By Lisa Maysonet
Considering a move to the Upper East Side? You’ll definitely be in good company.
In the 1920s, The New York Times described the East Side as “a string of pearls: Each pearl is a double block of millionaires, and Madison Avenue is the string.” Like everything else in New York, the Upper East Side has been altered by time. But there are few places where memory is as intact as on the blocks bounded by the East River, Fifth Avenue, and East 59th and East 96th Streets. Until the close of the Civil War, this was the part of New York where the fashionable gathered to escape city summers—the counterpart of today’s Hamptons. Mansions in park-like settings followed the shore of the East River all the way to Harlem. The Boston Post Road (now Third Avenue) made access to the city below Canal Street convenient, and summer residents with lots of leisure time-traveled downtown on steamboats. By the late 1860s, with Central Park now opened, the summer houses were converted to year-round use for pioneering commuters. A few years later, the coming of elevated railroads opened the area to working-class people.
Society had its heyday on the East Side between 1895 and the outbreak of World War 1. The state of American architecture was superb at the time, and the super-rich had the financial resources to buy the best. Years have passed, of course, with many changes to these East Side streets. Nevertheless, an air of privileged—often luxurious—lifestyle still prevails.
High-end shops and galleries line the streets of the Upper East Side. And for those who need a break, there are great restaurants on nearly every corner. But more than anything, the Upper East Side is noted for their museums showcasing some of the world’s most important works. Better known as Museum Mile along 5th Avenue it’s worth a day just exploring the beautiful paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim offers art collections that span the years. If shopping is your thing, then the Upper East Side is the place to be! Bloomingdales is just a block away, as well as Louis Vuitton and Hermès, to name a few, you’ll be in retail heaven!
Dining out is always an adventure. At Restaurant Daniel by Daniel Boulud their prix-fixe meal is one of the best dining experiences you will ever have. In case you want a special meal that’s a smidge more relaxed than what happens in the main dining room, you can order a la carte in the lounge. Another staple in the neighborhood is Avra Madison Estiatorio, known for its seafood which magically transports you to the Greek isles.
WHERE TO CALL HOME
Believe it or not, there are great price points for everyone on the Upper East Side. Here is one choice offering we feature this month.
65 East 76th Street Apartment #3DE is the kind of lavish apartment that makes the phrase Upper East Side synonymous with sophisticated luxury. Every inch is newly-renovated to epitomize modern glamour. Spaces flow generously. A stunning foyer reveals two large great rooms and a separate dining room, each overlooking a tree-lined block through grand, south-facing windows. Four bedrooms (enhanced by a sumptuous designer closet/dressing room), four full baths, a library/family room, separate home office, and laundry room form a spacious, grand home for family living, simultaneously warm and sophisticated.
The handsome boutique building harkens back to the gilded age of New York. In a two-story limestone entrance, uniformed door attendants welcome you when you arrive. And a lobby-level bike/stroller room and ample personal storage facilities make New York living even more comfortable. Elegant, culturally-rich, architecturally stunning, it is Upper East Side living at its best. Asking price: $4.195 million.
For more information on Lisa Maysonet, visit Group Maysonet at Sotheby’s International Realty,