New York City skylineBy Michael Hirsch

About 25 years ago, I became a resident of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I had moved to New York City while attending Pratt Institute, and after stops in Brooklyn, Greenwich Village, and the Upper West Side relocated to my current home. The neighborhood’s name came with the development of Central Park in 1850, which formed its western boundary. The East River, 59th Street, and 96th Street are the neighborhood’s other borders.

In the late 1870’s, the elevated subways on Second and Third Avenue brought explosive growth to the area, resulting in many low-rent tenement buildings. These elevated subways were demolished in 1956. Their removal transformed the Upper East Side into a wealthy, ultra-chic shopping area.

What’s great about my neighborhood is that there are eight nearby subway stops. I can walk to Central Park, the East River Esplanade, Carnegie Hall, Bloomingdale’s, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I can also stroll to my Six Faves; what more could a person need?

1: Windsor Garage

332 East 76th Street

Windsor Garage, New York City

The sign for the garage uses the word, “transient,” which had a different connotation in the 1940’s than it does today. The tri-colored sign, unusual for this neighborhood, was constructed around 1947.

2: Subway Inn

Second Avenue

Subway Inn, New York City

The bar originally opened around 1934 at 60th Street and Lexington Avenue and got its name from the nearby subway entrance/exit. Rumor has it that Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio met there on a date. The Subway Inn sign welcomed me for many years. The bar was recently evicted, but has relocated two blocks from my home! I am so glad that we didn’t lose the local dive bar. The new location offers food and has a similar feel since they relocated the original booths and their unique red lights.

Michael Hirsch is president of the SCA board of directors (and as such, has been given dispensation to offer six, not five faves). He is an experienced urban planner and design architect with significant experience in the resort and tourism market. See full bio.

To read the rest of this article, members are invited to log in. Not a member? We invite you to join. This article originally appeared inSCA Road Notes, Summer 2017, Vol. 25, No. 2. SCA Road Notes, informally known as SCA News, is a quarterly publication and a member benefit of the Society for Commercial Archeology. Back issues are available for download.

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