Get to know the Sideways team

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Betsy

As a young child, my parents took me into Manhattan at every opportunity. In 1969, I remember attending my first Broadway show, "1776", and having Frozen Hot Chocolate afterwards at Serendipity. There are so many highlights, but an especially memorable New York day was captured in a photo, now hanging on our bedroom wall, taken of my husband and me when we were just teenagers walking with friends in Central Park.

After having gone to university outside of New York and studying abroad for a year, I came back to the city to marry my childhood boyfriend. I made my New York writing debut when I authored an article for Diversion Magazine entitled "One Flight Up". It described the vast array of boutiques and art galleries that could only be found by looking up to Madison Avenue’s second floor. As a freelance writer, I continued to write for numerous New York publications including the Manhattan guidebook Guest Informant and Avenue Magazine.

We lived in Manhattan for five years before moving to the suburbs to raise our children. We made it a point, however, to frequent New York City with our son and daughter to ensure that they, too, would benefit from all that it has to offer. While raising our children in Westchester County, my love of both reading and writing led me to open Once Upon A Time, a children’s bookstore. For ten years, I adored introducing the wonderful world of children’s literature to everyone who entered my store. Perhaps it is my experience as a small business owner that fuels my passion for the shops that I encounter on the side streets of Manhattan. Giving them the recognition they deserve is a driving force of this project.

When my husband and I became empty-nesters, we made the decision to move back into the city, and we could not be happier. For a very long time, walking the side streets of Manhattan was just a concept going around in my head. Until one day, we were gathered around the table with our son and daughter, and I mentioned my idea to them. It was Evan and Joelle who literally took Manhattan Sideways and ran with it. They are completely responsible for making my dream into a reality. From designing and developing the site through their company, Polivision, to their editing ideas, photos, filming and content management, they have stood behind me and made this site all that it is today. And it was my niece Melanie who began this journey with me at 1st and 1st. Her insight, resourcefulness, support, and enthusiasm keep us moving north.

My husband has always been by my side encouraging me in any project that I have dared to attempt. I would never have been successful at any of them without his guidance and love. Since our childhood together, he has been the first person to tell me that I should follow my passion. For my latest endeavor, he has been wonderful about walking the side streets with me on any given day, especially those that involved eating in restaurants or checking out the bars. I am delighted that he is able to take advantage of the side benefits of my walking.




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Evan

Growing up I was a little intimidated by Manhattan. I lived north of the city and would periodically come in with my family to see shows, visit museums and eat in restaurants. I understood Manhattan had a lot to offer, but the city was huge and crowded, and I was small and shy. During my high school years, however, I attended a summer art program at Pratt Institute on W14th Street. It was then that I began to explore NYC on my own, learning to see more than busy streets and bright lights. After graduating Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), I moved to Brooklyn to start Polivision, a web-based media production company. Along with a talented team of designers, photographers, and filmmakers, I work with clients on a wide variety of projects. In addition to continuing to grow my own business, I have teamed up with my mom, Betsy, to create Manhattan Sideways. I thoroughly enjoy designing a platform that allows others to discover the more personal, unintimidating side of Manhattan that I have come to love.

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Joelle

Born and raised in the suburbs of Manhattan, I now enjoy frequent visits to The City where I can't get enough of the food - from the trendy hotspots to the hole-in-the wall eateries - all enthusiastically shared with me by my mom, Betsy, and written about on Manhattan Sideways. With a BA in Art History from Tufts University, I worked in public programs and project management for several years at the National Portrait Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Now, I have teamed up with my family to run Polivision Productions and coordinate Manhattan Sideways. As a foodie, avid traveler, and compulsive organizer, managing this website is a perfect fit. Supporting the dreams of my family and working with them every day is a rare privilege that makes Manhattan Sideways shine - it is truly from the heart.

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Jonathan

I moved from California to New York in 2012 to experience the East Coast and pursue a career in graphic design. For Manhattan Sideways, I collaborate with Betsy, Evan, Joelle, and our web team to create a user-friendly website, in addition to designing graphics for web and print.

Some things I love: baseball, Mexican food, typography, and an ice cold glass of juice.

New York is meant to be explored. Everyone thinks that they know the best bakery or the best wine bar or the best rundown concert venue. It's awesome. Being a part of the Manhattan Sideways team has given me the chance to find my favorite places, and get acquainted with the city far faster than I ever would have otherwise.

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Gabriella

Traveling has always been a central part of my life. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, but my family and I frequently visited everywhere from Venice to Santorini to New York over the holidays, which gave me a thirst for exploration from a very young age. When I moved to the U.S. to pursue an English concentration at Brown University, I kept this traveling habit alive by going on periodic weekend excursions through downtown Providence, to Boston, and to New York—mostly in search of the perfect slice of tiramisu and free concerts. When I stumbled across Manhattan Sideways, I realized it offered me the best opportunity to unite my love for writing, food, and travel, all while allowing me to spend a summer being enchanted by New York City.