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Walking my last two-way street before 100th Street seemed like a momentous occasion. Mainly calm and residential, the street had all the essential prerequisites for the neighborhood: nail salons, tailors, veterinarians, laundromats, churches, etc. There were, however, a few unique places, offering a glimpse of what makes 96th Street special.

Eastern 96th Street starts in a flood zone, one that was evacuated during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The street steadily climbs to Third Avenue, where I gazed upon the magnificent structure that houses the Islamic Cultural Center of New York. The Center, which was built in 1991, faces Mecca.

From Islam, I turned towards Christianity with the St. Francis de Sales Church, a Catholic Church that was first established on 100th Street. On the same block, I discovered Gyro 96, which has already become a new favorite stop for the falafel-loving Manhattan Sideways team. The delicious Middle Eastern cuisine is served through a small window to the awaiting regulars who stand in line.

I was delighted to find Marjory Warren, a clothing and accessories store that had once been part of the vibrant 9th Streetcommunity. I spoke with Chris Warren, founder Marjory “Marj” Warren’s former daughter-in-law who told me about the history of the neighborhood, the personal journey of the store, and her wonderful relationship with Marj. I learned from her that though the south side of 96th Street is considered the Upper East Side/Carnegie Hill, the north side is technically designated as Harlem. 96th Street, therefore, is the first Harlem Street to go up on Manhattan Sideways.

I passed through Central Park’s “Woodman’s Gate” and exited on the other side through the “Gate of Saints.” I stopped atCho Gye Sa, a Korean Buddhist temple where Brother Do Am, who practiced Zen in the Korean Mountains for two decades, resides as Abbot.

A true hidden gem, located on the lower floor of a residential building, accessible only by elevator, was the Art Studio. There, Rebecca Schweiger and her instructors teach all ages and abilities the foundations of art in different media. Rebecca is certainly a large part of what she has termed a “cultural revolution,” in which Manhattanites are seeing the benefits of adding art into their lives.

I continued along a greenery-filled block, home to Plant Shed, a family-run plant shop that has been on the Upper West side for decades. From there, 96th Street intersects with Broadway and begins dipping below Riverside Drive to the Hudson.

Read more about every place on 96th Street!

 

Visit Marjory Warren Boutique as seen on Manhattan Sideways


         

   

Visit Marjory Warren Boutique as seen on ZTrend


 






Visit Marjory Warren Boutique as seen on Manhattan Sideways