Upper West Side

Upper West Side
The Upper West Side and Central Park as seen from the Rockefeller Center Observatory. In the distance is the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge.

The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street. It encompasses the neighborhood of Morningside Heights.[1]

Like the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is an upscale, primarily residential, area, with many of its residents working in more commercial areas in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. While these distinctions were never hard-and-fast rules and now mean little, it has the reputation of being home to New York City's cultural and artistic workers, while the Upper East Side is traditionally perceived to be home to commercial and business types.



Verdi Square at the intersection of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The W. 72nd Street subway station is in the center of the square.

The Upper West Side is bounded on the south by 58th Street, Central Park to the east, and the Hudson River to the west. Its northern boundary is somewhat less obvious. Although it has historically been cited as 110th Street,[2] which fixes the neighborhood alongside Central Park, it is now sometimes considered to be 125th Street, encompassing Morningside Heights.[3] This reflects demographic shifts in Morningside Heights, as well as the tendency of real estate brokers to co-opt the tony Upper West Side name when listing Morningside Heights and Harlem apartments.[citation needed] The area north of West 96th Street and east of Broadway is also identified as Manhattan Valley. The overlapping area west of Amsterdam Avenue to Riverside Park was once known as the Bloomingdale District.

From west to east, the avenues of the Upper West Side are Riverside Drive (12th Avenue), West End Avenue (11th Avenue), Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue (10th Avenue), Columbus Avenue (9th Avenue) and Central Park West (8th Avenue). The 66-block stretch of Broadway forms the spine of the neighborhood and runs diagonally, north / south across the avenues at the south end of the neighborhood and above 72nd Street moves parallel to the avenues. Broadway enters the neighborhood at its juncture with Central Park West at Columbus Circle (59th Street), crosses Columbus Ave. at Lincoln Square (65th Street), crosses Amsterdam Ave. at Verdi Square (72nd Street), and then merges with West End at Straus Park (aka Bloomingdale Square, at 107th Street).

Morningside Heights, just west of Harlem, is the site of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Columbia University, Barnard College, Bank Street College of Education, the National Council of Churches, Union Theological Seminary, Manhattan School of Music, Teachers College and Jewish Theological Seminary of America, as well as Grant's Tomb and Riverside Church.

Traditionally the neighborhood ranged from the former village of Harsenville, centered on the old Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway) and 65th Street, west to the railroad yards along the Hudson, then north to 110th Street, where the ground rises to Morningside Heights. With the building of Lincoln Center, its name, though perhaps not the reality, was stretched south to 58th Street. With the arrival of the corporate headquarters and expensive condos of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, and the Riverside South apartment complex built by Donald Trump, the area from 58th Street to 65th Street is increasingly referred to as Lincoln Square by realtors who acknowledge a different tone and ambiance than that typically associated with the Upper West Side. This is a reversion to the neighborhood's historical name.


A typical midblock view on the Upper West Side consisting of 4- and 5-story brownstones.

The long high bluff above useful sandy coves along the North River was little used or traversed by the Lenape people.[4] A combination of the stream valleys, such as that in which 96th Street runs, and wetlands to the northeast and east, may have protected a portion of the Upper West Side from the Lenape's controlled burns;[5] lack of periodic ground fires results in a denser understory and more fire-intolerant trees, such as American Beech.

The Dutch applied the name Bloemendaal, Anglicized to "Bloomingdale" or "the Bloomingdale District", to the west side of Manhattan from about 23rd Street up to the Hollow Way (modern 125th Street), and by the 18th century it contained numerous farms and country residences of many of the city's well-off, a major parcel of which was the Apthorp Farm. The main artery of this area was the Bloomingdale Road, which began north of where Broadway and the Bowery Lane (now Fourth Avenue) join (at modern Union Square) and wended its way northward up to about modern 116th Street in Morningside Heights, where the road further north was known as the Kingsbridge Road. Within the confines of the modern-day Upper West Side, the road passed through areas known as Harsenville,[6] Strycker's Bay, and Bloomingdale Village.

