A Winter Week — Staying at Park 79 Hotel — Away From the Madding Crowd

winter in central park nyc hotelTraveling in winter offers some very strong advantages, as we know, and the traveler can be a winner!  Of course, gloved iftingers are crossed that Winter ’15-’16 will NOT be a twin to Winter ’14-’15–please, no!  That said, if this is the best time for your personal travel, Dear Reader, go for it!  Winter rates at Park 79 Hotel are usually at their lowest, as are airfares. Public transportation keeps you easily moving all over Manhattan and to the great places in Brooklyn and Queens for visitors to experience.

winter central parkFollowing is a selection of great places and dining within an easy walk of Park 79 Hotel.  But, there are many, many more–you’ll discover them, you’ll see! The hotel’s location allows for great discovery walks in all but the most severe weather. Museums, theatre, cinema, concerts, comedy, jazz, boutiques, thrift-shops, discount designer shopping.  Central Park in fresh snow: priceless!  Coming as a family?  Buy or borrow a sled and pick a hill!  Many great hills so close to our hotel, and visitors are always welcome.


winter travels new york city Park79 Hotel

Hearty dining invites the hungry visitor, from designer hot chocolate to rich Chinese and Korean (quick subway to the heart of the Korean-dining empire),  steaming dishes and pizza from every corner of Italy. Vegetarians and vegans now have award-winning choices every day of their stay. All in our beautiful neighborhood!


Lincoln center in snow


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts — Order in advance or try your luck at the box office–there’s something for everyone. Matinees, rehearsal performances, film, the unique library–even the Big Apple Circus stays until January 10.


  • The Beacon Theatre
  • Second Stage Uptown
  • The Triad Theatre






  • American Museum of Natural History & Hayden Planetarium
  • New-York Historical Society
  • American Folk Art Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Frick Museum  and
  • Neue Galerie (Along Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue)



  • AMC Multiplex
  • AMC 84th Street
  • Lincoln Plaza Cinema400-space



  • Cleopatra’s Needle
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center
  • Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola400-space

  • Stand Up New York
  • Good comedy clubs all around   the city400-space




Pack lightly and have great shopping experiences.  Sales and more sales are everywhere, bargains (especially in January) make for top quality shopping. No sales tax on clothing below $100 each piece in New York City, and we have no VAT.
There is so much to choose from, as we’ve noted in past writings. We list here a variety that is sure to offer successful shopping experiences:

  • Bloomingdale’s Off-Price
  • Marshall’s
  • Century 21
  • TJ Maxx
  • The Gap
  • Zara
  • Loft
  • Bolton’s
  • Francesca
  • Chico’s
  • Anne Taylor
  • The Town Shop
  • Bra Smyth
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Barneys
Shoe and Boot Stores

  • DSW
  • Harry’s
  • Aldo
  • Tip Top


For Your Home

  • Home Goods
  • Lowes
  • Gracious Home
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Laytner’s
  • Green Flea


  • Time Warner Center: a multi-story extravaganza of shops
  • Columbus Ave.  68th–82nd Sts. for European and American brands
  • Columbus Ave.  97th–99th Sts.  Sephora, TJ Maxx, Loft, Home Goods, Modell’s
  • Amsterdam Ave. to 84th St. for small boutiques





Instead of a list, allow that the ZIP codes of 10023, 10024 and 10025 are filled with unlimited dining opportunities. These ZIPs are rich in the choices for every type of dining. And an important dining experience comes each year, January 18 — February 5:  WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK  More than 300 restaurants offering three-course dining deals for lunch ($25) and dinner ($38). Each year NYC Restaurant Week adds trendy newcomers to the long list of favorite standbys. Several restaurants in the program will be within walking distance to Park 79 Hotel.  And our neighborhood has so many  iconic dining and treats sites that have often been researched by visitors well before they leave their home cities.



Gray’s Papaya — hot dogs with all the works and fresh tropical drinks

Zabar’s and Fairway — hot soups, bagels-with-everything, gourmet treats to nibble on late at night

Shake Shack for burgers and fries and milkshakes,  in-house or sitting on a bench across the street  The Meatball Shop and Luke’s Lobster Shack for something “different.”

