Upper West Side
Upper West Side The Upper West Side appears to go through great pains to not draw too much attention to itself. There are no neon-lit billboards like you'll find in Times Square, no towering skyscrapers like those near Wall Street. So why are there so many people here? The answer is that the Upper West Side is a fantastic residential area, especially for people thinking of starting a family. There are plenty of stores and markets, ample access to public transportation, great public schools, and two major parks within walking distance. There are some notable landmarks, but nothing that attracts scads of tourists like other areas. One spot that does attract a bit of outside attention is Zabar's, on Broadway between 80th and 81st Streets. New Yorkers tend to have an elephant's memory when it comes to food. Once they find something they like, it goes on the short list of places to revisit. Judging by the crowds, this gourmet food market must have pleased plenty of palates. For a different kind of sensory stimulation, Upper West Siders can take their pick of parks. And while Central Park may seem like a natural choice, but many residents here would prefer something a little less popular. For them, Riverside Park is the only choice. Riverside Park may not be as wide as Central Park, but it is considerably longer, winding its way from 72nd Street all the way to 159th. Despite the fact that the West Side Highway runs almost directly through its center, Riverside has become a favorite with locals in search of a few moments of tranquility. Most of the few landmarks that the Upper West Side has can be found in the park environs. For starters, there's the 79th Street Boat Basin. Here you'll find an exceptionally rare sight in Manhattan-people living on houseboats. Take one look at the view living here affords them, and you'll probably start thinking about it yourself! Because Riverside is generally less crowded than Central Park, it's a natural place for residents to enjoy a peaceful stroll. If you want to work up more of a sweat, you can take advantage of the red clay courts near 96th Street. Or if you'd rather participate in a team sport, chances are you can find a pickup baseball or softball game going on somewhere within the park's environs. Hugging the curves along the park's eastern edge is Riverside Drive. While it doesn't boast the hairpin turns of San Francisco's Lombard Street, it is the only major thoroughfare in Manhattan to consistently deviate from the straight and narrow. The brownstones and apartment complexes that line Riverside Drive's east side are especially prized for their magnificent views of the park. While it may not boast a park view, West End Avenue remains the neighborhood's most sought after address. The street is lined with beautiful buildings of varying sizes, each more picturesque than the last. And since most of the traffic in the area travels up and down Broadway, it remains relatively quiet no matter what time of day. So it's understandable why people who have chosen to live their lives here don't go out of their way to advertise the benefits of their community. Of course, we know we can trust you to keep this a secret. Right?