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the Upper West Side-to-be contained some of colonial New York's most ambitious houses, spaced along Bloomingdale Road.[7] It became increasingly infilled with smaller, more suburban villas in the first half of the nineteenth century, and in the middle of the century, parts had become decidedly lower class.

Much of the riverfront of the Upper West Side was a shipping, transportation, and manufacturing corridor. The Hudson River Railroad line right-of-way was granted in the late 1830s to connect New York City to Albany, and soon ran along the riverbank. One major non-industrial development, the creation of the Central Park in the 1850s and 60s caused many squatters to move their shacks into the UWS. Parts of the neighborhood became a ragtag collection of squatters' housing, boarding houses, and rowdy taverns.

Bloomingdale Playground remembers the old name

As this development occurred, the old name of Bloomingdale Road was being chopped away and the name Broadway was progressively applied further northward to include what had been lower Bloomingdale Road. In 1868, the city began straightening and grading the section of the Bloomingdale Road from Harsenville north, and it became known as "The Boulevard". It retained that name until the end of the century, when the name Broadway finally supplanted it.

Development of the neighborhood lagged even while Central Park was being laid out in the 1860s and 70s, then was stymied by the Panic of 1873. Things turned around when the elevated train's rapid transit was extended up Ninth Avenue (renamed Columbus Avenue in 1890), and with Columbia University's relocation to Morningside Heights in the 1890s, using lands once held by the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum.[8] The Upper West Side experienced a building boom from 1885 to 1910, thanks in large part to the 1904 opening of the city's first subway line, the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, with subway stations at 59th, 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 91st, 96th, 103rd, 110th, 116th and Manhattan (now 125th) streets. This followed upon the opening of the now demolished IRT Ninth Avenue Line – the city's first elevated railway – which opened in the decade following the American Civil War.

The Dakota, an early Upper West Side landmark, as it appeared c. 1890. Relatively little of the surrounding neighborhood had been developed at that time.

In the 1900s, the area south of 67th Street was heavily populated by African-Americans and supposedly gained its nickname of "San Juan Hill" in commemoration of African-American soldiers who were a major part of the assault on Cuba's San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. By 1960, it was a rough neighborhood of tenement housing, the demolition of which was delayed to allow for exterior shots in the movie musical West Side Story. Thereafter, urban renewal brought the construction of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Towers apartments during 1962–1968.

Riverside Park was conceived in 1866 and formally approved by the state legislature through the efforts of city parks commissioner Andrew Haswell Green. The first segment of park was acquired through condemnation in 1872, and construction soon began following a design created by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed the adjacent, gracefully curving Riverside Drive. In 1937, under the administration of commissioner Robert Moses, 132 acres (0.53 km2) of land were added to the park, primarily by creating a promenade that covered the tracks of the Hudson River Railroad. Moses, working with landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke also added playgrounds, and distinctive stonework and the 79th Street Boat Basin, but also cut pedestrians off from direct access to most of the riverfront by building the Henry Hudson Parkway by the river's edge. According to Robert Caro's book, The Power Broker on Moses, Riverside Park was designed with most of the amenities located in predominately white neighborhoods, with the neighborhoods closer to Harlem getting shorter shrift. Riverside Park, like Central Park, has undergone a revival late in the 20th century, largely through the efforts of The Riverside Park Fund, a citizen's group. Largely through their efforts and the support of the city, much of the park has been improved. The Hudson River Greenway along the river-edge of the park is a popular route for pedestrians and bicycle commuters, and offers spectacular vistas. A dramatic improvement is the $15.7 million "Riverwalk" extension to the park's greenway constructed between 83rd and 91st Streets on a promenade in the river itself, completed in May 2010.[9]

The Upper West Side is a significant Jewish neighborhood, populated with both German Jews who moved in at the turn of the century, and Jewish refugees escaping Hitler's Europe in the 1930s. Today the area between 85th Street and 100th Street is home to the largest community of young Modern Orthodox singles outside of Israel.[citation needed] However, the Upper West Side also features a substantial number of non-Orthodox Jews.

