The Upper West Side
is a neighborhood of the borough
in New York City
that lies between Central Park
and the Hudson River
above West 59th Street
Like the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is primarily a residential and shopping area, with many of its residents working in more commercial areas in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. While these distinctions were never hard-and-fast rules, and now mean little, it has the reputation of being home to New York City's liberal cultural and artistic workers, in contrast to the Upper East Side, which is perceived to be traditionally home to more affluent conservative commercial and business types. The neighborhood is decidedly upscale with the median household above the Manhattan average.
The Upper West Side is bounded on the south by 59th Street, Central Park to the east, and the Hudson River to the west. Its northern boundary is somewhat less obvious. Although it has historically been cited as 110th Street, which fixes the neighborhood alongside Central Park, it is now sometimes considered to be 125th Street, encompassing Morningside Heights. This reflects demographic shifts in Morningside Heights, as well as the tendency of real estate brokers to co-opt the tony Upper West Side name when listing Morningside Heights and Harlem apartments. The area north of West 96th Street and east of Broadway is also identified as Manhattan Valley. The overlapping area west of Amsterdam Avenue to Riverside Park was once known as the
From west to east, the avenues of the Upper West Side are Riverside Drive (12th Avenue), West End Avenue (11th Avenue), Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue (10th Avenue), Columbus Avenue (9th Avenue) and Central Park West (8th Avenue). The 66-block stretch of Broadway forms the spine of the neighborhood and moves diagonally across the avenues at the bottom of the neighborhood and above 72nd Street moves parallel to the avenues; it enters the neighborhood at its juncture with Central Park West at Columbus Circle (59th Street), crosses Columbus Ave. at Lincoln Square (65th Street), crosses Amsterdam Ave. at Verdi Square (72nd Street), and then merges with West End at Straus Park (aka Bloomingdale Square, at 107th Street).
Morningside Heights, just west of Harlem, is the site of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Columbia University, Barnard College, Bank Street College of Education, Union Theological Seminary, Manhattan School of Music, Teachers College and Jewish Theological Seminary of America, as well as Grant's Tomb and Riverside Church.
Traditionally the neighborhood ranged from the former village of Harsenville, centered on the old Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway) and 65th Street, west to the railroad yards along the Hudson, then north to 110th Street, where the ground rises to Morningside Heights. With the building of Lincoln Center, its name, though perhaps not the reality, was stretched south to 59th Street. With the arrival of the corporate headquarters and expensive condos of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, and the Riverside South apartment complex built by Donald Trump, the area from 59th Street to 65th Street is increasingly referred to as Lincoln Square by realtors who acknowledge a different tone and ambiance than that typically associated with the Upper West Side. This is a reversion to the neighborhood's historical name.
Originally the name Bloomingdale (from the Dutch "Bloemendaal"), or the Bloomingdale District, applied to the west side of Manhattan from about 23rd Street up to the Hollow Way (modern 125th Street), and it contained numerous farms and country residences of many of the city's well-off. The main artery of this area was the Bloomingdale Road, which began north of where Broadway and the Bowery Lane join (at modern Union Square) and wended its way northward up to about modern 116th Street in Morningside Heights, where the road further north was known as the Kingsbridge Road. Within the confines of the modern-day Upper West Side, the road passed through areas known as Harsenville, Strycker's Bay, and Bloomingdale Village.
In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the Upper West Side-to-be contained some of colonial New York's most ambitious houses, spaced along Bloomingdale Road. It became increasingly infilled with smaller, more suburban villas in the first half of the nineteenth century, and in the middle of the century, parts had become decidedly lower class.
Much of the riverfront of the Upper West Side was a shipping, transportation, and manufacturing corridor. The Hudson River Railroad line right-of-way was granted in the late 1830s to connect New York City to Albany, and soon ran along the riverbank. One major non-industrial development, the creation of the Central Park in the 1850s and 60s caused many squatters to move their shacks into the UWS. Parts of the neighborhood became a ragtag collection of squatters' housing, boarding houses, and rowdy taverns.
