Bowling, Ping Pong, Billiards, Darts and Karaoke

With winter anxiously waiting to descend on us, it’s time to spread the word about the cornucopia of  THINGS TO DO INDOORS WHEN IT’S TOO DARNED COLD TO BE OUTSIDE.  This is New York, so you can bet there’s quite a mix of indoor “sports.”  All the boroughs have neighborhood favorites, but we’ll concentrate here on games in Manhattan, Brooklyn and then add further out. Good excuse to explore!

EVERYTHING you’d like to know, but here are some highlights. Can be out-of-date re closings and rates, please note.

Bowling has lost much of its old-fashioned allure as trendiness takes over, just as with almost everything else. Old favorite spots have disappeared with the city’s real estate grabs. But there are new outlets, too, with top line equipment and comforts. Still relatively easy on the budget for a fun time with friends.

LUCKY STRIKE IN HELL’S KITCHEN   Classy Lucky Strike is hugh, fancy, with state-of-the-art lanes, classy “lounge” sofas, even a dress code. Special deals are offered Mon-Tue-Wed, with unlimited bowling and/or billiards and ping pong. $$Extras have to be part of the deal.  In Midtown-West on 42nd Street.

FRAMES IN HELL’S KITCHEN   Couches, $$ mixed drinks. Also a dress code for your group.It’s a really nice atmosphere, quite a good local following.

THE GUTTER  Crossing into Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you’ll find two bowling sites.  The Gutter will satisfy: elegant, a bit old-school still pricey compared to back-home. Bring your own food, if you like, no kids admitted.  Just grownups who love Brooklyn  and bowling.

BROOKLYN BOWL    Definitely high-end.  Just be careful not to count on this venue without checking first, as they often host music events.  All kinds of specials, so see what fits your desires and schedule. Fried chicken (and other stuff)  and nightclub-quality shows and DJs. So, it’s bowling at its best.

Also check the following bowling emporia–not Manhattan or Brooklyn–but not impossible.  Great idea if you’re already wandering these locales for great memories:

WHITESTONE LANES  in Flushing, Queens   Bargain rates, open 24 hours.

HUDSON LANES  Really a great choice, and with  the PATH train, so close. Varying rates, lots of NJ locals, but not a second choice at all.  And add another state to your NY memories!

Ping Pong is often  part of a multi-choice stop, and it can be taken very, very seriously. And don’t forget, Bryant Park has open-air, FREE ping pong! Just mentioning two here, but Google “ping pong” and lots come up.

SPIN  Here is true sport and entertainment in a designer-type setting. Day or Night, ping and pong in 17 courts. Restaurant/Bar, pro-shop. You have to be over age 21 after 9pm, but during the day it’s all-ages.

FAT CAT in the West Village  More than ping pong, but good ping pong!  Pool, live music, classes.

WANG CHEN ping pong is quite close to park 79 Hotel, on 100th Street & Broadway. Very serious ping pong! Very serious!

Billiards & Pool so many neighborhood spots may feature a table or two, but here we’ll mention the highlights for this diversion.  Some have a couple of TV screens for seasonal sports, others are TV screen theatres.  It’s a great way to mix with locals, maybe make a new forever friend.

SPACE BILLIARDS    24 hour operation, in Koreatown on 32nd Street, in from Broadway and up a funky elevator. 14 tables (beautifully maintained) special lighting, And not just billiards–there’s Korean snacks and vast beer menu. KARAOKE!  Hidden on the 12th floor of a typical, old Midtown building.  But surprise and fun await! $17 per hour, $20 per hour if you have more than four people in your party.

EASTSIDE BILLIARDS  is just a cross town bus from Park 79 Hotel, with many considering it the very best. Luxurious could be a description.

Soldier McGee is close to Park 79 Hotel, just a good neighborhood Irish bar with pool table.  Always busy.

Darts are everywhere.  Even a tiny neighborhood hangout can have a couple of dart boards. So here’s a BIG list for all over. Play Darts! Just too many to list, so this is a great guide and you can choose a location just right for your schedule.

