Close-Up on Turtle Bay

Green Space: You don't need to worry about finding a park to stroll through or a bench to sit down on, relax, and read a book. If you have a dog that enjoys the company of other dogs, you can go to the dog run at Peter Detmold Park located between 49th and 51st streets along FDR Drive. And you can kill two birds with one stone if you have kids and a dog: Right next door is MacArthur Playground fully equipped to make your child squeal with delight. Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park (East 47th Street between First and Second avenues) is for those individuals seeking a quiet garden enclave outfitted with benches, fountains, and gardens providing the perfect scenery for a nice lunch break. The list of parks goes on and on—for further information regarding these grassy knolls check out Then there's Robert Moses Park: Eva Moskowitz is attempting to trade this large popular park for an "esplanade" catering to U.N. delegates who want to bike, walk, and run. If you want to play b-ball, softball, or some old-fashioned Canadian-style hockey somewhere else besides Central Park, you may be sorely disappointed. (This, however, isn't set in stone. The Turtle Bay Association is doing everything within its power to make sure that these recreational options remain open to their residents.)

Famous Residents: Many famous residents have called Turtle Bay home, including Walter Cronkite, Katherine Hepburn, Dorothy Thompson, and Edgar Allan Poe. Although not known for certain, it is rumored that Nathan Hale (an American spy during the revolutionary war) was laid to rest on the gallows by the British army somewhere around Third Avenue and 51st Street.

Best Restaurants: If you're in the mood for sushi go to Sushi Yasuda (204 East 43rd Street, 212-972-1001). For a delicious, rare tenderloin there's Sparks Steakhouse (210 East 46th Street, 212-687-4855). And if you feel like a taste of Italian, try Ristorante Grifone (244 East 46th Street, 212-490-7275) or L'Impero (45 Tudor City Place, 212-599-5045)—but be warned that while your stomachs may be full at the end of your meal, your wallets will most certainly be empty. If you want to save some money, there's the great Jimbos Hamburger Place, located at 991 First Avenue (212-355-6120). Best burger in town. 'Nuff said.

The open air at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park
photo: Holly Northrop/
The open air at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park

Best Bars: Go to Second Avenue for a succession of fantastic bars. There's Metro 53 (307 East 53rd Street, 212-838-0007) if you want to shake and bake to hip-hop and techno. Try Sutton Place (1015 Second Avenue, 212-207-3777) if you want to drink and smoke at the same time, because here the third-floor rooftop comes equipped with a full service bar! For a relaxing evening of drinking and conversation try Oz Bar & Grill (889 First Avenue, 646-840-0800). It's outfitted with luscious divans and a very attractive bartending crew. And on Wednesday nights you can hear groovy live jazz performed by local musician David Ross.

Annual Events: There's the Turtle Bay Street Fair in May. All along Second Avenue, extending from 45th to 55th, the streets become a giant strip mall where vendors sell anything from food and clothing to furniture.

Crime Stats: The 17th Precinct is a relatively safe area to live: There were no murders in the past two years and six rapes in that same time. In 2004, there have been 46 robberies (down five from the previous year), 39 felonious assaults, and 89 burglaries. While this year's record looked similar to last's, there is a dramatic improvement in the past decade, with the crime rate dropping an overall 64 percent.

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