Upper West Side, New York
For many, the Upper West Side with its brownstone apartments, American Museum of Natural History, Riverside Park and gourmet markets—is a New Yorker’s New York. Home of classic New York City romance from strolls in Riverside Park (Riverside Drive from 72nd St. to 155th St.) to stunning pre-war brownstone apartments to the famed American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79st St.), the Manhattan neighborhood on the west side of Central Park is a place like no other.
Primarily a residential neighborhood, the Upper West Side can offer visitors a true taste of New York Life. It is easy to eat up an entire afternoon just shopping for a quick snack at Zabar’s (Broadway at 80th St.) or Fairway (Broadway at 74th St.) gourmet markets or grabbing a hot dog at Gray’s Papaya (Broadway at 72nd St.) before window-shopping the strip of boutiques and national chains running down Broadway towards Lincoln Center.
Alternatively, the quieter, uptown areas on the West Side offer relaxing weekend walks in Riverside Park—best in the spring when the tulips along the paths are in full bloom—or through the weekly farmers’ market on Sundays on 77th Street at Columbus Avenue.
If sightseeing is more your taste, be sure to visit nearby Morningside Heights where you’ll find General Grant’s Tomb in Riverside Park for a little historical Americana, Columbia University and the infamous residence of late Beatle John Lennon at the Dakota on 72nd St. a short stroll from Strawberry Fields in Central Park.
Also of interest: The American Bible Society (1865 Broadway at 63rd St.) houses the world’s largest collection of Bibles (37,000), the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 110th St.) is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral—tall enough to dwarf the Statue of Liberty.
Nightlife on Upper West Side
For those who crave the nightlife, the Upper West Side will not leave visitors stranded. The strip of bars along Amsterdam Avenue from 79th-85th Sts. includes tastes of Bourbon Street (407 Amsterdam Ave. b/t 79th and 80th Sts.), the Silk Road (447 Amsterdam Ave. b/t 81st and 82nd Sts.), a glimpse of High Life (477 Amsterdam Ave. at 83rd St.), and good ol’ BBQ at Brother Jimmy’s (428 Amsterdam Ave. b/t 80th and 81st Sts.).
Also, check out Stand Up New York (236 W. 78th St. near Broadway) comedy club, to see the roots of comedy stars like Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld.
All sites on the Upper West Side are accessible by subway lines 1, 2, 3, 9, A, B, C, D and E.
by Corinne Iozzio