 

Karaoke is taken very seriously by our Japanese-New Yorkers, but the love of this “sport” has become an epidemic…and a terrific one Here’s a listing for some known and some hidden karaoke temples, even a few very close to he hotel. Perfect for a rainy night, a too-tired-to-do-much evening. KARAOKE TONIGHT! 

 

The Lower East Side — An Early History & Dynamic Present

When we promote our Park 79 Hotel to New York’s visitors we boast of our amazing Upper West Side neighborhood–its history, the important changes over 200 years–and why we are so proud to live here.  So much history and so very much promise. New Yorkers feel this strongly about every neighborhood–their neighborhood!

New Yorkers born between the 18th and 21st centuries have either had to or, now, choose to live in this Lower East Side corner of our city. Histories and fiction, musicals and films–personal biographies–the rich documentation of life on the Lower East Side is read and absorbed by people around the world.  In fact, the LES absorbed people from around the world as it grew from a village in the 18th century and was in the early 20th Century, the most densely populated corner of the world!  Really!  Today’s guided tours richly describe the facts and figures, not just to visitors,  but also to those of us who have roots here, especially covering the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The area became the first stop for Irish, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Jewish, and Chinese immigrants, as well as African-Americans and Puerto Ricans, all seeking a better life.  How it has changed!  There are still small ethnic enclaves, especially where Chinatown begins and ends. but the soaring rents–the glass-clad and terraced apartment houses and the nouveau boutiques–sparkle, but at incredible rents.  Here and there are small remnants of ethnic businesses that stir our memories or invite tourists who’ve researched such treasures such as Streit’s Matzo Bakery, Katz’s Delicatessen, Russ & Daughters and Schapiro’s, no longer a winery, now a restaurant.

Fascinating history of this city corner. An area rich in German culture, demolished when the picnic boatride on the General Slocum ended in great tragedy.  An unforgettable visit to the Tenement MuseumThe Lower East Side History Project Tours   and The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy offer excellent ethnic tours. Walks of New York  lead additional tours and there’s walking through the East Village/LES for a walk through Rock N Roll history.

AND Eating!  Too many decisions, way too many!

 

Our Marvelous, Wonderful New York City Subway

Yes, we complain: too slow, too hot or too cold, too crowded, way too expensive, ancient…and on and on. In summer the platforms are brutally hot, the cars–freezing! Don’t worry, comes winter, it’s totally reversed. Metrocard is an ingrained part of city life, and we apologize to visitors for sometimes creating frustration. Visiting with kids? Be sure to ride in the first car, with young riders pressed against the window, their eyes wowed as the train rushes through the underground darkness or along the elevated tracks. The New York subway system is, perhaps, the 15th wonder of the world.  The facts pertaining to this transportation system are mind boggling.

Started in 1904, City Hall to Harlem, 5 cents a ride, and it stayed at 5 cents for 44 years. The elevated train system was already in place for 35 years then, but it was the underground engineering miracle that allowed our city to expand into the vast metropolis it  became. New neighborhoods did not grow until the elevated train was built first. Beyond Midtown, modern Manhattan is constructed on solid granite, Manhattan schist. The engineers moved on as they extended the system.  In construction right now, under Second Avenue, the new route faces that same mountain of granite. Incredible!  Two terrible events brought us to a frightening reality about our underground system:  the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, where two stations collapsed, and Super Storm Sandy in 2012.  While major flooding (tracks to ceiling) occurred in some stations, the system restarted 48 hours after that destructive night.  

The MTA Arts for Transit program has brought artwork to 225 subway stations, 70 others to be added. You can download the free app for iOS or Android phone.  One truly extraordinary subway stations is right here at West 81st Street-Museum of Natural History, the closest station for Park 79 Hotel!  Both levels of the station are palettes for fantastic mosaics come alive–prehistoric animals with unpronounceable names, butterflies, sea animals, geologic layers. Tiny crustaceans and giant dinosaurs. In Midtown, the corridors in the the 42nd Street and 51st Street stations are filled with brilliant tile art. 14th Street on the Lexington Avenue line, Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn–incredible!