Jacques Torres, Sugar & Plumm, Voila Chocolat! and Insomnia Cookies for the dessertaholics …and hot chocolate.    Cafe Lalo for late treats and possibly movie stars

Levain Bakery for exquisite breads to eat while you window shop

…and we’ve left so many places and experiences still for you to discover during your Winter 2016 stay at Park 79 Hotel.  

Sunset on the Upper Westside

Sunset on the Upper Westside

Amsterdam Avenue…and why we love it

st john

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and the Peace Fountain

Park 79 Hotel enjoys a terrific location, on West 79th Street (wide and very bright), close to Columbus Avenue (shopping, shopping, shopping!).  Even Broadway is “ours,” 1.5 blocks from our garden door.  Here we wish to share a view of Amsterdam Avenue, a favorite of all our guests, given the fantastic choice of restaurants, pubs, small shops for everything…and so close, our corner to the west.

Amsterdam-AvenueColumbus is actually 9th Avenue, Amsterdam is 10th Avenue, but “fancy” names were endowed in the 19th century to lure residents to move north of city-center.  The new naming hoped to recall the Dutch roots of 17th century Manhattan. It IS a very busy street, with two bus lines, uptown auto traffic (quite a bit during evening rush hour) and a very checkered history.  In the 1990’s, the drug lords ruled over life in the neighborhood.  Almost no foot traffic after 5pm! And then the city and federal governments began a major crackdown. With ongoing success in ridding the streets of such crime, small businesses returned, young families chose the neighborhood and schools, parks were again inviting.  Amsterdam Avenue changed, late night activities again were enjoyed in pubs and restaurants, street fairs in the sunshine.  Now, with elevated rents, restored historic sites and glass facades of new buildings, myriad dining and shopping adventures, Park 79 Hotel guest reviews speak of this success.  In fact, since so much information is available for Amsterdam Avenue between 72nd and 86th streets, we take this opportunity to introduce our prospective and present guests beyond the 86th Street divide.  Join in this description all the way to 118th Street.


lox86th – 96th streets:  To the left is the magnificent Belnord Apartments, on the National Registry of Historic Places, its courtyard one of the largest in the city.  A peek-in is all that’s allowed from the street, but worth it.  Across the street: Barney Greengrass, The Sturgeon King  Nothing changes here!  Its reputation with movie and theatre stars, politicians–everyone who loves our famous Jewish traditional food–on a bagel!  (There’s a second store in Beverly Hills, attesting to the addiction of movie stars!  But…who cares.  THIS is the one!



Between 87th and 89th streets, one small restaurant after another–Turkish, Belgian, Vegetarian, Seafood, Pizza. Moderate-income apartment houses mix with historic housing, mostly restored, and now elevated rents.  Beautiful embellishments adorn some, these created by 19th-20th century Italian immigrants.  Until 96th Street, many small, proven restaurants abound, favorites of the neighborhood.  Small shops trying to stay alive as rents soar.  Gelato till winter, kosher Thai food and steaks, bagels–just, very old-neighborhood.  Divert a bit to the east on 89th Street, early spring to late fall, The Westside Community Garden will bring a very big smile. Tulip time in April is THE highlight!  Thousands of blooms, music, singing, and through the summer.




Ballet Hispanico is across the street, just completing its total and beautiful renewal and worth an exterior peek. From community-based to world-class, performances are now in selected city venues and worldwide. The building to the west, now the Stephen Gaynor School, was the city’s horse and carriage stable until 2007.  The neighborhood loved the daily parade of horses ridden to Central Park, but the funds were not there, the riders diminished. The facade is still worth a view.



Onward for this visit and some beautiful churches:  Worth your knowing its history, RC Church of the Holy Name of Jesus. Beautiful inside and out.  You’ve now arrived in Bloemendale (Bloomingdale), in olden days, rich farmland owned by Dutch, then German farmers.  In this 21st century, Bloomingdale it remains to us locals.




