Meet 69th Street
The east side of 69th is a street filled with artistic and creative boutiques. Surrounding Madison Avenue, I discovered high quality craftsmanship beginning with Marie-Helene de Taillac whose showroom glistens with precious stones. Her jewelry focuses on highlighting the beauty of simple, well-cut rainbow moonstones, aquamarine, diamonds, and more. Next door, Perez Sanz displays only a small portion of what father and son, Julio and Luciano, are capable of designing. In their native Argentina, they are known not only for their handmade accessories, but also for their home décor and interesting sculptures. Fivestory, a mini department store opened by a father-daughter team, is also included in this cluster, and features luxury items from up-and-coming designers. As is a common theme in this part of town, 69th is bursting with galleries, including Richard L. Feigen, Hauser and Wirth, and Michail Lombardo.
The visual arts are not alone in their representation: I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jerzy and Joanna Stryjniak, who founded the New York Conservatory of Music. They pride themselves on having the most highly qualified and educated instructors in New York, starting with Jerzy himself, who is a world famous pianist. The art of the tea ceremony also makes an appearance on 69th where members of the Urasenke Chanoyu Center can attend classes to learn the precise techniques.
Although not nearly as many restaurants as most other streets that I have walked in Manhattan, the few that are here are well worth a visit. Le Charlot, a popular French bistro, dominates the Eastside, while two outstanding places shine on the Westside. Telepan is celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2015. I have had several fine dining experiences there, including one during restaurant week, when the house was filled to capacity, and every dish was exquisite both in presentation and taste. Andanada is a Spanish gem that serves beautiful cocktails and novel tapas in a warm environment that includes a glass-enclosed sunroom.
There was a sturdy balance of creativity and skill matched with prestige and longevity throughout 69th Street reflecting a sense of importance, richness and comfort.