Upper West Side in New York City
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street. It encompasses the neighborhood of Morningside Heights.
Like the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is an upscale, primarily residential, 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 cultural and artistic workers, while the Upper East Side is traditionally perceived to be home to commercial and business types.
The Upper West Side is bounded on the south by 58th 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 Bloomingdale District.
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 runs diagonally, north / south across the avenues at the south end of the neighborhood and above 72nd Street moves parallel to the avenues. Broadway 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, the National Council of Churches, 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 58th 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 58th 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.
The long high bluff above useful sandy coves along the North River was little used or traversed by the Lenape people. A combination of the stream valleys, such as that in which 96th Street runs, and wetlands to the northeast and east, may have protected a portion of the Upper West Side from the Lenape's controlled burns; lack of periodic ground fires results in a denser understory and more fire-intolerant trees, such as American Beech.
The Dutch applied the name Bloemendaal, Anglicized to "Bloomingdale" or "the Bloomingdale District", to the west side of Manhattan from about 23rd Street up to the Hollow Way (modern 125th Street), and by the 18th century it contained numerous farms and country residences of many of the city's well-off, a major parcel of which was the Apthorp Farm. The main artery of this area was the Bloomingdale Road, which began north of where Broadway and the Bowery Lane (now Fourth Avenue) 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 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 American Civil War.
In 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 acre 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 late in the 20th century, 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 improvement is the $15.7 million "Riverwalk" extension to the park's greenway constructed between 83rd and 91st Streets on a promenade in the river itself, completed in May 2010.
The Upper West Side is 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 1930s. 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 number of non-Orthodox Jews.
From the post-WWII years until the AIDS epidemic the neighborhood, especially below 86th Street, had a substantial gay population. 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 '70s, 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.
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 office tower and six 75-story residential buildings. In 1991, a coalition of prominent civic organizations proposed a purely residential development of about half that size, and then reached a deal with Trump. 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.
The community's links to the events 9/11 were evinced in the Upper West Side, Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam's paean to the men of Ladder Co 40/Engine Co 35, just a few blocks from his home, in Firehouse.
Two subway lines serve the Upper West Side. The IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line ( trains) runs along the Broadway making stops at 59th, 66th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, 96th, 103rd, 110th, and 116th streets. The IND Eighth Avenue Line ( trains) runs along Central Park West stopping at 59th, 72nd, 81st, 86th, 96th, 103rd, and 110th streets.
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
- American Bible Society
- American Broadcasting Company – KPF-designed headquarters located at 77 West 66th Street at Columbus Avenue.
- Time Warner – SOM-designed headquarters located on Columbus Circle, at the site of the old New York Coliseum.
- Two primary music licensing organizations are located in the neighborhood, ASCAP and BMI.
- The College Board, a national non-profit examination body launched in 1900, has its headquarters on Columbus Avenue, across from Fordham University.
- The Jewish Guild for the Blind – This non-sectarian, non-profit organization serving the visually impaired, blind and those with multiple disabilities, has its national headquarters on West 65th Street just off Central Park West.
- American Folk Art Museum
- Eva and Morris Feld Gallery
- American Museum of Natural History
- Hayden Planetarium
- Ballet Hispanico Tina Ramirez
- Bard Graduate Center Gallery
- Beacon Theater
- Children's Museum of Manhattan
- Lincoln Center – A total of 12 performing arts companies hosted in a variety of theater and recital spaces
- Metropolitan Opera
- Avery Fisher Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic
- New York State Theater, home of the New York City Opera and the New York City Ballet
- Juilliard School of Music
- Jazz at Lincoln Center
- Alice Tully Hall
- Film Society of Lincoln Center
- School of American Ballet
- Vivian Beaumont Theater
- Mitzi Newhouse Theater 
- Damrosch Park
- New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
- Bruno Walter Auditorium
- Museum of Biblical Art
- Merkin Concert Hall
- New-York Historical Society
- Nicholas Roerich Museum
- Symphony Space
- Thalia Theater
- El Taller Latinoamericano
PK + K-12
- Abraham Joshua Heschel School
- Lower School – West 89th Street
- Middle School – West 91st Street
- High School – West End Ave and W. 60th Street
- Alexander Robertson School – West 95th Street off Central Park West
- The Anderson School PS 334 – (K-5 & 6–8), 77th & Columbus
- Ascension School – (Pre-K3–8), 220 West 108th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam) 
- The Beacon School – an alternative, non testing public high school on west 61st.