St. Michael’s Church  comes next, famous for its rich decoration of original Tiffany stained glass windows and mosaics, and one the first NYC churches to openly welcome the Episcopalian Gay Community.


The dark red “castle” on the east side at 103rd Street–built in 1883–is now the American Youth Hostel.  Perhaps reserve one of the special guided city tours they always offer.


This neighborhood has a welcome tranquility, safe streets, mature street trees and many tree-mini-gardens.  Murders and drugs ruled not too long ago. But now, one small store after another, terrific neighborhood restaurants of so many origins–moderate in price.  For visitors, this is an ideal neighborhood to stroll to have a real feel of “ordinary” life in this crazy city.  Quiet during the week, Friday and Saturday nights bring many young people to have fun, and the pubs are packed.  Here are no fancy boutiques or 4* restaurants.  This is a “real” neighborhood, bringing together a solid mix of New Yorkers. (Shown: West 107th Street)

Let’s list some of our favorite dining choices, between 97th and 112th street. Each has its own website, worth a Google!  None is expensive, and in no particular order, suggested here:


Amsterdam Avenue Neighborhoods


Now that you’ve dined or quenched a thirst, Amsterdam Avenue presents its highest treasure: Cathedral St. John the Divine No description required here, the stunning website invites your visit within the immense Gothic-style wonder and through the beautiful gardens.  Perhaps the 21st century will see, if not completion, then a grand continuation of the work begun. If you can include one of the guided tours or concerts–do it!

The final and very important stop on Amsterdam Avenue is the Columbia University campus and its diverse buildings, trees and vast greensward any season, it is filled with the energy of students and locals enjoying the openness.  Join in and, with pleasant fatigue after your discovery walk from Park 79 Hotel, treat yourself to a taxi or board the #1 subway to the hotel.


Autumn’s Highlights in our Neighborhood

Look Around, It’s Beautiful Hereuws AUTUMN


As the fall season approaches, Park 79 Hotel enjoys the perfect location for our guests to take in everything happening so close by.  Culture, Shopping, Nature, Dining, Music…it’s all so close.  After the intense heat of this waning summer, we can certainly enjoy just about everything happening. Our last blog centered on the coming season’s major citywide events; here, we center on our own neighborhood.  As we’ve walked our immediate neighborhood these last weekends, the energy we experience, the sight of New Yorkers and guests dining al fresco along Columbus and Amsterdam avenues–everywhere–is thrilling! Summer’s finally taken its demand for air conditioning, fresh air is back!  Problems of the world don’t seem to exist on the Upper West Side, life is good!

Park 79 Hotel enjoys an enviable corner of Manhattan.  Only the magnificent acres of Central Park separate the hotel from Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue.  To start, here are the museum highlights just steps away:
al hershfeld

  • NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY is wowing visitors with the Al Hirschfeld portraits of Broadway’s greats. Picasso and Keith Haring have come to the building; important interviews and discussions through the season; Super Heroes in NY is just opening. Terrific programs at The DeMenna Children’s History Museum Wonderful restaurant. Beautiful gift shop.



  • AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY – HAYDEN PLANETARIUM  Thousands of visitors daily come…and go in wonder after their visit.  Our guests at Park 79 Hotel so often tell us how our proximity to the museum is so appreciated. Every season brings new highlights. New apps for your smartphones always being created to make a visit even more special.

met-museumWe’ll add THE MET: Fashionistas will love the awaited exhibit at The Costume Institute, a November opening. Jacqueline de Ribes, one of the most beautiful women and fashion idol of the 60’s, the international icon of fashion-too-high-be-believed, and long lines will form for this fall-winter showing. Tickets will be available in advance.


  • THE BEACON THEATRE Zero in on the fall’s pop performance highlights
  • THE TRIAD on 72nd Street is perfect for Off-Broadway theatre fans,, an intimate setting far from Midtown’s crowds.Stage_72_Triad


LINCOLN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS has been featured many times in our reports. As this new season starts, we step back and allow you to explore their website–a feast of performances that will fill every evening of your stay at Park 79 Hotel.


