Living in the Upper West Side: Things to Do and See in the Upper West Side, New York

The Upper West Side—History and High Culture

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Preferred by artists, writers, intellectuals, and media professionals, it was the Upper West Side’s most famous residents—John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall, Barbara Streisand, and Woody Allen—who put it on the map. Today, the streetscape may have changed, but the ambience remains and is reflected in its cultural institutions: the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, American Museum of Natural History, Symphony Space, Beacon Theater, Juilliard School, and just to its north, Columbia University. These cultural, educational and performance spaces give the UWS scene a unique, highly creative luster. But it’s also a family-friendly neighborhood flanked by two parks, Central Park on its eastern border, and Riverside Park along the banks of the Hudson.

Where is the Upper West Side Located in NYC?

The Upper West Side is located in Uptown Manhattan, between Central Park and the Hudson River, and between West 59th Street and West 110th Street.

  • East to West Boundaries: Central Park West to the Hudson River
  • North to South Boundaries: 110th St to 59th St
  • Subways: 1, 2, 3, A, C, B and D
  • Ticket Out of the City: The Henry Hudson Parkway

What to Do in the Upper West Side?

The Upper West Side is a family-friendly neighborhood in an atmosphere of high culture. Residents can visit one of the many cultural attractions, followed by a walk in the park, in time for an evening performance of ballet, chamber music, or opera.

The Upper West Side’s world-class cultural attractions provide a variety of innovative and interactive experiences for art lovers. The whole family can enjoy the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the American Folk Art Museum, and The New-York Historical Society, which includes a notable collection of American paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. The Nicholas Roerich Museum is another Upper West Side landmark that is well worth a visit. The small museum is often overlooked, but offers a unique glimpse into the life and works of the Russian-born artist, in an elegant townhouse setting.

What to See in the Upper West Side?

The architecturally diverse neighborhood flows from the business district surrounding Columbus Circle to Lincoln Center up past the lofty Central Park West and westward toward the Hudson River. Central Park West has some of the most exclusive real estate in New York. Landmark buildings, such as the Apthorp, Ansonia, Beresford, San Remo, and the Dakota, are highly coveted. Rarely do they come up for sale, and when they do you still have to get past the building’s gatekeepers, otherwise known as the co-op board. The farther west you venture from Central Park West, the more accessible the co-op buildings—along with their respective price tags—become. Other luxury real estate options include single-family brownstone townhouses and contemporary high rises with amenities such as gyms, pools, and valet parking.

Where to Eat in the Upper West Side?

The Upper West Side has a cornucopia of culinary destinations. Among them are four Michelin-rated establishments: Per Se and Masa (both with three stars), Jean-Georges (two stars), and Dovetail (one star). The nightlife is low key yet creative. Even its eponymous Dive Bar turns out to be a charming sports bar with craft beer, great food, and an undersea theme.

What Schools are in the Upper West Side?

Like its neighbor in the east, the Upper West Side has its share of excellent schools: Trinity and Collegiate are among the top 10 private schools in the country. Among the neighborhood’s best public schools, William T. Sherman School (P.S. 87) is consistently top ranked. For the performing arts, the Juilliard School is among the best in the world. Columbia University and Barnard College are just north of these prestigious academic institutions.

How Many People Live in the Upper West Side?

Population: 220,410 (2017 data)

What Languages Are Spoken in the Upper West Side?

Language: English

What is the Currency in the Upper West Side?

Currency: USD

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