- Beit Rabban Day School - an innovative, non-denominational day school combining intellectual rigor, serious Jewish learning, and a progressive educational approach
- Bloomingdale School of Music
- MS 54 Booker T. Washington Middle School – 103 West 107th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues
- Calhoun School
- Main Building – 433 West End Avenue at 81st Street.
- Robert L. Beir Lower School – 160 West 74th Street, between Amsterdam & Columbus avenues.
- The Cathedral School of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine - in Morningside Heights
- The Center School – 70th between Amsterdam and West End
- The Collegiate School
- Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School
- Columbus Academy
- MS 44
- The Computer School (MS 245)
- Corpus Christi School – next to Columbia University and Teachers College 
- De la salle academy
- Dwight School
- Ethical Culture Fieldston School Central Park West and 63rd Street
- Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts – behind Lincoln Center
- Lucy Moses School
- The Mandell School
- Manhattan Day School
- Martin Luther King, Jr Campus Schools
- PS 75 Emily Dickinson School
- PS 199
- PS 87, on 78th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue.
- PS 97
- PS 9 – 84th and Columbus
- PS 163 (aka the Alfred E. Smith School) – West 97th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues
- PS 166
- PS/IS 187
- Rodeph Sholom School
- Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan (2-8 West 89th)
- Special Music School
- St. Agnes Boys High School
- St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's School – in Morningside Heights
- The Studio School
- Trevor Day School
- Trinity School
- Twin Parks Montessori Schools
- Central Park Montessori – 1 West 91st Street
- Park West Montessori – 435 Central Park West
- Riverside Montessori – 202 Riverside Drive
- Yeshiva Ketana of Manhattan occupies Herts & Tallent's 1903 beaux arts Rice Mansion at 346 West 89th Street and Riverside Drive.
- York Preparatory School – near Lincoln Center
- American Museum of Natural History The Richard Gilder Graduate School – Central Park West & West 79th Street
- The American Musical and Dramatic Academy – 211 W 61st Street, between Amsterdam & West End Avenues.
- Columbia University – in Morningside Heights
- Bank Street College of Education and School for Children – in Morningside Heights
- Bard Graduate Center at 86th and Columbus.
- Barnard College – one of the Seven Sisters in Morningside Heights
- Fordham University Lincoln Center campus – Schools of Law, Business, Social Service and Education
- Jewish Theological Seminary of America – in Morningside Heights
- Lander College for Women, a division of Touro College, West 60th Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenues.
- New York Institute of Technology – in the Columbus Circle proximity
- New York Theological Seminary – in Morningside Heights
- William E. Macaulay Honors College – this collaborative endeavor of CUNY's senior colleges occupies the 92nd St Y's former Makor/Steinhardt Building on West 67th Street, east of Columbus Avenue, the latter having relocated to Tribeca.
- Manhattan School of Music – in Morningside Heights
- Mannes College The New School for Music, a division of The New School, on 85th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus
- Teachers College of Columbia University, in Morningside Heights
- Union Theological Seminary – in Morningside Heights
Restaurants and gourmet groceries
Amsterdam Avenue from 67th Street up to 110th Street is lined with restaurants and bars, as is Columbus Avenue, to a slightly lesser extent. The following lists a few prominent ones.
- Barney Greengrass, specializing in fish, Amsterdam Avenue and 86th Street. Alec Baldwin and other Upper West Siders and others marked its centenary in June 2008.
- The Howard Chandler Christie murals of Café des Artistes, a now-closed French restaurant on West 67th Street off Central Park West, are being incorporated into a new restaurant on the site.
- Community Food and Juice, an eco-conscious restaurant that serves American food and uses only cage-free eggs, organic flour, wild fish, and grass-fed beef is located at 2893 Broadway between 112th and 113th Streets.