      • Of course, MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE will fill Park 79 Hotel with families–American and from overseas–on Thursday, November 26. It all begins on our corner!


    • HALLOWEEN 95THThere’s a crazy, wonderful, amazing “parade” on many neighboring streets on October 31;
  • HALLOWEEN ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE  finds the noted streets akin to Mardi Gras for children and their families… pets included. Bring costumes, or pick them out locally…but do join in.



GREENFLEA MARKET  Always here, just two short blocks away, every Sunday, no one leaves empty-handed!  Street fairs pop up all over the neighborhood, great bargains and fun foods.  BLOOMINGDALE’S OFF-PRICE is still being built at this writing, but, it’s coming! Broadway and 72nd Street. Certainly in time for the Holiday Shopping Season.  But, we can boast almost unending neighborhood shopping for everyone: costly boutiques, terrific off-price department stores, vintage clothes, kids’ and pets’ stuff, sports stuff, cosmetics, jewelry….MARSHALLS, BROOKS BROTHERS, DSW, TALBOTS, TARGET, HOME GOODS, APPLE…and many, so many, more.



As noted, this late summer-early fall time brings diners outdoors, and now, even their dogs can join in.  Spending weeks in too-much air-conditioning, music interfering with dining conversation–now we dine al fresco!  Everything tastes better outdoors, passersby smile, you’ll want to stay and stay. Gluten-free abounds! No GMO’s! Vegetarian!  Vegan! Kosher! Noodles a go-go! (Sometimes seems that all are combined in one restaurant.)  So, join the locals and enjoy.  Park 79 Hotel is central to unending dining choices.  And special treats abound: Jacques Torres Chocolates, Levain Bakery, Sugar & Plumm, Zabar’s, Elio & Bollack’s…unending, self-satisfying goodies.  Pubs for going all out as the 2015-16 sports seasons fill the multi screens each event.


Our guests can be at the JAVITS EXPO CENTER conveniently by taxi or subway, or METROPOLITAN PAVILION for smaller events. But we’ve concentrated on our Upper West Side neighborhood…a brilliant season.


street fair

OCTOBER – Upper West Side Street Fairs NYC Manhattan

  • Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 11 am – 5 pm – Bloomingdale Area Coalition / Upper Broadway Harvest Festival – Along Broadway between 96th and 103rd Street – upper west side street fairs UWS.
  • Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 11 am – 5 pm – NAACP Mid Manhattan Branch & Symphony Space [respectively] – Along Broadway between 86th to 90th Street and from 90th Street to 96th Street – upper west side street fairs UWS.













It’s Autumn in New York…as the song says

autumn leaves


It’s pretty hot here right now, but we know autumn’s relief is coming…and not too soon. For visitors to New York City, arriving when summer’s crowds start to dissipate, take a look at what’s going to make your visit pretty special.




BROADWAY is almost always at the top of the list. BROADWAY really includes, OFF-BROADWAY and OFF-OFF BROADWAY, so that list is pretty full. Already, “Hamilton” is ruling the “waves.” But there’s a whole slew of openings ahead, and PLAYBILL has it all. Keira Knightly has been lured “across the pond” to appear in the Roundabout Theatre production of “Therese Raquin, ” and Clive Owen will star in Harold Pinter’s, “Old Times.” But there’s so much more to wish for and enjoy along the Great White Way. (Hmmm, not quite white!) OFF BROADWAY can’t wait to start the season, but this link has late-summer performances highlighted as well. OFF OFF BROADWAY takes you to interesting neighborhoods around the city, and that can mean interesting dining as well.

The 53rd New York Film Festival plays no second place to Broadway’s offerings. The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts setting adds to the excitement. AND, if you are staying at PARK 79 HOTEL, you are within walking distance, September 25–October 11. Tickets are comparatively affordable, leaving funds for dining in this beautiful section of the Upper West Side.