As this development occurred, the old name of Bloomingdale Road was being chopped away and the name Broadway was progressively being applied further northward to include what had been lower Bloomingdale Road. In 1868, the city began straightening and grading the section of the Bloomingdale Road from Harsenville north, and it became known as "The Boulevard". It retained that name until the end of the century, when the name Broadway finally supplanted it.
Development of the neighborhood lagged even while Central Park was being laid out in the 1860s and 70s, then was stymied by the Panic of 1873. Things turned around when the elevated train's rapid transit was extended up Ninth Avenue (renamed Columbus Avenue in 1890), and with Columbia University's relocation to Morningside Heights in the 1890s, using lands once held by the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum The Upper West Side experienced a building boom from 1885 to 1910, thanks in large part to the 1904 opening of the city's first subway line, the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, with subway stations at 59th, 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 91st, 96th, 103rd, 110th, 116th and Manhattan (now 125th) streets. This followed upon the opening of the now demolished IRT Ninth Avenue Line - the city's first elevated railway - which opened in the decade following the Civil War .
In the early part of the 1900s, the area south of 67th Street was heavily populated by African-Americans and supposedly gained its nickname of "San Juan Hill" in commemoration of African-American soldiers who were a major part of the assault on Cuba's San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. By 1960, it was a rough neighborhood of tenement housing, the demolition of which was delayed to allow for exterior shots in the movie musical West Side Story. Thereafter, urban renewal brought the construction of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Towers apartments during 1962–1968.
Riverside Park was conceived in 1866 and formally approved by the state legislature through the efforts of city parks commissioner Andrew Haswell Green. The first segment of park was acquired through condemnation in 1872, and construction soon began following a design created by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed the adjacent, gracefully curving Riverside Drive. In 1937, under the administration of commissioner Robert Moses, 132 acres of land were added to the park, primarily by creating a promenade that covered the tracks of the Hudson River Railroad. Moses, working with landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke also added playgrounds, and distinctive stonework and the 79th Street Boat Basin, but also cut pedestrians off from direct access to most of the riverfront by building the Henry Hudson Parkway by the river's edge. According to Robert Caro's book, The Power Broker on Moses, Riverside Park was designed with most of the amenities located in predominately white neighborhoods, with the neighborhoods closer to Harlem getting shorter shrift. Riverside Park, like Central Park, has undergone a revival in the last 30 years, largely through the efforts of The Riverside Park Fund, a citizen's group. Largely through their efforts and the support of the city, much of the park has been improved. The Hudson River Greenway along the river-edge of the park is a popular route for pedestrians and bicycle commuters, and offers spectacular vistas. A dramatic new improvement to the greenway is the $13.3 million "Riverwalk" extension to the park's greenway being constructed between 83rd and 91st Streets on a promenade in the river itself. Riverwalk is due to be completed in the spring of 2009.
From the post-WWII years until the AIDS epidemic the neighborhood, especially below 86th Street, had a substantial gay population. Theater people had been attracted to the neighborhood because of its proximity and easy transportation (espcially via subway) to the Theater District, and among these were many gay men. As the neighborhood had deteriorated it was affordable to working class gay men, and those just arriving in NYC and looking for their first white collar jobs. Its ethnically mixed gay population, mostly hispanic and white, with a mixture of income levels and occupations patronized the same gay bars in the neighborhood, making it markedly different from most gay enclaves elsewhere in the city. The influx of white gay men in the Fifties and Sixties is often credited with accelerating the gentrification of the Upper West Side, and by the mid and late 70's the gay male population had become predominantly white.
Another component that brought about the eventual gentrification of the neighborhood were the recent college graduates in the late '70s and early '80s who moved in, drawn to the neighborhood's relatively large apartments and cheap housing.
The Upper West Side is also a significant Jewish neighborhood, populated with both German Jews who moved in at the turn of the century, and Jewish refugees escaping Hitler's Europe in the 1930's. Today the area between 85th Street and 100th Street is home to the largest community of young Modern Orthodox singles outside of Israel. However, the Upper West Side also features a substantial amount of non-Orthodox Jews.
