Brownstones, culture and restaurants characterize this friendly neighborhood. If the UWS feels like a sprawling village, maybe that’s because it once was. Formerly known as the “Bloomingdale District” this section ran from Chelsea to Harlem. The name ‘Bloomingdale’ is still used in reference to the location of the old Bloomingdale Village, situated on what is now 96th Street-110th Street and from Riverside Park east to Amsterdam Avenue.

The UWS has wonderful tree lined streets and hosts some of the most impressive brownstones in Manhattan. Before the 1830's most of New York City’s row houses (houses built side by side) were either made from brick or wood. Parallel to the rise of Manhattan’s middle-class came the need for more permanent and ornate housing. Brownstone is a type of sandstone locally quarried from New Jersey and Connecticut.

In terms of culture the UWS boasts the Lincoln Center (62nd - 65th Streets & Columbus -Amsterdam Avenues), The Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th Street), the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (212 West 83rd Street), the Cloisters (799 Fort Washington Avenue), and the Historical Society (170 Central Park West & 77 Street). Food for the eye and soul can be got at the Riverside Church (490 Riverside Drive & 120/122nd Street) and The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Avenue).

For real food try a bagel from H&H Bagels (2239 Broadway at 80th Street). Close by is the famous produce store Fairway Market (2127 Broadway near 74th Street) selling cheeses, pickles, and breads. Out of the hundreds of eateries on the UWS my personal favorites are EJ's Luncheonette (447 Amsterdam Ave near 81st St), Docks, (2427 Broadway & 89th/90th Street) and Carmine's (2450 Broadway & 90th/91st Street).