Meet 85th Street
85th is a street full of visual landmarks. Stepping out at Carl Schurz Park and walking west, I encountered the rare sight of a clock face in the sidewalk at Third Avenue, an old bank building nearby, and a historic red brick house at the corner of Park Avenue. Even without entering any shops, I knew that 85th would be a street with character.
I was reminded, once again, that Yorkville is a family-centric neighborhood thanks to two unique child-friendly businesses on the East Side. Let’s Dress Up is an entertainment space for little girls. Although Judy Famigletti’s primary concept was designed around sensational birthday parties where girls can dress up like princesses and have a tea party, she also holds arts and crafts events and allows children to have “play dates” in her magical room. Baby Bubbles was an extraordinary find for me (a grandmother of three) as it is a laundry service solely for little ones that cleans children’s paraphernalia including strollers and car seats. The business came about when Seth Mittman, a father of two, discovered how quickly strollers can become filthy and decided that he could make life easier for New York parents.
Moving along from babies to those of drinking age, I discovered Ryan’s Daughter, a neighborhood Irish pub that has been a staple on 85th since the 1930s when it was a German bar named “The Old Stream.” Only a few doors down on the other side of the street, I came upon Bondurants, a relatively new bar that has already gained a reputation for its rotating two dozen beers on tap and their well-crafted cocktails.
After traveling through Central Park, conveniently cut in half by the 85th Street Transverse, I visited the much appreciated shop G-Free NYC on the Upper West Side. I have purchased gluten-free items in the past; however, it was not until my own child was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease that the store took on a whole new meaning for me. What a comfort it is to know that I can head straight to Lynn and her knowledgeable staff to find a plethora of excellent food items.
I ended the day meeting Edward Boarland, the chef currently stationed at Prime West. Edward was the first to take over Prime West’s kitchen in its new rotating chef program. With experience at Rafael, the highly acclaimed Parisian kosher restaurant, Edward has introduced haute kosher French cuisine to Manhattanites.
Beaux Arts buildings marked my walk on both sides of town as I continued to Riverside Drive and the Hudson River Greenway beyond, just as the sun was setting. It was a perfect ending to the day.