In a subsequent phase of urban renewal, the rail yards which had formed the Upper West Side's southwest corner were replaced by the Riverside South residential project and a southward extension of Riverside Park. The evolution of Riverside South had a 40-year history, often extremely bitter, beginning in 1962 when the New York Central Railroad, in partnership with the Amalgamated Lithographers Union, proposed a mixed-use development with 12,000 apartments, Litho City, to be built on platforms over the tracks. The subsequent bankruptcy of the enlarged, but short-lived Penn Central Railroad brought other proposals and prospective developers. The one generating the most opposition was Donald Trump's "Television City" concept of 1985, which would have included a 152-story tower. In 1991, a self-appointed coalition of prominent civic organizations signaled that they were willing to accept a development about 40% smaller in scope than Trump proposed, and things finally started moving. As of 2008, construction is well underway, but still to be resolved is the future of the West Side Highway viaduct over the park area.
The Bloomingdale district was the site for several long-established charitable institutions: their unbroken parcels of land have provided suitably-scaled sites for Columbia University and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, as well as for some vanished landmarks, such as the Schwab Mansion on Riverside Drive, the most ambitious free-standing private house ever built in Manhattan.
The name Bloomingdale is still used in reference to a part of the Upper West Side, essentially the location of old Bloomingdale Village, the area from about 96th Street up to 110th Street and from Riverside Park east to Amsterdam Ave. The triangular block bound by Broadway, West End Avenue, 106th Street and 107th Street, although generally known as Straus Park (named for Isidor Straus and his wife Ida), was officially designated Bloomingdale Square in 1907. The neighborhood also includes the Bloomingdale School of Music and Bloomingdale neighborhood branch of the New York Public Library. Adjacent to the Bloomingdale neighborhood is a more diverse and less affluent subsection of the Upper West Side called Manhattan Valley, focused on the downslope of Columbus Avenue and Manhattan Avenue from about 102nd Street up to 110th Street.
Two subway lines serve the Upper West Side. The 1,2,3, (2 & 3 are express) run along the Broadway line
making stops at 59th Street, 66th Street, 72nd Street (express stop), 79th Street, 86th Street, 96th Street (express stop), 103rd Street and 110th Street. The B & C trains run along the Central Park West line
stopping at 59th Street, 72nd Street, 81st Street Museum of Natural History), 86th Street (Transfer to East side via M86 bus), 96th Street, 103rd Street and 110th Street.
There are five different bus routes that go up and down the Upper West Side, as well as crosstown buses at every major intersection.
- M5: Up and down Riverside Drive to/from 72nd Street and from there south, up and down Broadway
- M104: Up and down Broadway
- M7 & M11: Up Amsterdam and down Columbus
- M10: Up and down Central Park West
Landmarks and institutions
PK + K-12
Degree Granting Institutions
Makor/Steinhardt Building on West 67th Street, east of Columbus Avenue, the latter having relocated to Tribeca.
Food and gourmet
Amsterdam Avenue from 67th Street up to 96th Street is lined with restaurants and bars. Columbus Avenue is as well, to a slightly lesser extent. The following lists a few neighborhood institutions and famous places.
- Barney Greengrass the Sturgeon King - the place to take out or lunch on smoked fish, Amsterdam Avenue and 86th Street. Alec Baldwin and other Upper West Siders and others marked its centenary in June 2008.
- Café des Artistes - romantic French restaurant at 67th Street and Central Park West, founded 1917 - a magnet for celebrities with famed 1930s murals.
- Cafe Lalo - dessert cafe, 83rd St. at Amsterdam, seen in You've Got Mail
- Candle Bar - Amsterdam btwn 75th & 74th. Oldest continuously operating gay bar in NYC, open as a gay establishment since the mid-60's.
- Citarella - Broadway and 75th Street flagship of gourmet markets began as a seafood store, founded 1912 on West 164th Street in Washington Heights, it later moved to the Upper West Side.
