February 2012 Newsletter

  New to Columbus  
Rubicon Properties

Rubicon Realty, opening next month at 451 Columbus Avenue (between W. 81 - W. 82 St.), is a different kind of real-estate office. For starters, the sleek new space will be a "desk-less office," inviting people in from the street with innovative and interactive technologies, and feel more like a retail shop than a broker's office. Beyond design, Rubicon is more focused on the community than the bottom line. They have donated to local school auctions, and hope to use their location as a jumping off point for neighborhood walking tours.

Rubicon, which rents and sells apartments all over Manhattan, also has a global and philanthropic side. The company has partnered with the not-for-profit Charity: Water, regularly donating money to bring clean drinking water to communities in Central Africa. "We wanted to find an issue where we could have a measurable impact," says Jason Haber, CEO, "We want to use real estate, which is an essential element of New York, to help provide essential elements in Africa."

Technically, this is Rubicon's second Upper West Side office. The company started with one listing by Jason and his brother in his apartment on W. 74th St. Jason first made headlines in 2009, while working at Prudential Douglas Elliman, when he refused to rent ex Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi an eastside townhouse, unless the Libyans sent convicted Pan Am flight 103 terrorist Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi to Scotland. "All of our agents are more than just real estate brokers. They have all distinguished themselves in their commitment to corporate social responsibility and a variety of talents," Jason says. When a classically trained opera singer-cum-broker "fills the halls of an open-house with song, you know you have found something different."

351 Columbus Ave.
Opening Soon

Modern Martial Arts

Tucked away down a flight of stairs on W. 73rd St, Modern Martial Arts little studio packs a big punch, with more than seven classes a day, seven days a week. The studio offers classes for people of all ages, from 3-4 year old "Tiny Champs" classes emphasizing balance and coordination, to adults looking to shake up their work-out and learn new skills. Modern Martial Arts has expert instructors teaching courses in Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Israeli Krav Maga, and Mixed Martial Arts, which combines techniques from each style. Instructors give each student personal attention, and invite anyone to call and schedule a trial class.

Children's classes run from beginner to advanced, helping kids to achieve their black belt, while learning focus, discipline, and celebrating hard work. Students who stand out are invited to join the Leadership Team, and team members helping mentor their peers and are invited to special classes. The Studio also offers martial arts-themed birthdays and Parents' Night Out, providing a fun social evening for kids, while parents enjoy a night on the town. Registration for the 1week to 8 week Karate Summer Camps begins now.

53 West 72nd St.
Coming Soon


Paninoteca is the sleek and modern newest iteration of Super Sandwich, at 265 Columbus Avenue, which has been totally remodeled and sporting a new menu. With its glossy, new green interior, Paninoteca has done away with pre-made sandwiches. All of the paninis are now made to order on a variety of breads from multi-grain to ciabatta. In addition to smoothies and soups, they are offering hot rotisserie chicken, as well as a make-your-own pasta or salad bar with all the fixings, including exciting extras like shrimp and artichoke hearts.
265 Columbus Ave.
(212) 537-0544

Caffe Storrico

Caffe Storico (Italian for "historic") is the long-awaited acclaimed restaurateurStephen Starr restaurant (Buddakan and Morimoto), just recently opened in the newly-restored New-York Historical Society. Open for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch, drinks or light meals, it a very welcome and wonderful addition to our Upper West Side area. The restaurant features an abundance of dishes inspired by the classic Italian cicchetti (small plates), handmade artisanal pastas, as well as a perfectly prepared roasted sea bass, slow roasted chicken, and more. There is a wine list with over 50 Italian wines to choose from, many available by the glass, as well as a full bar. The warm and inviting dining room, with its extremely high, chandeliered ceilings, is stunning and yet casually elegant and is lined with floor to ceiling white on white shelves filled with porcelain. Their welcoming and attentive wait staff, coupled with reasonably-priced and sumptuous food, make Caffe Storico a destination restaurant. .

