News & Events
The 8th Annual New Taste of the Upper West Side
See you June 3rd & 4th, 2016 for our 9th Annual Main Events. Watch for a new component, a fabulous Columbus Avenue Retail event, for the family. Performers, musicians, food, and so much more.
Our 8th Annual New Taste weekend was a major success, drawing thousands to celebrate the area's best restaurants. Soirée in the Park, a cocktail party held as a benefit for Theodore Roosevelt Park, served as kickoff for the event series. Friday night's Comfort Classics, was hosted by Adam Richman and featured more than 42 restaurants offering up their best comfort food. Saturday night's Best of the West paired hosts Marc Murphy and Anne Burrell, and over 40 restaurants. All three events featured live music, and a fabulous time was had by all. You can watch a highlight video here. Large donations from the event proceeds were made to support the operational expenses for Wellness in the Schools, Theodore Roosevelt Park, and to restore the streetscape block (W.76th-W.77th) that was destroyed by the severe winter. All proceeds from this event are dedicated to neighborhood beautification and betterment projects.
Phase One of Columbus Avenue Streetscape Completed
The culmination of five years of fundraising and 10 years of research and planning by the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) were celebrated at a mid-May ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Upper West Side's first sustainable streetscape on Columbus Avenue, between West 76th and 77th Streets. Among the ribbon-cutters and well-wishers were Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a host of business and community leaders and executives from the New York City Departments of Transportation, Parks and Environmental Protection.
Also at the celebration were five of the 80-plus chefs/restaurateurs whose participation in the Columbus Avenue BID's annual Whole Foods New Taste of the Upper West Side helped to fully fund the sustainable streetscape, including Cesare Casella, (Salumeria Rosi Parmacotta), Bobbie Lloyd (Magnolia Bakery), Maria Loi, (Loi), Brian Nasworth, (Picholine) and Clarence Quinones, (Sarabeth's).
"It took 10 years from conception to completion of this project, which owes a large debt of gratitude to the chefs from our events over the past five years finally making it possible to raise enough money to build," says Barbara Adler, executive director of the Columbus Avenue BID. "Now, thanks to the generosity of Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and her $350,000 commitment for the rest of the BID area, we are ready to design and build the next stage of the sustainable streetscape program."
Currently planted along the completed blockfront are nine new trees and tree beds, six ergonomically-designed City Benches, a solar-operated "Big Belly" compacting trash container, in-ground solar lighting for enhanced safety and wayfinding capabilities, and Manhattan's first bioswale (a bio-retention system that captures and helps purify rainwater for re-use). The existing tree beds on the block were doubled in length to 10-feet and surrounded by new tree guards with additional seasonal planting.
Press and Articles:
- Untapped Cities: From Surly to Sustainable?
- New York Observer: From Gritty to Green: Columbus Avenue Gets Bioswale, Sustainable Streetscape
- DNAInfo.com: Columbus Avenue Streetscape Brightens Once-Neglected UWS Stretch
- West Side Rag: New Columbus Avenue Sustainable Streetscape Unveiled
- New York Press: Sustainable Streetscape Unveiled
- City Biz List: Columbus Avenue BID Completes First Fully Sustainable Streetscape