five on foot: what to do on the upper west side

This week has been exhausting. Each day felt like two and they all seemed to blur together. So you can say I am quite happy to be taking a trip to the Upper West Side with today’s Five on Foot – because that means it’s FRIDAY! Now, keep in mind, these are five of my favorite spots – they aren’t the only spots in the area. I could often go on for five more, but in an effort to keep it a quick read, five favs are what you get. 

ONE. Calle Ocho
45 West 81st Street
calleochonyc.com
There is one reason that Calle Ocho is a perfect brunch destination and that is their weekend brunch. To be more specific, it’s their all you can drink sangria bar that is THE draw. Now, it’s only through your meal so don’t think you can sit there and sip their 20 oz glasses of goodness all day – but with 8 sangria selections, you’ll be plenty satisfied by the time the check rolls around. 
TWO. Hayden Planetarium in the Rose Center for Earth + Space
Central Park West at 79th Street
www.haydenplanetarium.org
Living in NYC you don’t often get to look up at a huge sky full of stars. But the Hayden Planetarium is always there when you want to sit back and imagine yourself laying on the beach at night, looking up, and catching a shooting star. The Journey to The Stars is quite the space show – I promise you, you’ll either transport yourself to the beach or feel like you’re on a ride at Disney World, all in the heart of NYC. 
THREE. 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe
West 79th Street at the Hudson
www.boatbasincafe.com
If you walk all the way down 79th Street towards the Hudson River you’ll reach a bridge where, if you didn’t know better, you would think you need to turn around. Tucked under the bridge, is the 79th Street Boat Basin. Follow the signs along the path to a set of stairs and you’ll emerge into an open air pavillion serving up icy daiquiris, delicious veggie burgers and a great view of the activity along the Hudson. 
FOUR. Symphony Space
2537 Broadway
www.symphonyspace.org 
Part concert hall, part cultural event hub, Symphony Space offers an extensive calendar of inexpensive, and often free events ranging from film to music to dance. From their comedy series, Uptown Showdown to the annual Bloomsday on Broadway you’re bound to find a bit of unique NYC culture in this creative space. 
FIVE. Celeste
502 Amsterdam Avenue
Celeste is a quaint Italian restaurant that is known for it’s delicious pasta, good wine list, and cheese plate + history lesson. While the restaurant is usually bustling, if you can, try and snag the owner, Carmine, to teach you about the cheese pairings and history of each. Listening to his story is what makes the dining experience so much fun! And remember, it’s cash only, so come prepared. 
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