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Living in the Upper West Side, Manhattan
The Upper West Side is a residential area between 59th Street and 116th Street (encompassing Morningside Heights) running from Columbus Circle to Columbia University, between Central Park and the Hudson River. Most residents travel to other areas of the city for work, primarily Downtown or Midtown Manhattan.
Living on the Upper West Side brings with it a certain level of pomp due to the number of expensive buildings in the area. The most famous, the Dakota, is the oldest apartment building in the area and is where John Lennon was shot and killed. Many famous people still live in the building. Despite the fancy buildings dotted around the area, there are still affordable options to rent and buy along Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues and prices drop as you pass 106th Street.
Many people who live on the Upper West Side come from upper middle class and wealthy families. There are also plenty of single people in their 20s and 30s, most of them employed and with at least a college degree. In the middle is a strong middle-class community, people of all ages, some of whom live in rent-stabilized apartments they’ve had for many years. There is also a large international population living on the Upper West Side, and the area is racially diverse. The citizens of this neighborhood are, on the whole, very liberal, and some jokingly refer to this neighborhood as “The People’s Republic of the Upper West Side”. The area is generally safe, but be careful walking around at night, especially around the housing projects on Amsterdam Avenue.
With Central Park on its doorstep, outdoor enthusiasts will never be short of a place to exercise, play sports, or simply relax with a book under a tree. If gyms are more your thing, you can choose from the most expensive Equinox gym (4 locations from 59th to 92nd street), relatively expensive sports clubs in New York (6 locations from 59th to 106th Street). There are also cheaper gym options like the Paris Health Club on 97th and West End Avenue and the West Side YMCA on 64th off Central Park West. Also watch out for the many yoga studios that exist on the upper floors of the Broadway and Amsterdam buildings.
The Upper West Side is served by 1/2/3 trains which run local and express along Broadway, and A/B/C/D trains which run express and local along Central Park West. The Upper West Side also has a number of buses that come frequently and often, some with express service. The M5 goes up Riverside Drive. The M104 runs on Broadway. The M7 is the Amsterdam Avenue bus and the M10 runs along Central Park West.
The neighborhood is convenient to all of Manhattan and great for dining out, shopping, and just about anything else you could want within a reasonable distance. If you can afford it, living on the Upper West Side would be an interesting New York experience.
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