A Day in Yorkville

To think that in 1776, this small patch of Manhattan Island was critical in winning the American Revolutionary War… is an amazing thought. But what is even more thought-provoking is that Yorkville, NYC was home to the largest German community in the country at one point. Nowadays, the neighborhood acts as the heart of the mayoral powers with Gracie Mansion on its waterfront.

Carl Schurz Park

The sun reflects off the East River and paints your face as you enter Carl Schurz Park, one of the city’s most beautiful parks, which overlooks the historic Hell Gate Bridge and Wards Island. A stroll in the park could take hours as it’s kind of large – about 15 acres to be exact. The park features some beloved attractions such as the Peter Pan statue and John Finley Walk on its promenade. The waterfront promenade uniquely sits above the bustling FDR Drive and creates a soothing sight, while its other major attraction is the famed Gracie Mansion, home of the mayor of New York City.


Archibald Gracie Mansion

Before Archibald Gracie Mansion became the city’s version of the White House, this landmark was the site of where George Washington once commandeered his army during the American Revolutionary War. Now the building has become the mind-center for the city as it’s entrusted to housing the mayor of the city. Some recent mayors, didn’t reside at the mansion but instead used the historic building for official meetings and events. Still, the Federal style 18-century building remains a marvel for tourists and locals alike.


The Ant Farm of NYC

As you noticed, the neighborhood is family-friendly, with its indoor pools and Peter Pan statues, but the best family attraction is something you wouldn’t think of… The Ant Farm of NYC. The Ant Farm is a petting zoo located in a basement of an apartment building. Yes, that’s right – in a basement. But the popularity has been unwavering, as the indoor urban farm’s roster includes live animals such as chinchillas, bunnies, turtles and Guinea pigs.


Asphalt Green

As you will notice, this part of the city is quite residential and laid back, so that may inspire you to be more active. That’s where Asphalt Green has become such a critical part of the fabric of this NYC neighborhood. The sports complex has become the city’s leading proponent in fitness… and it’s pretty massive. The main part of the sports center is the impressive Olympic-sized indoor pool, one of the largest in the city. Add to that sprawling outdoor fields, which actually play host to a snowman-making competition in the winter, and Asphalt Green is sure to become your go-to spot.

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Glaser’s Bake Shop

Imagine starting your mornings at a bakery that’s more than 110 years old. Got it? Good. The Glaser’s Bake Shop is around 113 years young and it continues to produce some of the most consistently amazing baked goods you will ever ingest. The family-owned bakery has become an institution in your neighborhood as it pumps out homemade doughnuts, cookies, breads and pastries. Yes, there’s coffee there too, so you don’t need to look any further for all your morning needs. Just make sure you don’t come Mondays, as that’s the shops day off and it will be closed. If Monday go-juice and pastries are needed, however, then head out to DTUT or Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter III.


Pizza Beach

The lunchtime establishment of Pizza Beach, a newbie to the neighborhood, has given residents a unique escape with its beach-themed concept, and the laid-back atmosphere that features surfboards on the wall and Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling. Think California’s Santa Monica Beach. The decor is so dead-on that it makes you feel like you are having pizza on the beach, and while kitschy, the pizza is good – even for New Yorkers. There’s fun toppings such as coconut curry and rock shrimp, but if PB doesn’t do it for you there’s another great option nearby at Cascabel Taqueria.


Lester’s Shopping Center

With the presence of nearby Bloomingdale’s, the Lester’s Shopping Center clearly plays second fiddle. However, the shopping center has become a hidden treasure of sorts, having transformed into a family-driven establishment with a children’s clothing section that will turn your children into young fashionistas. They carry brands like Juicy Couture, True Religion and Perry Ellis. The all-in-one shop has surely become a destination for fashion-savvy NYC moms.

A Night in Yorkville



As mentioned, the Yorkville section of the city was a long-standing German neighborhood, and that is clearly on display when you enter Heidelberg for dinner. The decor screams “German!” with its pictures and presence of German beer steins. The restaurant is one of the oldest family-run German restaurants in the country, and the authentic menu hasn’t changed much in its 100-plus years of existence. There’s many German sausages (or bratwurst) with six types on the menu such as the krainer brand (smoked garlic) and weisswurst (veal sausage). If you are in the mood for something else, then you have your choice with Little Frog, Bar Prima, and Dorrian’s Red Hand Restaurant, all located nearby.


Supply House

The bars in Yorkville are nondescript and have the old-school New York atmosphere, and if you feel like just letting loose and relaxing, then you have your choice of booze-driven, divey bars like Merrion Square and Phil Hughes Bar. There’s also Supply House, an industrial-style bar that has become a haven for live music, college students and football fans – courtesy of its spacious setting.

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The Penrose

The craft cocktail scene has slowly seeped into this quiet and tame NYC neighborhood. There’s specialized spots like Caledonia (a whiskey bar), Ryan’s Daughter and Bar Felice, but the best of the bunch is The Penrose. The contemporary Irish gastropub, with its presence of wooden tables and benches as well the typewriters and old portraits, makes you feel like you are in an Irish countryside bar. The Penrose is for the whiskey lover, as the bar offers some rare finds such as the 18-year-old Highland Park and the even-harder-to-find Pappy Van Winkle.

Words by Arte Vincent

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Erik Serras
Erik Serras
Principal Broker
Residential Division
Office: 718.840.2757
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