New York City’s Upper West Side is actually quite a vast area. Close to Central Park and situated, well, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this up-market, primarily residential neighbourhood and real-estate hotspot is an area favoured both by high earners and culture seeking tourists. The Upper West Side is home to New York’s ‘high arts’ scene, with the Lincoln Centre, Metropolitan Opera House, New York City Ballet and New York Philharmonic concert venue all clustered around the one area. This is the place to visit if you want a busy, cultured and breaktaking New York City experience, and Wimdu is the place to look if you want to live like a local while you’re here. So, better bag yourself one of the neighbourhood’s chic studio apartments before they get snapped up.
Studios and Apartments
In terms of where to stay on the Upper West Side, there is a good scope of choice. Nestled among the towering structures are some really charming buildings - 4 and 5 story ‘brown stones’ - housing a range of accommodation from newly renovated studio rooms to full-floor apartments with large open plan living spaces, the likes of which the modern New Yorker would kill to own. Whether you’re here for a cultural break or you just want to look out over the sights and sip cocktails from your studio rooftop, you will be spoilt for choice on Wimdu in a city - and neighbourhood - where accommodation is notoriously few and far between.
- The Upper West Side has a reputation as New York’s cultural, intellectual and artistic stomping ground.
- The exact borders of the Upper West Side are still in dispute today.
- The river front on the Upper West Side was originally used as a transportation, shipping and manufacturing corridor.
- The Upper West Side is served by two subway lines: the IRT Broadway and the IDN Eighth Avenue Line.
- The Upper West Side has been the setting for many television soaps, movies and book settings, mainly due to its pre-war architecture, including American Psycho, Ghostbusters, and the more recent Black Swan starring Natalie Portman, who lives on the Upper West Side.
What to See and Do
As you would expect from the so dubbed ‘cultural and intellectual hub’, there is plenty to see and do on the Upper West Side. Just staying for the weekend? You’d better find a pair of comfortable shoes because you have a lot of sightseeing to do!
New York’s Lincoln Centre is an art installation itself: the construction of the modernist buildings in the 1960’s was a controversial move and criticised for it’s ‘bad design’ and ‘substandard acoustics’ but whatever you think of the aesthetics, the building still plays host to some of the city’s most iconic performances (including the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet and Metropolitan Opera House, covered in murals painted by Artist ‘Marc Chagall’). There are lesser known venues here too, hosting theatres and film screenings.
Central Park is probably one of the world’s most well known city centre green spaces, stretching for a vast 843 acres across the centre of Manhattan. The park today is both leisure space and class leveller, frequented by New Yorker’s and tourists alike: whether you’re staying on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side or across the Atlantic Ocean! Even though the park is right in the heart of New York city centre, it is amazing how tranquil and serene the space is. Which is certainly not to say there is little to do. Like the rest of the city, Central Park is a hive of activity; open air theatres, outdoor concerts, rock climbing and much more are available within the grounds. The park even has its own zoo!
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History contains a collection of over 30 million natural and historic artifacts, including dinosaur skeletons, fossils, stuffed animals and a butterfly conservatory hosting over 500 butterflies, with species from all around the world. The museum is a great place to visit with the family. With so much to see it will certainly keep the kids occupied and out of the apartment for the day - as nice as it probably is, you didn’t come to New York to spend the whole time in your swanky studio flat!
Zabar’s is a gourmet Kosher market with an Eastern European feel, in the heart of the city centre. Here you can find local produce including organic cheeses, meats and fish, dried fruits, nuts, and olives, all at very reasonable prices - and it’s a great place for people watching too. If your apartment window doesn’t already overlook one of the many bustling streets of the city that is!
As with any city centre as hectic as New York, the best way to get around is either to walk it or bike it. There are several places in the city where you can pick up bikes, including Central Park itself. Biking in the park is fairly regulated though with a counter-clockwise route to follow and a strict traffic light system to obey. Alternatively, you can take the subway, but with swarming crowds and stuffy enclosed spaces, we wouldn’t advise it in the summer! So if you favour convenience over space, take a look at the apartments for rent on right in the heart of the Upper West Side