A Day On the Upper East Side

Occasionally, we have the privilege of playing tourist in our own neighborhood.  Maybe you have visitors in town for the day, and they want to experience everything that the Upper East Side has to offer.

Pretend to be doing a favor for your guests, but take it as an opportunity to rediscover the fundamentals, and fall in love with the Upper East Side anew.

9:00 AM - Into the Wild

Where else to begin: head into Central Park, which offers great people and nature-watching during every season. Spend time meandering along random paths that will lead you to various gems, but definitely end up at the Central Park Boathouse. If you are in the mood for some exercise, rent a rowboat and float around the pond. If not, get a seat at the bar and watch others do the work.

Central Park Boathouse:
E 72nd, New York, NY 10028
(212) 517-2233

11:00 AM - Brunch, in Style

Every New Yorker knows that the only proper way to start the weekend is with brunch, an undertaking that almost always involves mimosas, cappuccinos, and the Sunday Style Section of the New York Times.

Why not gussy things up a bit at Cafe Boulud, the namesake of chef Daniel, whose flagship isn’t open to early birds.  Nosh on all of the brunch staples, but with a signature Franco flair.  The 3-course menu, replete with a molten chocolate cake (at brunch, no less!) will leave you sated for hours.

Cafe Boulud:
20 E 76th Street, New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-772-2600

1:00 PM - Art Fest 

The best place to walk off your brunch is one of New York City’s celebrated, tried-and-true art museums. You can enjoy one or even a few since they are all consolidated on the Upper East Side’s grand Museum Mile.

If you are looking for more traditional offerings, head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and check out the newly re-opened Old Masters Drawings (Don’t miss the temporary fashion exhibit either; it is always edgy and superb).  For contemporary art, head to the Guggenheim and make your way slowly down the spiraling exhibition.

MET: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
(212) 535-7710

Guggenheim: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128
(212) 423-3500

6:00 PM - The Happiest Hour of the Day

Don’t miss out on Happy Hour, the chance to unwind and rejuvenate for the night ahead. With the microbrew revolution in full swing, craft beer enthusiasts should check out the Jones Wood Foundry, a swank, English-country style pub with delicious dark ales and cozy benches.

Jones Wood Foundry:
401 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
(212) 249-2700

9:00 PM - Dinner in a Little Black Dress

Head to dinner, which on the Upper East Side is not only the time to explore worldly offerings but to see and be seen. The Arlington Club, a chophouse and sushi joint that mixes old-school charm with new-age cool leaves nothing to be desired.

The Arlington Club:
1032 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10021
(212) 249-5700

11:00 PM - Onwards – Singing and Dancing

Style doesn’t equal stodginess. If you’ve got the dancing itch head to Lavo, a trendy spot whose basements attract a well-heeled, happy crowd not ashamed to get loose on the dance floor.

For a more traditional New York experience, visit Bemelmans Bar, the iconic spot in The Carlyle hotel. Named for the creator of the ‘Madeline’ books, this haunt is the next-door neighbor of the famed Cafe Carlyle, known foremost its jazz–Woody Allen is a regular on clarinet.

39 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022
(212) 750-5588

Bemelmans Bar:
35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10075
(212) 744-1600