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The Upper Breast Side

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From the New York Times…

For legions of lactating women in one of Manhattan’s most productive precincts, it has become an essential destination: a place to buy breast pumps and BPA-free bottles, and to bond over the myriad challenges of what is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world. The windowless emporium on West 70th Street has not just nursing bras but nursing blouses, nursing tank tops and nursing dresses, with a name, though high in snicker potential, that perfectly captures the neighborhood zeitgeist: The Upper Breast Side.

But now, the boutique is colliding with another symbol of Manhattan life: the powerful board and picayune rules of a fancy apartment building, in this case the Pythian, a legendary landmark originally built as an exclusive — and, yes, all-male — lodge.

After a member of the board of the Pythian, a condominium whose ground-floor space the Upper Breast Side occupies, complained that its brass door was improperly ajar — and fined it $250 — the owner, Felina Rakowski-Gallagher, filed a discrimination complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights. The door, she said, was too heavy for pregnant women and stroller-pushing mothers to open safely.

The state found “sufficient evidence” to support the complaint, and recommended a public hearing; a settlement conference is scheduled for March 23. Meanwhile, the board of the Pythian has escalated the argument, saying that the Upper Breast Side is not a consultancy or resource center, as Ms. Rakowski-Gallagher described it when she bought the space five years ago — but a retail store…



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