Here’ a great link for an in-depth calendar for October’s events in all of New York City, including family events, ethnic festivals, sports. And our local tourist organization, NYCGO, does a remarkable job at bringing all the news together: the street festivals, parades, ethnic productions, children’s events–something for everyone.


kids theatre
And here are the highlights of live theatre for the kids this fall
The Rolex Central Park Horse Show returns this second year, September 23-27. Five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. Tickets are on sale at this time!


Restaurants change menus, the year’s new wines and beers are introduced. Thursday, November 19 join the wine lover celebrations as the new Beaujolais from France is popped and made a fuss over!


Do you love–LOVE–dogs. Mark this date: Saturday, October 3, 11 am — 3 pm The annual I LOVE MY DOG festival in Central Park. Bring your camera–definitely! (Check the website in September for details.)

So close to the Beacon Theatre at Park 79 Hotel, we must introduce the Autumn 2015 highlight performances.


We’ll stop here, though we all know that comes Halloween and Thanksgiving, autumn 2015 will be even more amazing.






double dancing

New York City’s history is filled with tales of society and debutante balls, Charleston dancing in speakeasies, perhaps dancing with the armed forces on leave at the USO. Of course, there’s all kinds of ethnic dancing in neighborhoods, and in the subway stations (and cars!), where amazing young men (an some women) accomplish jaw-dropping movements for their captured audiences underground.

Many of our younger guests at Park 79 Hotel want to include at least one experience during their visit. Indoors, outdoors, many all-nighters. And… how about dancing as you sail around Manhattan on a dinner cruise!  The winter months bring ice dancing at our outdoor rinks, and dance-lovers thrill to the summer evenings in Lincoln Center Plaza, mid-June to mid-July. New Year’s Eve–dance pretty much wherever you want, but try to be near the Band Shell for the annual Midnight Run & Dance Party–FREE!

Dance NYC


To keep forever, here’s a list of dance websites of every genre.  See what best fits your own visiting dates, plan, maybe order tickets online for those special dance events.  (Professional dance performances are not included in this writing.  YOU are the star!)











dance cruise

hands raised


Visit Harlem!


For many of our guests at Park 79 Hotel, a visit to Harlem is pretty high on their list of must-sees.  Exploring everything to know on the Internet, they discover an area truly unique.  No other world capital boasts a Harlem, and our Harlem—as with so many neighborhoods—has changed…and changed again.  Real estate investors, downtown restaurateurs, business offices (following Bill Clinton), giant retailers and, now, Columbia University have been changing the landscape drastically the past few years. Central Park’s northern landscape surprises even us locals: Harlem Meer, the Dana Nature Center, Summer dancing, Lasker Ice Rink – Swimming Pool, huge granite boulders and the northern gate of Conservancy Gardens on the East Side.

This is, for the most part, good news; to many long-time Harlem residents (especially the far-from-affluent) the changes are not all welcome.  Traditional Harlem boundaries are changing as well.  Columbia University’s newest campus starts at Broadway and ends near the Hudson River, the southern boundary is West 125th Street.  Riverbank State Park borders the West Side Highway. (In fact, Harlem boasts several beautiful parks.) East Harlem is now multiethnic: African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Mexicans, young Anglo-Americans. Both of the Harlems share an amazing change-of-architecture scene, East Harlem going south to East 96th Street.  (And Costco has found a home here in a multi-story shopping mall along the East River!)


Harlem Highlights NYC

Noting that many of these “upheavals” have been for the good, we share those unique sites and tastes that visitors should look forward to experiencing.

The streets are safer and cleaner; Harlem residents can be among the most welcoming New Yorkers;  it’s so easy to reach Harlem’s main crossroads by subways and buses, bringing visitors right to where they want to be. And, green medallion taxis can carry you TO Park 79 Hotel’s doorstep on West 79th Street in minutes.  Day and Night!

Romare Bearden paintings "Jamming at the Savoy" & "The Card Players"

Romare Bearden paintings “Jamming at the Savoy” & “The Card Players”

Romare Bearden’s paintings and remarkable collages stand as glorious tributes to Black History and can be seen at the Studio Museum and Schomburg Library.

