Golden Retriever: How was book club?
Chihuahua: Let’s just say that’s the last time we let a basset hound make the selection.
MEET DORIAN THORNLEY
Westsider Rare & Used Books is the store’s full name, but Westsider is how Dorian answers the phone and it’s fitting: the bookstore is very Upper West Side. A bit like your favorite dinner guest, Westsider is warm, charming, and eclectic—you never know what you will discover.
For over 45 years, Westsider has provided the curious and the well-read with a carefully curated collection of books. It’s so quaint and perfectly anachronistic that it’s been the site of several photo and movie shoots when they call for a classic New York City Bookstore. It’s small and intimate, with room to browse below and for hosting book clubs and the occasional “Bad Poetry” night on the mezzanine.
The shop feels like a place where magic could happen, where you discover and fall in love with an author you had never heard of— or the browser alongside you. Last year, the store experienced its own dramatic plot twist. On the verge of closing, Westsider was saved by supporters from 80th Street all the way to Uruguay. In an only-on-the-Upper-West-Side moment, and a neighborhoodappropriate mix of old and new, the store (which began with a wheelbarrow full of used books for sale) was saved via a Kickstarter campaign that raised $54,000 in four days. It has since grown and innovated. The next generation of readers remains in good hands.
We have so many families in this neighborhood. Kids who have been coming here since they were toddlers and are now teenagers, selling us back books and buying new ones as they grow up. I really like that we are part of the community.
—DORIAN THORNLEY, OWNER
MEET JUDITH NORELL
OVER THE MOON
Silver Moon is not your typical bakery—which makes a lot of sense since Judith Norell is not your typical baker. Let’s start with her resume.
While it includes the requisite classes, a local apprenticeship and a stint in Paris training under master baker Gérard Mulot, she had an entirely different and successful career before the idea for Silver Moon ever, you’ll forgive the pun, rose up.
Judith was a concert harpsichordist for decades playing at nearby Carnegie Hall among other celebrated venues. Retiring as a vibrant 60-yearold, Judith dove into baking with a passion, bringing the same drive for perfection and artistry that had already served her so well. Silver Moon is a vegetarian bakery. While classical music fittingly plays in the background, Judith and her staff churn out fan favorites like baguettes, challah and her legendary orange-chocolate loaf. Judith is not one to stand still. Her joie de vivre is infectious. Intensely curious, she is always rolling out seasonal delicacies and trying out new recipes
“Customers will recommend things and I will try them. I baked “Maria’s bread” to raise money for a friend’s husband who was in the war. I like to give back to the community.” As open as Judith is to change, she also values constancy and loyalty. Silver Moon has been at the same corner of Broadway and 105th Street from day one, and some of her workers have been too.
This is a woman who has kept her sourdough starter going for 19 years, feeding it daily. Bread of all types holds a special place in Judith’s heart: “I love the smell of bread and the heat of the oven, it’s a warm feeling and comforting thing.” Her core values are good advice for any business: “Care about your customers, quality, and make sure your business has a human feeling and personal contact.”
I love the smell of bread and the heat of the oven, it’s a warm feeling and comforting thing.
— JUDITH NORELL, OWNER