(photo: payvisit blog)

Must mention, “Music Under New York,” where 350 carefully selected talented musicians and groups cause travelers to stop and be delighted. Others just set up their presence on any station…and perform.

The Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn  is the largest museum in the USA devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores public transit development in the greater New York metropolitan region: exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation. A smaller outpost is at Grand Central Terminal. Consider seasonal nostalgia Tours. Nostalgia Rides can be a memorable part of a seasonal visit.

Many elevated stations now boast stained glass windows and interesting ironwork, even if the endless iron structures need real work. But they also boast magnificent views along their tracks and have been ongoing inspiration to our artists. Lines #1 (Harlem River Valley, 215-225th Sts.) #4 and #6 in the Bronx (Whitlock and Elder Sts.) As the #7 train travels east, Long Island City looms, and then, you ride atop one ethnic neighborhood after another.  #J train to Williamsbridge. From the #A line there is the Atlantic Ocean in Queens!

 

 

 

Hidden…and Extraordinary Forests of Central Park

Belvedere Castle

Park 79 Hotel, as often remarked upon by our guests, enjoys a terrific location: heart of the Upper West Side rich in historic brownstone homes and elegant apartment houses, national brand stores and chic boutiques. There are street fairs, grand museums, terrific restaurants and pubs, the best transportation in the city (we think!); Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, universities and conservatories. Even with these highlights, guest comments always include Central Park. Without fail: CENTRAL PARK!  We agree.  This is our garden, and just a walk through charming  Theodore Roosevelt Park at the American Museum of Natural History.

Here we highlight the deeply forested enclaves of Central Park beckoning adventurous visitors–and New Yorkers. City sounds disappear, all quiet here. Water falling, woodland birds hiding, maybe a quiet picnic blanket…and you.

Hallet Nature Sanctuary         East Side, 60-62nd Streets 

April through October, only guided tours bring visitors. A rare opportunity to explore one of Central Park’s best-kept secrets and learn of the revitalization of a seemingly natural landscape. Please visit the Events Calendar of the website for the next opportunity to visit the Hallett Nature Sanctuary.                                                                                               

 

The Ramble    Mid-Park from 73rd to 79th Streets.

The Ramble is a 38-acre “wild garden.”  Escape the city’s clamor and be lost in a true forest setting. As amazingly wild and natural it seems, except for the bedrock, it is entirely artificial.  Even the water running in the stream and the adjacent Lake is turned on and off like a faucet. Some of the trees date back to 1859 when the Ramble was planted. Here, find a thriving wildlife habitat.  The Central Park Conservancy carefully monitors and guards this woodland successfully, especially considering that more than 25 million people enjoy Central Park each year. Because of its location on the Atlantic Flyway of migrating birds in the spring and fall, the Ramble is the park’s center of birding activity. Over 230 species have been spotted, while over 40 other species remain in the Park all year long.                                                                      

Park highlights close to The Ramble, to be enjoyed along with this woodland adventure, are:     

 

The Pool        Enter Central Park West/100-103rd Street

Here a natural stream has been dammed by the original designers, Olmstead and Vaux, offering grassy banks, weeping willows, and rushing waterfall. The water gushing out of a grotto on the Pool’s southern shoreline is actually the city’s drinking water from a pipe hidden deep in the rocks. Many species of birds, fish, and amphibians are found at The Pool, and local residents consider this haven as their private Eden.

The North Woods    West  103rd Street

Perhaps the most secluded and peaceful area of Central Park, the North Woods seems more a corner of the Adirondack Mountains, just a few subway stops away from Times Square. This is one of the Park’s three woodlands offering people and wildlife an oasis of nature in the middle of New York City. Fallen trees, are left where they land (unless hazardous or obscuring paths), providing nutrients to surrounding plants, homes to wildlife and a natural look to the landscape.

The Ravine   Deep within The North Woods

Though designed to resemble the Adirondack wilderness, the Ravine, as all of Central Park, is completely man made. The Loch, a stream that flows through the North Woods is dammed in several places to create the cascades of the Ravine. 

