Meet the Concierge

Your Personal Concierge

Top Places to Learn About New York's Past on Manhattan's West Side

Kenneth Abisror
,
Chef Concierge, Mandarin Oriental, New York
Kenneth Abisror
Chef Concierge, Mandarin Oriental, New York
80 Columbus Circle
212.805.8800

Although anyone visiting New York City can seek out the help of a local to better understand the “how,” “when” and “why” of this sprawling metropolis, the West Side of Manhattan is teeming with several institutions and attractions that can provide inquisitive minds with a detailed look into the city’s past. “One of my favorite places in the city, and the best place for such answers, is the New-York Historical Society,” says Kenneth Abisror, Chef Concierge at Mandarin Oriental, New York. This Upper West Side library and museum is full of artifacts that give an all-encompassing glance at New York’s past, as well as a children’s museum and a rotating line-up of exhibitions. “I often tell visitors [a trip to the historical society] is a great way to begin their visit—in order to reference the past and present of New York,” Abisror says. To learn about the history and design of New York’s famed Central Park, “a custom tour of the park through the Central Park Conservancy is fantastic,” Abisror says. “To understand the design of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and to hear about the way in which key New Yorkers fought to preserve Central Park as a haven for locals, is truly incredible in a city of our size.” On Fifth Avenue, which serves as the dividing point between the east and west sides of Manhattan, is the New York Public Library and it is bound to “take you back,” Abisror says. “The massive expanse of the library and the donors that contributed to its idea and construction is a window to New York’s early wealth and prosperity.” Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a prime example of the urban renewal movement that took place in the city during the 1950s and 60s. “Buy a ticket to any performance and take time to walk around this world-renowned center of the arts,” Abisror says. “Don’t forget to enjoy the fantastic cuisine of Jonathan Benno at Lincoln Ristorante.”