- Gray's Papaya - destination bargain hot dog and juice stand at 2090 Broadway and 72nd Street
- Edgar's Cafe - dessert cafe, 84th Street, between West End Avenue and Broadway, so named because Edgar Allan Poe allegedly composed "The Raven when he lived near this location during 1844-1845.
- Fairway Market - a popular green grocer that became a full service market, Broadway and 74th St., founded c. 1950
- Fine & Schapiro - long running kosher deli on West 72nd Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.
- H&H Bagels - much hyped bagel bakery with long weekend lines at Broadway and 80th St., founded 1972
- Tavern on the Green - famous restaurant located in Central Park at Central Park West and West 67th Street, founded 1934
- Tom's Restaurant - greasy spoon at Broadway and 112th Street in Morningside Heights - founded c. 1950 - made famous by Seinfeld
- Zabar's - celebrated emporium for gourmet delicatessen and housewares at Broadway and 80th Street, founded 1934, draws a metropolitan, national & international crowd of foodies.
Other historical sites
- Grant's Tomb - in Morningside Heights
- Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial - centerpiece of namesake triangular park at Broadway, West End Avenue and West 106th Street.
- Firemen's Memorial - this 1913 monument on Riverside Drive at 100th Street has been the scene of somber gatherings and spontaneous gestures, such as a display of flowers and children's teddy bears on 9/11.
- Joan of Arc Monument - Riverside Drive and 93rd Street.
- The former East River Savings Bank at Amsterdam and 96th Street (Walker and Gillette, 1927) is a classical temple now housing a drugstore, locally termed "The Aspirineum" and "The First National Bank of CVS"
- Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument - on Riverside Drive at 89th Street.
- Apple Bank - former Central Savings Bank - a Florentine palazzo at Broadway and 73rd, with a magnificent Roman banking hall, one of New York's classic interior spaces, York & Sawyer, architects, ironwork by Samuel Yellin, 1928. Upper floors converted to luxury condominium apartments.
- Columbus Circle - statue of Christopher Columbus on 59th St. and the intersection of Broadway and Central Park West.
- Advent Lutheran Church/Broadway United Church of Christ - Broadway and 93rd Street
- Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church - 71st Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue. Interesting tapestries on display, modeled on 14th century French Gothic Sainte Chapelle in Paris.
- The Carlebach Shul-305 West 79th Street, off West End Avenue
- Lincoln Square Synagogue - Modern Orthodox congregation, 200 Amsterdam Avenue at 69th Street.
- Cathedral of Saint John the Divine - in Morningside Heights, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, or at least it will be, when it's finished. Suffered significant fire damage to the South transept in December 2001. The church was originally to follow a Romanesque design, but the builders switched to a Gothic design along the way. The church plans to replace the great dome with a massive Gothic tower, but this major construction project is likely to take decades, if it is ever completed.
- First Baptist Church in the City of New York 79th Street at Broadway
- The Church of St. Gregory the Great - Roman Catholic parish and school on West 90th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues. During the Vietnam War, it was the sanctuary for celebrated fugitive priest, Philip Berrigan, who with his fellow priest brother Daniel was then one of the FBI's "10 most wanted." More recently, Irish author Colm Tóibín wrote of the church's choir
- Church of St Paul and St Andrew (United Methodist) West End Avenue and 86th Street. Center of strong community outreach programs to the disaffected.
- Church of the Ascension (Catholic) 107th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam
- Congregation Ansche Chesed אנשי חסד
- Congregation B'nai Jeshurun - In 1825, Ashkenazi members left the city's first Jewish house of worship, the Sephardic Congregation Shearith Israel, beginning a trek up Manhattan that would land them on West 88th Street between West End Avenue and Broadway. The 1919 building designed by Broadway theater architect Henry B. Herts with fellow congregant Walter S. Schneider, became a must see for boards of other synagogues then seeking to build new homes. A spiritual and demographic renaissance began in 1985, with the arrival of Rabbi Marshall Meyer.
