Upper West Side
Broadway, brownstones, books, and some of the city's best bagels—the Upper West Side extends north from Columbus Circle at 59th Street up to 110th Street, and is bordered by Central Park West and Riverside Park.
Elegant, pre-war buildings along the boulevards of Broadway, West End Avenue, Riverside Drive and Central Park West meet shady, quiet streets lined with brownstones. Much of the area is protected by landmark status, and the neighborhood's restored townhouses and high-priced co-op apartments are coveted by actors, young professionals, and young families.
The famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts sits between 61st and 66th Streets on Broadway. It is home to the New York State Theater, New York City Ballet, the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center (located at 59th Street), the Library and Museum of the Performing Arts, the School of American Ballet and the world-famous Julliard School of Music. The Walter Reade Theater is the home of the Lincoln Center Film Society. Its central plaza is the focus of summer outdoor performances of all kinds and dance nights (free salsa, tango or swing lessons, anyone?). In early winter, the Big Apple Circus pitches its tents here.
Sidewalks in this neighborhood are always crowded during the day with performers rushing to auditions and families making their way through the streets. In the evenings, however, the action moves inside, where singles mingle in myriad restaurants and bars. Stroll along Columbus Avenue to investigate the glitzy boutique-and-restaurant strip; walk along Amsterdam Avenue with its mix of bodegas, bars and boutiques. Along Central Park West are such titanic habitats as the buff colored, castle-like Dakota, where John Lennon was killed and Yoko Ono still lives (respects may be paid across the street in Central Park's Strawberry Fields memorial). Other interesting architectural jewels along the avenue include The Langham, the twin-towered San Remo and The Kenilworth.
Cultural attractions include the dinosaur-filled American Museum of Natural History and Rose Center for Earth and Space, the New-York Historical Society (whose collection reaches from the 1600s to today), and the Children's Museum of Manhattan.
Dining choices include two of the city's most beautiful restaurants—the romantic Café des Artistes and fantastical Tavern on the Green, plus a mind-boggling variety of cafés and restaurants along Columbus Avenue, serving everything from deli sandwiches to burritos to haute cuisine.
Venturing further uptown one finds the world's largest gothic Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Columbia University, Grant's Tomb, Riverside Church, Audubon Terrace (home of the Hispanic Society), Symphony Space and the Morris-Jumel Mansion, a colonial treasure. For greenery, Riverside Park is a real haven. Keep going, just past the George Washington Bridge, to the very tip of the island, and you will discover the Cloisters, surrounded by scenic Fort Tryon Park, which houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval art collection.
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