Meet 70th Street
The gems on 70th fully captivated my interest, glowing with seemingly effortless beauty as I passed by the townhouses that line the street. Arriving on the East Side on a weekday afternoon, to begin my walk across town, I was surprised by the activity between York and First Avenue. Every neighborhood restaurant was filled with people spilling out onto the street. There were people gathered in clusters on the sidewalks while others were moving about at a rapid pace. There were numerous vendors doing a brisk business while others were appreciating their time outdoors on a beautiful summer day. It was no wonder, as this is the area surrounding the campus of Weill Cornell New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Continuing along, I was intrigued by the strong presence of artistic and research-based exploration. The New York School of Interior Design is focused on digital and experiential learning environments and creative thinking, Travel Dynamics International introduces cruises centered around lesser-known areas beaming with culture and history, and The Explorers Club has been championing discoveries made through land, water and space for over a century.
Creel and Gow was a unique find. It is a boutique that incorporates exploration by introducing precious pieces related to nature from all stretches of the world. Wandering through their intimate space, I found a fully preserved zebra standing gracefully, as well as a silver-plated seashell, and quickly realized that the finds come in all shapes and sizes. Nearing Fifth Avenue, I, of course, had to meander through the rooms at The Frick Collection, as it has always been the museum that I treasure most in Manhattan.
Once I stepped foot onto Central Park West – after having strolled through the park with its stream of shady trees and sparse moments of direct sunlight on my path – I was eager to enter the shops, historic sites and food havens awaiting me in this part of town.
Congregation Shearith Israel was established as the first synagogue in North America in 1654. Founded by Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent, it carries with it strong history and tradition. An antique boutique with highly curated clothing and accessories from costume to designer, Icon Style was a fascinating boutique to discover, although I am not certain if I was more taken by the merchandise or the owner.
Whiffs of coffee shops and bakeries were certainly enticing. The Sensuous Bean is a tiny shop that has been selling beans and teas from multiple regions since the 1970s. Pain d’Epices is a petite French bakery filled with artisanal fresh-baked goods that recently changed hands after a long run as Soutine Bakery.
Farther west, Café Luxembourg, a French bistro with a Parisian ambiance, delicious food and hospitable staff, has been serving patrons for decades, while their next door neighbor, Lincoln Square Steakhouse, is the newcomer to 70th, having opened in 2015. What more could I ask than for my day to end in a favorite respite watching the beautiful sunset fall over Pier i Café, an outdoor eatery located along the Hudson River.