By Gabriela Resto-Montero
UPPER EAST SIDE — Across party lines the Democratic and Republican candidates for the East Side congressional seat agreed on one thing — Central Park is a pretty sweet place to be on an afternoon off from the campaign trail.
DNAinfo asked each contender where they would spend an afternoon on the Upper East Side if they had some free time on their hands and the four candidates said they would start at the park.
Here, in their own words, are the rest of their responses.
Dino LaVerghetta, Republican:
My perfect afternoon on the Upper East Side would have to involve my wife, Rose. She has been my best friend since we were sixteen and we do everything together.
We would start the day off in Central Park with our little pug, setting up a blanket on Cherry Hill. Cherry Hill is the spot where Rose and I were engaged and it provides gorgeous vistas of the lake. We’d enjoy a few hours playing Frisbee, reading, and soaking in the warm summer sun.
After the park, we would head over to one of our favorite lunch spots on the Upper East Side, Felice Wine Bar. Located at the corner of 64th Street and First Avenue, Felice serves deliciously simple Italian food in a rustically elegant setting. Rose would probably have the Papardelle Alla Bolegnese and I would get the Ravioli Della Casa.
After lunch, we would take a stroll around the neighborhood, working off the food and looking to discover a new hangout along the way.
Eventually, we would end up at Club Macanudo, located on 63rd Street between Madison and Park. There we would cap off the afternoon by enjoying drinks in the company of our close friends.
Our friends are a diverse group of people: elementary-school teachers, lawyers, artists, writers, business people, etc. Some we have known since high school, others we met while studying at NYU, and some we only recently met on the campaign trail.
The different perspectives always leads to intriguing conversations and heated debates that would be sure to carry my “perfect afternoon on the Upper East Side” well into the night.
Reshma Saujani, Democrat:
If I had a free day to relax on the Upper East Side, I'd start out by checking out the dog run in Central Park and then going for a jog around the reservoir. It’s the perfect place to run and reminds you of why this is the greatest city in the world.
After my jog, I’d cool off with a stroll down Fifth Avenue and then relax with some breakfast at Nectar Cafe.
One of my favorite things to do is read, so after breakfast, I would explore the books at Crawford Doyle and see what I could turn up.
Then I would continue my stroll east towards the river and get a coffee at M Rohrs. M Rohrs is a phenomenal place to read and recharge. In the summer, there is usually a street fair on Third Avenue so I'd head south on Third Avenue and chat with the vendors while trying my best not to eat too much!
I’m a big walker – our female campaign staffers know to keep a pair of flats in their purse because I want to walk everywhere. At the end of my walk, I’d make sure to head into Dylan’s Candy Bar since I have quite the sweet tooth.
Overall, it would be a nice mix of enjoying the sights, reading and relaxing, and, of course, eating my way through the neighborhood.
Ryan Brumberg, Republican:
I wake up, and it’s 70 degrees, dry, and sunny.
My girlfriend and I head to Dorrian’s to watch the game. Somehow the Mets and Yankees are both simultaneously playing the Red Sox, and somehow they both simultaneously win.
A Red Sox fan admits on TV that New York is better than Boston — in everything. A spontaneous ticker-tape parade rolls through, and we get on a float and the players invite me to try out in Spring Training.
We walk up to the 86th Street subway platform, where it’s 70 degrees, dry, and sunny. We get out at 59th Street and walk over to Central Park where two strangers insist that we take their brand new Schwinn Peloton Comp bicycles for a ride.
We loop around the park, and even crest the 108th street hill without needing to peddle.
It’s lunch time. I buy the biggest pretzel I’ve ever seen with salt completely covering it. My girlfriend gets a hot-dog with every condiment known to the free world.
We head to the Met, and I rush her to my favorite exhibit, the Ancient Greek Room.
I impress her with my memorized knowledge of Greek mythology, and the statue of Zeus gives me a wink.
On our way home a rainbow appears over Park Avenue. I hear my neighbor Frank singing a tune that is suspiciously similar to my alarm clock’s ring, “New York, New York.” I wake up, and it’s 70 degrees, dry, and sunny.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Democrat, Incumbent:
My district has so much to offer — museums, restaurants, parks. But one of my favorite places is Central Park. I love taking advantage of any opportunity I have to spend time there.
Just recently, I was lucky to attend the Parkinson's Unity Walk. It was a beautiful day in Central Park and I was there to bring attention to an important cause and spend time with some of my constituents.
This is one of my favorite events of the year because it is an issue that is incredibly important to me. I am one of the founders of the Congressional Working Group on Parkinson's Disease and helped secure millions of dollars for research for Parkinson's disease.
And just a couple of weeks ago, I was out in Queens showing my support for the local girl scouts.
To me, nothing is more rewarding and enjoyable than being out on the streets of my district talking to my neighbors and constituents. The New Yorkers I meet serve as a reminder of what I'm fighting for in Washington.