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North of the Transverse

East of Broadway, above 96th Street, the sleepy blocks near Central Park are being energized by a big-box megaplex, but keeping their small-town charm.

The Newcomer: Talya Kook
Age: 26
Works: Doctoral student at Pace University.
Resides: A two-bedroom apartment near 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue that she shares with a roommate.
Years in the Neighborhood: Just over one.
“I used to live in the Eighties and I loved it, but they were jacking up the rent too much. There wasn’t much up here when we first moved but there’s so much going on on Columbus now. I hear there’s a Crumbs and a Borders on the way. We might be the only young people in the building. We definitely stick out.”

1. Associated Supermarket
755 Amsterdam Ave., at 97th St. 212-665-9900
“I have a love-hate relationship with Associated. It’s small and can get really crowded, but generally they have good prices. The key is going during off-peak hours. It’s heavenly when no one’s there.”

2. 97th Street Greenmarket
97th St. nr. Amsterdam Ave.; Fridays, 8 a.m.– 2 p.m. year round
“Once I was going to make a soup, and saw the most gorgeous leeks here I’d ever seen.”

3. Xtreem Kleen Laundromat & Dry Cleaning
772 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 98th St. 212-280-3930
“We have machines in the building, but it’s a good alternative for when they’re full.”

4. Whole Foods Market and Wine Store
808 Columbus Ave., at 97th St. 212-222-6160
“My friends and I went to the opening-night event in August. They have a gelato stand and an impressive beer selection. Everything you get you love, but it’s tough on a student budget.”

5. Michaels
808 Columbus Ave., nr. 100th St. 212-865-0813
“It’s an especially awesome craft store that just opened. I love decoupage, scrapbooking, making little things for friends.”

6. Ding Dong Lounge
929 Columbus Ave., nr. 106th St.; 212-663-2600
“My friends and I go here for their $2 happy hour. They have live music, and it’s one of the few non-fratty options up here.”

7. All Seasons Nails & Spa
2566 Broadway, nr. 96th St. 212-666-8822
“Best pedicure of your life, but it’s expensive—$30 just for your feet. They put your feet in this thick gel instead of warm water. It feels very luxe.”

8. Mama Mexico
2672 Broadway, nr. 102nd St. 212-864-2323
“Great drinks, a mariachi band, and tableside guac’, which I love.”

9. Lenny’s Bagels
2601 Broadway, at 98th St.; 212-222-0410
“I’m a tough sell—I used to have H&H right across the street— but Lenny’s is okay.”

10. Peaches Natural Yogurt Café
2543 Broadway, nr. 95th St. 212-222-6228
“It’s more yogurt-y than Tasti D. It’s a good, healthy snack. But I’d still rather have ice cream.”

11. Symphony Space
2537 Broadway, at 95th St. 212-864-5400
“Great shows and movies here, but my schedule is so crazy I rarely have time to go.”

12. Riverside Park 96th Street Clay Tennis Courts
96th St. at the Hudson River 212-978-0277
“This was my first summer up here, and I took full advantage. I even put my gym membership on hold.”

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