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Guide: Upper West Side, NYC

Guide: Upper West Side, NYC

Screenwriter and longtime resident Nora Ephron adored the Higher West Aspect a lot she as soon as stated, “I started, in my method, to make a faith out of my neighborhood.” Maybe she worshipped the acres of inexperienced area and majestic prewar buildings towering above the avenues. Or perhaps it was the leafy brownstone blocks and their small-town really feel, unlikely in a metropolis of tens of millions.

Brownstone blocks on the Higher West Aspect have a small-town really feel. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

A world away but minutes by practice from the throngs of vacationers in Midtown, the Higher West Aspect unveils a glimpse of actual life in New York together with plain allure and character, and a dynamic arts and tradition scene. Traditionally an epicenter for creatives and intellectuals, the Higher West Aspect is snug, if not relaxed. However it’s removed from cool or hip just like the West Village, Soho, and different downtown siblings. Nonetheless, a singular high quality of life exists right here, a draw for denizens who put down roots and for curious guests who cross via.

The UWS, because it’s referred to as by locals, begins at 59th Road-Columbus Circle or the south finish of Central Park and stretches to 110th Road or the north finish of the park (a more moderen dividing line, because it was as soon as 96th, however the border has crept up through the years). With a inhabitants of greater than 220,000, it’s on no account small, however the Higher West teems with small-town taste but guarantees the conveniences of massive metropolis life. Seven subway strains run by means of the neighborhood, giving good cause to enterprise out and expertise the remainder of New York.

The Higher West Aspect begins at 59th Road – Columbus Circle. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

The united statesis wedged between Central Park – the place you can simply spend a day (or a number of) discovering its myriad gardens, monuments, lakes and ponds – and Riverside Park, which runs beside the Hudson River. The deeply cinematic (it’s typically featured on the silver display) structure is grand and a few of the most alluring (and storied) within the 5 boroughs. Pay particular consideration to The Apthorp (2211 Broadway), The Ansonia (2109 Broadway), The Dorilton (171 W 71st St) and The Dakota (1 W 72nd St), the place Judy Garland, Rudolph Nureyev, and John Lennon as soon as lived. Cease by the ‘Think about’ mosaic shrine in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields – a tribute to the late singer -songwriter– set throughout the road from The Dakota.

Due to the huge inexperienced area and a inventory of spacious flats, the world is decidedly family-friendly (don’t be stunned when you witness a stroller or scooter collision whereas marching down Broadway), making it an appropriate base for these touring with youngsters. Like many areas of Manhattan, Broadway is the primary artery. A landscaped island peppered with public artwork tasks gracefully divides the four-lane boulevard the place you possibly can browse a parade of storefronts, each giant chains and boutiques, mingled with eating places.

Broadway is the primary artery with a parade of outlets and eating places. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Don’t skip over Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues – each east of Broadway – two thoroughfares providing a mishmash of nationwide retailers, bodegas, and mom-and-pop specialty outlets, in addition to a slew of watering holes and eateries. All three avenues clamor with exercise whereas UWS locals wander round, stroll canine, sip espresso, spend, and socialize. It’s the aspect streets (they run east to west), nevertheless, the place you’ll sight picture-perfect brownstones and the leafiness that the neighborhood is legendary for. Blocks within the West 70s, particularly, are a number of the most picturesque that you simply’ll come throughout in Manhattan, every feeling like its personal small city.

Uncover tree-lined blocks on the Higher West Aspect. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Central Park West (CPW), alongside the eponymous park, in addition to West Finish Avenue and Riverside Drive, which hugs Riverside Park and the Hudson River, are regal residential avenues lined with majestic prewar high-rises. Stroll any of those stately streets and also you’ll think about that you simply’ve stepped again to a New York of days passed by, maybe a metropolis someplace within the 1920s, ‘30s or ‘40s, as most of the buildings and their extraordinary particulars stay intact.

After strolling West Finish and Riverside, duck into Riverside Park at 91st Road. Meander down the hill and also you’ll be in You’ve Received Mail territory. Managed by The Backyard Individuals, the 91st Road Backyard was featured within the ultimate scene of Ephron’s romcom, the place it seems far bigger than it’s in individual. Nonetheless, the 2 lushly planted parcels are Riverside Park jewels and shouldn’t be skipped, particularly in spring, summer time, and fall.

