The Upper West Side is one of the places in Manhattan where I feel at home. After living and studying in Italy for three months, I began to yearn for a small and quiet café that reminded me of the lifestyle I used to lead. Arte Around the Corner, on 73rd Street and Columbus Avenue, became this café for me. There is a Starbucks right across the street from Arte, but Arte is what gives this part of the UWS character. My table of choice during the unbearable winter months is the one tucked neatly into the corner and facing the street. During the spring and summer, I venture out onto the street tables and sip a cappuccino as I watch the taxis go by on Columbus Avenue.
The best part about Arte is that they are open all day from 7:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night, similar to the way a traditional Italian café would be open back in Italia. The café is perfect for a cappuccino in the morning, an espresso—which comes from Antica Tosatura Triestina—and panino at lunch, or a glass of wine with antipasto for relaxing in the evening. Everything about this café reminds me of my time in Europe, including the 80s new wave music they play like it’s 1988 all over again.
Arte is extremely casual and has that eclectic café feel. The furniture does not match perfectly, so it is certainly far from a cookie cutter, mass-appealing Dunkin’ Donuts. The couches and the wooden tables and chairs seem to go together, giving it that vibe that says: come on in. You’re home. Stay a while. Listen to Depeche Mode like the good ol’ days.
I highly suggest making a stop to this UWS gem if you’re looking to have some piece of mind away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Arte reminds me to stop and appreciate the beauty of life, along with the delicious simplicity of a well-brewed cup of coffee. Arte also reminds me that there are few things as delightfully entertaining as people watching in a café. In the words of Ben Whishaw, “The most amazing thing is when you find yourself watching someone in the cafe or something doing something weird. It’s amazing what people do, isn’t it, when you just look at them, when you take the time to look.” Cheers! Now enjoy your cup of coffee and pretty people perusing on the UWS. (#PPP. Let’s pretend that’s a thing.)
PHONE (212) 875-2195