Neighborhood Focus: Upper West Side

The next installment of our Neighborhood series is here!  Uptown living is at its best on the Upper West Side -- at least according to our team member Katie, who lives there. In addition to being a great place to live, proximity to the American Museum of Natural History, NY Historical Society, Columbia University, and Lincoln Center makes the UWS a top destination for learning and the arts.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Photo credit: Wikipedia



The historic Upper West Side is home to families and neighborhood communities, many of which are supported by organizations such as the 104th Block Association/Bloomingdale Aging in Place, Project OPEN at Lincoln Towers, and the Goddard Riverside Community Center. Tree-lined streets and easily accessible transportation make the UWS a desirable place to call home in Manhattan.

The Jewish Community Center at 76th & Amsterdam has a full gym, lectures, classes, and social groups for people of all ages.  Stay up to date with neighborhood news and events in the local blog, the West Side Rag.


From world renowned restaurants at the Time Warner Center to local eateries on side streets, the Upper West Side has something for every palate. Stop by Gray's Papaya for a quick bite on the walk to Central Park, or try Levain Bakery's famous cookies, as featured on the Food Network's Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. For brunch or a midday break, the Fairway café, frequented by Jerry Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is a prime neighborhood spot for people watching.


Central Park is the gem of Manhattan and only steps away from subway and bus stations. The park offers activities for all ages, including playgrounds, concert spaces, the Bethesda Fountain, the Reservoir and the Harlem Meer, walking trails, and bike paths. Spectators can take in baseball, croquet, tennis, and soccer matches throughout the park on sunny days in the spring, summer, and fall.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Photo credit: Pixabay


Head over to Riverside Park for walking and bike paths, playgrounds, beautiful green spaces, and sports. On hot summer days, the breeze from the Hudson is a welcome reprieve from the heat!

For upcoming concerts and events, check the NYC Parks page.


The UWS offers a mix of local shops and chain stores to meet every need. With markets like Fairway, Zabar's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Citarella, hosting a dinner party or buying prepared food is as simple as a walk down the street.

Photo credit: Dave Winer (Flickr)

Photo credit: Dave Winer (Flickr)


Home wares can be found on the 2nd floor of Zabar’s, Laytner’s, or Bed Bath & Beyond. There are bookshops throughout the neighborhood, including two local favorites, Westsider Rare & Used Books (80th & Broadway) and Book Culture (112th & Brodway). Catch an upcoming author appearance at the Barnes & Noble at 82nd and Broadway.

Boutiques line Columbus Avenue and Broadway, with shoes to be found at Harry’s or Tip Top, thrift shops like Housing Works and Goodwill, and special occasion pieces at Alexis Bittar.


The UWS is well connected to the rest of the city, making it easy for residents and visitors to get around:

  • 1/2/3 subways run local and express along Broadway with express hubs at 72nd and 96th
  • B/C subways run local along Central Park West, with a stop at the Natural History Museum
  • A/D subways run express from Columbus Circle to 125th St in Harlem for the quickest ride from from the bottom to top of Central Park
  • North-South buses can be found along Broadway, Amsterdam, Columbus, Riverside Drive, and Central Park West
  • Crosstown buses are available along 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 96th, and 110th
  • Catch a ride on the M60 bus from 105th St to LaGuardia airport for only $2.50

Have comments or other tips for living well on the Upper West Side? Comment below or drop us a line at