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July 31, 2019



I have lived in Yorkville since early 1986 and I have to say that no other thoroughfare looks more like a Jersey mall that 86th between Lex and York. There were still some German places up until the early 90s but now all you have are Schaller & Weber and The Heidelberg. The amount of glass towers is incredible. Where do they find the tenants for all these towers where the condos start at 1.5 million with a huge amount of maintenance and taxes? By the way, I want to say “kudos” to S&W for recently refusing to sell even though they were offered 24 million. No doubt that another ugly steel and glass tower would have been built on their space which has not changed much in 80 or 85 years except for expanding into the next storefront south of their original store.


I lived on east 95th from my mid teens until just after college. I loved everything about the UES from 96th down to about 79th—this was the mid 90s up to around 9/11-ish... Exponentially safer and civilized with every year, a quiet respite from a downtown that I still only felt comfy dipping my toes into here and there. Good, cheap food still abounded. Beautiful blocks to take walks down in the middle of the night listening to my discman. Pretty preppy girls who would never give me the time of day but I was always inspired to try for their attention. No fucking cell phones. I remember that time and area fondly.

I had no idea back then that the gradual stability coming to NYC would open the floodgates for the robber-barons of the world financial system to rape it to its core. Now, when I walk around the UES, I recognize very little. As the previous poster mentioned, 86th looks like some sort of suburban shopping strip plopped into Manhattan. Little mom and pop businesses that thrived for decades now sit as vacant, dark pock marks on entire blocks of high rent blight. Places that served entire generations like the Ray's on 2nd and 95th as providers of cheap sustenance and a place to just *be* for a little while—whether teenager or elderly or in-between—get ripped out seemingly overnight, replaced by vacant space that will undoubtedly rotate between overwhelmed and indebted tenants for decades to come.

Everything is cyclical, so I'm sure at some point Manhattan will become scorched commercial Earth and individualism and the middle class will thrive again within its confines. But I don't see that happening in our lifetimes. At least I have my memories.


Shoutout to the Yorkvillains.


There were a row of derelict buildings on york ave.betwixt 85th and 84 when I was a kid.Finally torn down in '69 and that wasnt the only place in that hood.Landlords just couldnt turn a profit sometimes.Look at the south bronx.
And in the summer the streets smelled like a outhouse from all the dog excretions.Carl schurz was worse.Dog owners felt it was their personal bathroom until they passed the feces act in the 1970s.Left deutsche town in 75 when i went into the service.My family sold the place in 85.We never made a profit from the tenants.


I did a search for the 84th street gang and was so happy to find some evidence of its existence. I grew up in Yorkville too. Not sure if you remember Game Room on 1st and 77, but the gang hung out there and caused trouble. In terms of safety, the area was very block-to-block in those days. I too left for downtown after graduating college but my parents stayed in the same apartment on the UES until they passed away.


LOL Give me a break! Downtown looks like a mall too!

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