A highlight of any Harlem visit is the Sunday Gospel Service and Brunch.  The churches have almost all become far too crowded for tourist groups, but the gospel brunches are memorable, both for the spirit and joy of the music and the enormous offerings of food. The women of Harlem, in their gorgeous hats, will join you very often after services, and they ARE stunning (especially Easter Sunday).

3 hats

Here are links that will take you to all the information for your Harlem Visit planning.  Daytime: solo walking or guided tours-museums, shopping, parks, recreation. Night: soul food dinner, jazz, dancing, The Apollo.  Sundays: gospel performances and brunch, with a group or on your own.











Walk the High Line & Visit the New Whitney Museum of American Art

on the grassWhat was for too many years a truly wasted, unending fixture along the western edge of Manhattan’s Chelsea, now seems to have been magically reinvented. Envisioned by a dedicated unit of locals, here would burst from the ravaged, rusting elevated train path, a promenade like no other.  With the Hudson River to the west, historic Chelsea on the east, the open sky above, The High Line would transport our citizens–and the world’s citizens–literally and very figuratively–with the railroad tracks gracefully restored and reimagined, and plantings so different from a traditional decoration. While the inspiration is greatly owed to Promenade Plantee in Paris, the High Line’s east-west horizons are unique, and the landscaping are inspired by its history.

High line yellow

From Park 79 Hotel the suggested subway line is the C or C-A to 34th or 14th Street stations, an easy walk from there. Entry points are in Chelsea (including the newest wing not far from West 34th Street) and the Meatpacking District, both neighborhoods with such interesting history and architecture.  Beneath the High Line’s elevation, the Meatpacking District offers an amazing choice for dining, entertaining friends, meeting people–and shopping!  Chelsea Market is the shopping paradise just north.  Here are links to bring you to these highlights:

Guardian Angel Church NYC

Chelsea Market NYC

Whitney Museum of American Artokeefe

Just opened this May 2015, the stunning Whitney Museum of American Art, situated on the High Line and almost touching the Hudson River, has drawn such interest from architectural critics, the Contemporary Art world, museum officials, and everyone who has already visited…or not. Renzo Piano is the famed architect, The Whitney not his first museum modernization or rebuilding in New York City. (New York’s Morgan Library and The Art Institute in Chicago are his superb renewals.) Not only is the Whitney in and of itself spectacular, but its location and position on the High Line have created a truly unique experience for the museum-goer. The long wait has been well worth it!

Whitney Museum High Line NYC

Discovering Riverside Park



How fortunate that Park 79 Hotel enjoys a very special corner! Our hotel almost touches the American Museum of Natural History–a true host of iconic landmarks for our guests to enjoy “just up the street.” But, starting the day, turn a sharp right and head west till you can’t go any further.  THERE IT IS!  One of the city’s most beautiful parks–RIVERSIDE PARK. Beautiful parkland covering 330 acres Its history of neglect and abandonment, unfortunately, overcame the shoreline park designed by Frederick Olmstead in the 1870’s, a typical fact of many of our city’s parks. Its savior was Robert Moses, and under his strict reign the railroad tracks were hidden, he built The  Rotunda and extended the park to the Hudson River shoreline, developing the multiple recreation areas.  The southern edge then became 55th Street, while, just south of the George Washington Bride, the north border is 155th Street.

The Riverside Park -Hudson Greenway,  the most heavily used bikeway in the USA,  is the city’s longest, from Dyckman Street in the north to Battery Park in the south. (There’s a small gap for street use in Harlem.) Bike, skate or hike along the Hudson River, almost entirely at the water level. To the north, near the Georgeight, stroll four blocks and–



Riverside Park Biking Hiking Kayaking

 BIKING                HIKING              KAYAKING (seasonal)



Riverside Park NYC Seasonal Beauty

At cherry blossom peak season in April, Riverside Park has its own claim to fame. Dubbed the Cherry Walk, this stretch along the Hudson, between 100th and 125th streets, is brilliant with dozens of cherry trees blooming in breathtaking splendor. Even more impressive is Sakura Park  (just off Riverside Park at 122nd Street), packed with 2,000-plus trees donated by Japan in 1912. Crabapple trees fill the senses with perfume and white and pink floral clouds from 100th Street south to the 90’s.  Summer’s dense shade brings families, friends and lovers to the lawns for picnics, readings, guitar strumming and cuddling. When autumn delights with warm sunny days and chilled nights, every seasonal color paints the viewer’s vision–breathtaking!