The 91st Road Backyard is an UWS jewel. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Inside the confines of the Higher West Aspect lie a few of New York’s most prized cultural points of interest. Lincoln Middle for the Performing Arts homes 11 organizations together with the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York Metropolis Ballet. Jazz at Lincoln Middle directed by Wynton Marsalis options musical soloists and ensembles. The world-renowned performing arts conservatory, Juilliard, additionally has its house right here.

Lincoln Middle for the Performing Arts is likely one of the neighborhood’s most prized cultural points of interest. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

For world-class live shows and comedy, the Beacon Theater (hooked up to the lodge by the identical identify) has hosted the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Joan Baez, and Jerry Seinfeld. The American Museum of Pure Historical past, New York Historic Society, American People Artwork Museum, and the Museum of Artwork & Design additionally share the neighborhood, permitting vacationers to seize a style of UWS arts and tradition. Tip: Don’t miss Theodore Roosevelt Park. Surrounding the Museum of Pure Historical past, it’s a pleasing detour away from the visitors of Columbus Avenue and a stunning respite within the midst of the town.

Theodore Roosevelt Park surrounds the American Museum of Pure Historical past.(Photograph: Tracy Kaler)


Named after a short-lived airway beacon atop the constructing’s 24 tales, Lodge Beacon (2130 Broadway) is certainly one of New York’s hidden gems. The inn supplies spacious lodging, every outfitted with a marble rest room and kitchenette. Catch the after-work crowd at Beacon Bar simply off the foyer, a contemporary but cozy place that includes cocktails and lightweight bites.

The close by Arthouse Lodge (2178 Broadway) fuses custom with stylish, refined fashion. Select from visitor rooms, lofts, and suites, all impressed by New York flats. Two wonderful on-site eating places – Serafina for Italian fare and Purple Farm for modern Asian delicacies – permit visitors to dine within the lodge after lengthy days sightseeing within the metropolis. Earlier than or after a meal, pop into the speakeasy-themed Arthouse Bar and unwind with a signature libation.

Luxurious abounds on the Columbus Circle outpost of Mandarin Oriental (80 Columbus Circle). Enter to a modern, trendy area and journey to the sky foyer on the 35th flooring. This grand reception space connects to The Aviary, certainly one of New York’s most avant-garde consuming dens the place mixologists sling theatrical cocktails that pair completely with over-the-top metropolis views. Room perks embrace luxurious bedding and toiletries in addition to floor-to-ceiling home windows with tons of pure mild. Splurge on lunch or dinner at Asiate, a chic eating area adorned with crisp white tablecloths and delicate magenta orchids.

Asiate at Mandarin Oriental gives a chic eating area. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Eat and Drink

An UWS establishment, Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam Ave) encompasses a conventional takeout deli with all of the fixings in addition to an off-the-cuff restaurant that’s modified little because it opened on this location in 1929. Bask in gravlax, kippered salmon, and pickled herring (Barney himself was labeled ‘the Sturgeon King’), home-made borscht, matzoh ball soup, noodle pudding, and different Jewish soul meals classics on the cash-only institution that is still a family-operated enterprise.

Savor epic French Dip sandwiches garnished with huge dill pickles at Maison Pickle (2315 Broadway). Past the basic dips, Jacob Hadjigeorgis and his crew plate comfort-loaded dishes reminiscent of bone marrow with baked clams, fried hen n’ toast, and filet mignon au poivre. Begin your meal with a reasonably bowl of pickled crudité, the ‘d’olived’ eggs (deviled with additional virgin olive oil) and the pulled aside bread and butter, certainly well worth the carbs. An creative cocktail listing measures as much as the meals, and so does the wine and beer menu. Make sure to go to sister eatery Jacob’s Pickles (509 Amsterdam Ave), recognized for fried hen and different Southern-inspired dishes.

The pulled aside bread and butter at Maison Pickle is well worth the carbs.(Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

Fortunately for Higher West Siders, Xi’an’s Well-known Meals (2675 Broadway) arrange an outpost within the northern finish of the neighborhood. Began in a 200-square-foot basement stall in Flushing, Queens, the eatery aimed to deliver the beforehand unknown delicacies from Xi’an, China to america. Since its startup in 2005, the laid-back spot has expanded to incorporate greater than a dozen places, turning into a prime decide for genuine Chinese language meals. Patrons can anticipate yummy hand-pulled noodles, secret spice mixes, many with Center Japanese affect, and fiery Xi’an burgers between selfmade flatbread.