From the post-WWII years until the AIDS epidemic the neighborhood, especially below 86th Street, had a substantial gay population. As the neighborhood had deteriorated it was affordable to working class gay men, and those just arriving in NYC and looking for their first white collar jobs. Its ethnically mixed gay population, mostly Hispanic and white, with a mixture of income levels and occupations patronized the same gay bars in the neighborhood, making it markedly different from most gay enclaves elsewhere in the city. The influx of white gay men in the Fifties and Sixties is often credited with accelerating the gentrification of the Upper West Side, and by the mid and late '70s, the gay male population had become predominantly white.

Another component that brought about the eventual gentrification of the neighborhood were the recent college graduates in the late '70s and early '80s who moved in, drawn to the neighborhood's relatively large apartments and cheap housing.

In a subsequent phase of urban renewal, the rail yards which had formed the Upper West Side's southwest corner were replaced by the Riverside South residential project and a southward extension of Riverside Park. The evolution of Riverside South had a 40-year history, often extremely bitter, beginning in 1962 when the New York Central Railroad, in partnership with the Amalgamated Lithographers Union, proposed a mixed-use development with 12,000 apartments, Litho City, to be built on platforms over the tracks. The subsequent bankruptcy of the enlarged, but short-lived Penn Central Railroad brought other proposals and prospective developers. The one generating the most opposition was Donald Trump's "Television City" concept of 1985, which would have included a 152-story office tower and six 75-story residential buildings. In 1991, a coalition of prominent civic organizations proposed a purely residential development of about half that size, and then reached a deal with Trump. As of 2008, construction is well underway, but still to be resolved is the future of the West Side Highway viaduct over the park area.

The Bloomingdale district was the site for several long-established charitable institutions: their unbroken parcels of land have provided suitably scaled sites for Columbia University and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, as well as for some vanished landmarks, such as the Schwab Mansion on Riverside Drive, the most ambitious free-standing private house ever built in Manhattan.

The name Bloomingdale is still used in reference to a part of the Upper West Side, essentially the location of old Bloomingdale Village, the area from about 96th Street up to 110th Street and from Riverside Park east to Amsterdam Ave. The triangular block bound by Broadway, West End Avenue, 106th Street and 107th Street, although generally known as Straus Park (named for Isidor Straus and his wife Ida), was officially designated Bloomingdale Square in 1907. The neighborhood also includes the Bloomingdale School of Music and Bloomingdale neighborhood branch of the New York Public Library. Adjacent to the Bloomingdale neighborhood is a more diverse and less affluent subsection of the Upper West Side called Manhattan Valley, focused on the downslope of Columbus Avenue and Manhattan Avenue from about 102nd Street up to 110th Street.

The community's links to the events 9/11 were evinced in the Upper West Side, Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam's paean to the men of Ladder Co 40/Engine Co 35, just a few blocks from his home, in Firehouse.


Two subway lines serve the Upper West Side. The IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (1 2 3 trains) runs along the Broadway making stops at 59th, 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 96th, 103rd, 110th, and 116th streets.[10] The IND Eighth Avenue Line (A B C D trains) runs along Central Park West stopping at 59th, 72nd, 81st, 86th, 96th, 103rd, and 110th streets.

There are five different bus routes that go up and down the Upper West Side, as well as crosstown buses at every major intersection.

  • M5: Up and down Riverside Drive to/from 72nd Street and from there south, up and down Broadway
  • M104: Up and down Broadway
  • M7 & M11: Up Amsterdam and down Columbus
  • M10: Up and down Central Park West

Landmarks and institutions

Springtime in Riverside Park
Westside YMCA
Jewish Guild for the Blind

Organization headquarters



PK + K-12

PS 163

Degree granting

Restaurants and gourmet groceries

A sidewalk cafe on Broadway and 112th Street.
Two popular groceries on Broadway; Fairway on the left, Citarella right

Amsterdam Avenue from 67th Street up to 110th Street is lined with restaurants and bars, as is Columbus Avenue, to a slightly lesser extent. The following lists a few prominent ones.