Both iPod and Android have apps to bring Central Park alive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Big Apple–A Day of Discovery

There is so much to see and do here in New York City…and you should try to do it all!  If this is your return visit–or your tenth return visit–why not set aside a day or two to experience some amazing places encircling our city. Plan an early morning get-up-and-go from Park 79 Hotel. Car rental offices are within a short walk of the hotel, or with the subway, connect to MetroNorth in Grand Central Terminal, the Long Island Railroad in Penn Station or New Jersey Transit in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Via  round trip Megabus, arrive in Philadelphia in two hours and be part of American history for the day. Return to Park 79 Hotel for a good night’s rest. Of course, there are the professional tour companies that can whisk you in all directions for a day of enrichment and beauty…and amazing memories.  We’ve given much thought to our list of suggestions.  Can’t include everything, but we can start our guests and readers thinking, “Big Day Away.”  This IS summer, but some of our suggestions are great for autumn. Winter? Well that takes more thinking!

 

 

Heading North 

The Hudson Valley is one of America’s most beautiful regions in all seasons.  West of the Hudson River,  in the highlands, are the US Military Academy at West Point and Storm King Art Center.  One of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center. is located only one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley. The collection of more than 100 contemporary sculptures is displayed over 500 acres of fields, hills, and woodlands.  A second tour selection includes the fabulous designer outlet shopping at Woodbury Common as part of the day. West Point always leaves the visitor greatly moved. Not only is it majestically situated, but its war museum and D-Day Remembrance are fascinating.

Cross the Hudson and arrive in a stunning landscape filled with a richness of sites:  Hyde Park, home of and the library for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Close by is the CIA: the Culinary Institute of America for a memorable dining experience (best make reservations in advance!),  the Vanderbilt Mansion and Montgomery Place, two beautiful estates.  The charming city of Beacon boasts Dia Art Foundation, an extraordinary collection of art from the 1960′s to the present. Continuing south: Garrison and Cold Spring, two living historic communities.

And now Northeast                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Connecticut calls!  The lower counties are rich in natural beauty, history, Long Island Sound and charming towns. Two hours by railroad or car bring you to New Haven and Yale University.  The campus boasts wonderful museums and a true New England sense of history. Don’t forget Fred Pepe’s famous pizza! A self-drive car will let you wander through small Connecticut towns that boast “Americana.”  Greenwich is one of the wealthiest towns in the USA–mansions galore!  Norwalk and Westport–small museums, good food.  Back in New York State–Westchester County: Pocantico Hills and Kykuit–the estate of the Rockefellers; Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle;  The Katonah Museum of Art. Check MetroNorth’s Getaway all-paid-in-advance packages.

  • Yale University   Museums
  • Fred Pepe’s Pizza
  • Kykuit  Home of the Rockefellers   
  • MetroNorth Getaways                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Long Island

The lure of mansions again, but these right on Long Island Sound’s world renown Gold Coast.  Sagamore Hill, now in total renovation, was home to Theodore Roosevelt. Small museums and great diners!  It is very often that Long Island’s south shore–the Atlantic Ocean.  The Long Island Railroad has excellent Getaways–Jones Beach for swimming and night concerts, Fire Island Lighthouse and beaches.  Return home with a terrific tan!

New Jersey

Beaches!  Casinos!  Malls-Shopping!  Concerts! Sports Events! Gorgeous Parks and Gardens! Museums! Historic Towns!  If you fly over New Jersey’s east coastline, you can marvel at the unending Atlantic Ocean beaches.  The world knows of Atlantic City’s casinos and boardwalk, and you can be part of it.  New Jersey Rail is very convenient and comfortable. Newark may have a soiled reputation, but it also has a marvelous art museum, a Portuguese neighborhood with amazing restaurants and major evening concerts at the Prudential Center.  The Meadowlands–FOOTBALL! CONCERTS!!  Liberty Science Center is very near Downtown NYC–easy harbor transportation.  Hoboken invites those who love historic streets and restored homes, delightful restaurants, very mod apartment houses looking out on the harbor.  If you love a long drive to secret places–head down to Lambertville and Frenchtown, with a stop at Princeton University for lunch and a stroll of the campus and/or the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton. Return to NYC totally tired and happy.

