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City Living: Upper West Side
The Upper West Side’s story of the high-demand area between West 80th and West 89th streets is an alluring one.
The massive changes and gentrification that it experienced in recent decades attracted all types of businesses and residents, allowing the area to benefit from its transformation.
It is teeming with bars, restaurants, big name chain stores and boutiques, all coexisting and providing an eclectic mix of entertainment for those who reside within this 10-block radius.
And a turn down one quiet brownstone-filled street offers a quick escape from the clanking cutlery and chatter that saturate the avenues — a characteristic that makes it one of the city’s most sought after areas to live.
To the east is Central Park West, the scenic strip framed on one side by the rocky, tree-filled edges of Central Park and on the other by high-rise apartment buildings.
Columbus Avenue is the next corridor over, known for its cafes, bistros and restaurants, many of which offer outdoor seating in the summer, as well as its small boutiques like Purdy Girl and Mint. Next is Amsterdam Avenue, another main street dotted with restaurants and boutiques.
Broadway is the spine which cuts the area in half. It is well known for its chain retail establishments, although a number of smaller businesses mingle among the big names.
To the west of Broadway, a short walk over to West End Avenue is like stepping into a seperate neighborhood as this strip is more residential and filled with mid-rise buildings and churches. The next one over is Riverside Drive, an even quieter strip overlooking the famed Riverside Park.
By LISA FRASER
Need To Know
This part of the Upper West Side wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t offer a spot where locals and visitors alike could dine on French cuisine in a softly lit space decorated with vintage French posters and crisp, white tablecloths.
This swanky Mediterranean restaurant gets its namesake from the city of Bodrum, Turkey. Enjoy dishes like Baba ghanoush, a charred smoky eggplant mashed with extra-virgin olive oil and tahini, lamb tagine and a selection of kebabs.
Putting aside the fact that it was featured in the movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” just the outside ambience of Café Lalo attracts passersby. Inside, the establishment offers an array of beverages, pastries and sandwiches along with Belgian waffles and salads.
Cava Wine Bar
Blending Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican cuisine with its selection of international wines, this trendy spot is perfect for a night out.
Go back to a forbidden time in this upscale watering hole as you sip on original signature cocktails such as The Bootlegger, Flapper’s Delight or The Roaring Twenties. Live music is featured nightly with no cover charge.
The Dead Poet
Booze and books: what better place to score a signature drink and fit in time with friends than at an establishment that celebrates the spirit of former famous poets and writers. A library of classic works of literature is also featured where patrons can sign out a book to take home.
A Time for Children
This boutique is bound to have that unique item for any kid, from a toddler to a preteen. It also offers feel-good spending as 100% of the boutique’s profits go to The Children’s Aid Society of New York.
Frank Stella Clothier
This upscale men’s clothing company boasts brands like Mason’s, Grand Sasso and Haspel, along with its own brand.
Mint’s collection of casual, colorful trendy wear makes it a popular shopping destination on the Upper West Side. It carries designers such as Alice + Olivia, Gorgana, My Tribe and Susana Monaco, to name a few.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Offering interactive exhibits and programs for children, this museum aims to provide the little ones with knowledge about various cultures, science, health and fitness and the arts.
Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
Since it’s hard to get a breathtaking view of the night sky in the city, The Hayden Planetarium makes up for that. The 429-seat theater uses a Digital Dome Projection System to showcase a scientifically accurate 3-D map of the observable universe. Their ongoing space show, “Journey to the Stars” plays every half-hour each day.
At Riverside Park, you can take a kayak or canoe tour, or find some Zen while practicing yoga as cars whiz pass on the Henry Hudson Parkway. The four-mile stretch of lush green space, which extends all the way up to 158th St. along Riverside Drive, also offers dog areas, fitness equipment and running tracks. Stop by the grand Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument at W. 89th Street, which commemorates civil war Union Army troops.