Upper East Side


Photo: Thomas Rafael

The Upper East Side showcases New York in all its opulent high culture. Stretching from 59th Street to 96th Street, between Central Park and the East River, this is home to Museum Mile, elite schools, impossibly expensive boutiques, and some of the richest residents of Manhattan, many of whom work in the city's financial and business sectors. This is where many "ladies who lunch" and other socialites live, and where a year's tuition at a private school can often cost more than an entire college education. The residents of the Upper East Side appreciate many of the good things in life, particularly their proximity to so much of New York's cultural life. The Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, the Frick Collection, and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum are just a few of the grand institutions that stretch along Museum Mile. Residents of the Upper East Side also treasure the 92nd Street Y - which offers one of the most fascinating seasonal selections of speakers and guest lecturers of any institution in the country.

While the Upper East Side is an area that most can only imagine living it, it's a wonderful place for anyone to visit, and too often overlooked in the whirlwind of tourist activities. If you're tired of Times Square, and have had enough of bargaining in Chinatown, spend a quiet day in one of the great centers of culture in this city. Most offer student rates (and a number are "suggested donation only," which leaves the lovely option open of paying whatever your pocketbook can afford!)

If you'd rather people watch, take a walk and admire the architecture of the old buildings. If you're curious about the history of one, sometimes you'll find a friendly doorman who will launch forth on the unique history of the building he serves. Finish the day by walking south into the beautiful Central Park, which is its own cultural treasure. A day walking the paths, in any season, will surely be memorable.

Molly O'Neill