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UWS 80-89th streets: The NYC fantasy for those who can afford it

Central Park West between 80th and 81st street

Central Park West between 80th and 81st street on the Upper West Side, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Manhattan’s West 80th streets represent the quintessential city residential life: old brownstones and mom-and-pop storefronts, and everything within walking distance of Central Park.

The neighborhood mostly forgoes new luxury developments in favor of savoring its plentiful pre-war stock.

But while residing in this picturesque neighborhood would live up to the New York City fantasy, it comes at a high price.

The median asking price for apartments is $1,362,500 and rentals average $3,400 a month, according to StreetEasy.

“People are attracted simply because there are these very attractive, very historic buildings,” the listings site’s data scientist Alan Lightfeldt explained.

Ben Moosher, a 21-year-old student and native to the area, said the 80th streets have a different energy than the rest of the Upper West Side.

“It has more personality, I’d say. There’s a hustle and bustle here that’s unique,” he said of the neighborhood. “Also, everything you need [is available].”

The two main avenues, Broadway and Amsterdam, are lined with a seemingly endless amount of shops, restaurants and bars. And because of its central location in Manhattan, residents don’t have to travel far to find anything else they need.

But William Lynch, a 72-year-old retiree who’s lived in the neighborhood for 20 years, warned that it isn’t an easy place to look for an apartment.

“I love living here,” said Lynch, who lives in a rent-stabilized apartment. “It’s just harder for people to do that.”

The neighborhood simply does not have enough affordable units, he explained.

“People are more concerned with protecting the value of their real estate” than with making the area accessible to limited budgets, he added.

Still, for those who can get in, it’s a happy area and neighbors are friendly.

“It’s still a very tight-knit community,” Moosher said. “I can always strike up a conversation and ask a stranger from the Upper West Side if they’re Zabar’s or Citarella or Fairway people.”

Find it:

This section of the Upper West Side stretches from 80th Street to 89th Street between Central Park to the east and Riverside Park and the Hudson River to the west.


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