Meet 29th Street
Starting out on my journey across 29th Street expecting to find the usual mix of modern day commerce and high-rise apartments, my first encounter was with a centuries-old white clapboard farmhouse, Rose Hill Historic House. I quickly came to the realization, that anything is possible on the side streets of Manhattan.
My next discovering of three awe-inspiring places of worship on one street was, dare I say, divine. Congregation Torah Talmud Adereth El was built in 1857 and recently lost their beloved Rabbi of some seventy years. Magnificent churches with strong, meaningful histories flank both sides of Fifth Avenue and 29th Street. Church of the Transfiguration at 1 East 29th is an oasis of calm amid the New York hustle, while Marble Collegiate Church at 1 West 29th Street sits stoically and powerfully across the way.
A cluster of hotels plays an important role on 29th. Hotel Deauville has one of the last remaining manually operated elevators in Manhattan; the stunning Gansevoort Park Hotel, with The Windsor restaurant conveniently attached, appeals to the beautiful crowd; the Martha Washington Hotel, once for women only, now has a more upscale feel after its rebirth as the Redbury; and the Ace Hotel has many intriguing businesses attached to it: Stumptown Coffee, The Breslin, and a fabulous bar scene all day long.
A number of the restaurants and bars on 29th proved to be unique experiences. Cannibal, as the name implies, is a meat lover’s dream and who can pass up a plate of pommes frites at the French brasserie, Millesime, located in the gorgeous Carlton Hotel.
There are a few boutiques on 29th that will prove to be difficult to resist. Yeohlee Teng has an international reputation as a designer of women’s fashion, her work enshrined in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Jung Lee has an array of exquisite pieces for the home.
Tucked in the middle of the wholesale shops between Seventh and Eighth Avenue, though, the Manhattan Sideways team might have found their favorite spot. I am not a cigar smoker, but that does not mean that I don’t have an appreciation for those who do. But it was not the cigars, themselves, that captured my attention, but rather the warm, inviting atmosphere within the small square feet of space at Martinez Hand Rolled Cigars Factory. This is an establishment that has been around for generations and welcomes anyone inside to sit and smoke, play dominoes or simply to “shoot the breeze.”
Continuing west, I was intrigued to learn about Suzanne’s business at Couture Model Making (stay tuned for some incredible film footage on our site as she begins to build an airplane), and to discover the American Bartenders School. They have been in operation for nearly fifty years. Right next door, there was another interesting find – Tiecrafters, one of Manhattan’s best kept secrets, housing the master of all things related to neckware. I have not found this much on one street in quite some time. There are about two dozen Side Picks to read about and to, hopefully, visit when out for a stroll one day …And now 30th Street awaits…uptown, get ready, we are headed your way!