Meet 65th Street
Walking 65th Street was a journey full of pleasant surprises. I love it when my expectations are exceeded and my assumptions dashed – and the businesses and characters on the Upper East Side have been doing so over and over again.
I encountered a colorful bike shop, Ciel, as I began my walk on the East Side, which puts an emphasis on equal parts style and comfort. Marking the start of a whole series of neighborhood necessities, I engaged in conversation with the owners of dry cleaners, shoe shiners and salons, creating a mini village for the residents in the area.
There are several galleries on East 65th, but it was the strong history of two brownstone-housed art collections that I found particularly fascinating. At the Anita Shapolsky Gallery, I uncovered that this is also where Mrs. Shapolsky has been living for decades. While speaking with her about her personal set up she proclaimed, “What would you do in a house without art?” Moving on to the second brownstone, which is primarily an educational center today, I was invited to take a tour of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. How many New Yorkers know that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt moved here in 1908, and that FDR gave his first radio address as president from 65th Street?
The Manhattan Sideways team joined me at East Pole, where we were treated to fresh, seasonal fare in a historic townhouse, before I continued on encountering many friendly faces and interesting stories in some of the other artistic boutiques on the street. At Leonard Tourne, I learned about some of the modern artists that the gallery tends to display, while enjoying the current exhibit. I discovered a wonderland of shoes at Charlotte Olympia, where each pair tells its own story. At FD, I was given a tour through a treasure trove of estate jewelry, displayed with a touch of whimsy. And as I approached Madison Avenue, I wandered into Jeeves, where the wealthier denizens of the city take their finest garments to be cleaned, and I came to know the value of quality customer service.
Dominating the West Side of 65th is Lincoln Center, a glorious bastion of the performing arts. Be sure to check out our Sideways Story, which explores each nook and cranny of the plaza and surrounding buildings.