Neighborhood: Lincoln Square
Population: Approx. 109,298 people; population density 79,339 people per square mile (Upper West Side) (city-wide: 26,798 people per square mile)
Adjacent Neighborhoods: Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side, Central Park
Public Transit: A/B/C/D/1 (59th Street/Columbus Circle), 1 (66th Street/Lincoln Center), 2/3 (72nd Street), B/C (72nd Street).
What’s Here?: Lincoln Square is a grand, gentrified, culturally-rich neighborhood surrounding the Lincoln Center performing arts complex. With the upscale Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center, Central Park just steps away, and the vast array of restaurants and shops on the Upper West Side, the neighborhood is convenient to amenities while still offering some blocks of relative quiet. Some of the city’s finest restaurants are in Lincoln Square, including Bar Boulud, Per Se, Marea, and Jean Georges. The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and Jazz at Lincoln Center all have homes in the Lincoln Center complex, along with theater and dance. The neighborhood also has some of the finest public and private schools in the city, including The Juilliard School.
Flat or Tall?: While the side streets are lined with brownstones, a construction boom has brought a host of gleaming towers to Lincoln Square, making it one of the tallest areas of the city, from a dozen high-rises overlooking the Hudson River to the Time Warner Center at the corner of Central Park. Expensive sky-high condominium and rental units have taken over the neighborhood, with modern luxury and the high prices that tend to go with it.
History: Lincoln Center was originally built in the 1950s and 1960s in order to revitalize what was a blighted, undesirable section of the city. Over the decades since, the neighborhood has built up to become one of New York’s highlights, especially with Lincoln Center’s renovation in the 1990s and 2000s, the revitalization of Columbus Circle, and the high-rises that have bloomed along the river. Now, this is a true destination neighborhood, full of the best of what the city has to offer in terms of culture, dining, and outdoor space.
Activities: Central Park is at Lincoln Square’s doorstep, with over 800 acres of green space. In addition, Damrosch Park, part of the Lincoln Center complex, hosts Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Big Apple Circus, and events and concerts throughout the year.
Check it out: Copying the tradition of European markets, the Holiday Market at Columbus Circle brings dozens of vendors to the southwest corner of Central Park each December, with an assortment of gift ideas as well as gourmet food stalls.