Riverside Park is just one of many of Manhattan’s beautiful waterfront parks. The Upper West Side of Manhattan was a rural landscape in the early 1840s, until the Hudson River Railroad was constructed in 1846. The first proposal to build a park in the area came in 1865 as a way to make the Upper West Side a more attractive neighborhood to potential residents. In 1866, land was acquired to be the future site of Riverside Park and Riverside Drive. Both were designed in the 1870s by Frederick Law Olmsted, the co-designer of Central Park. His idea was to create a natural version of an English garden, with a drive winding up the Hudson River shore of Manhattan from 72nd Street to 155th Street. He envisioned a beautiful park on the river side of the drive, while the homes on the east side of the drive looked across the scenery of the park and on to the Hudson River. As the park grew, the beauty of the park encouraged the wealthy to build mansions along the drive, beginning in the late 1800’s up through the 1930s.
At one time, the Upper West Side was considered to be on the “wrong side of the tracks of Central Park”, can you imagine? This was the golden age of residential architecture in New York and famous architects of the day were designing classic buildings and it was in this period that the architectural flavor of New York residences was established. Riverside Drive became known for its grand residential architecture and as a place for the homes of the rich. As you walk through the neighborhood today, you’ll find mansions and apartment houses, built on the drive beginning around 1900, displaying gargoyles of neo-gothic architecture and richly decorative Beaux Arts and Art Deco elements of the time. Many of these mansions, apartment houses and entire blocks of structures along Riverside Drive are now designated as architectural and historic landmarks or districts.
The great mansion of the steel magnate, Charles M. Schwab was located at 73rd Street. Schwab was a man who became notorious for his “fast” lifestyle including opulent parties and high stakes gambling. Construction started on his home, known as “Riverside”, in 1901 and took six years to complete. The French-inspired mansion of ninety bedrooms covered an entire New York City block. Schwab died penniless and after his death, sadly, his Riverside was demolished.
The present day Riverside Park is a monument to the genius of Park Commissioner Robert Moses. At one time, the view off Riverside Drive was filled by the New York Central freight tracks. Now the tracks have been covered, the area has been newly landscaped and Riverside Park is one of the most delightful spots in New York. Riverside Church at 122nd Street is a neo-gothic masterpiece with a tower modeled on the Chartres Cathedral near Paris. The world-renowned New York Presbyterian Medical Center can be found at 168th Street. From 72nd Street through 116th Street and beyond you can still see some of the most magnificent apartment buildings and mansions in New York.
In this area of Riverside Drive you will also find Grant’s Tomb, dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States. This great monument stands alone in an expanse of lawn on a bluff giving a magnificent view of the Hudson and is one of the most beautiful landmarks in New York. The area is also home to the Joan of Arc Statue, a Garden for All Seasons, 91st Street Garden & Crabapple Grove, Soldiers & Sailors Monument, 79th Street Boat Basin, the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument and at 116th and Broadway, Columbia University, one of the world’s leading educational institutions.
Riverside Drive, the scent by Bond No. 9 is a classic fragrance for men created by Perfumer Maurice Roucel in 2003. He has also created for Bond, its Broadway Nite and New Haarlem perfumes. Michael Edwards classifies this scent as an Aromatic/Fougère and many masculine fragrances are made in the aromatic Fougère family. Fougère, meaning “fern-like”, is one of the main families into which modern perfumes are classified. This scent makes a statement in showing us that it is a very masculine fragrance for men, highlighting the woodsy, earthy scents with fresh spices and crisp fruit for a clean scent.
Bond’s press states that Riverside Drive is “Indie-style maleness, with a hint of Hudson River clear-water sloops. A woody-mossy masculine classic, updated with contemporary aqua accords and a hint of exotic fruit for cool crispness.” Many seem to agree with this assessment, as this is a popular fragrance with men from all walks of life.
Maurice Roucel has created a classy scent utilizing contemporary accords. Riverside Drive opens with a crisp and refreshing green spritz of Basil. Middle notes of Pineapple and Lily of the Valley add sparkle while the magnificent base notes of Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Oakmoss make this a warm and sensual fragrance for men. Riverside Drive is also one of Bond’s first fragrances. This is not a clone of other fragrances. If Maurice Roucel makes it, it stands on its own. This scent was inspired by the free thinkers, educators, environmental activists and screenwriters of the Riverside area of New York City. Understated and classy. The full notes are Violet, Basil, Pineapple, Rose, and Lily of the Valley, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Oakmoss. Available at www.bondno9.com and at all Bond N0. 9 Boutiques.
Next week, please come back to visit us as we explore WEST SIDE! In the meantime, I would love to hear from the men, tell us what you think of Riverside Drive in the comment box below!
Available at Bond No. 9 and all Bond No. 9 Boutiques; Bond No. 9 boutiques listed below
Bond No. 9 toll free number: 1.877.273.3369
Bond No. 9 New York Boutiques:
897 Madison Avenue (73rd Street) 212.794.4480
680 Madison Avenue (61st Street) 212.838.2780
399 Bleecker Street (11th Street) 212.633.1641
9 Bond Street (Broadway & Lafayette) 212.228.1732
Bond No. 9 website www.bondno9.com
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NEXT TUESDAY WE REVIEW THE NEWLY LAUNCHED NEW YORK OUD AND ON THURSDAY WE VISIT WEST SIDE!