UWS Nuggets: New Park Boss, Street Closures, Max Caffe, Summer HD Festival

Upper West Side news nuggets

Here are some bite-sized bits of news for Upper West Siders.

The Riverside Park Conservancy has announced Merritt Birnbaum as its next President & Chief Executive Officer. Birnbaum is currently Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. She will begin her new role with the Riverside Park Conservancy on September 7, replacing Dan Garodnick (who was appointed in 2018). “Ms. Birnbaum will lead strategic programmatic growth and fundraising campaigns for the Conservancy as well as shepherd major capital projects in partnership with the Parks Department, with a particular focus on intensifying efforts in the northern half of the Park, which runs up to the George Washington Bridge,” states a press release.


While it’s a bit north of our typical coverage area, Columbia Spectator reports that Max Caffe will be closing its doors at the end of the month. Located at 122nd and Amsterdam Ave, the restaurant will be shutting down after 19 years. “Owner Tony Bruno told Spectator that rent was raised significantly but declined to disclose exact numbers.”

Con Edison is planning two street closures this month:

  • From August 15 to September 15 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays only), West 108th between Broadway and Amsterdam will be closed as a new gas main is being installed at 226 West 108th Street.
  • From August 15 to September 24 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekdays only), West 85th between Broadway and Amsterdam will be closed as a manhole roof is being replaced.

The Metropolitan Opera’s Summer HD Festival will be running from August 26 to September 6, with screenings taking place at Lincoln Center Plaza. The free event kicks off with a film screening of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Lincoln Square BID announced earlier this week. “The rest of the lineup features ten thrilling encore presentations from the company’s acclaimed Live in HD series of cinema transmissions.”

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