The vista along the Hudson River and looking out onto the New Jersey shoreline (with The Palisades at the north end of the park) is made even more spectacular by the numerous monuments and regal statues aligning the park. From Joan of Arc to Eleanor Roosevelt, history is brought to life, always with the park itself lending the dense backdrop.

The two most important monuments reign supreme:


Riverside Park NYC

SPORTS FIELDS in Riverside Park include tennis, volleyball and basketball courts; soccer fields, and a skate park at 108th Street.  Visitors will find it difficult to actually participate (teams, permits, etc.), but watching is free, and a tennis-match invitation is always possible.

CULTURAL AND ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS  are announced each spring for the season. Most are free.

DINING AND DRINKING  venues range from hot dog and ice cream vendor carts to some really nice dining choices.  Of course, picnics are welcome and very popular.


79TH STREET BOAT BASIN (so close to Park 79 Hotel)

ELLINGTON IN THE PARK    (Duke Ellington’s home is just across from the park)
RIVERBANK GRILL   An upscale, beautiful, year-round restaurant located in Riverbank State Park on the Hudson. Not open every day, weekends for brunches, reservations a must in-season! Worth a visit!

Memories of New York City can only be enhanced when Riverside Park beckons time away from the busy, too-busy Midtown streets. 


Some Great Food Events This Spring

Spring  IS coming–it’s GOT to come!  It WILL come!  And we can stop nursing a those bowls of very hot soup that we would eat with gloves on. Hot chocolate can now be replaced by hot fudge sundaes eaten on a bench…under a warm sun…as part of a day’s stroll.  Oh please!!!

This is the perfect time to tempt Park 79 Hotel’s guests with a fresh season of amazing food adventures that can be part of their stay with us. We’ll try to go right through Spring 2015, a spring that will be more welcome than any other in memory.  Summer’s events will just have to wait!


The Village Voice 8th Annual Choice Tasting Event  Friday, March 13th features 50+ handpicked restaurants from all five New York City boroughs on  at Metropolitan Pavilion. Urban Harvest is the non-profit benefitting from this event.

The New York Culinary Experience   April 11-12. Cook with 30 chefs!

The NYC BBQ Cook-Off in Historic Richmondtown  Saturday, April 11. The Staten Island Ferry can bring you there, so it’s a really amazing adventure for your Big Apple stay.

Food Book Fair  April 10-12, Friday-Sunday. New ideas in food and writing that spanned the wide worlds of art, science, education, activism, technology, politics and entrepreneurship.

The New York Hot Sauce Expo  April 25-26,  Saturday-Sunday  In Brooklyn,  Speaks for itself.

This is the Chili Cook-Off, also in historic Richmondtown, Staten Island. Saturday, April 25.

Taste of Hope  The American Cancer Society’s delicious fundraiser on Thursday, April 30.  One of the major culinary events of the year raising over $1,000,000.

The New York City Burger Week  May 1-7,  7 events, 28 restaurants

The Annual Specialty Food Show comes to the Javits Convention Center.  Friday-Sunday, June 28-30.  Nothing is left out–nothing.


The New Taste of the Upper West Side   Sunday to Tuesday, June 28-30.  Now in its 8th year, with over 3,500 guests in 2014. Wonderful cuisine from the area’s finest restaurateurs, showcasing our diverse restaurants throughout the Upper West Side,  It really is special!

