Even though it was developed later than its counterpart on the East River, the Upper West Side is alive with Manhattan history and pulsing with life. The distinctions between the two areas were never hard-and-fast, but there’s something to the conventional wisdom that, where the Upper East Side is mostly home to commercial and business types, the Upper West Side is home to more artistic workers and free spirits.
The Upper West Side stretches from the west side of Central Park (57th Street to 110th) to the Hudson River, and the 66-block stretch of Broadway forms the spine of the neighborhood. Though far denser than Greenwich Village or other Lower Manhattan neighborhoods, the residential side streets on the Upper West Side are quiet and tree-lined. Venture onto the commercial hot-spot that is Broadway, or the bustling nightlife scene on Amsterdam Avenue, and that changes quickly.
Cultural mainstays such as Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Beacon Theatre are among the Upper West Side's cultural treasures, while dining and entertainment options are plentiful, and run the gamut from small coffee shops to some of the city’s most revered fine-dining restaurants. Other attractions include the iconic Zabar's market and Amsterdam Avenue's lively bar scene. Lincoln Square, a sub-neighborhood, features Richard Tucker Square which has a greenmarket that is open twice a week. Further uptown, in Morningside Heights, is Columbia University, where four presidents, including Barack Obama, spent their college years.
The Upper West Side melds a combination of families, single professionals, even seniors into one unique, and uniquely New York-y neighborhood, and where Upper West Siders live is as unique as how they live. The Upper West Side is split between high-rise new construction apartment buildings, pre-war co-ops and good old-fashioned walk-ups; between quiet, tree-lined streets and bustling, 24-hour avenues. Diverse in every way and arguably more Manhattan-y than any other Manhattan neighborhood, the Upper West Side remains one of a kind.