City Living: Upper East Side
At the northern reaches of the Upper East Side, in the 90s until East 96th Street, reasonably priced restaurants and bars and family-geared attractions breathe new life into the area, giving this neighborhood a welcoming feel.
A walk down one of the Upper East Side’s pristine avenues or tree-lined sidewalks will take you past world famous museums, centuries-old brownstones and tony shops and eateries. It may feel like a movie scene, and that’s because often it is.
From Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence” to “Gossip Girl,” the image of the high-society Upper East Side has remained strong in popular culture. But there’s more to this neighborhood than its dated reputation as a haven for bluebloods and ladies-who-lunch.
“The interesting thing about the Upper East Side is, more so than other neighborhoods, you get these sub-neighborhoods, like Carnegie Hill and Yorkville,” says Lauren Cangiano, a real estate broker with Halstead for more than 25 years. “Each area has its own flavor.”
The 25-year resident of Carnegie Hill, which runs from 86th to 96th streets between Fifth and Third avenues, also added that like many areas of the Upper East Side, real estate differs on either side of Third Avenue in the 90s.
“Generally speaking, east of Third, you can mostly get more space for your dollar,” she said. “There is a lot less new construction closer to the park, and the price points for available inventory are significantly higher.”
Luckily for both buyers and sellers, the Upper East Side is experiencing a healthy market, with some real estate professionals comparing it to the 2007 boom.
“In February through June of this year, the Upper East Side market was wild,” Cangiano explained. “It reflected conditions in the height of the market, with people in lines around the block for open houses.”
Need to Know
SoHo extends from West Houston Street in the north to Canal Street in the south. Its eastern boundary is Lafayette or Centre Street and its western boundary is West Broadway or Sixth Avenue, depending on who you talk to. More »
6 train to 96th Street, 4 after 11 p.m. More »
M2, M3, M4, M15, M31, M96, M101, M102, M103, M106 More »
New York Public Library, 112 E. 96th St. More »
United States Post Office, 1617 Third Ave. More »
This area is covered by the 19th Precinct, 153 E. 67th St. The NYPD CompStat reports no murders for the year to date. Historically, all incidents of crime have declined since 2001, with the exception of rapes, which rose from nine in 2001 to 16 in 2012. More »
Sure, the “macaroni” dishes like orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage or a particularly crowd-pleasing “chicken-in-the-oven” entrée are delicious, but it’s called Nick’s Pizza for a reason.
La Tarte Flambée
Hokkaido’s fish is always fresh, appetizers like gyoza and tatsuta-age chicken fail to disappoint and the service is friendly and prompt.
An Upper East Side mainstay since 1942, Reif’s lives up to its name as a tavern. And there’s a beer garden in the back.
Kaia Wine Bar
This cozy, atmospheric wine bar offers an interesting and extensive wine list, including a robust selection of South African wines, in homage to owner Suzaan Hauptfleisch’s homeland.
Vinus and Marc
For a more sophisticated, old-school feel with classy cocktails, head here.
Open since 2005, this store proffers a medley of women’s clothing, jewelry and fragrances, along with home goods and miscellanea. Blue Tree is a great boutique for gifts.
The Corner Bookstore
This bookstore stocks a nice variety of books from beloved classics to hard-to-find hobby works. Around since 1978, The Corner Bookstore caters to its younger clientele with a large children’s section and popular newsletter for kids
As the only stateside outpost of this British luxury children’s brand, Rachel Riley sells clothing for young ladies and gentlemen as well as a select supply of toys, women’s clothing and footwear. Scoop up polka dot or sailboat-print summer dresses or preppy nautical-inspired sweaters for the tykes.
The Jewish Museum
Located right on Museum Mile and housed in the former Felix M. Warburg House, The Jewish Museum features more than 25,000 artifacts, objects and artwork relevant to Jewish culture. With two permanent exhibitions, ever-changing temporary exhibits and an offering of informational programs, The Jewish Museum should not be overlooked. Tip: Thursday evenings from 5- 8 p.m. are pay-what-you-wish, and Saturdays, admission is free for the Sabbath, though some exhibits are closed.
The Art Farm in the City
In keeping with the family-friendly vibe of the Upper East Side, the Art Farm in the City opened in 2002 and quickly became a favorite for parents and kids alike. Cooking classes, music lessons and organized playgroups are offered, and the facility has an indoor playground and a room reserved for birthday parties. The highlight, though, is the indoor petting zoo, stocked with kid-friendly animals like cockatiels, bunnies, frogs and turtles, the only one of its kind in New York.
92nd St. Y
Despite recent change-ups on the 92nd Street Y’s executive board, the massive multi-facility cultural institution and community center remains largely popular. More than 4,000 classes a year, ranging from the arts to personal development, are taught by professionals. 92Y has a concert hall, a Jewish culture center and a fitness center with an indoor lap pool.