World War, apartment buildings for the New York elite with luxurious lobbies and liveried doormen.
On the Upper East Side in the mansion Gracie Mansion (88th St. and East End Ave.), according to tradition, conducted since 1942, lives the acting mayor of New York. The last mayor, Michael Bloomberg, did not live in the residence, preferring to remain in his townhouse nearby, but nonetheless invested a lot of personal funds in the restoration of the residence. The current mayor, Bill de Blasio (Bill de Blasio), with his family, on the contrary, gladly moved to the residence from his apartment in Brooklyn, while ordering to close the historic mansion to visit the citizens, which greatly upset their voters.
Nowadays, the Upper East Side has become much more diverse. If in most parts of New York the process of gentrification is in full swing, then, as applied to the Upper East Side, “bourgeois” just means that it is gradually opening up for the middle class. They, no matter how strange it sounds, move here from an overly fashionable and expensive downtown, from a hypochiomatic but shut up on itself Brooklyn, from Battery Park City, where the boundaries between work and home turn out to be unpleasantly blurred, into comfortable heights on Second and Third Avenue And family people move closer to the park and away from clubs and bars that remind them of their turbulent youth.
It is also important that an excellent, polished service infrastructure has been formed on the Upper East Side. It is generally accepted here to entrust the care of different aspects of life to “specially trained people.” In this area, for example, I first encountered such a profession as the dog walker. Serious young people and girls, confidently leading packs of dogs on the street, are more often not amateur dog breeders, but professionals, whom the owners trust to walk their pets in the park in their absence. And if special walkers walk with dogs here, then practically babysitters are with children.
Often, mothers from the Upper East Side, who, while meeting, proudly declare that “they work full-time moms” (full-time mom), actually use the help of round-the-clock nannies – here it is not considered shameful. But one of my friends, the mother of six-year-old Olaf, who, living on the Upper East Side, nevertheless managed without a nanny, complained that when she took her son from school, everyone took her for a nanny. The fact is that in her, by Norwegian descent, there was a rather noticeable drop of Senegalese blood, and her son very much resembled a white American father — here is a pebble in the garden of a society without racial prejudice. So, so that she would no longer be asked offensive questions, she began to pick up the child from the school with the Bottega Veneta bag over her shoulder, and no one took her as a babysitter.
Yes, there is a special dress code on the Upper East Side. Simplicity is not condemned, but elegant and expensive accents are a must. Screaming bright outfits, as if collected from “sortie trophies” that can get away with in the Village or Soho, are not in favor here. But if you think about it, there is also a certain honesty in this: The Upper East Side does not try to seem to be who it really is not, and doesn’t put in excessive efforts to conform to trends. If in Brooklyn, dinner at a restaurant is viewed equally as an opportunity to “check in” in a trendy place, show yourself and try some new-fashioned dish, then everything is predictable on the Upper East Side: here dinner is served in restaurants with heavy curtains and a wine card as thick as “War and Peace”, but if you want to taste the artisanal beer brewed in a microbrewery made from barley growing on the roof of a nearby garage – for this, kindly come to Brooklyn.
If you do not live and work on the Upper East Side, you will most likely come here to spend the day in Central Park or go to the museum, because museums are the main pride of these places (although some say that the boutiques on Madison Avenue where more interesting). Segment of Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Street received the title of the Museum Mile at all, on which the most prominent museums of Manhattan are “strung together”. If you count from the bottom up, it turns out that: the world-famous Metropolitan Museum (Metropolitan Museum, 1000 5 th Ave., at 82 nd St.) (1), the Museum of Austrian Art Neue Galerie (1048 Fifth Ave., at 86 th St.) (2), Solomon R. Gugghenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave., at 88 th St. (3), National Academy Museum (National Academy Museum, 1083 Fifth Ave., btw 89 th & 90 th St.) (4). This is followed by the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, 2 East 91 st St. (5), the Jewish Museum (The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., btw 92 nd & 93 rd St.) (6), Museum of the City of New York (1220 Fifth Ave., at 104 th St.) (7), and at the very top is the El Museo del Barrio museum dedicated to Latin American and in particular Puerto Rican art (1230 Fifth Ave., at 104 th St.) (8). Soon they should join the Museum of African Art – The Africa Center on 110th Street – its building is now being completed.
Due to the specific location (corner of 70th Street and Fifth Avenue), the Frick collection (1 E 70 th St.) is not included in the Museum Mile – a compact museum with a brilliant exposition deployed in the mansion of the capitalist Henry Clay Frick ). Frick collected a rich collection of European art in New York in the years when even Pierpont Morgan preferred to keep most of his acquisitions in Europe due to draconian taxes on the import of antiques and art objects in the United States. The museum reflects the personal taste of the collector, who rushed from Goya to Fragonar and from Holbein to Renoir, but for some reason, this company’s perfectly preserved interiors of the mansion look quite organic. Well, the opportunity to see seven Vermeers (three in the Frick Collection and four more across the road in the Metropolitan Museum) out of 12 in the United States is not only to go to the Upper East Side, but even to the Moon.