 

Safe traveling, take great photos, see you back at Park 79 Hotel!

 

 

 

Summer on the Upper West Side — Happenings and Events

“Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy,” so goes the George Gershwin hymn to just sitting back. But for our guests at Park 79 Hotel we want to lure you out and about through our neighborhood. Yes, you must venture further around town on another day and experience ALL the wonders of town noted in your guidebooks. Next edition of our blog will highlight Out-Of-Town-For-The-Day. But now, unforgettable strolling, quick public transportation,The Upper West Side comes alive!.

Right around the corners: Fresh breakfast, Sunday brunch, your hometown team challenging another on a sports channel. Shopping-shopping! And that’s just the start. Of course the Mighty American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium are wonderfully close, just across the street–awe-inspiring! We’re tardy in getting our late spring blog on site, but not too late to share all the great events ahead this summer here in 10024—and 10023 and 10025. Most within walking distance, from the hotel and often FREE.

Beacon Theatre

Our guests do not have to travel to Midtown or Downtown to enjoy spectacular entertainment. The Beacon is the venue of choice for some of America’s top performers. Iconic oldtimers, the newest teen heart throbs—take a look!

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

The spring and summer bring a rich palette of entertainment, often outdoors, free or at modest cost; in sunshine and under the stars. (Yes, sometimes in the rain!) Bring a picnic or select from the vendors in the area. For this edition of our blog, we’ll highlight the special events, but do check the main website for EVERYTHING at Lincoln Center.

Central Park:

Our vast park is now one of the most wished-for experiences for visitors to New York City. Each beautiful season is the setting for many events and entertainment. Summertime is the best! We recommend these; just check your own schedule and plan.

Naumburg Concerts at the Bandshell Classical Music on Summer Nights

Summer Stage Every genre of Music, Something for Everyone, Rumsey Field and other sites

New York Philharmonic Two concerts each July–FREE–on the Great Lawn

The Great Lawn Major fund raising concerts by celebrity entertainers can be announced during the season

Good Morning America Friday mornings during the late spring and summer, at Rumsey Playfield, top entertainment draws many who arrive even as early as 6am.

Strawberry Fields Located between 71st and 72nd streets on Central Park West, this mosaic tribute draws professional and amateur musicians who wish to perform spontaneously. John Lennon’s music is the theme, but there are always wonderful musical moments to stay with you forever.

Delacorte Theatre Every summer, this beautiful open-air public theatre offers two of Shakespeare’s plays, and always with world renowned actors. While tickets are free, a number of guaranteed seats can be purchased in advance. Free ticketing demands in-park lineup (blankets, please) starting VERY early on the morning of performance. 1pm distribution—limited. Shakespeare in the Park

The Fall for Dance Festival, August-September, offers quality, innovation and success in introducing new and younger audiences to the world of dance. Since its inception, the Festival has presented 177 dancers and covered all genres of dance. Same ticketing as Shakespeare. Check in July for the finalized program.

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center offers a wide variety of programs, seasonal exhibits and holiday celebrations. On the northern shore of the Harlem Meer, enjoy the summer Harlem Meer Performance Festival, the Halloween Pumpkin Sail of candlelit Jack O’Lanterns across the Meer in autumn, and the annual Holiday Lighting event in winter.

 

Summer on the Hudson in Riverside Park

  • Westcoast Swing on the Harlem Piers Riverside Park & West Harlem Piers Park’s annual outdoor arts & culture festival takes place from 59th street to 153rd along the Hudson River. Featuring a mix of music concerts, dance performances, movies showings, DJ dance parties, children’s shows, special day-long events, wellness activities, and more. All programs are free and no registration is required unless specifically noted. Seating is limited, unreserved, and available first-come, first-served basis beginning 1-2 hours before the event. If there is heavy rain at the time of the event, the event will be cancelled.

