The Upper West Side is the perfect place for those looking for a neighborhood that offers a low-key life, paired with that well-loved Manhattan glamour.


History

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In the 18th and 19th century, the soon-to-be Upper West Side featured some of colonial New York’s most ambitious and beautiful homes, which were spaced alongside Bloomingdale Road. However, during the first half of the 19th century, smaller and more suburban villas started to fill the area.

The majority of the Upper West Side’s riverfront was previously a shipping, transportation, and manufacturing corridor. In the late 1830s, the Hudson River Railroad line right-of-way was granted to connect New York City and Albany. In the 1850s and 1860s, Central Park was created, which altered the neighborhood’s atmosphere.

As this happened, the name Broadway was progressively pushed further and further to the north, slowly removing the old name of Bloomingdale Road, finally being renamed Broadway at the end of the century.

Riverside Park was created in 1866 and was officially approved by the state legislature through the efforts of Andrew Haswell Green, who was the City Parks’ Commissioner. Later in 1937, under the administration of Commissioner Robert Moses, 132 acres of land were added to the park, mostly by creating a promenade that would cover the tracks of the Hudson River Railroad.

Throughout the late 20th century, Riverside Park went through a massive revival. The Hudson River Greenway, which is along the river edge of the park, is a popular track for pedestrians and bikers who enjoy stunning views.


Accessibility

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PC: StreetEasy

The primary trains on the Upper West Side are the local 1 train and the express 2 and 3 trains. These trains stop at 72nd Street and 96th Street, while the 1 train makes stops at Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center, 79th Street, 86th Street, 103rd Street, and 110th Street.

There are also the A, B (weekdays only), C, and D trains in the Upper West Side. The A and D trains stop at Columbus Circle, and the B and C trains run local. These local trains pass through 59th Street, 72nd Street, 81st Street, 86th Street, 96th Street, 103rd Street, and 110th Street, giving commuters plenty of options.

There are also multiple bus options throughout this neighborhood, including the M5, M7, M10, M11, M12, M104, M20, M57, M66, M72, M79, M86, M96, and M106.


Lifestyle

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Residents of the Upper West Side enjoy a low-key life filled with lush greenery for weekend walks and cozy restaurants and bars.

One of the best aspects of this neighborhood is the close proximity to Central Park. Many residents will spend their time here picnicking with friends or enjoying a morning jog.


Restaurants

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PC: Edible Manhattan

The Upper West Side is filled with delicious dining options. To start, Maison Pickle will immediately become your new favorite brunch place. Be sure to try one of their Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches (we recommend the Egg and Cheese Biscuit Sandwich), and finish it off with some of their pickles.

If you aren’t looking for a full meal, try Levain Bakery, where you can have one of the best cookies in all of New York City. Or try the Mermaid Inn for a great happy hour, where you can get $1 east coast oysters and $8 cocktails.


Cost

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The Upper West Side is somewhat cost-conscious, with studios running at around $2,200 to rent, while 2 bedrooms start at around $2,800.

To purchase, studios and 1 bedroom apartments run at about $1,000,000 and 2 bedroom apartments start at around $1,500,000.


Final Verdict

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The Upper West Side is a great choice for those looking to move somewhere that still has Manhattan’s charm, but offers a quiet neighborhood to call home. The extremely accessible subways throughout this part of town also add to its convenience, making it a place many midtown and downtown commuters call home.