A Day in Lenox Hill

Lenox Hill is a New York City neighborhood that owes its name to the Scottish immigrant Robert Lenox, a merchant who owned some 30 acres of the neighborhood in parts that became known as “Lenox Farm.” Today, the former farmlands have transformed into a gateway to the city from outer boroughs, and a birthplace of medical innovation.

Roosevelt Island Tramway

We’ll start this morning in Lenox Hill with something that’s a bit counter-intuitive… leaving Manhattan to go to Roosevelt Island. But don’t worry, this is a quick trip away you’re sure to enjoy… promise! The journey begins at the Tramway Plaza, home to the Roosevelt Island Tramway. The fifteen-minute tram trip is easily the most unique and affordable thrill the MTA has to offer. The tramway is one of three commuter aerial transit systems in the country — Mississippi Aerial River Transit and Portland Aerial Tram being the other two. And what’s even better is that you can use your monthly MTA card to access this city’s wonder that dates back to 1975. The views of the city are much different from above, so don’t hesitate to take this quick getaway and easy thrill. If you prefer to stay local to start your day, check out the beautiful parks nearby: John Jay Park and St. Catherine’s Park.


Lenox Hill Hospital

At first, it may strike you as odd to visit a hospital on your tour of the neighborhood, but the Lenox Hill Hospital on East 77th Street is an iconic landmark in medicine. The hospital, which consists of 10 buildings, and sits on the Upper East Side border, was originally founded in 1857 as the German Dispensary, moving to its current location in 1905. LHH is note for its numerous contributions to modern medicine, such as the installation of one of the first X-ray machines in the country in 1897 and the establishment of the first physical therapy department in America in 1907. Additionally, in 1973 the building became the nation’s first hospital to include a study in sports medicine. There are still many original parts of the hospital on display, like the sidewalk clocks and the spectacular main entrance facade.



Nothing’s more fun than a shopping trip to the landmark Bloomingdale’s building on 3rd Avenue. The Art deco building has been a fixture in the neighborhood since 1885, and was one the city’s earliest high-end department stores, affording an experience similar to that at Macy’s in Herald Square. This particular Bloomingdale’s, the retailer’s world headquarters, boasts interior décor that is true eye candy. It almost feels like you are shopping in the 1940s as many of the Art deco designs dominate the three levels with checkered black and white linoleum tiles and curved ceilings. The best time to visit, however, is during the Christmas season. Lights dominate the exterior and creative setups throughout the department store bring holiday spirit to old and young alike.


Park Avenue Armory

The arts scene of Lenox Hill is encapsulated under one roof – and it’s a pretty big one. The Park Avenue Armory has become one of the leading artistic venues in the city, and as it continues to undergo massive renovations (the costs have surpassed $200 million), the art complex continues to generate interest and fame for displaying unconventional art work with a concentration to performing art events and visual arts. The complex’s programming has partnered with Lincoln Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art in recent years as well.

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Now that you have ridden the city skies via a cable car, it’s time to get your belly filled. The best morning eats can be found at Veritable, a comfort food eatery that comes at you cafeteria-style. While some may think the place pretty straightforward, there’s nothing better than a perfectly-cooked omelette, and the guys at Veritable do a fantastic job in dishing out the breakfast favorite. The eatery is replete with an array of danishes and pastries, and of course, there’s pancakes and waffles to devour.


Serendipity 3

Today’s lunch could be a perfect time to make it to Serendipity 3. The storied sweet shop, with its classic yet quirky decor (with its many Tiffany glass lampshades), has attracted many celebs such as former President Bill Clinton and Andy Warhol, who declared the shop their favorite for sweets. But there’s more to Serendipity 3 than just cakes… this was the city’s first boutique coffee house when it opened back in 1954. For the traditional diner, there’s also a lunch menu with tasty finger foods like hot spring wings (served in charred sweet and spicy sauce), dim sum, and shrimp-stuffed avocado, while comfort food like meatloaf, burgers and steak are mainstays on the menu.


Treadwell Farm Historic District

The Treadwell Farm Historic District was one of first historic districts established in the city and is dominated by four-story brownstone residences. The area still sports many turn-of-the-century apartment buildings that remain remarkably original. The centerpiece of the district is the Church of Our Lady of Peace, which was built in 1886 and continues to showcase its original Victorian Gothic style. Several notable residents called the stretch home, including actress Kim Novak, actor Montgomery Clift, and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

A Night in Lenox Hill


Hunter College

As you travel the neighborhood, you will come across a number of educational institutions that hold historic significance in the city. There’s Marymount Manhattan College, and then there’s Hunter College, which was established in 1870 as an all-female school. The college has transformed to one of the most decorated under the City University of New York system, most notably in the arts and educational fields. The school has produced a long list of entertainers like director Robert Altman, singer Harry Connick Jr., actor Edward Burns, actor Vin Diesel and singer Bobby Darin. You can tour the college’s most storied building, Thomas Hunter Hall, which was built in 1914 and maintains much of its original design. While there, you may also decide to tour the Roosevelt House, which was original home the Roosevelts (Sara and Franklin) before it was sold to Hunter College in 1943.


The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites

There aren’t many craft cocktail or beer places that can stand up to The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites. The beer specialist is tucked alongside the entrance to the 59th Street Bridge and features 29 drought beers and another 39 types of canned beers. The most popular choice is the Bell’s Oberon, while pretty much every Singlecut Brewery beer you could savor is also available. The brewery is based in Astoria and has quickly become the city’s next big craft brewer.

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The dinner choice shouldn’t be a hard one, given how one of the country’s best is right in your neighborhood with the presence of Daniel. The contemporary French restaurant is owned and operated by renowned Chef Daniel Boulud, who owns numerous other dining establishments in the city. The distinctive yet contemporary setting boasts a neo-classical design, but it’s the food that is the standout here. The way to go here is the seven-course tasting menu that features fruits de mer, veal sweetbreads and wagyu beef. Yes, it’s pricey, but you only live once and you may not have a better culinary experience… ever.


Subway Inn

Your late nights will end up at the Subway Inn. The florescent signage is eye-catching and the homey interior creates a quaint environment, so naturally the bar is considered by many to be the quintessential New York City dive bar. But the story of this bar – and the reason it received its name – is that it was once the entrance to the subway at 60th and Lexington. If you want to try another cozy dive, then make your way to Donohue’s about 4 blocks north on Lex.

Words by Arte Vincent

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Erik Serras
Erik Serras
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Residential Division
Office: 718.840.2757
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