Why the Upper West Side?

“Home to bankers, lawyers, media types, rumpled intellectuals, yuppies and out-of-work actors walking their dogs”.

Does this comment by The New York Times sum up Manhattan’s Upper West Side?

Yes.

And no.

There is certainly a lot more to this iconic residential area of New York City with its affluent, highly livable streets and its cultural and intellectual feel.

We love Manhattan’s Upper West Side as a gentrified oasis, a world away from the bustle of Midtown.

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Brownstone buildings of Manhattan’s Upper West Side

You can revel in its family atmosphere; the number of strollers on its pavements; its greenery; the remaining Mom and Dad shops; and chatter of children boarding yellow school buses.

Sure, a stay in the Upper West Side is not for those on a tight budget.

The neighbourhood is prosperous and expensive and we’ve found that hotel prices are often steep, even by New York City standards.

“If you’ve seen a leafy, residential Manhattan neighborhood depicted on TV or in the movies, there’s a decent chance it was the Upper West Side”. NYCgo.com

To be strictly correct, the Upper West Side lies between Central Park and the Riverside Park –  and between West 59th Street and West 110th Street.

In the distance, you can see the Hudson River and the Washington Bridge.

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New York City school bus

It has the reputation of being New York City’s cultural and intellectual hub, with Columbia University located at the north end of the neighbourhood and the Lincoln Centre  – featuring the New York Philharmonic,  the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Ballet – at the south tip.

However, for us, the appeal is much less highbrow: morning walks, coffee in hand, to Central Park to take in the procession of life; the squirrels; ponds; tennis courts; joggers; people flying kites, taking photographs,throwing frisbees; practicing baseball and preparing for work.

And what a backdrop!

Some of Manhattan’s best known  buildings rise above the park, especially in the upper west.

These include the Eldorado, San Remo, Majestic and Century apartments and the brooding Dakota building, forever known as the spot where John Lennon was murdered in 1980.

The Dakota Building
Dakota building

How to get there:

Take the 1, 2 or 3 trains to various stops along Broadway, or the A, B, C or D trains to various stops along Central Park West.

 

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