Sunday, April 08, 2007

City Walk #3 - The Upper Reaches of Fifth and Madison

Card No. 38 - photos
Down Fifth and back up Madison - this is where and how the other half lives.

Begin at Fifth Avenue and 86th Street, across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street or M86 crosstown bus to 5th Avenue).
Walk south on the east side of Fifth past some of the city's most pristine "white glove" buildings. In good weather, the Stanhope Hotel's Terrace Restaurant, at the corner of 82nd, makes an elegant alternative to the hot dog stands in front of the Met. Continue south, past the French cultural offices (#942) and consulate (#934), the Institute of Fine Arts, at 78th Street, and a rare surviving pair of private houses at 925 and 926 Fifth Avenue. Turn left on 70th to one of the great Fifth Avenue mansions - built in 1914, for Henry Clay Frick - now home of the Frick art collection. Turn left out of the Frick to Madison Avenue for a sampling of the luxuries money can buy - Picassos and Old Masters, Prada, Chloe, and Yves St. Laurent. It's a short hop from St. James Episcopal Church, at 71st, where well-born New Yorkers of a certain era were baptized, married, and laid to rest, to Ralph Lauren at the corner of East 72nd. Continue uptown, past the Whitney Museum at East 75th and the Carlyle Hotel at 76th. Before expiring from unrequited luxury lust, stop in at the neighborhood's justly famed consignment shops, Encore (#1132) and Bis Bis (#1134) and try on a discarded Armani suit or a once-worn evening dress by Dior. If you've never set foot in an auction house, stop by the William Doyle Galleries (175 E. 87th), a wonderful jumble of paintings, furniture, and professional decorators.

From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay

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