Celebrate Spring With Sports At Fastbreak Sports!

It’s time to celebrate. Why? Well, Spring is here which means warmer weather and an opportunity to get out and explore the neighborhood! As a resident at Azure, you’re only about six blocks away from Fastbreak Sports, one of New York City’s premiere youth athletic programs. Fastbreak’s brand new facility offers a variety of sports developmental programming for all levels from kindergarten through high school. Located at 1629 First Avenue between 84th and 85th Streets, their impressive 7,000-square-foot indoor facility includes a state-of-the-art basketball court, private training area, parent viewing area, meeting and party room. The space was previously a movie theatre that took a year and a half to rebuild and renovate. Their patience paid off as they now have the perfect home that is column free, with 20 foot ceilings for all of their activities– ideal for all sports!

Fastbreak offers classes in basketball, baseball, flag football, soccer instruction and much more! They also offer summer camp programs from June through August, which are perfect if you want your kids to stay active and be close to home! We were lucky enough to get a tour of the facilities with Fastbreak’s owner, Lonny Levine, to learn more about their programming and were blown away by all of the resources they offer! More than just your basic sports center, Fastbreak also hosts birthday parties, holiday clinics and classes with IMG Basketball Academy, a world-leader in athletic training programs.

“We work to ensure that children of all ages are receiving the best instruction,” said Levine. “The multi-sport toddler program gives the kids a wonderful foundation for understanding team sports, while the training program for high school players focuses on speed, agility and intensive skill development for athletes trying to make their high school or even college team.”

Interested in learning more or signing up? Visit them! They’re open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. or you can register online at www.fastbreakkids.com, or by phone at 212-724-3278 for more information. 

A Family Affair at Drunken Munkey

This just in – a new Indian restaurant, Drunken Munkey (yes, with a “U”), has just opened around the corner from Azure on 92nd Street and First Avenue! We visited with the store’s owner, Arun Mirchandani, to learn more and were delighted by the charming restaurant playfully decorated with monkeys of every variety! Why the monkeys? Well, to make guests feel right in India since the monkey population is so large there!

The son of an Indian diplomat, Mirchandani moved around a lot growing up and was exposed to many different foods before settling in our own neighborhood – Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Open from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., Drunken Munkey is a great option for any meal, late night drink and even brunch on the weekends starting at 11 a.m.! Their bar features classic cocktails dating back to the 20’s and 40’s – we were told the crowd favorite is the Royal Enfeld Sidecar, which got its name from a colonial British Indian motorcycle company. The entire restaurant has a colonial Indian theme, and the food is served in a French bistro format. All main courses include rice, bread, yogurt and a side of dahl – India’s lentil stew! The menu features classic recipes – many were passed down the family line from Mirchandani’s grandmother, including her infamous Sindhl Fish Curry. His mother even personally instructs the chefs on how to prepare the dishes, and nothing is served without her approval!

“We serve food the way it was meant to be cooked – the way the dishes were originally made,” says Michandani. What do we have to say to that? Well done! The food is delicious and we hope you, too, will stop by to try it. For more information, give them a ring at 646-998-4600.

 

Pending Completion of the Second Avenue Subway Brings Value to Azure

The pending completion of the Second Avenue Subway is bringing big benefits to Yorkville and Azure. And others are starting to notice – Crain’s New York recently ran a profile on the uptick in both interest and prices on Second Avenue. Top retailers and independent shops, bars, and restaurants (many of whom we have profiled in past entries on this blog!) are all moving into the area and are enhancing our already lovely neighborhood.

This increase in interest has also led to an increase in appreciation – prices of condos on Second Avenue rose in 2013 for the first time in four years. Many attribute the rise in interest and value to the progress on the construction of the Second Avenue subway. The section closest to Azure – from 96th to 63rd streets is due to be finished in December 2016. This will bring close and convenient transportation to all Azure residents, who will now have a subway stop right outside their doorstop – much closer than the Lexington Avenue line.

The new Second Avenue line will eventually extend to Hanover Square in the Financial District – making the trip to the bottom of the island just as easy as hopping on the nearby FDR. The addition of the new line is long overdue – the Lexington Avenue lines carry about 1.8 million people per day! Once the Second Avenue line is completed, it is expected to service 200,000 people daily.