Sip beneficiant pours of Côtes De Rhône and Mourvèdre at Amelie (566 Amsterdam Ave), a quaint café occupying a slender area that’s heavy on environment. The wine bar-cum-restaurant provides an in depth record of Previous World decisions by the glass and bottle together with an ample choice of small plates and entrees. Heat bacon and a runny poached egg make heaven of the Lyonnaise salad, and the ever-classic Coq au Vin sates hearty appetites. Different must-tries embrace the moulés mariniere and steak aux échalottes. Don’t miss completely satisfied hour at Amelie; it might be the perfect deal on the town with glasses of wine for $7, flights for $12, and appetizer specials.

The seasonal Boat Basin Café (W 79th St) is just open from April by means of October (and infrequently on a heat day in March), however packs in locals prepared to flee their cabin fever as quickly because the climate permits. Situated inside the historic partitions of the 79th Road Boat Basin, the outside bar supplies beautiful views of the marina and Hudson River, in addition to kaleidoscope-like sunsets over New Jersey. Pre-made frozen margaritas are a serious draw, however the Boat Basin retains a full bar plus beer and wine. For eats, anticipate a step up from the standard bar meals, with recent salads and sandwiches in addition to the New York ‘dawwg’, tacos of the day and different road meals. As a result of it’s an open-air venue, the Boat Basin is likely one of the solely dog-friendly watering holes within the metropolis.

Higher West Siders frequent the Boat Basin Cafe for the kaleidoscope-like sunsets over the Hudson River. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)


What occurs when nice associates Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes marry their skills and keenness in hopes of baking the world’s biggest chocolate chip cookie? Levain Bakery (167 W 74th St and Amsterdam Ave and 351 Amsterdam Ave). Strains are lengthy however clients will attest that the delicious baked items are properly value any wait, particularly these sinful, crunchy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside chocolate chip walnut cookies. Levain’s breads are additionally decadent, with brioche, nation boule, ciabatta and crusty French baguette baked recent day by day.

Store unmentionables galore at City Store (2270 Broadway), a New York mainstay since 1888. Nonetheless household owned and operated, the lingerie boutique shares fairly and sensible undergarments from Chantelle, Natori, PrimaDonna and Spanx, to call a couple of. Apart from lacy bralettes and boy shorts, City Store additionally sells sleepwear, swimsuits, shapewear, hosiery and socks. The shop attracts consumers from across the metropolis, because it’s garnered a lot reward through the years for a well-rounded choice and pleasant employees.

Promoting lingerie since 1888, City Store is an UWS mainstay. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

New York’s go-to low cost retailer for designer labels is Century 21 (1972 Broadway). Store for trendy treasures like a classic Louis Vuitton purse and a pair of Jimmy Choo lace-up pumps. Uncover deep reductions on different luxurious manufacturers like Carolina Herrera, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel and Derek Lam. Century 21 additionally shares residence items corresponding to bedding, dinnerware and rugs, plus baggage, tech, magnificence gadgets, youngsters’ garments and toys.

Novels, memoirs, poetry collections, course books, and anthologies cowl the cabinets of Ebook Tradition (450 Columbus Ave). As one of many remaining and thriving unbiased bookstores in New York, this refreshing store is a gathering place and centrally situated spot that represents the Higher West Aspect’s deep-seated sense of group, in addition to a terrific supply to purchase the subsequent greatest vendor. E-book Tradition hosts readings, discussions, ebook releases and different grownup occasions, in addition to story occasions for younger readers.

No journey to the Higher West Aspect is full with no go to to Zabar’s (2245 Broadway). Set in the identical location since 1934, the family-owned grocery, deli, and café is known for smoked salmon, house-roasted espresso, freshly baked breads and a powerful cheese choice from across the globe. The foodie emporium sells the whole lot from knishes to chilly cuts to sushi, in addition to an extended listing of gourmand foodstuffs for carry-out. A visit to Zabar’s might go one thing like this: eat a New York bagel with a ‘schmear’ within the café. Meander by means of the grocery store and deli subsequent door, tasting as many free samples as attainable. Peruse the various assortment of small kitchen home equipment and devices upstairs on the mezzanine. Lastly, depart with extra food-filled Zabar’s luggage than anybody can carry.

No journey to the Higher West is full and not using a go to to Zabar’s. (Photograph: Tracy Kaler)

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