This stretch of 86th Street could probably best be classified as 'transitional'. Walking further east towards Carl Schurz Park is more a residential vibe while going the other way, towards Lex, drops a whole bunch of commercial entities in your lap. Arguably, it's a nice median. It's easy here to avoid the crowds that gather a few blocks to the west (where Best Buy, Victoria's Secret and a plethora of other chains live) while still feeling like you're not stuck in the sticks.
None of the buildings here seem particularly recent- at least nothing that looked newer than 30 years old. I wonder how long that will last considering how quickly the blocks around it are being revamped.
The Gristedes here had a giant pear covered in graffiti and bird shit. That ranks up there on my "favorite things" list.