Andrew Alpern gave a talk at the New York Public Library a few weeks ago about the newest edition of his book “Holdouts! The Buildings That Got in the Way.”  He ended with a neutral statement: “Holdouts are neither all good nor all bad. They simply are.”  But it seemed to me that his sentiments leaned toward the negative.

Alpern opened his illustrated presentation with the image of a lonely, two-story building on an otherwise cleared city block, saying, “This is not a holdout.  It is the container of a holdout.”

Holdouts are the people who refuse to sell their property to make way for new developments.  You can see the results of holdouts throughout the city, wherever a tiny building is squished between two towers (one example: 592 Eighth Avenue).

This sort of sight always makes me smile; I think I would like to live in the little building. Continue reading “”


This Wednesday January 26, 2011
come see “Upon My Word”
a musical play written by Alec Coiro, produced by Erin Krause.
I saw it once and it is HILARIOUS! And I am going back for more!!!
Buy tix soon because it will sell out again!!!
152 WEST 71ST ST

Continue reading “UPON MY WORD!”

UES Crime: The Starbucks Bombing

Yesterday, Monday morning, around 3:30am, a small homemade bomb went off outside a Starbucks on 92nd Street and 3rd Avenue.  The blast destroyed an outdoor bench, shattered some of the store’s windows, and was heard and felt by nearby residents.  So far, surveillance footage and one witness implicate two teens in the crime.

I strolled by the victimized Starbucks later in the day, around 7pm.  A few news vans were parked in the area, but the bench and broken glass seemed to have been replaced and the place was up and running, packed with coffee drinkers.


And across 3rd Avenue, Ron Burgundy was on the scene, interviewing the locals.

Small Bomb Goes Off Outside Upper East Side Starbucks
[NY Daily News]

Petak’s Closed WTF!

Carnegie Hill is changing fast.  I go to the West Coast for one week and Petak’s closes! Katie texted me while I was in Las Vegas and I was shocked.  I walked by the empty store the other night and passed a man carrying a Petak’s bag- I looked at the sign on the store window, then at him and he returned a knowing, sad look.  Soon the plastic Petak’s bag won’t be a UES accessory like the Fairway bag continues to be on the West side.

LISTS FOR CARNEGIE HILL (confined to my limited walking area)


  • Petak’s = Closed (I lament the loss of their chicken noodle soup, chicken nuggets, and skinny potato pancakes they had only during holidays, among other things.)
  • Bolton’s = Closed (always wondered who shopped there except my grandmother when she used to visit from the nursing home in Philly when I was little.  Bolton’s was in that spot for at least 30 years?)
  • Didi’s Children’s Boutique = Closed  (out of all the baby stores I did think this one was kind of cool because of all the wooden German import toys.  Could find unique gifts.)
  • Continue reading “Petak’s Closed WTF!”

Budget Guide and stuff

I’m calling a little break here, because I don’t have time to really do the quality work for the site that I want to – although I promise to come back soon with some substantial stuff – but for now please check out:

The U.E.S. Journal’s Budget Guide to the U.E.S. in the new travel issue of the zine
Take the Handle.