Ah yes, Sutton Place – the other Avenue A. Home to some of the richest residents in the city, these blocks are chock full of incredible townhouses, apartments and condos. Being on the far east side of Manhattan, I took this opportunity to also cover the small cul-de-sacs formed by the various intersecting streets.
Thanks to the FDR Drive sitting beneath the cantilevered buildings here, there are several public spaces at the end of each of the blocks. There's something very strange about these beautiful spaces. Almost hidden by the surrounding buildings, you're left feeling unwelcome amongst the high class elite that call this neighborhood home. If you can get over that, though, the views you're presented with are unparalleled. With the Queensboro Bridge reaching across Roosevelt Island, the panorama is simply breathtaking.
Wikipedia offered up a rather amusing (to me, at least) piece of information regarding the "back yard" of One Sutton Place, which lies next to one of the aforementioned cul-de-sac parks:
The property behind One Sutton Place South is currently the subject of a dispute between the building's owners and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Like the adjacent park, the rear garden at One Sutton Place South is, in fact, cantilevered over the FDR Drive, a busy expressway at Manhattan's eastern edge that is not visible from most of Sutton Place. In 1939, city authorities took ownership of the property behind One Sutton Place South by condemnation in connection with the construction of the FDR Drive, then leased it back to the building. The city claims the building's lease for its backyard expired in 1990, and was never renewed. If the city prevails in this litigation, the property will be combined with the adjacent park, more than doubling the size of the existing public space.
I must say, I wouldn't mind seeing that happen.