In 2011, Betsy Bober Polivy had the crazy idea to walk the entire original Manhattan Grid — from 1st Street to 155th. It took six years traversing the streets from the East River to the Hudson as she was documenting each business, meeting the owners, and listening to their stories. It was a marvelous adventure. This was all done with the single purpose of promoting the small businesses on the side streets of Manhattan - to give them the exposure that they do not always receive. The Manhattan Sideways website (sideways.nyc) and podcasts are filled with much of her experiences.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Betsy felt compelled to write Walking Manhattan Sideways – Side Street Businesses That Have Stood the Test of Time. Her mission has always been to advocate for the small businesses, and there has never been a time that they needed our support more than now. Whether they have already closed their businesses or will, ultimately, not be able to survive COVID-19, Betsy feels it is imperative to recognize these wonderful people.
The book is filled with beautiful photography and the stories that the business owners shared with Betsy. This has been a passion project of hers that she hopes you will enjoy simply flipping through to read stories that spark your interest, or to embrace it from cover to cover. Please join us at 6:00 on Wednesday, April 21st to learn more about Betsy’s adventures on the side streets and to hear some of the fascinating histories of the small businesses on the Upper East Side and beyond.
Please click here to read a bit more about the book, and to learn how you can order copies.