  • Barney Greengrass, specializing in fish, Amsterdam Avenue and 86th Street. Alec Baldwin and other Upper West Siders and others marked its centenary in June 2008.
  • The Howard Chandler Christie murals of Café des Artistes, a now-closed French restaurant on West 67th Street off Central Park West, are being incorporated into a new restaurant on the site.
  • Community Food and Juice, an eco-conscious restaurant that serves American food and uses only cage-free eggs, organic flour, wild fish, and grass-fed beef is located at 2893 Broadway between 112th and 113th Streets.[12][13][14][15]
  • Two rival gourmet grocery stores, Fairway and Citarella are located on Broadway between West 74th and 75th Streets.
  • Gray's Papaya – specializing in hot dogs, at Broadway and 72nd Street.
  • Zabar's – specialty food and housewares store on Broadway at 80th Street.

Other historical sites

  • American Youth Hostel [8] – the transformation of this abandoned Richard Morris Hunt landmark into the flagship of Hostelling International USA was propelled forward by the federal Community Development Block Grant funded, Manhattan Valley Neighborhood Strategy Area designation.
  • Apple Bank – former Central Savings Bank – a Florentine palazzo at Broadway and 73rd, with a magnificent Roman banking hall, one of New York's classic interior spaces, York & Sawyer, architects, ironwork by Samuel Yellin, 1928. Upper floors converted to luxury condominium apartments.
  • Claremont Riding Academy – In 2007, after 115 years of use, the last public stables in Manhattan, this National Register building on 89th Street, just east of Amsterdam, closed its doors for good [9]. The subsequent interior gutting for conversion to residential use has halted.
  • Columbus Circle – Traffic circle at the intersection of Broadway, Central Park West, Central Park South and Eighth Avenue. Its centerpiece is a statue of the explorer Christopher Columbus erected in 1906. Two other similarly financed monuments on Broadway include those to writer Dante Aligheri in Dante Park between 63rd and 64th Streets at Columbus Avenue, now heralds Lincoln Center; and composer Giuseppe Verdi anchors Verdi Square, girded by 72nd and 73rd Streets at Amsterdam Avenue. The square which actually was a triangle, was expanded to allow for a new subway head house and a plaza which appropriately has become the setting for summer concerts. The aforementioned Apple Bank is across from the statue and the Ansonia Hotel is catty corner to the northwest.
  • The Dakota - an apartment building on 72nd Street and Central Park West where musician John Lennon was murdered in 1980.
  • The former East River Savings Bank at Amsterdam and 96th Street (Walker & Gillette, 1927) is a classical temple now housing a drugstore, locally termed "The Aspirineum" and "The First National Bank of CVS"
To the Heroes of the Fire Department


Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church
  • Advent Lutheran Church/Broadway United Church of Christ – Broadway and 93rd Street
  • [10] American Bible Society – 1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
  • Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church – 71st Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue. Interesting tapestries on display, modeled on 14th century French Gothic Sainte Chapelle in Paris.
  • The Carlebach Shul – 305 West 79th Street, off West End Avenue
  • Lincoln Square Synagogue – Modern Orthodox congregation, 200 Amsterdam Avenue at 69th Street.
  • Cathedral of Saint John the Divine – in Morningside Heights, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, or at least it will be, when it's finished. Suffered significant fire damage to the South transept in December 2001. The church was originally to follow a Romanesque design, but the builders switched to a Gothic design along the way. The church plans to replace the great dome with a massive Gothic tower, but this major construction project is likely to take decades, if it is ever completed.
  • First Baptist Church in the City of New York 79th Street at Broadway
  • First Church of Christ Scientist, New York, (formerly Second Church of Christ Scientist) Central Park West at 68th Street. Architect-F.R.Comstock. 1899
  • The Church of St. Gregory the Great – Roman Catholic parish and school on West 90th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues. During the Vietnam War, it was the sanctuary for celebrated fugitive priest, Philip Berrigan, who with his fellow priest brother Daniel was then one of the FBI's "10 most wanted." More recently, Irish author Colm Tóibín wrote of the church's choir.
  • United Methodist Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew - West End Avenue and 86th Street. Center of strong community outreach programs to the disaffected.
  • Church of the Ascension (Catholic), a Romanesque Revival sanctuary on 107th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, fitted with serious pipes, offers a Sunday Jazz mass
  • Ansche Chesed
  • B'nai Jeshurun – In 1825, Ashkenazi members left the city's first Jewish house of worship, the Sephardic Congregation Shearith Israel, beginning a trek up Manhattan that would land them on West 88th Street between West End Avenue and Broadway. The 1919 building designed by Broadway theater architect Henry B. Herts with fellow congregant Walter S. Schneider, became a must see for boards of other synagogues then seeking to build new homes. A spiritual and demographic renaissance began in 1985, with the arrival of Rabbi Marshall Meyer.
  • Congregation Habonim – founded by refugees on the first anniversary of the Kristalnacht, this congregation occupies a classic post-World War II suburban style synagogue at 44 West 66th Street just off of Central Park West.
  • Congregation Shaare Zedek (New York City) Congregation Shaare Zedek West 93rd Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam.
  • Congregation Shearith Israel – oldest Jewish congregation in what is now the United States was launched in 1655. Its landmark, 1897 building on Central Park West at West 70th Street was designed by Arnold Brunner and Thomas Tryon and incorporated elements of its first New Amsterdam sanctuary in its small chapel.
  • Congregation Rodeph Sholom 83rd Street/Central Park.
Cong Ohav Sholom
Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity 213 West 82nd Street.
St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Church, formerly home to Temple Shaarey Tefila, 180 West 82d Street.


The apartment buildings along Central Park West, facing the park, are some of the most desirable apartments in New York. The Dakota at 72nd St. has been home to numerous celebrities including John Lennon, Leonard Bernstein and Lauren Bacall. Other famous buildings on CPW include the Art Deco Century Apartments (Irwin Chanin, 1931) and The Majestic (building) also by Chanin. The San Remo, The Eldorado (300 C.P.W., with the highest sum of Democratic presidential campaign contributions by address in 2004; the home of Herman Wouk's fictional Marjorie Morningstar), and The Beresford were all designed by Emery Roth, as was 41 West 96th Street (completed in 1926). His first commission, the Belle Époque Belleclaire, is on Broadway, while the moderne Normandie holds forth on Riverside at 86th Street. Along Broadway are several Beaux-Arts apartment houses: The Belnord (1908) – the fronting block of which was co-named in honor of longtime resident I.B. Singer, plus The Apthorp (1908), The Ansonia (1902), The Dorilton and the Manhasset . All are individually designated New York City landmarks. Curvilinear Riverside Drive also has many beautiful pre-war houses and larger buildings, including the graceful curving apartment buildings—The Paterno and The Colosseum (apartment building) by Schwartz & Gross—at 116th St and Riverside Drive. West End Avenue, a grand residential boulevard lined with pre-war Beaux-Arts apartment buildings and townhouses dating from the late-19th and early 20th centuries, is closed to commercial traffic. Columbus Avenue north of 87th Street was the spine for major post-World War II urban renewal. Broadway is lined with such architecturally notable apartment buildings as The Ansonia, The Apthorp, The Belnord, the Astor Court Building, and The Cornwall, which features an Art nouveau cornice.[16][17].Newly constructed 15 Central Park West and 535 West End Avenue are known to be some of the prestigious residential addressess in Manhattan.


American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is based in the Upper West Side.[18]

In media

The Upper West Side has been a setting for many movies and television shows because of its pre-War architecture, colorful community and rich cultural life. Ever since Edward R. Murrow went "Person-to-Person" live, the length of Central Park West in the 1950s, West Siders scarcely pause to gape at on-site trailers, and jump their skateboards over coaxial cables and it seems that one or another of the various Law & Order shows is taking up all the available parking spaces in the neighborhood. Woody Allen's film Hannah and Her Sisters captures that quintessential Upper West Side flavor of rambling high-ceilinged apartments bursting at the seams with books and other cultural artifacts.


