u p p e r w e s t s i d e
Central ParkRent rollerblades and join the throng. Watch the bladers dance at the Dead Road (midpark at 66th-69th Sts). Check out the penguins at the Zoo (64th St at 5th Ave), the ducks at Bethesda Fountain (midpark at 72nd St) and more skaters at Wollman Skating Rink (59th St at 6th Ave). The terrace above Wollman also has one of the more romantic views of the NY skyline.
Lincoln Center - West SideTony and Maria danced their way through this former slum area before Lincoln Center was built, now Jets and Sharks territory is some of the highest priced real estate in the world. Check out the gaudy interiors of the Met Opera House and Avery Fisher Hall. Across from Julliard, Sony’s Lincoln Square movie megaplex includes an IMAX theater you have to take 3 escalators up to get to. And of course, the ubiquitous Barnes and Noble singles bar. Continue up Broadway to 80th Street and you’ll enter WoodyAllen-land, the Upper West Side. Cure your neuroses by indulging in Zabar’s food emporia, Citarella’s fish sculpture(!) and Columbus Ave’s trendy shops. Head east on 79th St and you’ll see the Museum of Natural History. Check out the 4th flr dinosaurs and Hayden Planetarium’s skyshow. (Big bear, little bear . . . .)
The CloistersJohn D. Rockefeller went crazy in Europe, buying whole castles, dismantling them and shipping them to New York. Once here, they were glommed together into this medieval fantasy set high up on the cliffs along the Hudson. Then he went and bought all the land across the Hudson in New Jersey just to make sure the view remained pristine. All the way up at the very northern tip of Manhattan, but a wonderful meditative trip.
Also check out:
Columbus Ave shops, 76th St flea market, Columbia University, Grants Tomb, Harlem at 125th St., Walter Reade Theater for avant-gardge/retro films, see Teddy Roosevelt's bones and stones at the Natural History Museum, acres of books at Coliseum Books.
Purveyor of the best bagels in New York, with varieties like salt, garlic, blueberry and pumpernickel, don’t forget to add your favorite spread - scallion tofutti, nova lox, or just plain buttah.
Best place for dinner near the Museum of Natural History - unpretentious and well prepared food.
Fashionable brunches, good place for star sightings, little pricey, but delicious.
Cafe des Artistes
Romantic with a capital R and $$$$$, one of Deb and John’s first dates - they sat at the bar and had dessert and Couvoisier in brandy snifters- ah, the madness of love.
A new jazz club done up in an Alice in Wonderland decor.
Not the original, but an upscale club for the “cool jazz, quiet storm” crowd.
Concourse at Lincoln Center, Barnes and Noble, Museum of Natural History
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