Sunday, August 26, 2007

City Walk #13 - Carnegie Hill & Beyond

Card no. 39 - photos
The museum-rich slice of the Upper East Side takes its name from the 64-room brick mansion built by industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1902 at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 91st.

Begin at 86th Street and Fifth Avenue (4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street).
For the best view of the classic buildings lining upper Fifth Avenue, most of which date from the 1920s, head uptown on the park side of the avenue before crossing at East 88th Street to the Guggenhein Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1959. (The museum's cafe makes an excellent lunch stop and can be entered directly near 88th Street.) On leaving, turn right up Fifth to the old Carnegie mansion, which fills the block between East 90th and 91st. Now housing the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, it is well worth an extended visit. Directly across East 91st Street are the handsome twin mansions of the Convent of the Sacred Heart; down the block on the south side is the Spence School, one of the city 's half-dozen elite schools for girls (it's Gwyneth Paltrow's alma mater). Turn left on Madison and left again on East 92nd Street to the Jewish Museum, a singular resource for Jewish art and Judaica, with a first-rate bookstore. Head uptown another ten blocks to two more museum treasures, the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio, which share a view of Central Park's most elegant and secluded six acres, the Conservatory Garden. Pass through the handsome iron gates - which once guarded the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth and East 58th (it was torn down in the 1920s to make way for Bergdorf Goodman) - and find a quiet spot to sit awhile in the 19th century.

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

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