  • American Psycho (2000) The main character, played by Christian Bale, named Patrick Bateman, apparently lives in the American Gardens Building on West 81st street.
  • The Apartment (1960)
  • Black and White (1999), has scenes of Central Park and Columbia University
  • Black Swan (2010) The main character, Nina, played by Natalie Portman, states that she lives on Manhattan's upper west side.
  • Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) Early on in his trip to America, Borat is seen in Columbus Circle in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower
  • Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995), includes a scene set outside the subway station at 72nd Street and Broadway, featuring a public phone that was in fact only a prop.
  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999) The characters played by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman live in an apartment on Central Park West.
  • Fools Rush In (1997) Several scenes, including the 72nd St. & Broadway Subway station and CPW
  • Fatal Attraction (1987) In the movie, Michael Douglas' character lives in a building on 100th and West End Avenue
  • Ghostbusters (1984) At the opening the title characters shown being ousted professors on the Columbia University campus, and Sigourney Weaver's character lives in 55 Central Park West, at 66th St.
  • Ghostbusters II (1989) Janosz says he's from the Upper West Side.
  • Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Hannah's parents' apartment is shown on Riverside and 86th Street, and near the end of the film Woody Allen's character is seen walking along Broadway between 92nd and 93rd Streets and then entering the Metro Theatre at Broadway between 100th and 101st Streets.
  • Heartburn (1986), finds Meryl Steep's character taking refuge in her father's spacious apartment at the Apthorp on 79th Street and Broadway after her marriage fails; author Nora Ephron, on whose novel the film was based, was an Apthorp resident at the time.
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), takes place in Central Park, and in a townhouse on 95th St. as well as other locations throughout New York.
  • The House on 92nd Street (1945), though set on the UES at 92nd/Madison, the movie is based on the true story of Nazi spies operating out of an Upper West Side boarding house on 90th Street between Amsterdam/Columbus.
  • Keeping the Faith (2000), various church and synagogue locations [12]
  • Kissing Jessica Stein (2002)
  • Little Manhattan (2005), includes scenes from the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West, Broadway / 72nd Street, and Septuagesimo Uno (the smallest NYC public park, on West 71st street between Amsterdam Ave and West End Ave).
  • I Am Legend (2007), Will Smith, the now demolished Red Cross building on 66th and Amsterdam was used for many indoor "zombie" scenes.
  • Margaret (2006) with Matt Damon, yet to be released.
  • Men in Black II (2002), with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, outside in front of Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) – a romantic comedy by Barbra Streisand was set in an apartment at 505 West End Avenue.
  • Music and Lyrics (2007), with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. All set around 72nd Street which forms the backdrop for Hugh Grant's apartment. The restaurant scene was shot at La Fenice at 69th and Broadway
  • New York Minute (2004) features Ashley Olsen's character making a speech at Columbia.
  • Night at the Museum (2006) is set in the Museum of Natural History and areas adjoining it.
  • Panic Room (2002) takes place on West 94th Street
  • The Panic in Needle Park (1971), starring Al Pacino, is set in Sherman Square, at Broadway and 70th Street.
  • The Pawnbroker (1964), One of the final scenes is at Geraldine Fitzgerald's character's apartment in Lincoln Towers.
  • Prime (2005), with Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. Uma Thurman gets her nails done at Pinky's on 89th Street.
  • Romancing the Stone (1984) Kathleen Turner's character lives on West End Avenue.
  • Rosemary's Baby (1968), apartment building is The Dakota.
  • Single White Female (1992), apartment building in movie is The Ansonia
  • Spider-Man (2002) Low Library and College Walk of Columbia University
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004) Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
  • Take the Money and Run (1969) Virgil and Louise are seen at the fountain in Lincoln Center
  • Up the Sandbox (1972) In the Columbia University neighboorhood and in Riverside Park.
  • Vanilla Sky (2001), car accident at center of movie happens in Riverside Park, near 96th Street [13]
  • Wall Street (1987) In one of the final scenes, after being punched in Central Park by Michael Douglas for being unloyal, Charlie Sheen walks into the Tavern on the Green where he provides evidence implicating Douglas in federal security fraud. Bud Fox Charlie Sheen's initial small apartment is described as being on the Upper West Side.
  • You've Got Mail (1998) Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks characters live in the Upper West Side and various locations were used in the film
  • The Warriors (1979) The Warriors emerge from the 72nd street subway station (Baseball Furie's Turf) and run to Riverside Park, where they easily defeat The Baseball Furies. The meeting at the beginning of the film is also conducted in Riverside Park, though it is mislabeled as Van Cortlandt Park.
  • West Side Story (1961), takes place in tenements where Lincoln Center is today, around 66th Street



