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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Refuge from Reality on the East Side

When I was the Associate Editor of Quest in the late ‘90s, I wrote a story about River House for my “Open House” column. The building, at 435 East 52nd Street, had long piqued my curiosity. I was aware that it was home to some of the city’s most powerful players and that it was extremely [...]

Toyland Revisited in the Flatiron District

Known for decades as The International Toy Building, 200 Fifth Avenue occupied a special place in my life. Fronting Madison Square Park on a full block between 23rd and 24th Streets, it was, for me, a wonderland filled with marvels worthy of Santa’s workshop. My great uncles owned Gund, the plush toy manufacturer and my [...]

Hell of a Ride on Third Avenue

Have you ever wondered why Third Avenue has so many undistinguished postwar high rises? Or why the Third Avenue façade of Bloomingdale’s looks basically like a block-long warehouse. The answer is the Third Avenue El, which was not torn down until 1955. The elevated train, which dated back to 1878, made the avenue undesirable for [...]