Lifestyle

Breaking down all of NYC's old-school, members-only clubs

Published On 05/11/2014 Published On 05/11/2014
Wikimedia Commons/ Gryffindor
Flickr/ Eden Pictures
Wikimedia Commons/ Jim Henderson
Flickr/ Eden Pictures
Wikimedia Commons/ Beyond My Ken
Flickr/ Jazz Guy
Wikimedia Commons/ Jim Henderson
Wikimedia Commons/ Dmadeo
Andrew Zimmer
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1. The Harmonie Club 4 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022 (Upper East Side)

With a 160+ year history, this private club is a bit of a New York institution. The second private club of record to be founded in the City, -- then as a singing and dining association -- the club shot to notoriety as notables like Mayor Bloomberg and President Barack Obama shunned it's unchanging squash courts, Sunday brunches and in-house barber shop because of lack of diversity.

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2. Union Club 101 E 69th St, New York, NY 10021 (Upper East Side)

175 years and still kicking at this UES private club. Having spawned a few of the city's other clubs -- The Brook, The Union League Club and The Knickerbocker Club among them -- the club features a card room denoted by the cards carved into the mantlepiece, and eating areas helmed by the award winning French chef Jean-Louis Dumonet.

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3. Union League Club 38 E 37th St, New York, NY 10016 (Midtown East)

Outside of designated telephone booths, the usage of cellphones and PDAs are banned in this private club. Stash it away in the pockets of your blazer - which, along with your tie is required - and take time to focus on the paintings of the U.S Presidents on the walls(15) were members) and the corned beef hash in front of you.

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4. The Century Association 7 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036 (Midtown West)

The Century Association is one of New York's oldest and most well-respected clubs. Founded over 150 years ago, this Midtown West legend is filled with media, advertising, and writerly types, and if you can afford about $2,000 for dues, it could also be filled with you!

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5. The University Club 5 Ave A, New York, NY 10009 (Midtown East)

Aside from a reading room, dining room, and library, this classic NYC institution also features rooms to stay, squash courts, a swimming pool, and an actually reasonably priced wine cellar, making this Midtown club a mainstay for the wealthy and sophisticated.

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6. Metropolitan Club 1 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022 (Upper East Side)

If you've got a friend to get you past the gates out front, you'll be able to eat a rooftop lunch in this J.P Morgan founded and funded private club while overlooking Central Park. Short of that there's always the wineroom and the bowling alley to peruse.

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7. The Explorers Club 46 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021 (Upper East Side)

This spot on the UES hosts a group of various professionals dedicated to... guess what... exploring! Lectures, adventurous culinary expos, and more, all fit the bill.

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8. National Arts Club 15 Gramercy Park S, New York, NY 10003 (Gramercy)

After you browse the two galleries, or before, take a seat in the dining hall of this Gramercy mansion that's been featured in Boardwalk Empire and sits next to The Player's Club for crab cakes, sesame encrusted salmon and black out cake. It might not sound all that fancy but you still need a membership to get in.

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9. Knickerbocker Club 2 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10065 (Upper East Side)

Knickerbocker Club is one of NYC's esteemed members-only, old-school mens clubs. Founded in 1871, it originally served as a haven for members of the Union Club who were concerned that the club's admission standards had fallen. Its members include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Woodbury Kane, and Navy Commander in Chief Jerauld Wright.

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