- Congregation Habonim - founded by refugees on the first anniversary of the Kristalnacht, this congregation occupies a classic post-World War II suburban style synagogue at 44 West 66th Street just off of Central Park West.
- Congregation Ohab Zedek (OZ)
- Congregation Shaare Zedek West 93rd Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam.
- Congregation Shearith Israel - the oldest Jewish congregation in what is now the United States was launched in 1655 by refugees from the Portuguese Inquisition in Recife, Brazil. Its landmark, 1897 building on Central Park West at West 70th Street was designed by Arnold Brunner and Thomas Tryon and incorporated elements of its first New Amsterdam sanctuary in its small chapel. The 350th anniversary of the establishment of a Jewish community was marked around the country with exhibitions, symposia, concerts, screenings and other events.
- Congregation Rodeph Sholom 83rd Street/Central Park. Established the first Reform Jewish Day School in North America in 1970.
- Congregation Ohav Sholom
- Corpus Christi Church near Columbia University
- Holy Name of Jesus R.C. Church - 207 West 96th Street, NW corner of Amsterdam. Built 1892-1900; restored 1998-2000.
- Darkhei Noam
- Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church 82nd Street betw. Broadway/Amsterdam, a fine example of Byzantine architecture with mosaics in the ceilings.
- Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Central Park West and 65th Street
- The Jewish Center - the very first "shul with a pool," now a more circumspect Modern Orthodox congregation on West 86th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues.
- Kehilat Hadar
- Kehilat Orach Eliezer
- Kol Zimrah
- Kollel Yisroel V'Shimshon of the West Side
- Manhattan New York Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 65th Street and Columbus/Broadway, across the street from Lincoln Center.
- New York Buddhist Church - A statue of the 12th century Japanese Buddhist monk Shinran stands in front of the
building on Riverside Drive between 105th and 106th streets.
The apartment buildings along Central Park West
, facing the park, are some of the most desirable apartments in New York. The Dakota
at 72nd St. has been home to numerous celebrities including John Lennon
. Other famous buildings on CPW include the Art Deco Century Apartments
(Irwin Chanin, 1931) and The Majestic
also by Chanin. The San Remo
, The Eldorado
(300 C.P.W., with the highest sum of Democratic presidential campaign contributions by address in 2004) was the home of Herman Wouk's fictional Marjorie Morningstar
, The Beresford
were all designed by Emery Roth
as was 41 West 96th Street
(completed in 1926). His first commission, the belle epoque
Belleclaire, is on Broadway, while the moderne
Normandie holds forth on Riverside at 86th Street. Along Broadway are several Beaux-Arts
apartment houses: The Belnord
(1908) - the fronting block of which was co-named in honor of longtime resident I.B. Singer
, plus The Apthorp
(1908), The Ansonia
(1902) and The Dorilton
. All four are individually designated New York City landmarks. Curvilinear Riverside Drive also has many beautiful pre-war houses and larger buildings, including the graceful curving apartment buildings—The Paterno
and The Colosseum (apartment building)
by Schwartz & Gross
—at 116th St and Riverside Drive. West End Avenue, a grand residential boulevard lined with pre-war Beaux-Arts apartment buildings and townhouses dating from the late-19th and early 20th centuries, is closed to commercial traffic. Columbus Avenue north of 87th Street was the spine for major
post-World War II urban renewal.
In film, television, and the arts
The Upper West Side has been a setting for many movies and television shows because of its pre-War architecture, colorful community and rich cultural life. Ever since Edward R. Murrow
went "Person-to-Person" live, the length of Central Park West in the 1950s, West Siders scarcely pause to gape at on-site trailers, and jump their skateboards over coaxial cables and it seems that one or another of the various Law & Order
shows is taking up all the available parking spaces in the neighborhood. Woody Allen
's film Hannah and Her Sisters
captures that quintessential Upper West Side flavor of rambling high-ceilinged apartments bursting at the seams with books and other cultural artifacts.