By the way, in the company of the museums of the Upper East Side will soon arrive: the Metropolitan Museum has already made an official statement that in 2016 it will open a new exposition of contemporary art from its storerooms at Breuer building (945 Madison Ave.), where the Museum of American Art Whitney used to be located moved in May 2015 to a fabulous new building in Lower Manhattan.
Volumes of guidebooks are written about each of these museums on the Upper East Side, you can spend days and weeks in them, you can even live in them (until the guards find you and expel them in disgrace), so I’m not going to repeat myself, I’ll confine myself to brief remarks. First, remember that the box office of the Metropolitan Museum shows the “recommended” ticket price (suggested admission), and you really do not have to pay $ 25 per entrance if this is expensive for you. Just by buying a ticket, say “I’d like to pay 5 (10, 15, X) dollars”, and no one will even lead an eyebrow, because many Americans do just that.
Secondly, if there is a big line on the steps of the main entrance, go to the entrance, located just to the left of the main one in the basement, – for some reason there are never people. And, thirdly, do not indulge yourself with the hope of exploring the entire museum in one day; so you just get tired and frayed. Schedule for yourself a few of the halls of interest to you, and the rest pass by a brisk step to get a general impression about the enormity of the colossus called the Metropolitan. In the permanent exhibition, the most recent addition is the galleries dedicated to the Arab East and Islamic art, which opened in 2011 (No. 450-464), by all means go here – not the temple of Dendur is one person alive. Well, and opened in the warm season of the roof of the museum – without exaggeration, the steepest roof bar in New York, which I’ve ever been to.
Do not ignore the Museum of the City of New York: this is not a collection of yellowed photos in dusty shop windows, but a modern museum with excellent curators and witty exhibitions. At the Guggenheim Museum, start the inspection as designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright): Take the elevator to the top and go down in a spiral downward; Do not miss the Kandinsky permanent exhibition and remember that the Guggenheim Museum, unlike other museums, is closed on Thursdays, and every Saturday evening, starting with
In Neue Galerie, which will warm the hearts of admirers of Klimt and Egon Schiele (although this is hardly the same person), besides the excellent restaurant of the Austro-Hungarian cuisine Caf? Sabarsky and Fliedermaus; You can even get into them “from the street” without buying a ticket to the museum, and the cafe menu is a compact version of the restaurant. I strongly recommend trying the Viennese strudel and Hungarian goulash here – I once lived in Budapest, and I have something to compare with.
The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, which opened recently after years of renovation, is generally a must-see in the New York program: a truly interactive experience, without cheating and games, in the context of a luxurious 19th century mansion museum space is a very rare gift.
The main disadvantage of the Upper East Side is that it has an amazing ability to make you feel like a small and sad child – even if you are in fact a big and independent aunt or a wealthy uncle. If there are free days in museums, there are no such boutiques on Madison Avenue. Sales, of course, reconcile with the harsh reality, but also not always: a discount on a crocodile bag Nancy Gonzalez, which fell in price from 6 thousand dollars to 3.5, can please a very narrow circle of people, and these people live mostly right there nearby. And, unfortunately, according to my observations, the sellers of Upper East Side boutiques, despite the courteous facade, at some point begin to identify themselves with the brand they work for and lose contact with reality. In contrast, the staff of large department stores behaves much more friendly and adequate.
New Yorker’s favorite department stores (or department stores) of Upper East Side are, of course, Bloomingdale’s (1000 3 rd Ave.) with psychedelic black and white interiors and a great selection of wearable clothing, shoes and accessories brands, and Barney’s (660 Madison Ave. ) – a favorite of advanced fashion consumers and everyone who is somehow connected with the fashion industry. I love Barney’s for amazing buyers: from season to season, the best items of the latest collections land on the floors of a department store, so you can walk here just to keep track of new names and trends. Of the mono-brands, by all means go to the five-story flagship store-palace of the Ralph Lauren Empire (867 Madison Ave.) – if not for shopping, then for inspiration.
Well, good shopping will certainly need to “lacquer” a good cocktail or depraved dessert. Barman at Bemmelman’s, the famous Carlyle bar (35 E 76 th St.), makes some of the best cocktails in the area. And for decadent desserts sandae (in which ice cream is found with fruit, biscuits, glazes and whipped cream), go to the famous Cafe (“Serendipity”) (Serendipity 225 E 60 th St.). The number “three” in the title means that it is the third, expanded self of the cafe, but despite this, there is always nowhere for the apple to fall.
For adults who only pretend to be adults, Dylan’s Candy Bar (1011 Third Ave, 60th St.), run by Ralph Lauren’s daughter, is almost opposite Bloomingdale’s; judging by the figure, she herself does not eat anything sweeter than a carrot, but she definitely knows sense in sweets. And on the Upper East Side, the best sushi in the city: connoisseurs argue where it tastes better – in Sasabune (401 E 73 rd St.) or in Sushi of Gari (402 East 78 th St.). On the doors of the first you will be met by a sign: “No Spicy Tuna. No California Roll ”(“ We do not do spicy tuna rolls and “California roll”). And the menu here, actually, is not, because omakase – the choice of the chef is your only option. In Sushi of Gari, everything is a bit more liberal and fun: sushi shots and rolls with pickled mind plum, schizo grass and cucumber. But in both institutions guaranteed the freshest, almost alive fish.