When is the Upper East Side not the Upper East Side? The answer can be found in Carnegie Hill, a small, upscale mini-neighborhood on the Upper East Side that covers the ten blocks north of 86th Street between Central Park and Third Avenue. Aesthetically, Carnegie Hill's tree-lined blocks and elegant pre-war row houses seem very Upper East Side. Ditto for the understated and resolutely up-market feel of the neighborhood's restaurants, nightspots and cultural scene. But while Carnegie Hill looks and feels much like the Upper East Side, it also departs from the Upper East Side's posh stereotype in some slight but significant ways. Where Yorkville, Carnegie Hill's fellow Upper East Side mini-neighborhood, subs in German culture and a younger-skewing nightlife scene, Carnegie Hill has a family-oriented, low-key style that recalls nothing so much as, gasp, the Upper West Side.
But while Carnegie Hill has earned a reputation as a more sedate and less buttoned-down corner of the Upper East Side, it's far from boring. The best of Manhattan's famed Museum Mile falls in Carnegie Hill, and Carnegie Hill condominiums are just a short walk from some of the loveliest real estate in Central Park. While much of the housing stock in Carnegie Hill is of the pre-war variety, a host of understated new construction Carnegie Hill condos -- for instance, the LEED-certified condominiums at 180 East 93rd Street or the elegant new condominium 1055 Park Avenue -- have added some new construction glamour to this most laid-back of neighborhoods.