Holiday lights used to decorate Dyckman Street each holiday as early as the 1960s. (Credit: Evelyn Strobel-Ruggiero)
UPPER MANHATTAN — Three commercial strips of Inwood and Washington Heights will not be lit up for the holidays for the second year in a row, after the non-profit charged with decorating the streets came up short on funds — again.
Nurys De Oleo, executive director for Northern Manhattan Coalition for Economic Development (NMCED), said that between state and city funding cuts and a lack of contributions from local businesses, there was no way for the group to come up with the money this year to light the commercial corridors of West 207th Street, Dyckman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, from 184th to 193rd streets.
"It’s a difficult situation, they’ve cut our funding and it’s impossible," she said in Spanish. "In the past we’ve also asked business owners for donations and some will give $50, $100 or $25, whatever they can, but it’s not enough, it’s expensive to put up the lights."
INWOOD — Uptown shoppers kicked off the holiday gift-giving season this past weekend as they snagged deals on soaps, jewelry, clothing, tea and cupcakes at Off the Map, Inwood’s first holiday market.
The three-day holiday bazaar, which will take place again on Dec. 9 and Dec. 18, featured original, handmade gifts with a strong neighborhood feel made or designed by 15 local artists, artisans and merchants who live and work in Washington Heights and Inwood.
"It’s called Off the Map, because we’re not part of the Bronx, not Harlem, we’re part of Manhattan, no matter what cab driver you ask," said Leo Vasques of the Audubon Partnership for Economic Development, one of the sponsors that partnered with the Inwood Merchants Association.
"It’s amazing to see people coming here without bags from small, cool shops downtown, this is about keeping this economy uptown," said Vasquez, who also heads up the arts group Sound of Art.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A new Italian restaurant is adding to Hudson Heights efforts to overcome its reputation as a "culinary wasteland."
Neighborhood couple Kal and Nicki Narvilas say their new restaurant Saggio, at 829 W. 181st St., will feature homemade gnocchi and papardelle noodles, slow cooked tomato sauce, wines and cheese boards featuring creamy Burrata.
The eatery, which the owners describe as a family-friendly space with family-friendly prices, will open on or around Dec. 15 in the space formerly held by Emilou’s Café, which closed this summer.
"Although we are proud of our neighborhood, the restaurants here are the tail end of an old regime. It’s time for something new," Kal Narvilas said. "I share the frustration with anyone who has been in neighborhood who feels there isn’t much of a selection up here."
Read more about Hudson Heights' new restaurant Saggio at DNAinfo.com.
Dark Horse restaurant was one of three restaurants to get a vote of approval on a new liquor license. Three other restaurants did not receive a positive recommendation on their applications. (DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni)
UPPER MANHATTAN — Three liquor licenses were approved and three were denied at an Upper Manhattan community board meeting Tuesday night.
Of particular interest to Upper Manhattan residents were the fates of three newcomers: Hudson Heights' Dark Horse, which after previously being denied by Community Board 12 was approved on Tuesday, Inwood's Dominican food restaurant Sazones, which was turned down, and the Washington Heights Dragon Lounge, which was denied a license due to considerable pressure from locals and police.
INWOOD — Inwood’s real estate value shot up more than 15 percent this year, bucking a downward trend felt in tony Manhattan neighborhoods such as SoHo and Greenwich Village, and the rest of the country.
Inwood housing showed the largest jump in Manhattan home values this year with median home prices coming in at a $427,000, an increase of 15.1 percent, according to Crain's.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — At the height of the real estate boom, a 60-foot high sheet of bedrock was jackhammered away to make room for a 23-story luxury condominium development in Hudson Heights to be called "One Bennett Park."
But more than two years later, all that remains at 33-55 Overlook Terrace is a hole in the ground, a lawsuit, and a displaced congregation from the local Jewish center.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — These days opening a pub downtown may be easier than opening one uptown.
The owners of several popular bars and pubs in the East Village and Lower East Side have been hoping to open a new restaurant, to be called the Dark Horse, in Hudson Heights.
Their hopes were dealt a serous blow when Community Board 12 voted 18 to 14 against the restaurant’s application for a liquor license. The license application was shot down because of a policy that dictates the board automatically recommends against a license when an owner fails to appear at the board’s Economic Development committee meeting.
The owners of Arlene’s Grocery on Stanton Street and Scratcher on East 5th Street said they want to bring the Irish American dining experience to 839 W. 181st St. in Hudson Heights — the same space previously inhabited by Agave Azul and Hispañola, two failed restaurants.
The Broadway Housing Communities (BHC) announced that it would go forward with a $70 million plan to build a 13-story building on West 155th Street and St. Nicholas Place on the border of Washington Heights and Harlem.
UPPER MANHATTAN — Most stories that involve artists and real estate investors rarely have a happy ending.
But in the case of Northern Manhattan’s newest set of storefronts-turned-galleries, artists and real estate investors are happily cohabitating, sharing space and artwork throughout Harlem and Washington Heights.