For all our pretenses of sophistication, Gothamites are creatures of habit. Our cityscapes are defined by the two or three neighborhoods where we live, work, and play. The rest of the city is as foreign to us as garam masala to a Senegalese cook. I hadn't put a foot above 86th Street on the East Side for decades before enrolling in an antique jewelry course at the 92nd Street Y. A little exploration time pre- and postclass allowed me to revise my vision of the Upper East Side as an enclave of Chanel-suited, micron-thin women with dew-lapped husbands in tow. I discovered instead an area alive with frolicking children (at 5 p.m. at least), quirky specialty boutiques, and a myriad of small... More >>>