Upper West Side in New York: Your Personal Guide and a Bit of History

11:23 am  |  19.05.2021

The West Side is a large area west of Manhattan Island. On the western side of the West Side is bounded by the Hudson River, on the east by 5th Street, Central Park, and lower Broadway.


The main West Side quarters are Tribeca, Soho, West Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side, Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, West Harlem.

The active development of the district began only after the railroad was built in the West Side in the 1970s, and it had a positive impact on the standard of living of its inhabitants. However, with the onset of the Great Depression and up until the 1960s, the area was in a difficult time and was a haven for the poor. However, the area was a haven for the poor.

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The Tribeca neighborhoods (TriBeCa: Triangle Below Canal Street – New York City’s first residential quarter), Soho (SoHo: South of Houston Street – famous 19th-century buildings with cast-iron elements), West Village and Chelsea are the centers of theatrical life and modern art. They are known for their art galleries and workshops and are therefore very popular with tourists. These are very bohemian places with lots of shops, restaurants, and hotels. As a result, the prices of accommodation here are very high. This is where Mariah Carey, Robert de Niro, Kate Winslet, and others live.

In addition to museums and huge shopping malls capable of satisfying even the most demanding customer, the Upper West Side is famous for its theatrical concert complex, Lincoln Center, which hosts hundreds of different cultural events each year on 29 theaters. The 12 buildings of the Lincoln Center house the world-famous opera theatre «Metropolitan Opera», the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, the higher music school «Juilliard» etc. Lincoln Center is the largest cultural center in the world.

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The most famous of the West Side quarters is the Upper West Side, which is fashionable and rich in attractions.

There are a lot of interesting houses on the Upper West Side, remembering all kinds of stories. For example, «Dakota» witnessed the death of the great John Lennon, or the prestigious co-operative «San Remo», built in the art-deco style, with two towers that are so touchingly dear to us, seen so many times in favorite movies and TV series. Steven Spielberg, Rita Hayworth, Bruce Willis, and Demi Moore lived here at various times.

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To learn more about American culture, it is necessary to visit the New-York Historical Society, whose permanent exhibition covers the life of this country for the last 300 years. 

There are a variety of tools and household items, furniture, and weapons. And the recently renovated American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest and most interesting places in the world.

Another quarter of the West Side with a very original name, Hell’s Kitchen, also known as Clinton, keeps in its name a reference to the high criminality of the area (from about the middle of XIX in. and until almost the end of XX in.). It was here that the action took place in the famous novel by Herbert Asbury «Bands of New York», filmed by Martin Scorsese. Clinton has been called since the 1960s, but Hell’s Kitchen is still more popular and popular. The modern appearance of the district is full of theatres, fashionable restaurants, and luxury apartment buildings. Due to its proximity to Midtown, New York City’s business and cultural center, businessmen and artists have become active.

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The Manhattan Valley, once called Bloomingdale on a farm here, is a residential area once filled with migrants, and today it belongs entirely to the New York middle class. Bloomingdale was at one time called another block, also considered part of the Upper West Side, and Greater Harlem-Morningside Heights. Another name for the area is Soha. Now there are many academic and theological educational institutions.

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Harlem, the birthplace of New York City’s gangsters and criminal gangs, traces its history from the 17th century when the settlement was named after the Dutch city of Harlem. Local architecture follows European traditions, even houses in the Victorian style. In addition, three to six-story houses predominate, as opposed to other neighborhoods in Manhattan. 

Since the beginning of the 20th century, African Americans have been actively settling in the quarter, and since the 1930s, the district itself and especially its famous theatre «Apollo» have become the center of «black» music development. Moby and Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington lived there at various times.

Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center is home to the world’s leading Performing Arts Center. 

It is located in western Manhattan, near the Midtown area. It is easily accessible by public transport. Lincoln Center is also a center of cultural and entertainment events, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Ballet, the Juilliard School, the New York Philharmonic, and more.

The Lincoln Center is located on a huge area of 6.5 hectares. It was built in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, thousands of visitors to Lincoln Center can visit tours, discount tickets, shops, exhibitions, as well as world-class opera and ballet.

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