- American Psycho (film) (2000), The main character, played by Christian Bale, named Patrick Bateman, apparently lives in the American Gardens Building on West 81st street.
- The Apartment (1960)
- Black and White (1999), has scenes of Central Park and Columbia University
- Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) Early on in his trip to America, Borat is seen in Columbus Circle in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower
- Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995), includes a scene set outside the subway station at 72nd Street and Broadway, featuring a public phone that was in fact only a prop.
- Eyes Wide Shut (1999) The characters played by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman live in an apartment on Central Park West.
- Fools Rush In (1997) Several scenes, including the 72nd St. & Broadway Subway station and CPW
- Ghostbusters (1984), at the opening of the movie, the three ghostbusters are shown as being ousted professors on the Columbia University campus, and the building where Sigourney Weaver's character lives is 55 Central Park West, at 66th St.
- Ghostbusters II (1989) Janosz says he's from the Upper West Side.
- Heartburn (1986) finds Meryl Steep's character taking refuge in her father's spacious apartment at the Apthorp on 79th Street and Broadway after her marriage to the character played by Jack Nicholson fails; author Nora Ephron, on whose novel the film was based, was an Apthorp resident at the time.
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) takes place in Central Park, and in a townhouse on 95th St. as well as other locations throughout New York.
- The House on 92nd Street (1945), though set on the UES at 92nd/Madison, the movie is based on the true story of Nazi spies operating out of an Upper West Side boarding house on 90th Street between Amsterdam/Columbus.
- Keeping the Faith (2000), various church and synagogue locations
- Kissing Jessica Stein (2002)
- Little Manhattan (2005), includes various scenes from the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West, Broadway / 72nd Street, and Septuagesimo Uno (the smallest NYC public park located on West 71st street between Amsterdam Ave and West End Ave).
- I Am Legend (2007), Will Smith, A film adaptation of Richard C. Matheson's novel of the same name. The now disused Red Cross Hosiptal on 66th and Amsterdam was used for many of the indoor "zombie" scenes
- Margaret (2006/6), currently under production with Matt Damon.
- Music & Lyrics (2006), with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. all set around 72nd Street which forms the backdrop for the apartment that Hugh Grant lives in. The restaurant scene was shot at La Fenice at 69th and Broadway
- New York Minute (2004) features Ashley Olsen's character making a speech at Columbia.
- Night at the Museum (2006) is set in the Museum of Natural History and areas adjoining it
- Panic Room (2002) takes place on West 94th Street
- The Panic in Needle Park (1971), starring Al Pacino, is set in Sherman Square, at the intersection of Broadway and 70th Street
- The Pawnbroker (1964), One of the final scenes is at Geraldine Fitzgerald's character's apartment in Lincoln Towers
- Prime (2005) Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. Uma Thurman gets her nails done at Pinky's on 89th Street
- Rosemary's Baby (1968), apartment building in movie is The Dakota
- Single White Female (1992), apartment building in movie is The Ansonia
- Spider-Man (2002), Low Library and College Walk of Columbia University
- Spider-Man 2 (2004), Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
- Take the Money and Run (1969) Virgil and Louise are seen at the fountain in Lincoln Center
- Vanilla Sky (2001), car accident at center of movie happens in Riverside Park, near 96th Street
- Wall Street (1987) In one of the final scenes, after being punched in Central Park by Michael Douglas for being unloyal, Charlie Sheen walks into the Tavern on the Green where, in the men's room, he provides an indicting wiretap of the conversation between the two to federal agents, implicating Douglas in federal security fraud.
- The Warriors (1979) The Warriors emerge from the 72nd street subway station (Baseball Furie's Turf) and run to Riverside Park, where they easily defeat The Baseball Furies.
- West Side Story (1961), takes place in tenements where Lincoln Center is today, around 66th Street
- You've Got Mail (1998) used many UWS locations, such as the park at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. The DVD of movie includes an interactive tour of the neighborhood. The storyline is also in some degree appropriate to the area because two well-loved UWS independent bookstores, Shakespeare & Co. and Eeyore's, were driven out of business in the late 1990s when they were sandwiched by two branches of a national chain bookstore. Another amusing sidelight relating to the local character of the movie was the scene in which the two principals enter a movie theater. The multiplex exists, and the sub-theater in which they go to watch the movie later showed You've Got Mail.
