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Manhattan Valley

Manhattan Valley

Say the phrase Manhattan Valley and you’ll be viewed with awe. At least by those, like you, who are in the know.

But, really, do you know what it is? If you’re an Upper West Sider, you probably do. But for those unfamiliar, it’s a neighborhood within the environs of the west side. Origins date back to the 1800s.  The name is based on a depression in the landscape, hence “Valley.” Let’s plan an NYC Daycation here and impress your friends with your knowledge of some really interesting facts about the UWSWe’ll call this the “did you know” kind of an adventure.

Grab a coffee and pastry at La Toulousaine at 106th and Amsterdam. Then meander to 142 West 109th Street. Look up towards the 3rd floor. That was Barack Obama’s apartment when he arrived in NYC. 3E to be exact. The story goes that on his first night in NYC, this Upper West Side apartment was not available. So he slept in the alley and awoke find a homeless man showering from the nearby hydrant.

Next stop to stand in wonder: in front of the former NY Cancer Hospital at 455 Central Park West (105th).  Many of the rooms inside are round because at the time, it was believed that germs would hide and collect in the corners. True story! This castle-like building is now a luxury condo, and is reported to be haunted (check out our coverage of it in “Haunted Buildings of the Upper West Side“).  So maybe you want to return on some dark and stormy night.

Let’s now take a walk to Manhattan Avenue, around 105th Street, where you can admire some truly breathtaking townhouses!

Manhattan Valley

The Association for the Relief of Respectable, Aged and Indigent Females is the one-time name of a building at Amsterdam and 103rd.   In the early 1880s, there was a need for housing for widows of soldiers from the War of 1812 and Civil War. Due to the longer life spans of widows post-WWII, the home could no longer stay financially viable. It went through some hard times until it was preserved by the city, given landmark status, and is now a Youth Hostel.

OK, I’m hungry. Let’s end the day at Manhattan Valley, (Broadway and 100th) an aptly-named restaurant which keeps the theme alive, but is also considered the best Indian restaurant in the city!

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MJ Goff

MJ Goff

Freelance writer and author, MJ Hanley-Goff, found her life's passion while composing high school essays. Since then, she's enjoyed a successful writing career which began at Long Island's Newsday, and then moved to the Times Herald-Record in Orange County. She's a regular contributor to Orange Magazine which covers the talented craftspeople of the area, and to the award-winning site, WomanAroundTown.com, which features entertainment, book reviews, and trending topics of interest to its New York City audience. The mom of "the best two daughters," MJ is also a writing teacher, high school essay helper, and book coach. Read her blogs at www.JoyfulWriting.com.
MJ Goff

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