Keep in mind that a stay at Park 79 Hotel, here in the heart of the Upper West Side, brings you to an endless choice of dining experiences.  If your stay can’t coincide with a foodie-event, not to worry.  Your personal dining choices will be fixed in memory, be at the heart of  sharing with friends at home.






Lots to Do in our Neighborhood in Wintry Weather

Traveling in winter CAN be good: lower air and hotel rates — less crowds everywhere — easier tickets — great restaurant deals.  Good shopping, of course!    The less attractive part of it: WEATHER — very cold or very chilly — snow, maybe the shorter days.

Park 79 Hotel boasts an amazing location–all seasons–and it contributes to a memorable, fun and rewarding New York visit.  Nightly rates are often absurdly low! If you are a neighborhood resident and hosting family or friends, call the hotel. There’s a special Friend & Family rate for your guests–contact the hotel.

Our local city transit stations and stops allow guests to be everywhere in short trips, avoiding crowded corners. Enjoy all the city highlights. And save time for the Upper West Side, populated with historic homes, international boutiques, great dining, renown cultural institutions, lively street action.  We hope our readers are planning their winter visit right now–or for next winter–and will save our suggestions.


Trump and Lasker Ice Skating–Running and Biking–Special Outdoor Winter Celebrations.  Taking great photos! Check www.centralpark.org for weekly announcements.


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is our star!  A beautiful walk from our door to the campus is in itself a treat. The avenues are filled with color and rhythm, shop windows are appealing, architectural highlights, a variety of food vendors–the excitement is door-to-door.  The world’s largest performing arts complex.

  • The Beacon Theatre
  • Stand Up New York Comedy Club
  • AMC Multiplex and Lincoln Plaza Cinema
  • Triad Theatre Club
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center





  • American Museum of Natural History
  • & the Hayden Planetarium
  • New York Historical Society
  • Museum of Arts & Design
  • Folkloric Museum
  • The Children’s Museum
  • Bard Graduate Center of Decorative Arts 



  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Frick Museum
  • Neue Galerie
  • NYU’s Institute for the Study of Asian Art ……  and all the other fine collections along Museum Mile.


The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) has created a “village” feel to the avenue, and now the streets are lined with boutiques and stores, restaurants and cafes, consignment and flea-market finds, the Sunday Farmers’ Greenmarket. GreenFlea on 77th Street is always a wonder of vintage and craft finds. While winter colors along the street are subdued, Theodore Roosevelt Park across the street is a study in urban nature, with historic apartment buildings as background.



As we’ve noted many times, both Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue are populated with an abundance of restaurants, diners, pubs, bars–a few really fine, highly rates upscale restaurants–food “boutiques” and corner delis.  Just strolling along these busy neighborhood ways will have your wanting and wishing for more time to enjoy them all!  Our ZIP codes are: 10023, 10024,10025, and you can read all about what’s terrific.  Vegans and vegetarians will learn that especially Amsterdam Avenue near Park 79 Hotel has truly delectable non-meat menu dining, with American and international chefs.  The pubs have great burgers, wings, sandwiches to go with unending beer choices.  Deliveries to your room at Park 79 Hotel can go well into the late night hours, including those warm,  fresh chocolate chip cookies from Insomnia Cookies. 


Planning to bring terrific Big Apple treats back home?  Close by, on Amsterdam Avenue, are the sweet indulgences of Sugar Plumm and Jacques Torres Chocolates. You may break the bank if you’re not careful…but you will be loved by all those you left home when they open the plastic bags and boxes.  Forget the tee shirts and funny hats–bring back love, what we here consider love: our bagels, delicatessen, smoked fish and meats, knishes: these are why we love Sunday breakfast! (Some of these emporia DO sell tee shirts, hats and bags–good quality and something to talk about back there.)

  • Zabar’s 
  • Fairway
  • Barney Greengrass
  • Levain Bakery
  • Citarella
  • Murray’s Sturgeon Shop



No URL’s this edition, but we’ve highlighted those places we feel are well worth your pre-trip study online, help you plan your in-depth New York Visit, your introduction to the Upper West Side