- Various Woody Allen movies
- Annie Hall (1977) featured two movie theaters. The scene where he and Diane Keaton are in line for tickets and pulls Marshall McLuhan out of thin air to silence a boorish rant - was shot in the lobby of The New Yorker movie theater (89th & Broadway), the second scene is a shot of the Thalia Theater at 95th and Broadway. The last scene in the film is shot from a recently closed restaurant on 64th and Broadway, facing Lincoln Center. The Upper West Side is also mentioned by name in Annie Hall, when Allen meets a college student at a political rally and describes her as an "Upper West Side" liberal.
- Hannah and Her Sisters - 1986 romantic comedy with Thanksgiving scenes in Central Park West apartment.
- Manhattan features an arty scene in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.
- In Mighty Aphrodite, Woody Allen's character is told that his adopted son's mother is a sex worker as he stands in a doorway on the north side of West 72nd Street, just east of Amsterdam.
- Law & Order - often uses Upper West Side and Morningside Heights locations near Columbia University for filming.
- Seinfeld - Jerry in the series lived at 129 West 81st St., though the establishing exterior shots were of a building in Los Angeles; the series used authentic exteriors from locations such as Tom's Restaurant and H&H Bagels. Jerry Seinfeld himself is an owner of an apartment in The Beresford at 81st Street and Central Park West.
- Sex and the City - used many locations, including Gray's Papaya, Zabar's, and Charlotte's (275 CPW) and Miranda's (250 W. 85th) apartments.
- Will & Grace - Will lives in 155 Riverside Drive, Apartment 9C. Jack lives in 155 Riverside Drive, Apartment 9A.
- Mad About You - From : "When they met [1.11], Paul was living at 129 West 81st Street, and Jamie was living nearby at 142 West 81st, so it is understandable that they met at a local newsstand. They moved in together on Valentine's Day, 1991. Before moving into his own apartment on West 81st, Paul stayed for a while with his cousin Ira at 196 West 93rd Street [3.22], before Ira booted him out [3.16]. The actual building used for the exterior shots of their apartment together is located at the corner of East 12th St. and Fifth Avenue. We don't know for sure, but exterior shots for the registration episode [2.21] were filmed at Columbia University. The building with the columns where registration takes place is Ferris Booth Hall (which has since been replaced by Alfred Lerner Hall), while the student centre and the outside shot after that is on one of the lower campus paths, looking south, with Ferris Booth to the right, Butler Library to the left, and Carman Hall in the background right, with Carman Gate in the background. The message kiosk is in the foreground right."
- 30 Rock - Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) lives at 160 Riverside Drive
- How I Met Your Mother - Ted, Marshall, and Lilly live in an apartment at 75th and Amsterdam.
Famous comedian George Carlin grew up on 121st, and has drawn heavily upon his New York City roots on a number of his comedy albums, perhaps most memorably on Occupation: Foole, where he says he and his friends called their neighborhood "White Harlem... because it sounded tough. Its real name was Morningside Heights."
Electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos made her classic 1968 album Switched-On Bach in her West End Avenue apartment, which she had converted into a makeshift home recording studio.
Jazz legend Lynn Oliver had his recording studio sandwiched next to the New Yorker Bookshop and Benny's on 89th and B'way. The likes of Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, and Stan Getz could be seen ducking into his alley-like studio to practice and hangout. An arranger and drummer, Oliver's credits are found on more than a few classic cuts from the 60's.
- Hopper Striker Mott, The New York of Yesterday: A Descriptive Narrative of Old Bloomingdale, 1908.
- Peter Salwen, Upper West Side Story 1989, ISBN 0-89659-894-2.
- Steven Birmingham, Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address, 1996, ISBN 0-8156-0338-X.