The new line is also benefitting home owners at Azure and other nearby properties – average condo prices in the area were up 8% from 2012, and are expected to continue to rise. There are only twenty homes left at Azure – including two spectacular penthouses – so be sure to come visit us soon!

Valentine’s Day at The Auction House

Wondering where to take your Valentine tonight? Head no further than only three blocks away from Azure at 89th Street and Second Avenue to The Auction House, but be sure to leave your fur at home – they enforce a no-fur policy here! Arguably the best date spot closest to Azure, the Victorian-styled lounge is an Upper East Side spot bringing the taste of Downtown, Uptown. Get there early to score an intimate corner table (decorated with their signature candles) – we were told it gets crowded later on – and enjoy a spot on their velvet couches with a specialty cocktail for a romantic night close to home! The lounge even has a fireplace for you to snuggle up to your Valentine next to! What could be better on a cold night like tonight? The lounge plays low-key music so you can still hear your significant other and the crowd is comprised of classy individuals, making for a lovely evening out. Be on the lookout for the bar when you walk by though – you won’t find a sign outside, and many people walk right past it! Open at 7:30 p.m. daily, the joint is open late – 2 a.m. during the week and 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Seems like a great neighborhood bar to us if you haven’t discovered it yet! Call (212) 427-4458 if you’re looking for more information!

Spend An Evening in England On the Upper East Side

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Jones Wood Foundry yet, you are certainly missing out! We recently visited this Upper East Side gem and were wowed by the quality of service, charming atmosphere, delicious drinks (you must try the mulled wine!) and hearty food. A mainstay at the corner of East 76thStreet and First Avenue (401 E. 76th Street), the pub found a home on the Upper East Side three years ago. We sat down with one of the partners, Stuart Holt, to learn more about the pleasant pub. Open seven days a week, Jones Wood Foundry prides itself on remembering its regulars (many come every day!) and creating a home away from home for its guests.

“We really strive to create a family here – not only do we remember names, but we also know their favorite drink and meal,” said Holt. “This began as a local watering hole with many of our most loyal customers coming from within a four block radius, but as the Upper East Side continuously becomes trendier we have become a destination spot as well.”

Signature dishes include Indian curries – every Monday is known as Curry Club, where different Indian curry dishes are featured weekly – fish and chips (naturally), bangers and mash, and other English delights. They are also well known for their weekend brunch – it’s on our list to come back for very soon!

If you weren’t sold yet, maybe this will help seal the deal – it also happens to be one of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones favorite spots, so stop by and grab a pint – we’re pretty sure you’ll feel right at home!

For more information on the joint, visit www.joneswoodfoundry.com or call 212-249-2700.

Super Bowl Weekend in NYC!

New York is hosting the Super Bowl this year, and as all New Yorkers know, we host the best celebrations! Super Bowl Boulevard, (Broadway from 34th to 47th Street) is home to a plethora of Super Bowl related activities for tourists and natives alike. Featuring a seven story toboggan run, you can enjoy this rare opportunity to toboggan in the middle of Times Square for just $5, which will be donated to the MillionTreesNYC charity. (Purchase tickets at 1095 Avenue of the Americas.) Other attractions include daily autograph sessions with past and current NFL players from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. between 39th and 40th Streets, photo ops with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, as well as nighty concerts at 8 p.m.

Animal Planet is there for those New Yorkers that are bigger puppy fans than football fans, hosting their annual Puppy Bowl at Discovery Times Square. Stop by to adopt a puppy in partnership with the ASPCA, or enter in their fantasy puppy league!

Another option to check out is PepCity, located in Bryant Park. Pepsi has arranged a 10,000 square-foot dome to celebrate the festivities, and is offering NYC themed food prepared by celebrity chefs David Burke, Marc Forgione, and Michael Psilakis.

If you’re looking for more information or recommendations of the best viewing spot for the game, head to the New York Times’ Super Bowl Guide – they’ve got it all covered and then some!

