Upper West Sider: Bethany Clevenstine, Real Simple Magazine

Monday, December 21st, 2009

bethEach week, My Upper West interviews an Upper West Side resident who helps make our neighborhood the diverse and interesting place we love.  Today, we talk to Bethany Clevenstine, Integrated Marketing Manager at Real Simple magazine, west 80’s.

How long have you lived on the UWS?
I’ve lived on the UWS for a little over 2 years… in 3 different apartments.  Long story.

What made you decide to move to the UWS?
I moved from the UES to the UWS to move in with a boyfriend, but I’d always had my sights set on the west side.  I’m a runner and always wanted to stay uptown (and close to Central Park) but the UWS just felt more like home.

What is your favorite thing about the neighborhood?
I love the rows of old brownstones and neighborhood shops that have been there forever.  I love the snowflake lights on Columbus Avenue during the holidays and the buzz of the park in the summer.  And I love Fairway.

Riverside Park or Central Park?
Central Park because I live half a block from it and I’m there at least 5 days a week– it’s every NYC runner’s haven.  But I lived right off of Riverside Park for about six months and really grew to love it.  It’s so quiet and peaceful, especially for snowy winter strolls along the promenade between 79th and 96th Streets.

Describe your best celebrity sighting on the UWS.
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick live on my block so I see them quite a bit.  She’s stunning in person.

What is your favorite meal on the UWS? Favorite place for a cocktail?
I love ‘Cesca (75th at Amsterdam) or Telepan (69th at Columbus) for a fancier night out, and Celeste (Amsterdam at 84th) or B.Cafe (Amsterdam at 87th) for good weeknight eats.  My friends and I are OBSESSED with the UWS wine bars.  We frequent Riposo 72 (72nd between Columbus and CPW) most often but Wine & Roses (Columbus at 73rd), Bin 71 (Columbus at 71st), and Barcibo Enoteca (Broadway at 69th) are all great spots.

If you could change one thing about the UWS, what would it be?
That the 2/3 would run express from 96th to 59th Street (not just straight on to 42nd).  And that the B/C line on Central Park West was a little more reliable.

What would you like to see filling the empty storefronts in the UWS, or what would you like to see more of in the UWS?
More wine bars! No… well ok, yes. But I’d love to see any small/local businesses move in.

Horse and carriage rides in Central Park: romantic, too touristy, or cruel?
I was a competitive horseback rider for years in high school so I might be biased, but I absolutely hate seeing the carriages lining Central Park South.  Those horses breathe exhaust fumes all day long and then trot around the park loop over and over again, usually in poor conditions (extreme heat, cold, etc).  I vote cruel.

What are you looking forward to most: completion of Lincoln Center’s renovations, Trader Joe’s on 72nd and Broadway, the shops at Columbus Square, or completion of the 96th Street subway station?
Trader Joe’s!!  I think it’s the best thing to happen to the UWS in a while (since Whole Foods moved in on 97th Street).  Fairway is great but Trader Joe’s frozen/prepared foods are awesome.  And so cheap!

What is your favorite thing to do in the ‘hood on a nice UWS day?
Go for a run in the park in the morning, then grab a latte at Joe the Art of Coffee (Columbus at 85th) and take my dog to the Natural History Museum dog run for a romp.  Then I’d hit up the farmer’s market on 77th Street for some fresh produce and get Shake Shack (Columbus at 77th) for lunch.  Yum.

Who is your favorite UWS resident, past or present?
I love that a lot of my girlfriends live on the UWS– clearly we all have good taste!  For a famous UWSider, I’d like to say Edgar Allen Poe (I was a poetry major in college) but Liz Lemon might win the prize.

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