Enter on W.77 St . side of the Museum,
just west of Central Park West.
((212) 485-9211

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is taking the Upper West Side by storm. The LA based coffee chain has just opened on W. 79th St. and Columbus, making it the second Upper West Side location in only a couple of months. It doesn't take long, after a few minutes in the shop you'll hear West Coast transplants saying, "It feels like I'm back home," as they order their favorite Ice-Blended, the chains signature frozen drink that comes in mocha, caramel, chai, black forest cherry, honey dew and seven other flavors. The large, bright and airy space is perfect for reading and chatting over a warm cup of coffee, pressed sandwich, or dessert.

392 Columbus Ave.
(212) 799-1444

Upcoming Events
Richard Mason at Macaulay Honors College

On February 16th, The Knopf Doubleday Author Series at Macaulay Honors College presents a reading and book signing by Richard Mason of his new novel, History of a Pleasure Seeker. Called "a literary sensation" by the New York Times, Richard Mason, author of The Drowning People, has released this opulent, romantic coming of age drama just in time for Valentine's Day. History of a Pleasure Seeker captures the grand style of Europe's Belle Époque, while feeling modern and original.

The Knopf Doubleday Author Series is an ongoing reading series by award winning contemporary authors. The series is always free and open to the public, but reservations are a must. Reservations can be made online Here.

Thursday, Feb 16, 7PM
35 West 67th St.
(212) 729-2910

The fifth annual Whole Foods Market New Taste of the Upper West Side returns this year with old favorites and the addition of exciting new chefs and culinary celebrities. This year's event runs May 16th through May 20th, and will benefit the Columbus Avenue BID's streetscape beautification projects, as well as supporting a Greenhouse Classroom and Citymeals-on-Wheels.

Kicking things off on Wednesday, May 16th, is the new and elegant, Vegetarian at Dovetail An inspired five-course vegetarian tasting dinner by an all-star group of chefs, led by John Fraser, Dovetail; Missy Robbins, Avoce; Bill Telepan, Telepan; Ed Brown, Ed's Chowder House; and Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar. All net proceeds will benefit the I.S. 44 Greenhouse Classroom project

This year, the Travel Channel's unforgettably wild Adam Richman is joined by his fellow Travel Channel extreme foodie, Andrew Zimmern, to host Comfort Classics, a night of inspired classic dishes from 35 restaurants, including Ditch Plains, Sarabeth's, Café du Soleil, 5 Napkin Burger, Indie Food & Wine and many more, as well as Modern Mixoligist, Tony Abou-Ganim, serving up his signature cocktails.

On Saturday, May 19th, the ever-elegant Best of the West will honor New York's legendary food critic, humanitarian and culinary pioneer Gael Greene. The star-studded evening will feature such world renowned chefs as Daniel Boulud, Michael Lomonaco, Bill Telepan, Jacques Torres, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, alongside 40 more celebrated talents from the Upper West Side.

For Tickets Visit:

May 16, 18 & 19
Columbus Avenue (Bet. W. 76 - W. 77 St.)

On the Street
Streetscape plans for the Block bet. W. 76- W. 77 St.

The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) is planning to move forward with Phase One of their Streetscape Master Plan as soon as all City approvals are received, hopefully by summer, 2012. Phase One includes the creation of new tree beds along the schoolyard fence, planting of trees and flowers, installing benches, and in-ground solar lighting. Existing tree beds on the curb side will be expanded, tree guards eliminated, and additional plantings will be installed. The proceeds for Phase One of this project have come exclusively from the BID's annual fundraiser of the past four years and this coming year's Whole Foods Market New Taste of the Upper West Side on May 18th & 19th
View Full Report.

(212) 721-5048

Urban Umbrellas

Last year, tired of walking under ugly dark sidewalk scaffolding that seems to stay up forever while buildings are under construction, the city held the UrbanSHED contest to come up with a new design. The winning design, the Urban Umbrella, was unveiled downtown by Mayor Bloomberg, and soon could be seen on buildings on the Upper West Side. The Urban Umbrellas are made of elegant, fanned-out columns of recycled steel with transparent reinforced Plexiglas, which lets in light. There is built-in LED lighting to keep the structures illuminated at night. The designers, Andres Cortes and Sarrah Khan, said the goal is to "create an environment that stimulated one to look upward and outward", and to draw customers into stores rather than repelling them.

