Thu Sep 29, 2016

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This Week's Chef's Table Menu: Week of September 26th

This Week's Daily Hot Lunch Menu ($10) from our "Chef's Table" at Butterfield Market!
Categories: Blogs

This Week's Chef's Table Menu: Week of September 19th

This Week's Daily Hot Lunch Menu ($10) from our "Chef's Table" at Butterfield Market!
Categories: Blogs


Upper East Side Theater - Sun, 09/18/2016 - 20:03
            Depending on your point of view, Edward Snowden is either an American hero or a traitor.  His true story of exposing classified Government information has been well documented in the press and in the excellent documentary, "Citizenfour". Now comes the "dramatization" of his story by director, Oliver Stone.            Known for incendiary films in the past, Mr. Stone takes a rather pedestrian approach to telling Mr. Snowden's story. He presents the facts as he knows them but stretches and bends the truth for the sake of  absorbing storytelling, using his self proclaimed (at the beginning of the film) "dramatization" as his out.              The film starts in 2013 in Hong Kong, where Mr. Snowden, played by Joseph Gordon- Levitt, tells his story to journalists from The Guardian" played by Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson. The event is documented by filmmaker,  Laura Poitras, played by Melissa Leo ( the aforementioned, "Citizenfour"). The story then jumps back in time to Mr. Snowden's time in the military and what leads to various jobs at the CIA and NSA. Early on, we are also introduced to Lindsey Mills, played by Shanilene  Woodley, the young woman who quickly becomes his girlfriend. The film also co-stars Nicolas Cage as a trainer at the CIA, Timothy Olyphant, as a CIA field operative, and Rhys Ifans, as his senior CIA trainer and mentor,  Corbin O'Brian.        If not for the score, the film would be completely lacking of suspense. The music creates an atmosphere of tension and paranoia that is truly represented in just a few scenes. The rest of the film is saved from utter boredom by the excellent acting of Mr. Gordon-Levitt. The film is really a character study of Mr. Snowden and Mr. Gordon-Levitt, an engaging and thoroughly committed actor, does a fine job in his accurate portrayal. Mr. Ifans is also excellent as Mr. O'Brian, the type of character he has never played before and he is chilling. Ms. Woodley's role calls for her to be eternally understanding and smile a lot.           It is clear that Mr. Stone sees Mr. Snowden as a hero, blatantly in fact, as he exits the CIA bunker bathed in light with his stolen documents. Directing without his usual fireworks and even craziness, the film leaves little in the way of entertainment or controversy. Mr. Snowden's real story is controversial enough and the film disappointingly adds nothing on it's own to the real life drama that continues even today.
Categories: Blogs

Rosh Hashanah!

Our Rosh Hashanah Menu is here! You can download our menu here (pdf). To place your order, please call 212-772-8782, press 3, or fax to 212-772-2506.All orders must be placed by Monday 9/26 at 4pm.
Categories: Blogs

Yom Kippur!

Our Yom Kippur Menu is here! You can download our menu here (pdf). To place your order, please call 212-772-8782, press 3, or fax to 212-772-2506.All orders must be placed by Friday 10/7 at 5pm.
Categories: Blogs

Check out FRIENDS’ Fall Events!

Friends of the Upper East Side - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 14:33

Image copyright Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers

The “Spirit” of the Gilded Age

Come for a drink as we talk about high society with author Esther Crain of The Gilded Age in New York, 1870-1910. A transformative time in New York City’s history, the Gilded Age is known as a period of growth, wealth, skyscrapers, lavish parties, and rapid social change. The Upper East Side boasts some of the most spectacular mansions of the period, built by millionaires along the “Gold Coast” of Fifth Avenue. While names like Astor, Vanderbilt, Frick, and Carnegie left their mark along Millionaire’s Row, hundreds of thousands of immigrants crowded into tenements in Yorkville, the “other” half of the Upper East Side. Esther Crain, who writes the popular Ephemeral New York blog, illustrates this period of great extremes through the use of historic photography, personal diaries, newspapers, and more in her new book. Join FRIENDS and the author for drinks, discussion, and a look at Gilded Age life. Jazz music by legendary guitarist Gene Bertoncini to follow.

Thursday, October 20th 6:30 p.m.

Ryan’s Daughter 350 East 85th Street

$10 members. $20 non-members To register, click here.

A view from East End Avenue, c. 1941 (Photo by MCNY)

East River Vistas: Architecture and Changing Lifestyles in Yorkville

Once home to bucolic farmland, the eastern edge of Yorkville was dotted with clapboard farmhouses and country houses, and later transformed into an industrial hub of factories by the turn of the 20th century. As immigrants settled in Yorkville, tenement buildings were constructed, and by the 1930s the area around East End Avenue was home to luxury apartments designed by elite architects. Join the Historic Districts Council and FRIENDS as we track this fascinating history of housing in eastern Yorkville with architectural historian and famed tour guide, Francis Morrone. Highlights will include East End Avenue, Gracie Square, and Carl Schurz Park, model tenements such as the Cherokee Apartments, the idyllic rowhouses at Henderson Place, and everything in between, including the biggest white brick high-rise in the universe!

Sunday, October 30th 2:00 p.m.

Meeting location provided upon registration.

$10 members, $20 non-members To register, click here.

