UPPER WEST SIDE
The area known as the Upper West Side spans from 59th St to 110 St and from Central Park West to the Hudson River. Similar to the Upper East Side it is economically upscale and mostly residential.
Originally the area was made up of a mix of townhouses rowhouses and smaller lower class dwellings.
The Hudson River was used mostly for shipping logging and transportation during this time which led to the abundance of squatters shacks,boarding houses and some very loud taverns and oyster bars. During the Late 1800s following the development of Central Park and the Elevated train line.
Building and development increased with Columbia University relocating to the Upper West Side in 1890 and the creation of the first underground subway line in 1904 which ran with stops on 59th, 66th 72nd , 86th ,91st ,96th and 103rd Streets and was called the IRT Broadway/Seventh Ave is still in operation today following the closing of the El on 9th Ave.
Beginning in the late 1930s and continuing on till the 1960s the area attracted a large number of immigrants which served as inspiration for the classic WEST SIDE STORY which was based in the neighborhood,some of the original tenement houses which were slated for demolition in the late 1960s were actually kept up to allow the film to be shot in the location it was based in and were later taken down or restored. In the mid 60s the commission for urban development brought the construction of Lincoln Center for the Arts.
The Upper West Side with its immigrant roots has very large Jewish community with estimates stating that the areas young single orthodox Jewish population is the largest outside of Israel. From the 1950s till the AIDS epidemic hit the UWS below 86th St was home to a large portion of gay men which accelerated the gentrification of the area but since the mid 90's a majority of the community has moved to Chelsea and the Village.
As conditions improved and housing remained affordable many university graduates began to settle drawn to the large spaces and proximity to midtown both by walking and on the trains. While it has quite a few museums the Upper West Side is more well known for its contribution to the music and dance side of the art world with some of the most respected venues in the world being located in the Neighborhood:
The Metropolitan Opera House
The Upper West Side is a quiet community with very low crime rates and has often been the subject of or featured in multiple films and TV shows. It is an excellent place to stay if you are going to be frequenting the concert and opera halls or if you are looking to stay near to Central Park. With its huge array of restaurants and bars running up Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue as well as scattered throughout the neighborhood you are sure to find someplace different to sample for every meal and taste. It is very easy to get around from the Upper West Side as there are 2 major subway lines(1,2,3 and A,B,C,D) and tons of busses running the length so its a great base for those who enjoy the quiet but would like to explore
PLACES TO CHECK OUT
The Dakota Building where John Lennon lived and was shot (his wife Yoko Ono still lives there today)
PLACES TO EAT