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43 West 21st Street
Scuba Network 1 Scuba Diving Flatiron

Some of the members of Manhattan Sideways walked into Scuba Network out of curiosity, and left seriously considering becoming scuba-certified. Roger, one of the friendly, engaging instructors warned us, “I got certified ten years ago, and I’ve been an instructor ever since.” And we have to say, his addiction was contagious. On some days, Roger works as a diver at the Brooklyn Aquarium, but the rest of his time is spent manning Scuba Network and acting as an instructor. The shop offers gear to fit any and all scuba needs, but what is most exciting is the program in scuba certification. As Roger described it, "scuba is the laziest and most fun sport." He claimed that "it does not require much, just a sense of adventure." To become certified, it takes about two weeks, beginning with an online program, then practice dives (usually at a pool in the elementary school on 21st street), and ending with a trip to dive in a quarry in Dutch Springs, PA. Roger describes this quarry as a scuba park, where old vehicles have been dumped and you can swim around exploring, gliding through sunken school buses and, essentially, "feeling like you are on an amateur treasure hunt." The scuba school also hosts frequent trips to Florida, the Maldives and the Galapagos.

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Scuba Network 1 Scuba Diving Flatiron

More places on 21st Street

Lost Gem
Merakia 1 Mediterranean Greek undefined


Merakia occupies the space that housed Kat & Theo from 2015-2017 - and while the restaurant maintains the same ownership as before, it also has a different mission. The modern Greek steakhouse prides itself on its meats and classic seafood items, while maintaining a classy, hip atmosphere in its cavernous space on 21st Street. “We built a new team… and a new vision, ” managing partner James Paloumbis shared with the Manhattan Sideways team when he spoke of the switch from Kat & Theo. He then went on to highlight Merakia’s differences from other Greek restaurants. “It’s not white and blue like every other place in New York City. Our menu is not the copy paste of any other place. ” The menu is heavy on steaks and seafood, boasting their signature lamb on the spit ("the only restaurant in the city to do so") while, surprisingly, offering some robust meat-free options as well. “Everything is farm to table, we use fresh ingredients, [and] we make everything from scratch on a daily basis. ” James told us that part of his mission is to bring back the adventure of going out to eat, a phenomenon he has noticed declining over the years. “People don’t like to go out anymore just to eat. You can eat at home, you can eat down the street, you can order your meal online. But to get an experience of nice service, some nice flavors, nice music, nice drinks - it’s worth your while to go out again. ” Husband and wife team behind Kat & Theo - Renee and Andreas Typaldos - seem to have orchestrated a smooth transition from their previous restaurant. As their past executive chef, Paras Shah, believed, "there should be a movie written about the couple's romantic backstory and that he “couldn’t have worked for better folks. ” Andy is originally from Greece, and the restaurant was named after his parents, Katerina and Theodosios. Andy came to New York on a scholarship from Columbia and met Renee, who is from the Bronx. He took her out on a first date “with holes in his shoes and with no winter jacket, ” according to Renee. She added, “The romantic, poetic way people get together. ” Today, they are paying homage to Andy's Greek heritage and according to James, “People have to trust their stomachs and their palates with a restaurant, so that’s what we’re trying to do here. Trust us - our food is fresh, our food is made with care, and we love what we do. ”