Oh, to live on Gramercy Park! For over 180 years, a Gramercy Park address has inspired excitement and longing in countless generations of real estate obsessed New Yorkers. Steeped in romance and tradition, this tucked-away jewel-of-a-garden has regally borne witness to endless city intrigues, politics, and scandals. In a city where the landscape shifts before your very eyes, Gramercy Park remains staunchly and unapologetically the same as it ever was. Private. Beautiful. Insular. Desirable. Not a bad racket for one square block of fenced in greenery. For all these reasons and more, we decided to focus our lens on this remarkable neighborhood where the glory of New York City’s past stands shoulder to shoulder with the present. And we’ll bring it all to you in less than four and a half minutes running time! We hope you enjoy it.
Long ago when I lived in a ratty little abode on Third Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets, there was a dark, musty and oddly wonderful sanctuary just up the way past 22nd Street. It was the perfect toasty hang out for a tall stout on a bitter snowy night or the perfect meatlocker-esque refuge from a sweltering summer evening for fish and chips and a cold glass of something. I found out yesterday that some things (thankfully) do not change.
Dark mahogany bar, beamed ceiling, sawdust packed floor and all, the folks at Molly’s Shebeen on Third Avenue between 22nd and 23rd make sure the place feel like midnight all day…in the best possible way. It stands at the top of a long list of classic Irish bars/restaurants that must be visited and/or frequented in this town so rich with a long and sorted Gaelic past. A drinking and eating establishment in one form or another since 1895, Molly’s has some of the best Shepherd’s Pie and Fish and Chips around. You also need to give the Corned Beef and Cabbage a shot. But the real winner here is the smooth and creamy perfectly poured pint of Guinness. It was good to see my old friend. I’ll make sure to visit again soon, sweet Molly.
34 Gramercy Park is actually the city’s first co-op. It was built in 1883 with only three apartments to a floor. It has a fabulously ornate lobby and, at the time it was built, was one of the very few residential buildings in the city to have an elevator. A hydraulic Otis elevator, in fact, that was in use until 1994 when the co-op board was finally forced to replace it. Over the years, celebrities such as Margaret Hamilton (The Wicked Witch of the North) and James Cagney have lived here. The apartments inside are sweet…and very expensive.
If you have ever had the opportunity to take a stroll around Gramercy Park, you know that is hard to miss the fantastically amazing and ornate National Arts Clubat 15 Gramercy Park South. I walked past it this morning, and decided it was high time I get in there for a look.