For more information contact:
Agencie Group
(212) 203-0265

  Spotlight on Local Business  


One of the Michelin Stars of the Upper West Side, Dovetail's executive chef, John Fraser, is bringing more to Columbus Avenue than the extraordinary farm-to-table meals he serves up each night. On Monday nights, Fraser, who is a vegetarian himself, presents a special vegetable prix-fixe menu for vegetarians and vegetable lovers alike, called Meatless Mondays. The four-course meal offers diners the choice of vegetarian or vegetable-focused dishes based on seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, such as ricotta gnudi, butternut squash, hedgehog mushrooms, and winter truffles. John Fraser puts the emphasis back on vegetables and healthful dining, filling a conspicuous void in the fine dining world, and encouraging people to eat vegetarian one day a week.

103 W. 77 St.
(212) 362-3800

The 77th Street Greenmarket

Each Sunday from 8AM to 5PM, farm- stands line the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt Park along Columbus Avenue from W.77-W.81 St., making farm-fresh foods available to Upper West Siders. The 79th street market is the third largest greenmarket in New York City, with around 25 different farmers coming from 200 miles outside the city. Operating year-round, in winter you'll find a large variety of winter veggies like potatoes, parsnips, and brussels sprouts as well as delicious preserves, grass-fed beef, farm fresh eggs, goat cheese, pasta, maple syrup, wine, and even ostrich. Debit/credit cards and Food Stamps are accepted at the market by visiting the Market Info Tent.

Columbus Ave. (bet. W.78-W.81 St.)
every Sunday year round
(212) 788-7900

Magnolia Bakery

In honor of Hollywood's biggest night, Magnolia Bakery is offering an all-new Black Tie Combo. A red carpet-worthy combination of three all-star cupcakes: red velvet with whipped vanilla icing, flour-less chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean meringue buttercream and their black and white cupcake, chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and whipped vanilla icing. For a lovely host or hostess gift, nestle a Black Tie Combo into their signature Magnolia Bakery tin.

200 Columbus Ave.
(212) 724-8101


Spoil your loved one this Valentine's day with the sweet and delicate fragrances of Provence. Pick up a Valentine set of scents and skin care products made from all natural essential oils such as lavender, almond, green tea, or verbena.

198 Columbus Ave .
(212) 874-4326


The Mobile Shop

More than just a cell-phone store. In addition to providing expert repairs and a great selection of phones, The Mobile Shop has every style of iphone and ipad case you could dream of. Check out their collection of colorful retro headsets and modern-vintage speaker docks powered by the phone's own speaker.

228A Columbus Ave .
(212) 799-6500


Laila Rowe

Perfect for fashionistas on a budget, Laila Rowe has a huge collection of fun and fashionable accessories, such as earrings, necklaces, scarves, and bags. Spend $50 or more and get a free pashmina, plus get up to 75% off select items during their winter sale.

253 Columbus Ave.
(212) 579-5254


Pinky NYC

Pinky is the perfect place for a quick and easy fix for nails, hair and more. Basic manicures start just above $10, and in colder months, the Pinky Special manicure pairs an extra moisturizing treatment with a soothing hand and arm rub. From now until the end of the month, Pinky is offering a free manicure with your spa-pedicure Monday-Thursday.

253 Columbus Ave.
(212) 579-5254


Business Services

New York Youth Works

Governor Cuomo recently signed a bill creating NY Youth Works, an inner-city youth employment program targeting the state's metropolitan areas, including NYC. They are offering $25 million in tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed and disadvantaged youth, as well as $62 million to support job training programs. If you can use someone whose age is 16-24 in your business, you will receive a $3,000 wage subsidy in the form of tax credits to hire disadvantaged youths for 6 months, with an additional $1,000 tax credit if you retain the participation youths for an additional 6 months. For more info on this program, please contact John H. Moye, the Commissioner's NYC Regional Representative, at 212 775-3655 or John.maye@labor.ny.gov


The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District
Phone: 212 721-5048
Fax: 212 721-4070

The Columbus Avenue BID is a
501 (c)(3) not for profit corporation.


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