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Things to do in the Upper East Side

I probably have mentioned here on the blog that I live in the Upper East Side. Before you think I’m rich and live like a Gossip Girl character, I have to explain that Upper East Side is a huge area of the city – and I’m not close to Madison or Fifth Avenue – blame these areas for the glamorous reputation of this neighborhood. It is, indeed, a great area to live, away from the tourists and crowded places but, at the same time, you have everything you need – and easy subway access to a lot of areas of the city. I am living for almost six years in the city – and since then, Upper East Side has always been our home. And I thought it would be cool to write a post with some suggestions of things to do in the neighborhood – it goes beyond MET, trust me.

Things to do

Carl Schurz Park & Grace Mansion  – New York City has many beautiful parks not only in Manhattan but also in Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. And Carl Schurz Park has a special place in my heart. It is not huge like Central Park, but it is charming and with a great infrastructure. This park is located along the East River – above the FDR drive, which makes it even more special since it provides an amazing view of the river. lso, you can see Randalls Island, Roosevelt Island, and the Queensboro Bridge. Throughout the park, there are several areas for picnic and relaxing, plus a lot of benches to sit and enjoy the view. You will also find Dog-friendly Areas, playgrounds, and restrooms.

Plus, Grace Mansion, the official NYC Mayor’s residence, is located in the park. The house was founded in 1981 by Mayor Edward I. Koch and its charter Board Chair. It is one of the oldest surviving wood structures in Manhattan and home to the sitting mayors of New York City and their families since 1942 when the LaGuardias arrived as the first official residents. You can visit the place through a tour – more information.

And don’t forget! NYC Ferry Soundview line stops right next to the park! 

Address: btw  84th St and 90th St with East End Avenue.

Museums – Metropolitan Museum of Arts is probably the most famous museum in the area – also in the city. If you live in the NY State, remember that you pay as you wish. For visitors from outside New York State, there will be a mandatory admission fee: $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students. Admission for all children under 12 and Members and Patrons will continue to be free. Make sure to check the website to learn about events, programs, and tours! Also, don’t forget to check it out the rooftop, open from April through October, with stunning views of Central Park. Last, but not least: for a perfect Met stairs Gossip Girl style shot (lol!), you should go there after the museum is closed!

And if you are a museum lover, remember that there are more museums located in the area:

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – modern and contemporary art. Tickets are $25, but every Saturday, from 5–8 pm, you can pay what you wish for admission (cash only).
  • The Frick Collection –  this museum’s collection was assembled by the Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) and is housed in his former residence on Fifth Avenue.  It is one of New York City’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions. Admission is $22, but you pay as you wish every Wednesday, from 2 pm to 6 pm.
  • Jewish Museum – is an intersection of art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. It features a collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media. Admission is $18 – and free on Saturdays, as well as on select Jewish holidays.
  • Society of Illustrators – it is the oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration in America, with a Permanent Collection housing 2,500 pieces that are cataloged for scholarly use and displayed periodically. Admission is $15 and free for all visitors on Tuesdays from 5pm-8pm.

 

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92nd Street Y is a world-class cultural and community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. In addition to th classes (such as dance, music, and languages) and a gym place, 92Y also promotes a lot of events such as lectures, panels jazz performances, orchestra, dance performances and other shows with AMAZING guests. Keep an eye on the events calendar!

Address: 1395 Lexington Ave. 

 

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Brandy’s Piano bar – this is one of the Upper East Side’s best-kept secrets – this spot showcases live talent every night and has been for over 35 years, can you imagine? It has that unique Piano Bar live and it is a very local experience. There is a Happy Hour every day,  from 4 – 8 pm and live music starts at 9:30 pm nightly. Don’t forget that 2 drink minimum per person per set is required. Check it out the schedule on the website.

Address: 235 East 84th Street.

 

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The UES – Well, speakeasies bars are not downtown exclusives anymore! Don’t be confused by the cute Instagram worthy ice cream shop – there is a bar behind the “storage room”! All the cocktails are named after famed movies and shows. Remember that there is a dress code: no graphic t-shirts, collarless shirts, torn or baggy jeans, casual flip flops, Uggs, sneakers, tennis shoes or athletic wear of any kind.

Address: 1707 2nd Avenue.

Where to eat 

 

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Two Little Red Hens – Forget Magnolia Bakery! This is the best NYC cupcake. There is no explanation, you have to try it. I love Red Velvet, but I’ve tried other options like peanut butter, chocolate, and vanilla and they are all moist, humm delicious! Also, the cheesecake here is also the best in the city, in my opinion! This bakery also serves coffee and it is very small, but there are a few tables to sit. Each cupcake costs $4 on average.

Address: 1652 2nd Avenue.

 

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Levain Bakery – oh well, now you know that no one should wait on a long line for delicious cookies since Levain Bakery had opened so many locations in the city – including one in the Upper East Side. If you never heard about these cookies, well, your research about NYC is not quite accurate lol. Just try, ok? Trader Joe’s, we also need a location in the UES, please!

Address: 1484 3rd Ave.

 

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Five Mile Stone – this one of my favorite places in the UES – we have been there so many times! I love the pub vibe, and the menu features some traditional plates like Fish & Chips and burgers. I love to come here for the oysters – $1 all day! Five Mile Stone has 24 beers on tap, and they also have a brunch special. Plus, there is live music some days of the week. Check the website!

Address: 1640 2nd Avenue.

 

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Calexico –  this one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in New York City – the best burrito! Calexico was founded by three brothers from California, and they started with a food truck – that was awarded as one of the best in its second year of operation. The menu includes tacos, burritos, and delicious nachos, elected among the best in New York by Zagat.

Address:  1491 2nd Ave

 

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Today is the perfect day to come join us for delicious food and drinks! #mazmezcal #ues #mexicanfood #margarita #tequila #mezcal

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Maz Mezcal–  another great Mexican restaurant, and they serve chips and salsa for free. On the menu, the delights we know: tacos, burritos, enchiladas. The staff is friendly and the Marguerita is a delight.

Address: 316 East 86th St.

 

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Mughlai Indian Cuisine – this is a very simple and tiny restaurant but don’t judge a book by the cover! My husband and I simply love Indian food and this place serves a great variety of Indian plates – with a lot of vegetarian options. We had brought a lot of friends and family to this restaurant and all of them love it!

Address: 1724 2nd Ave.

I hope you like my tips! I love the Upper East Side from the bottom of my heart! Please leave your suggestions too! 

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