When many people try to envision Manhattan, they think of Central Park and the classic brownstone architecture that makes up the backdrop of many movie and TV scenes. Those are some of the highlights of the Upper West Side. But there’s a lot more to this neighborhood than green space and luxury apartments. Learn what living in Upper West Side is really like.
Why Living in Upper West Side is so Desirable
The Upper West Side rests between Riverside Park and Central Park. It has been one of the most sought-after places to live in New York City since the 1960s. Perhaps that’s because of its beautiful location along the Hudson River.
Maybe it’s the relaxed atmosphere. Compared the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is downright laid-back. However, it’s still an elegant and happening location. It’s also ideal for families. You don’t have to worry about your kids making too much noise at 6 a.m. on a Saturday or chattering away in a local restaurant.
Many people choose to live in the Upper West Side because of the high quality of life. The neighborhood is easily accessible via bus, train or subway. Many people who live in the neighborhood work in Lower Manhattan or Midtown, which they can reach in approximately 30 minutes.
There are plenty of parks in the vicinity, which give residents and visitors a chance to get outdoors and feel relaxed in the busy city. You can establish excellent work-life balance while living in Upper West Side. There’s a great mix of culture, entertainment and leisurely activities to engage in.
Live in a Location With History
The Upper West Side is rich with history. A portion of the area was once called the Bloomingdale District. The name, which is now associated with one of the most famous stores in the city, came from the word that Dutch settlers used to describe the area.
Because the neighborhood is on the river, it was once a hub for shipping, manufacturing and transportation. A railroad line ran up the bank of the waterway.
When Central Park opened in the mid-1800s, squatters moved to the area, and the neighborhood became somewhat rowdy. But after the first subway line opened in the early 1900s, residential development of the area increased. Although the Upper West Side has had its ups and downs over the years, it is now a high-end place to live.
The Lincoln Square neighborhood in the Upper West Side is depicted in the movie “West Side Story.” Many of the scenes show some of the abandoned buildings that were still standing in 1961, when the movie was made.
The Lincoln Towers now stand in the location where the film was shot. The property’s eight buildings hold almost 4,000 apartments, which have undergone numerous renovations over the years. Although the Lincoln Towers buildings were erected in the 1960s, they’re still a modern place to live in the Upper West Side. In fact, they’re quite luxurious.
Some of the best reasons to live in a property such as Lincoln Towers include services and amenities such as:
- Fully staffed security
- Around-the-clock doormen
- On-site laundry facilities and dry-cleaning centers
- Fast, reliable internet available
- State-of-the-art gyms
- Exclusive 5-acre park for residents and guests
- Plenty of parking
There are plenty of options for living in the Upper West Side like Lincoln Towers properties, which are coops. The residents share ownership of the amenities and grounds, which is wonderful for building a solid community.
If you’re into arts and entertainment, you’ll find that there is plenty to keep you engaged when you’re living in Upper West Side. The world-famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts features all kinds of performances, including dance, theater, music, opera, family-friendly programs and festivals. Thirty facilities, including music venues and gardens, take up 16.3 acres in the neighborhood and attract 5 million visitors every year. It’s home to the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic.
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most distinguished scientific and educational institutions in the world. Founded in 1869, the museum has been bringing glimpses of the world’s cultures and scientific explorations to the public for more than a century.
There is so much to do at the museum that you’d be lucky to live near it. Shows at the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater never get boring, and many of the exhibits rotate so that you can always discover something new.
The Upper West Side is home to many fine dining establishments. Even though they’re first-rate, these eateries are laid-back.
Barney Greengrass has been a New York City tradition since it was established in 1908. The iconic deli is best known for its smoked fish and bagels. With its superior service and delicious food, the place is always packed.
Jacob’s Pickles offers southern-inspired comfort food, such as fried chicken, biscuits and homemade pickles. With an extensive craft beer menu, it’s an excellent place to join friends for happy hour or a meal.
The Ribbon is one of the most down-to-earth places on the Upper West Side, but its American cuisine is not to be missed. Whether you want to watch football with friends or have brunch with kids, you’ll feel at home in the friendly environment. Plus, the extensive menu and full bar offer something for everyone.
You can also find plenty of intimate wine bars on the Upper West Side. Between those, the cocktail bars and the casual taverns, there are several watering holes on every block.
If you live in the Upper West Side, you’ll have access to so much of what New York City has to offer. Plus, you’ll be close to many landmarks, parks and cultural activities.