Presented by the Historic Districts Council’s Six to Celebrate program:STC-logo


A rendering of the new exhibit space (Image by MCNY)

New York at Its Core: A Special MCNY Tour

Want to learn more about our city’s rich history? Come along with FRIENDS for a special, after-hours private tour of the Museum of the City of New York’s upcoming new permanent exhibit, New York at Its Core. Featuring more than 400 objects and state-of-the-art interactive displays, the exhibit will trace the history of New York from a small Dutch village into one of the most prominent cities in the world. Held across three galleries, the exhibit is shaped by four themes that provide a lens for examining the character of the city: money, diversity, density, and creativity. Trace the stores of famous New York personalities such as Alexander Hamilton, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z and more, while viewing rare objects such as Milton Glaser’s original concept sketch for the “I Heart New York” campaign. Space is limited on this exclusive tour, so be sure to register early!

Thursday, December 8th 6:00 p.m.

The Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Avenue

$10 members, $20 non-members To register, click here.

Categories: Blogs, News

FRIENDS Summer 2016 Newsletter: Hot off the Press!

Friends of the Upper East Side - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 16:13

newsletter-thumbnailStay updated on all of the latest FRIENDS news with our Summer 2016 Newsletter! Become a member today to receive our printed newsletter in the mail, guaranteeing the most up-to-date news on the landmarks and historic districts of the Upper East Side.

Download the Summer 2016 newsletter by clicking here.


Categories: Blogs, News

This Week's Chef's Table Menu: Week of September 12th

This Week's Daily Hot Lunch Menu ($10) from our "Chef's Table" at Butterfield Market!
Categories: Blogs


Upper East Side Theater - Sun, 09/11/2016 - 09:54
       Clint Eastwood directs and Tom Hanks stars in this new drama based on the true story of "the miracle on the Hudson". Sully is Captain Sullenberger, the pilot of the US Airways plane that had an emergency landing on the Hudson River in January of 2009. The film recreates that faithful day but probes deeper behind the the amazing landing that saved all 155 people aboard.        Mr. Eastwood loves a hero and Captain "Sully" certainly qualifies as such but the film takes us behind the scenes to the NTSB probe and hearings regarding the incident. The National Transportation and Safety Board comes across as the villain of the story trying to place blame on Sully for choosing to land in the river rather than attempt to return to LaGuardia Airport or nearby Teterboro Airport. This makes for greater dramatic impact creating an even stronger affection for the stalwart pilot.          The films rest squarely on the capable shoulders of Mr. Hanks and he is brilliant. He fully immerses himself in the role and should easily garner award nominations.  Laura Linney and Aaron Eckhart co-star and while Mr. Eckhart is also excellent as Sully's real life co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, Ms. Linney is wasted as the worried wife at home. Anna Gunn, Mike O'Malley, and Jamey Sheridan also co-star as the members of the NTSB investigating the incident. Screenwriter Todd Komarnicki and Mr. Eastwood clearly portray them as the villains in a story that in reality, has no villains.           The story jumps around in time which successfully fattens the film. The recreated landing is a marvel of CGI and live action that is emotional to watch. The entire film is actually quite stirring and emotional (direction, where Mr. Eastwood excels), especially for native New Yorkers who remember that day clearly, myself being one of them. Sully's sleepless nights haunt him with scenes that present a very different end to the flight, which stir old emotions as well.             This is  a terrific blend of fact and fiction to create a very entertaining film that ultimately celebrates, not only Captain Sullenberg and his crew but also the brave New Yorkers from the many different agencies that assisted in the rescue and got everyone safely back on dry land.
Categories: Blogs

This Week's Chef's Table Menu: Week of September 6th

This Week's Daily Hot Lunch Menu ($10) from our "Chef's Table" at Butterfield Market!
Categories: Blogs

Captain Fantastic

Upper East Side Theater - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 13:50
              Written and directed by Matt Ross, this is a  gem of an Indie film that is definitely worth your while. Viggo Mortensen stars as a father of six kids raising them off the grid in the Northwest Washington forest.                Rejecting the establishment, Ben and his wife Leslie home school their kids as well as teach them survival techniques and give them rigorous exercise. When Leslie falls seriously ill, Ben is forced raise the kids alone and then later, confront the world he left behind and introduce the children into a society he had long ago rejected.                  Mr. Mortensen is literally fantastic as Ben. His love and concern for each of his kids is so honest and pure, you believe every moment. The conflicts they encounter back in society are both humorous and heartbreaking. Each young actor has their moment to shine and they play off each other in very convincing ways.                    The film co-stars Kathryn Hahn, Steve Zahn, Frank Langella, and Ann Dowd all in much smaller but important roles. It's really about Mr. Mortensen and the fine young actors that play his children.                     This is an offbeat, original film that is filled with warmth and and a wild spirit. It's still playing in Manhattan at The Sunshine Cinema and hopefully in other art house theaters near you. If you miss it in a theater, find it on video or cable. You will be glad you did.
Categories: Blogs

Florence Foster Jenkins

Upper East Side Theater - Sat, 09/03/2016 - 19:13
       Based on a true story of a beloved New York socialite in 1944, who loved music and singing but had a terrible singing voice, this is a very entertaining film.       Supported in her pursuit of a singing career by her husband, Ms. Jenkins hires a pianist to fulfill her dream.  Meryl Streep plays Florence and she is flawless as usual. It is uncanny how she continues to slip chameleon like into every role. Her husband, St. Clair is played by Hugh Grant, who is at the top of his charming self. The pianist, Mr. Cosme McMoon, is played by Simon Helberg (of TV's Big Bang Theory) , who's facial expressions are priceless every time Florence hits a sour note (which is often). There is terrific chemistry between the three leads and especially Ms. Streep and Mr. Grant.      Whether it's St. Clair paying people off or Florence just winning them over with her warmth and charm, no one close to her can bear to tell her the truth and she continues to believe in her vocal abilities.         It's an interesting and fun story anchored by terrific performances with just a touch of heartbreak and a nice change of pace from the usual summer film fare.
Categories: Blogs