The rich cultural history of the Upper West Side is one of its most distinguishable characteristics. As the home to numerous historical institutions, classic apartments and some the city’s most prestigious universities, the Upper West is one of the most popular residential neighborhoods in New York.

The Upper West Side stretches from 59th Street to the south, lined by Central Park to the east and bound by the Hudson River to the west. Once a shipping, transporting and manufacturing corridor, the Upper West Side soon attracted a diverse, eclectic mix of peoples as cityscape grew and developed.

Some of Manhattan’s most notable residential streets and avenues intersect within the Upper West Side. Riverside Drive, West End Avenue, Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue, Columbus Avenue and Central Park West serve as the setting for some of the most recognizable scenes in movies and TV shows. Due to the pre-War architecture, colorful community and rich culture life, movie and television film crews are no strangers to the Upper West Side.

Museum of Natural History: New York City pictureRestaurants featured in TV shows and movies are mostly found along Amsterdam Avenue which is home to various unique restaurants, bars, cafes and bodegas. H&H Bagels, known for its affiliation with Seinfeld, is at 80th Street and Broadway. Gray’s Papaya, a hot dog and juice stand frequented by Carrie and the Sex and City gang, stands at 72nd Street and Broadway.

As the city’s most popular filming destination, it’s no surprise for two major broadcasting companies have headquarters in the Upper West Side. Time Warner Center, at Columbus Circle, and the American Broadcasting Company, at Lincoln Square, house studios for regular tapings of various television programs.

In addition, some of the City’s most famous and prestigious universities have campuses located in the boundaries of the Upper West Side. Columbia University, Fordham University and Barnard College bring an air academia to the neighborhood as it serves home to many professors and students.

Cultural institutions also attract people to the Upper West Side from all over Manhattan. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, located between 61st and 66th Streets on Broadway, is home to the New York State Theatre, the New York City Ballet, the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera House, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Historical Society, and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan are all located in the Upper West.

If looking for an accommodation in the Upper West Side, New York Habitat has many to offer for either a short vacation or an extended stay. This studio accommodation in Upper West Side (NY-14320) is a great Upper West Side option. An option is this one-bedroom rental in Upper West Side (NY-927), on 78th Street near West End Avenue.

Other West Side Manhattan neighborhoods:

Ever stayed or lived in the Upper West Side? We’d like to hear about the unique and unknown neighborhood hot spots! Please leave recommendations for restaurants and nightlife in the comment section below!