Next month’s blog: Plan a great day outside the city. Public transportation or rental car, great day trips.

Morningside Heights New York’s “Academic Acropolis”

A Quick Overview 

While Park 79 Hotel is set in the heart of Manhattan’s the Upper West Side, we  advise our guests to explore all the interesting neighborhoods.  One of our favorites is MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS. This vibrant neighborhood is known as “Harlem South,” “the Upper Upper West Side” and “Academic Acropolis.”  Geographical boundaries are:  East/Morningside Park, West/Riverside Park and the Hudson River, South/110th Street, North—Harlem/125th Street. And at its center, south to north: Broadway. New York’s major subway and bus lines serve  the boundaries and the heart of Morningside Heights, including the terrific bus link to LaGuardia Airport for one MetroCard swipe, the #106. Upper Fifth Avenue on the East Side boasts Museum Mile.  Morningside Heights, is unique in and of itself. Ice Age remnants are present in the granite outcroppings of the area, subway tracks emerge to street level before 125thStreet. The American Revolutionary War saw the Battle of Harlem Heights fought here, September 16, 1776. King George II founded Kings College in 1754, now the fifth oldest in America and known as: Columbia University. Writers, composers, artists and entertainers chose Morningside Heights as home and inspiration in their crafts. Visitors are enticed with these highlights of urban beauty and the dynamics of the area’s institutions of higher learning. In the mix are the religious institutes, a major music conservatory, architectural wonders, soul-pleasing urban parks and gardens and restaurants. Historical markers remembering the famous and their accomplishments add to the experience.  Morningside Heights is a permanent home these days to young families and a long-established community, often reflecting the “Academic Acropolis.” College students from every country and little kids just starting their ABC’s are everywhere.  Musicians and religious leaders gain their knowledge here. Craftspeople and artists, visiting school groups and tourists love the vibrations of Morningside Heights. May brings graduations and moving out; August sees the new and returning students do the reverse.  Irish pubs are great for camaraderie, watching soccer, making out!  Head north and love all that Harlem offers. From late November through March, Columbia University twinkles its bare trees in winter lights, and it can be stunning. Head over to Amsterdam Avenue and find even more dining choices, hang-out pubs, fast food from across the world.

 

Start Planning

Broadway is the link, and the world’s visitors are delighted to find this oasis of architectural gems, beautiful gardens, lawns, statuary and a youthful population that has come here from everywhere. A quick Google search will show free or moderately priced performances of every type on these campuses.  Join a street chess game with an unknown expert or a discussion that catches your attention, or just sit back and rest on campus.  This list, we hope, opens some planning ideas:

 

 

Dine, drink, eat, snack, indulge.  Even the street food in Morningside Heights can be terrific!  Tom’s Restaurant is known by every Seinfeld fan. Cuisine of every country is offered on Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway and the side streets. Some terrific neighborhood eateries.  The fresh food markets burst with nature’s colors outside, unending treats inside.  Travel a bit north to Harlem and find Soul Food. Return to Park 79 Hotel very satisfied, very tired. Great day!

The Annual Orchid Show — New York Zoological Society — Arthur Avenue

March 1 – April 21, 2014    Or even after the orchid show — always botanical beauty on display.                                                                               

 The Orchid Show 2014: Key West Contemporary

 

 

…and to complete your magic day –
The Bronx Zoo   and     Arthur Avenue– The Real Little Italy

This could be your most memorable day during a New York City visit this spring. Or any time of year!  Come to The Bronx  very easily.  There is also an express bus from Manhattan – The BxM11  along Madison Avenue travels directly to the Zoo’s Bronx River entrance (Gate B). You can choose.  The zoo and botanic garden are located in the same corner of the Bronx.  Dining in the zoo or botanical garden is quick… but

 

 

 

 

dining (and shopping) in Little Italy — Arthur Avenue — will be a real treat!  It’s safe, easy to get to /from by short cab ride from the parks. Very little has changed over the years when it comes to dining and shopping: New York City…but Old World.

