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Riverside Drive is a scenic north-south thoroughfare in the Manhattanmarker borough of New York Citymarker. The boulevard runs generally parallel to the Hudson River from 72nd Street to near the George Washington Bridgemarker at 181st Streetmarker on the west side of Manhattanmarker. At points Riverside Drive is a wide avenue; at other points it divides to provide a serpentine local street with access to the residential buildings. Some of the most coveted addresses in New York are located along its route.
Riverside Drive was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted as part of his concept for Riverside Parkmarker. It passes through the Manhattan neighborhoods of the Upper West Sidemarker, Morningside Heightsmarker, over Manhattanvillemarker in West Harlemmarker by way of the Riverside Drive Viaduct and through Washington Heightsmarker. Among the monuments, sights and institutions along its route are the Eleanor Roosevelt statue by Penelope Jencks, Soldiers and Sailors Monumentmarker, Anna Hyatt Huntington's Joan of Arc, the Fireman's Memorial at 100th Street (a focus of spontaneous dedications of flowers and teddy bears after 9/11 [74835] ), Grant's Tombmarker, The Interchurch Center, The Riverside Churchmarker, Sakura Parkmarker, Riverbank State Parkmarker, Trinity Church Cemetery, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Fort Washington Parkmarker.
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Only a few stretches of Riverside Drive were built along an older road; due to the hilly terrain, Riverside Drive passes over 96th Street, 125th Street and 158th Street on viaducts; at 125th and 158th Streets, an old alignment is present, also named Riverside Drive while the viaduct portion or main route is officially named (but not signed) "Riverside Drive West". At its north end, Riverside Drive used to merge with the northbound lanes of the Henry Hudson Parkway, which were originally part of the road. However, in 2005, the retaining wall of Castle Villagemarker collapsed onto the roadway and on the northbound lanes of the Henry Hudson Parkway. To this day, the right lane of the Henry Hudson Parkway remains closed and Riverside Drive is closed at 181st Street. A detour leads to Haven Avenue and Fort Washington Avenue.

RSD viaduct over 96th Street
Monument to the Heroes of the Fire Department, 100th Street
158th Street


Riverside Drive terminated at Grant's Tomb in a cul-de-sac, prior to the construction of the Manhattan Valley viaduct, spanning 125th Street, completed in 1900. North of 158th Street the right of way which currently carries the name Riverside Drive was known as Boulevard Lafayette, which led to Plaza Lafayette in Hudson Heights.

The section exiting the parkway at the Dyckman Street exit and ending at Broadwaymarker is still known as Riverside Drive.

The eastern side of Riverside Drive, once a series of luxuriously finished rowhouses interspersed with free-standing nineteenth century mansions set in large lawns, today is lined with luxury apartment buildings and some remaining town houses from the Drive's beginning to 118th street.The brick-faced Schwab House occupies the site of "Riverside", built for steel magnate Charles M. Schwab, formerly the grandest and most ambitious house ever built on the island of Manhattan. Among the more eye-catching apartment houses are the curved facades of The Colosseum‎ and the Paterno and the Cliff-Dwellers Apartments at 96th Street, with mountain lions and buffalo skulls on its friezes. The Henry Codman Potter house at 89th Street is one of the few remaining mansions on Riverside Drive; it houses Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim. Across from it is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (1902). At 99th Street is a memorial to Beaux-Arts architect John Merven Carrère by his partner Thomas Hastings. The Firefighters' Memorial at 100th Street was sculpted by Attilio Piccirilli.

Popular culture

  • Hannah Arendt lived at 170 Riverside Drive from 1967 until her death in 1975.
  • Saul Bellow lived at 333 Riverside Drive in the 1950's.
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer and his family lived at 155 Riverside Drive on 88th Street.
  • Bob Randall's play 6 Rms Riv Vu, tells the story of a married advertising copywriter and a discontented housewife who both end up looking at the same Riverside Drive apartment. The door is locked accidentally, trapping them inside, and a connection slowly develops as they begin to share the details of their respective lives.
  • In the sitcom Will & Grace, Will lives at 155 Riverside Drive, as do Grace and Jack (Sean Hayes) at times throughout the series.
  • Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) of the sitcom 30 Rock lives at 168 Riverside Drive (across the street from Will).
  • In the novel Illuminatus the character, Joe Malik, lives in a brownstone on Riverside Drive.
  • It is also mentioned in the song "Tango in Harlem", by Touch and Go [74836]
  • In Sex and the City, Miranda refers to a past apartment, "a horrible studio sublet on Riverside Drive"
  • In the movie Enchanted, Robert and Morgan Philip live in the Paterno at the intersection of 116th Street.
  • In the movie You've Got Mail Joe Fox lives at 152 Riverside Drive using the screen name NY152.
  • In the song standard "Penthouse Serenade", the lyric is:
In our little penthouse we'll always contrive,

To keep love and romance forever alive,

In view of the Hudson just over the Drive,

When we're alone.

  • In some novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child there is a house in Riverside Drive where Agent Pendergast's (one of the novel's characters) uncle Enoch Leng lived and where Pendergast with his ward Constance Greene live now.



References


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