Alex moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Manhattan is divided into neighbors such as Chinatown, Little Italy, the East Village, SoHo, Tribeca, and Harem. The neighborhoods are delineated by streets. Some of the neighborhood names identify where they are located; SoHo stands for the area South of Houston street; Tribeca stands for the Triangle Below Canal Street.
The Upper West Side runs from Central Park in the East, the Hudson River on the West, 110th street on the north, and 59th street to the south. The Upper West side is primarily a residential area of Manhattan, with residents commuting by subway to midtown and downtown for work. It is also considered a cultural center of the city with Lincoln Center and Julliard at the south end of the area; and an intellectual hub of the city with Columbia University at the North. Also, it is considered one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Manhattan.
In the 1970’s, the area was in disrepair and apartments were cheap. It was occupied by young professionals because of the rent and large apartments. Over the next thirty years, the area had become gentrified and executives started to move into the area because of all the prewar buildings that had large rooms and high ceilings. These buildings themselves are a real treasure in their architectural features. The landmark preservation society is very active in the area, and as a result, seventy-one percent of the buildings are landmarked and cannot be changed on the exterior, keeping the Upper West Side a treasure in itself. This area has the highest percent of landmarked buildings in Manhattan.
One of the hidden treasures of the Upper West Side and New York is Riverside Park, a park that runs along the Hudson River. The main part of the Park is a narrow scenic strip along the Hudson River that is about 100 acres, running from 72nd to 125th street. It contains running paths, walking paths, playgrounds, sporting area, a skateboard area, and lots of green areas and all different types of trees. It is not as crowded as Central Park and on the weekends, you will find families from the neighborhood enjoying an outing together.
Until recently there were a lot of mom and pop store that gave the Upper West Side a family feeling. However, recently the rent has increased to a point where the stores can no longer afford to stay and have been forced out only to be replaced by large chain stores. As a result, the family neighborhood is slowly being eroded.
Author, The Mosquito Bites