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The U.E.S. Journal

Yearly Archives: 2007

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U.E.S. Animals Part Deux: Cats

Photos by Rebs
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Buttery Rebuttal (from the U.W.S.)

by Theodore Barrow

Your response to my point has set the tone of the dialogue between the two of us: breezy and sugar-coated yet mordant and vicious. Not unlike a molasses-covered glob of feces shat from the fiery sphincter of Cerberus, the three-headed hound of the Upper East Side. You are a worthy adversary, despite your blue-blood, and your argument, albeit fallacious, was a pleasure to read in its frivolity.

Nonetheless, your words do smite, not in the sense that they bear any semblance to what I and most sane New Yorkers consider to be self-evident truth, but because, feeble as your attempt is, you besmirch my beloved berg, and that I will NOT stand for. No, madame, I do not abide wanton and haphazard insults flung across my dear (Central) Park, insults whose empty meaning bespeaks nothing more than the folly of idle privilege. You see, while we Upper West Siders may revel in watching the sun set over the Hudson river, submerging its golden light behind the grillade of bucolic boughs of Riverside park, enjoying our picnic baskets from Zabar’s, we do not take such insults lightly. As one of our many accolades said in his ode to the (soon to be) Upper West Side, “We prefer to fight you more like a man, and beat you down, with our hands, and body slam you in the Wild Wild West”.

Be that as it may, I will show you the meaning of delicacy and restraint, if not to say modesty. You see, although I’m quite certain that the Upper West Side could beat up the Upper East Side, (who would really win in a fist fight, Jon McEnroe or Brooke Astor?) I choose to take the high road, as is the intellectual tradition of our neighborhood, and keep this beef verbal. Read more →

Rebuttal

It has been an exercise in restraint and modesty, leaving this blasphemy unchecked for so long. But my faith in your faith is strong and the truth will out. Mr. Barrow has made a valiant and creative effort in claiming The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park for the West Side, based on their locations West of Fifth Avenue. I do have a soft spot for logic, but his is the logic of a child who takes the few teachings he possesses as literal.

Not everything is so black and white, or East and West. If you ask any “sane” New Yorker, I believe they will tell you that The Met is on the Upper East Side and they will certainly say that Central Park is neither part of the Upper East nor the Upper West Side. Wikipedia, which is becoming an increasingly more accurate reflection of fact as well as general consensus lists The Metropolitan Museum of Art under Landmarks and Cultural Institutions of The Upper East Side.

Although I haven’t taken the trouble to find a document explicitly setting forth Central Park’s neutralness, I challenge Mr. Barrow to find one historical document which specifically supports his claims about The Met and Central Park belonging to The Upper West Side.

In researching my rebuttal I have realized that Mr. Barrow’s argument highlights an ambiguity in the demarcation of our two neighborhoods. I believe this confusion lies in the fact that the terms Upper East Side and Upper West Side actually have nothing to do with the more general terms of East Side and West Side.

East Side and West Side are geographical designations. They extend so far up and down Manhattan that there is no consistent cultural common ground between them.  However, Read more →

Central Park and The Met, Just a Couple of the Upper West Side’s Greatest Attractions

by Theodore Barrow

I’ve been all over New York City, which is to say strictly Manhattan, from Battery to Fort Tyron, Clinton to Norfolk, Gay Street to Jay street, and it all pales in comparison to the glorious Upper West Side. Yes, that grid of fantastic beauty that exquisitely stretches from 59th street up to Columbia, dripping with dank gloomy doorman buildings and brownstones that look like they were carved by Praxitiles himself (if he worked in mud and did chintzy ornament on brick), chock full of parks, malls, Sturgeon shops, and universities, this is truly the best neighborhood. Why, without even leaving the West Side, I can buy clothes at Filene’s Basement, an over-priced smoky bagel at H & H, trip out on dinosaurs, and, if I’m feeling hip, just skip over to the Met for the latest, which is to say 16 years old, Damien Hirst sensation.

What’s that? Yeah, that’s right, I said it. I said that I can go over to the Met, which means crossing central park, and not leave my beloved Upper West Side. This may seem like a surprise to most New Yorkers, but I’m not most New Yorkers. Shit, I’m not even any New Yorker, I’m an Upper West Sider, and damn proud of it.

That’s why I’m claiming the Met for the Upper BEST Side. You Upper Yeast Siders don’t even go to the museum, anyway. You can’t be bothered to cross 5th ave, which by the way is the OFFICIAL east/west dividing line, to visit the Met because you know, deep down, that it is a West Side Institution. You see those big blocks of un-carved stone on the top of the four entablatures? Those are actually hide outs for an elite force of militant Upper West Siders, ready at any moment to shower you Snobby East siders with bagels and lox, if ever this inevitable east/west beef really jumps off. Be Read more →

Playhouse 91 to Become Pentecostal Church


Playhouse 91, a 299-seat theater, was built in 1980 in a former stable and ice house. It hosted various theater companies over the years staging productions such as Arthur Miller’s After the Fall, Spook House, A Bronx Take, and The Syringa Tree. Some notable actors who performed there are Harvey Fierstein, Chaz Palminteri, and Frank Langella. Menopause, The Musical, Playhouse 91′s last production, ran for four years.

So what’s coming to the neighborhood? A little research on the Read more →

Christmas is in the Eyes of the Beholders

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The 63rd Annual Park Avenue Christmas Tree Lighting took place tonight outside of The Brick Presbyterian Church on 91st Street. Having somehow never attended or even bumped into one of these ceremonies in my twenty-five years here, I never realized that the trees along the Park Avenue meridian are actually all “Christmas Trees.” Will I look at them a little differently now? Maybe. It’s one of those Platonic/ontological mysteries.

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A Survey of U.E.S. Vanity Plates

CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY NEW BLOG JUST ABOUT VANITY PLATES!  I can’t walk by one with out taking a picture so I figured I might as well do something with all of them – not just from The U.E.S.

A few months ago I was walking down Park Avenue with Jay Israelson and he pointed out a very funny vanity plate. It read “I Broker.” We assumed it was referencing “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov, but even if it wasn’t, it was still classic U.E.S. (Upper East Side). Read more →

Shame

by Julian Tepper

A spring evening in New York and here, once again, piled into Alexander Ames’s bed were Clyde Foreman, Paul Loopy, Phil Owen, Eve Hecht, Emma Beckman—as well as Alexander himself—together now like on most days where they occupied the lunch-table, a corner of the classroom or the steps outside their high school. Emma lay to the right of Alexander, her right arm resting on his leg, her hand opened over his knee. A frail girl with dark hair and a crooked nose, she had on a perfume smelling of sunflowers that her mother had brought home for her just yesterday. She wore a black cashmere sweater and a white skirt, the length of which would have resulted in her dismissal from school. Read more →

Keeping it Real


Team Facelift

upper east side fixation debunked!

Last week I saw an e-mail in my inbox from Andrew Kuo with the above title and thought, wha?? Cool. Then I opened it and it was a mass e-mail promoting HUGS, the night he DJ’s at Lit. And I was like, whatever! But now it’s a week later, I’m uptown and a little lonely and thinking about going out. I just read it again, and decided even though it’s a mass e-mail advertisement for a “night” at a downtown club that is kind of smelly, it seems honest and I love Paul Simon. You win Andrew. I’m coming to Lit. And maybe some other lonely soul that reads this in the next few hours will come out and have fun too.

Subject: upper east side fixation debunked!
Date: September 23, 2007 3:38:04 PM EDT
From: Andrew Kuo

“but i would not give you false hope
on this strange and mournful day”  Read more →

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