New York City contains multitudes, as any New Yorker can tell you. In Morningside Heights, Manhattan has an Ivy League college town all its own. With Riverside Park to the west, Morningside Park to the east and Columbia University and the stately Romanesque Cathedral of St. John the Divine at its center, Morningside Heights combines the best of Harlem’s classic New York City aesthetics with the inimitable cultural and intellectual energy of an academic community. And while most Morningside Heights residents have something to do with Columbia, an influx of newcomers -- and the development of some new Morningside Heights condominiums -- has added new life to this uptown outpost.
While Columbia and its cultural scene define Morningside Heights, there’s more to the neighborhood than student housing. Broadway and Amsterdam are lined with restaurants and bars ranging from student-friendly dives to high-end spots, and the college-town mainstays -- coffee shops, bookstores, a diner that was famously the Seinfeld gang’s hangout of choice -- are of a more intellectual bent than are the denizens of the average frat row. And the elegant rowhouses and walk-ups that line Morningside Heights’ tree-lined blocks -- and Morningside Heights’ pre-war condo conversions and understated new condominium listings, which rank among the best values per square foot in the Manhattan condominium scene -- lend the neighborhood an uncommonly gracious air. Factor in a pair of lovely parks and the stunning architecture of Columbia University, and it’s clear that Morningside Heights is like no other college community, in or out of Manhattan.