By Mildred Alpern

Many buildings on West End Avenueโ€™s Golden Mile have old world panache, having been built around the turn of the 20th century. At Christmas time, the lobbies are decorated with ornamented trees to celebrate the holidays. Festive and grand, they are welcoming sights.

My own building at 575 WEA (88th Street) has a fourteen foot tree, truly splendiferous, and on Wednesday I decided to do a little comparison-viewing of others in the neighborhood. On a drizzly, cloudy morning, my visits introduced me to the sparkling lights and radiant gleams of lobby interiors spiffy with holiday visual delights. What a joy!


ART, NEWS | 53 comments | permalink
    1. Bruce Bernstein says:

      it’s now called “The Golden Mile”?!?

      that’s just sad.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Want to know what’s TRULY SAD?

        You probably do not, as what is sad is the new-faux-populism that celebrates:
        poverty over wealth,
        uneducated shnooks over “educated elites”,
        schlock over classic good taste,
        in-your-face aggression over good manners,
        etc etc.

      • stevieboy says:

        wow, aren’t you easily upset….

      • dannyboy says:

        I am really reflecting on just these things while wintering in S America.

        Feeling like i just dont want my Golden building getting in the way of my human life.

        Is there some story of a Golden Calf that applies

      • Sean says:

        We got a lot of Golden Girls up here.

    2. West Ender says:

      Nice work! Glad to see Hanukkah is finally getting some equal time ๐Ÿ˜Š

      • Stuart says:

        To West Ender – Hanukkah should not get equal time, as it is a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar. It becomes major here because it’s in December, and becomes commercialized so Jewish kids (like me) don’t feel left out. To prove how minor a holiday it really is, alternate side of the street parking does NOT get suspended for any days during Hanukkah (unless it lands on Christmas), but alternate side parking is suspended during Purim.

        End of lesson – class dismissed.

    3. jeff Berger says:

      In our building we have a fake tree as we were told that it was not legal in NYC for apartment buildings to have real trees. Is this not true?

      • Cato says:

        No. That applies only to your building.

      • Helen says:

        I’ve never heard that before. Both my office building and apartment building have real trees, they’re all the way up to the ceiling and the scent is amazing! There are menorahs too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Glen says:

        They can have real trees as long as there are no electric lights on them. Seems like a holdover law from the good old candle and exploding light bulb days, but so be it. In our bldg we went with the live tree and no lights.

      • Young Sally says:

        We have real trees in our building on Broadway every year, so I don’t think it is an issue. However, it is as simple as checking with the fire department. We also have real Menorah(s) ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Kenneth says:

          Young Sally,
          It is an issue. NYC Local Law 29 passed in 1943 after a rash of Christmas-tree fires, prohibits live or fresh-cut Christmas trees from establishments occupied by 75 or more people. Under the law, only fire-retardant artificial trees are allowed in such public places.
          Real Christmas trees are also banned under the state’s Multiple-Dwelling Law, which, besides prohibiting prostitution and raising livestock in apartment buildings, says that keeping “any combustible article or any article dangerous or detrimental to life or health” in a public space is illegal.”
          FDNY does inspect and force removal. It happens.

    4. Hale Alpern says:

      Having grown up in NY, for the passed 85 years, I continue to look forward, like a child, in awe of all the resplendent decorations on the trees, hanging across streets and in store windows, to the Xmas season for all citezins to enjoy. Xmas is universal and for me nonsectarian.

    5. Odette Veneziano says:

      Thanks Mildred. What a wonderful idea to photograph the trees of Christmas on the UWS. Special places at a special time.

    6. Ed says:

      Very nice photos. And a great idea. Thank you.

    7. CG says:

      Very nice. Great to see Christmas trees. Thanks! Christmas is such a special holiday.

    8. UWSHebrew says:

      Just for a little balance ๐Ÿ™‚ — There is one antique menorah currently on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (on loan from a collector), and starting on December 16, there will be two antiques menorahs and an antique dreidel on display at The Museum of the City of New York (on loan from another collector). Of course, the Jewish Museum of New York has a year-round display of antique menorahs and dreidels.

    9. Gavin says:

      Great photos! Love the idea! You should share this on I bet West End locals would enjoy seeing this.

    10. Mary Jones says:

      My building is there! The tree is fake, we used to have a real tree… then had a HUGE fire one year when the tree burned down, terrible

    11. Claire says:

      The golden mile? It’s a shame, I remember when well to do people were scared of the Upper West Side. I hope they tip their doormen well at least.

      • dannyboy says:

        another Real Estate hyperbole

        hype, hype, hype

        merry Christmas and happy Hanakah

        • This guy is lounging on the beach in Punta del Este and he wants us all to feel guilty. He loves to tell us how to live our lives though.

          Hypocrite much Danny? Do you drive a BMW SUV too?? hahaha

          • Independent says:

            I wonder where self-described Socialist Bernie Sanders will be spending the upcoming winter holidays…

      • RK says:

        Huh? To which well-to-do people do you refer?

        The Dakota was built in 1884. The grand buildings (Eldorado, San Remo, Beresford, Ansonia, Belnord, 101CPW, etc etc) are all pre-war.

        Not exactly slums.

        Unless you’re talking about the 740 Park Ave crowd, to which the UWS is still slumming it.

    12. Erica says:

      You live right around the corner from me โ˜บ๏ธ

    13. Jimbo says:

      Hey Hale –you misspelled Christmas …….

    14. Jean-Paul says:

      The term “Golden Mile” has been used to describe the Upper West Side for more than ten years. The term is found in articles about art galleries and restaurants in newspaper reviews, it is found in marketing materials produced by real estate agencies, it is described in neighborhood walking tour descriptions, it is referred to in news stories print, electronic, radio, television, and it is a common notion mentioned by locals.

      • dannyboy says:

        is King Midas local

      • Sean says:

        But is is Donald Trump golden?

      • manhattan mark says:

        Whether it’s “golden” or not, WEA is two miles and seven blocks long

        • dannyboy says:

          one mile is Golden

          gotta have that class distiction, ya know

          • Sean says:

            Is the other brass then?

          • stevieboy says:

            Yeah, your neighborhood is more like bronze…but it used to be great for buying weed in the 80s.

            Those guys still hanging out on 95th between WE and Riverside?? This was Koch era so…a long time ago. Nobody buys their weed on the streets these days I guess. They probably just 3D print it from the internet or something.

            Hey, I’m just asking the important questions. Not all of us can afford to winter in the tropics, ya know.

          • manhattan mark says:

            If only one mile is “Golden” than another might be “platinum”and the seven other blocks are probably
            “Copper”. These sections are not contiguous , so go building
            by building to find out which metallic arc you are in!

    15. Hale Alpern says:

      Each man’s chimney is his Golden Mile-Stone;
      Is the central point, from which he measures
      Every distance
      Through the gateways of the world around him.

      Henry Wordworth Longfellow

    16. Sally F says:

      Fun & lovely photos!

    17. Penelope says:

      Do we have to get competitive even on Christmas trees — which building (all expensive) has the biggest tree, the most decoration, the brightest lights? Has Christmas and the holiday season come to such a high level of commercialism?

    18. June Quarfordt says:

      Thanks for spreading the JOY !
      Wonderful walk down WEA!

    19. Lulu says:

      Wonderful! Thank you for that glimpse into other lobbies!

    20. Terry Rosen says:

      Mildred–Great photosurvey! Love these images. Thank you!

    21. Mark says:

      Today we are experiencing golden showers on the Golden Mile.

    22. Jane Rosamilia says:

      Beautiful!! Thank you so much!

    23. Tom says:

      Great pics! You guys are great!