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Sutton Place

There are little known neighbourhoods and there are highly desirable neighbourhoods. Sutton Place fits both categories. The area that comprises all in all five blocks between 53rd and 59th Streets is the tiniest and wealthiest in the city. Stately town houses and luxury mansions inhabited by well-off families, prominent intellectuals and artists, as well as some celebrities make Sutton Place the most affluent neighbourhood in New York, while its secluded location, between Second Avenue and the FDR Drive that runs along the East River with two parks to the south and north, render the area even more exclusive. 

 

The neighbourhood grew in popularity in the 1920s when members of the Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan families built luxury town houses in the area. Ever since Sutton Place has been attracting the rich and the famous. Former notable residents were Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Aristotle Onassis, Freddie Mercury, Sigourney Weaver and Michael Jackson. Many renowned artists, architects and entrepreneurs lived in this wealthy enclave. Today the area is also popular with ordinary, yet well-heeled families, financiers and doctors working in Midtown Manhattan. The neighbourhood is conveniently located near major hospitals and office blocks, while the proximity of the UN Plaza has also attracted diplomats. A stately town house at Two Sutton Place North serves as the official residence of the UN Secretary-General. 

 

Many prominent 20th century architects and designers left their mark on local architecture. Beside the typical New York tenement towers, the area boasts elegant period townhouses and stately mansions lined up on Sutton Place street and all facing the river to the east. The tree-lined avenues and two pocket-size public parks with riverside views at 53rd and 57th streets give the area extra serenity. Another public park currently in construction is due to open in 2014. Despite the FDR Drive that runs along the East river, the neighbourhood remains somewhat cut off from the noise and busy traffic on the motorway. This and the fact that there is very little traffic on the streets of the neighbourhood make Sutton Place quite serene and peaceful and this in turns allows for relaxing strolls to admire the magnificent architecture. 

 

The pleasing variety of fine food on offer in the area attracts quite a few gourmets, while collectors are drawn by the antique stores. There are several high-end restaurants, traditional butchers and fishmongers selling excellent produce and artisanal food stores that offer mouth-watering delights. First Avenue is lined with numerous dining and shopping outlets, banks and other services so whatever you are looking for make the avenue your first stop. Beside that there is little in terms of shopping or entertainment in Sutton Place. This is in part due to the fact that the area is mostly residential. Yet, if you fancy privacy, exclusivity and safety this is the place to stay during your New York vacation. 

 

The lack of day time entertainment and exciting nightlife is compensated for by the fact that you can find plenty to do anywhere else in Manhattan. A stroll to the south down First Avenue will take you to the UN Plaza where you can soak the sun on the promenade while admiring the abstract sculptures or explore the areas of the headquarters that are open to the public. If you fancy a shopping spree simply head East on 59th street until you reach Bloomingdale’s. The department store is like a town in its own right where you can treat yourself to a dose of fashion and beauty.  

 

Sutton Place is not serviced by any underground stations but the bus services allow for easy commute through the city while the FDR Drive is highly convenient if you plan to travel by car to other boroughs. 


 

 

 

 

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