Famous comedian George Carlin grew up on 121st, and heavily drew upon his New York City roots on a number of his comedy albums, perhaps most memorably on Occupation: Foole, where he and his friends called their neighborhood "White Harlem... because it sounded tough. Its real name was Morningside Heights."

Electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos made her classic 1968 album Switched-On Bach in her West End Avenue apartment, which she had converted into a makeshift home recording studio.

Lynn Oliver had his recording studio sandwiched next to the New Yorker Bookshop [14] and Benny's [15] on 89th and B'way. The likes of Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, and Stan Getz could be seen ducking into his alley-like studio to practice and hangout. An arranger and drummer, Oliver's credits are found on more than a few classic cuts from the 60's.

The Beastie Boys played their first gig in a loft at 100th and Broadway, and recorded some tracks for the EP Polywog Stew there in 1981. [20] [21]


  1. ^ Jackson, Kenneth T. (ed.) "Upper West Side" Encyclopedia of New York City New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
  2. ^ "Upper West Side", nymag.com. Accessed May 10, 2009. "Boundaries: Extends north from Columbus Circle at 59th Street up to 110th Street, and is bordered by Central Park West and Riverside Park. ."
  3. ^ Waxman, Sarah. "The History of the Upper West Side", NY.com. Accessed July 7, 2007. "Home to such venerable New York landmarks as Lincoln Center, Columbia University, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Dakota Apartments, and Zabar's food emporium, the Upper West Side stretches from 59th Street to 125th Street, including Morningside Heights. It is bounded by Central Park on the east and the Hudson River on the west."
  4. ^ Eric W. Sanderson, Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, 2009, map "Habitat Suitability for People" p. 111.
  5. ^ Sanderson 2009, map "Native American Fires" p. 127.
  6. ^ Harsenville District
  7. ^ A colonial brick house with a hipped roof, above a lawn neatly enclosed by a white picket fence sloping down to the Bloomingdale Road appears in a daguerreotype of ca 1848 that was sold at Sotheby's New York, 30 March 2009.
  8. ^ http://www.wikicu.com/Bloomingdale_Insane_Asylum
  9. ^ NYC Parks Press Release
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Contact Us." College Board. Retrieved on May 29, 2009.
  12. ^ Paul Adams (December 26, 2007). "Pillar of the Community". The New York Sun. http://www.nysun.com/food-drink/pillar-of-the-community/68527/. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ Adam Shepard (November 11, 2007). "The Dish: Five Guys, Lunetta, Community Food, ilili, Mason Dixon, Blue Ribbon Sushi". Eater NY. http://ny.eater.com/tags/adam-shepard. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ Moskin, Julia (January 30, 2008). "Dining Briefs; Community Food and Juice". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/dining/30briefs.html. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ Lane, Randall (December 27, 2007). "Mermaid Inn and Community Food & Juice". Time Out New York. http://newyork.timeout.com/restaurants-bars/18824/mermaid-inn-and-community-food-juice. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  16. ^ Horsley, Carter B. "The Cornwall" City Review
  17. ^ White, Norval and Willensky, Elliot. AIA Guide to New York City(Fourth Edition) New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000. p. 351
  18. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions." American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved on August 28, 2009.
  19. ^ [2] Tom's Diner @ The Rusty Pipe
  20. ^ An Oral History of the Beastie Boys New York magazine
  21. ^ [3] Liner notes from the Beastie Boys album Some Old Bullshit

Further reading

External links

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