Tag Archives: history

  • A Public Luxury: Bryant Park's Fancy Restrooms

    Can ‘public’ and ‘luxury’ be synonymous with each other? In New York, the answer is a resounding “yeaahh!” In fact, Bryant Park one of the city’s best-known public park also boats its most luxurious public restroom. 

    According to popular legend, the fancy restroom was built in 1992 after the famous philanthropist & socialite Brooke Astor, encountered a "hooligan” who tried to sell her drugs in the park. Astor asked her good friend David Rockefeller to clean up the area; and with the wave of a wand, the luxury bathroom came to life.

    The restroom recently underwent a $300,000 renovation with high-end fixtures, crown moldings, and imported tiling. The walls are now decorated with floral artwork by local artists, who often paint in the park's courtyard. The non-profit Bryant Park Corporation, which manages the park, foots the $75,000 per year bathroom bill, which includes a weekly fresh flower delivery.

  • Top Secret New York: Sylvan Terrace

    Sylvan Terrace is one of New York’s best kept secrets, even for many locals. Twenty quaint row houses line a side street in Washington Heights, Manhattan, where an unassuming staircase between apartment buildings on St. Nicholas Avenue leads up to this surprising sight. At the end of Sylvan Terrace, which was originally a carriage drive, sits the Morris-Jumel Mansion – the oldest house in Manhattan. The house is located inside the Roger Morris Park and once served as George Washington’s temporary headquarters during the Revolutionary War. It is also the former home of the politician Aaron Burr. Why does that name sound familiar? Perhaps the fact that Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote parts of his 2015 musical Hamilton here should be a hint.