 

to Botanical Garden Station   or the subway


to Bedford Park Blvd. Station

 

Tapas, Dim Sum & Wings on the Upper Westside

Tidbits for Dining and Having Fun

Guests at Park 79 Hotel come from everywhere in the world and want to do everything during their New York City experience. That’s how it should be!  Perhaps restaurant dining for 2-3 hours is just too long–so many places to go and things to do!  So…small plates dining is an ideal choice.  The Upper Westside offers many choices right through the day, starting with that warm bagel and coffee in the morning.  Then on to more adventurous dining-on-the-Run.  Where shall we start?

TAPAS…of course!  Must cut the list short; there are so many.  From the 70′s to the 90′s, along Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, tapas choices are terrific.  Enjoy a tapas experience from Spain, Argentina, the Caribbean,  as well as the wines and cocktails of those regions. And you are never far from the subway or bus that will take you to your next highlight.

Buceo 95   Spain
Casa Pomona   Northern Spain
Bar Rique   Spain
Andanada   Spain
Ronda   Argentina
Cava   Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba
Tolani Wine Restaurant   Mexican, Asian, Italian (expensive)

 

DIM SUM...We only recommend one nearby restaurant on Broadway–Red Farm.  An excellent, upscale choice. But we would be amiss if we did not include as well the amazing dim sum experience at the Golden Unicorn in Chinatown. Weekends are crazy but worth the wait; weekdays are much easier.  The choices seem unending and worth your experimenting.  Have your camera ready!
VEGETARIAN ONLY…One excellent recommendation, more fast service than true restaurant, try Soom Soom Vegetarian Bar.

 

WINGS, or BUFFALO WINGS…endless, endless choices given the many pubs and bars that populate our neighborhood. Some are really winners! Indoors at the bar or outdoors at a sidewalk table, and especially if you are a group of travelers together, house-made wings and beer will do any time of day or late into the night. Sports reign on the giant screens, with the Irish pubs especially featuring soccer from abroad. If you are dining alone, you won’t be for long!

 

Too tired to enjoy a restaurant setting?  Not a problem!  All these establishments deliver to Park 79 Hotel.  Put on the TV,  relax, your “tidbits” treat is just a call away.  Enjoy!

 

 

Shopping on the Upper West Side

SHOPPING ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE 

SHOPPING  ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE has so dramatically changed during the past ten years as the neighborhood around Park 79 Hotel has also changed.  Small, personally owned shops–some still very much in business–gradually disappeared as America’s buying habits and trends touched our community.  Small, locally owned shops along Columbus and Amsterdam avenues became boutiques, American and foreign owned.  Broadway, from Columbus Circle to 96th Street, welcomed upscale clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, cosmetics..and more. But, also came some of the best discount merchants found throughout the USA.  We are almost a complete city within a bigger one!  Word has gotten around, and the UWS shopping experience is now featured in the major tourist publications.

Our staff at Park 79 Hotel recommends that our guests enjoy this terrific shopping opportunity, return to the hotel with their packages–relax–and then head out to their next set of sightseeing, entertainment and dining places.  Their shopping bags from each venture reveal a successful day, from discounters such as TJMaxx, Modell’s, DSW, HomeGoods, Century 21 AND Barney’s, Brooks Brothers, Gracious Home at the top of the price range.  Of course, Europe’s top merchandisers have found a profitable home on the UWS: Reiss, Burberry, UGG (Australia), L’Occitane. Time Warner Center is a palace of  Continental, Asian and American luxury shopping…now joined by H & M. An interesting walk north–or quick bus–brings our guests to the UWS’s answer to a suburban shopping mall: Columbus Square. Choices at great discounts in clothing, crafts, home and sporting goods, but in a very modern, open setting. Famous for amazing treasures every Sunday: Greenflea.  On Columbus Avenue, two blocks from Park 79 Hotel. And there are the seasonal street fairs all over the neighborhood.  Of course, dining, stops for fine teas and coffees, pizza on the run, frozen desserts–just about everything–rounds out the day’s adventures.