The first stop of the day is at Bennett Park, where natural history pervades. The public gathering place was named after James Gordon Bennett, the former publisher of the New York Herald. The thing with this park is that it’s home to the highest natural point in Manhattan. The spot is actually marked with a stone plaque. The schist, the natural bedrock foundation of the city, is about 265 above sea level here. If you make it to the park on the right day you could just catch a Revolutionary War reenactment with Redcoats and George Washington’s army converging to fight the battle of Fort Washington, which unfolded right here, in this very park.
In an era of high rents, affordable living resides in Hudson Heights. The Hudson View Gardens, built in 1924, was one of the city’s first affordable housing units. The idea was to create “a garden community” of cooperative apartments to draw in those who wanted the comforts of new suburbs in the city. Today, the complex, set in exquisite gardens, features much of its original Tudor-style architecture.
With all the storied theaters in the city, the most majestic is located a few blocks from your Hudson Heights spot. The United Palace, located at 4140 Broadway at West 175th Street, was built in 1930, originally as a movie palace. It was one for the five “Wonder Theatres” constructed by Loew’s in the city. The interior is lavish, eclectic and immeasurable. The theatre featured many vaudeville acts and today it remains a destination for live acts. The terra-cotta-faced architecture is astounding, combining several styles such as Byzantine, Romanesque, Indo, Hindu, Sino, Moorish, Persian, Rococo and Art Deco. The result is what many call a “delirious masterpiece.”
You have procured a seat in another unique restaurant in the neighborhood. The Pandering Pig is a French restaurant infused with the Northern Californian flair. There’s the taste of France with the Pate Board that features foie gras, venison pate, duck rillettes, and smoked duck breast. The California flavors include a salad with roasted cauliflower, melted Gruyere and toasted walnuts over arugula. The mood is sleek and stylish with the spot’s oak wood tables and fabric seating. Very inviting.