Best wishes from your friends at Azure for a wonderful Super Bowl weekend – whether you’re watching for the commercials, the halftime show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or the actual game (it’s the Denver Broncos vs. the Seattle Seahawks if you don’t know!), we hope you’re loving every second of it! The game airs at 6:30 p.m. on Fox on Sunday, February 2nd.

Happy Holidays & Cheers to 2014!

We had a wonderful year at Azure, and are so grateful for all of you! Highlights of our year include a fabulous penthouse design collaboration with James Rixner and Bjorn Bjornsson, hosting the New York Junior League tour, filming for a Saturday Night Live skit, and meeting so many of our neighbors — from restaurants, schools, boutiques or retail establishments! It has been a true pleasure meeting so many of the small business owners that make our area so unique and we are thrilled that so many new shops have recently opened right nearby! Stay tuned in 2014 for all of the important happenings on the Upper East Side – we have many more exciting interviews lined up, as well as updates on the Second Avenue Subway. It’s a great time to be living at Azure and we can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store. Wishing you all the joys of the holiday season as you celebrate Christmas and the New Year with your loved ones. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

Welcoming Trevor Day to the Neighborhood!

Recently, the Azure team was treated to a hard-hat tour of Trevor Day School’s newest location at 312 E. 95th Street (between First and Second Avenues, and only about five blocks away from Azure), which will serve students from grades seven through 12. Slated to open in Fall 2014, the modern, 14-story school will feature a multi-level main gym, a theatre and light-filled art studios, rooftop and outdoor garden space, advanced science labs, an environmentally friendly geo-thermal heating and cooling system, and panoramic Manhattan views in every direction.

With this new building, Trevor can also augment the school’s already highly collaborative and kinetic approach to teaching and learning. Intentionally designed common spaces populate every floor, encouraging students to use inquiry and interaction to become proactive agents of their own learning. The design also incorporates several interesting juxtapositions, such as the music wing sharing the same floor as athletic locker rooms, to promote interaction across disciplines and areas of interest.

Be sure to check out our blog or Facebook page for more updates on the neighborhood and the school. In the meantime, please enjoy some of our favorite photos from the tour here.

Welcome, Trevor Day!

 

Logos Book Store

New York native Harris Healy first began his career at Logos Book Store in 1985 as a cardbuyer for the shop. Since then, he has held every title from store clerk to manager, and is now the proud owner of the small shop. Located on 84th and York, the charming shop specializes in spirituality and children’s books. Harris chose to move the store to the Upper East Side because he wanted it to be located in a residential area with lots of families. “I grew up on 95th and Fifth, so this area has a special place in my heart and seemed like the perfect location for a small general store,” said Harris Healy, Owner of Logos Book Store.

Logos has a loyal local base of customers – one customer even started a book club, Kill Your T.V., at the store 15 years ago that is still going strong. Comprised of community members who share a love of reading, the club meets every month to discuss their latest novel. In the summer months they are even able to meet outside and enjoy the nice weather on the back porch of the shop. The club is open to everyone and they read a wide range of books from many different genres.

The children’s story time is another Logos staple that is very popular – they host a lively group of children ranging from birth to five years old for a fun hour of reading and sing-a-longs every Monday at 11 a.m. Other special events at the store include book launches and signings – visit the store’s site at http://www.logosbookstorenyc.com/aboutbio.html to stay up to date on all of the latest happenings! We can’t think of a better or more convenient place to stop by and find a new book to read; the staff is super friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, and it is just a quick walk from Azure!

The Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center

Curious about the progress of the 2nd Avenue subway? Look no further than 1628 Second Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets, where you can discover a multitude of resources at the Second Avenue Community Information Center (CIC).  The Center offers interactive displays about the project which allow visitors to scroll through a timeline and see archival photos, videos, letters and maps. Community outreach liaisons are also on site to address any concerns you may have. The Center also offers many programs – upcoming events include:

  • November 14thfrom 6 to 8 p.m.
    • East Side Middle School Art Reception
    • December 12thfrom 6 to 8 p.m.
      • Year in Review: Highlights of 2013 – Construction Milestones

RSVP to outreach@2avesubway.com to attend any of the above events or get more information.

The CIC is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and the second Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Be sure to stop by – once there, you can even enter a raffle to visit the tunnels underground yourself and see the historic project firsthand as it nears completion!