The Upper West Side has a large number of pre-war buildings (predominantly four- and five-story brownstones), with some exceptionally large, beautiful apartment buildings thrown in for good measure. Take a moment to go see the Dakota, constructed in the early 1880s at what is now 1 West 72nd St. While you’re there, visit the Strawberry Fields John Lennon memorial across the street in Central Park. Several large apartment buildings and complexes have been built here in subsequent years, especially to the north and west.
As early as the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the Upper West Side had some of New York’s largest and most beautiful homes. The property fronting the Hudson River was a shipping and transportation corridor, and also housed the Hudson River Railway Line. The development in Central Park in the 1850s and 1860s drove some former residents of that area west, while Columbia’s relocation to Morningside Heights in the 1890s and the completion of New York’s first subway line along 7th Avenue in 1904 ushered in a period of great growth. The population of the UWS side has evolved into a diverse ethnic and religious mix (the Upper West Side is also one of the largest Jewish enclaves in New York City).
The Upper West Side is home to some of the city’s most-respected cultural institutions, including the Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Bard Graduate Center and Gallery, among others. Perhaps the most notable institution is Lincoln Center, home to many of the city’s most renowned music and theater companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet.
The Upper West Side is also a great place to eat. There are famous high-end food stores like Zabar’s and Fairway, and not-to-be-missed neighborhood spots like Alice’s Tea Cup, Isabella’s, Pasha, Shalel Lounge, Bustan, Makana, and The Cottage. In our humble opinion the very best cookies in Manhattan come from Levain’s Bakery on 74th St. (If you think you’ve got better cookies, we’d love to hear from you!) There are also countless places to grab brunch on the weekend a neighborhood tradition.
Despite its family friendly reputation, the Upper West Side has great nightlife. Some favorites include: the Irish Pub, Dead Poet, Cream, Evelyn Lounge, Sugar Bar and John Lennon’s favorite, The Parlor.
Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle, Central Park, Columbia University, Cathedral of St. John the Divine