- Two rival gourmet grocery stores, Fairway and Citarella are located on Broadway between West 74th and 75th Streets.
- Gray's Papaya – specializing in hot dogs, at Broadway and 72nd Street.
- Zabar's – specialty food and housewares store on Broadway at 80th Street.
Other historical sites
- American Youth Hostel  – the transformation of this abandoned Richard Morris Hunt landmark into the flagship of Hostelling International USA was propelled forward by the federal Community Development Block Grant funded, Manhattan Valley Neighborhood Strategy Area designation.
- 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.
- Claremont Riding Academy – In 2007, after 115 years of use, the last public stables in Manhattan, this National Register building on 89th Street, just east of Amsterdam, closed its doors for good . The subsequent interior gutting for conversion to residential use has halted.
- Columbus Circle – Traffic circle at the intersection of Broadway, Central Park West, Central Park South and Eighth Avenue. Its centerpiece is a statue of the explorer Christopher Columbus erected in 1906. Two other similarly financed monuments on Broadway include those to writer Dante Aligheri in Dante Park between 63rd and 64th Streets at Columbus Avenue, now heralds Lincoln Center; and composer Giuseppe Verdi anchors Verdi Square, girded by 72nd and 73rd Streets at Amsterdam Avenue. The square which actually was a triangle, was expanded to allow for a new subway head house and a plaza which appropriately has become the setting for summer concerts. The aforementioned Apple Bank is across from the statue and the Ansonia Hotel is catty corner to the northwest.
- The Dakota - an apartment building on 72nd Street and Central Park West where musician John Lennon was murdered in 1980.
- The former East River Savings Bank at Amsterdam and 96th Street (Walker & Gillette, 1927) is a classical temple now housing a drugstore, locally termed "The Aspirineum" and "The First National Bank of CVS"
- 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. The Piccirilli Brothers' female model for this work, Audrey Munson, sat for the nearby Straus Memorial and for their Maine Monument, as well.
- Grant's Tomb – in Morningside Heights
- Joan of Arc Monument – a monument to the 15th century French heroine bestrides a horse on a crest of Riverside Drive at 93rd Street.
- St Agnes Branch Library – this Carnegie Endowment financed New York Public Library branch on Amsterdam Avenue, just north of 81st St – which completed a restoration and modernization – housed the system's original Library for the Blind.
- Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument – this Civil War memorial dominating Riverside Drive at 89th Street, is the setting for annual Memorial Day commemorations.
- Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial – remembers Isidor Straus, co-owner of Macy's, and his wife, who lived in a mansion on West End Avenue and 105th Street, and died on the RMS Titanic, in triangular Straus Park at Broadway, West End Avenue and West 106th Street. The model for the sculpture, was also the muse for the Maine Monument, 57 blocks south on Broadway, at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park.
- Advent Lutheran Church/Broadway United Church of Christ – Broadway and 93rd Street
-  American Bible Society – 1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
- 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
- First Church of Christ Scientist, New York, (formerly Second Church of Christ Scientist) Central Park West at 68th Street. Architect-F.R.Comstock. 1899
- 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.
- United Methodist Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew - West End Avenue and 86th Street. Center of strong community outreach programs to the disaffected.
- Church of the Ascension (Catholic), a Romanesque Revival sanctuary on 107th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, fitted with serious pipes, offers a Sunday Jazz mass
- Ansche Chesed
- Minyan Ma'at
- West Side Minyan
- 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 Shaare Zedek (New York City) Congregation Shaare Zedek West 93rd Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam.
- Congregation Shearith Israel – oldest Jewish congregation in what is now the United States was launched in 1655. 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.
- Congregation Rodeph Sholom 83rd Street/Central Park.
- 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
- Islamic Center of New York, a Sunni mosque, occupies the c. 1900 C.P.H. Gilbert-designed townhouse at 1 Riverside Drive.
- 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
- Congregation Ohab Zedek(OZ)
- 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.
- National Council of Churches – prime ecumenical tenant of the Interchurch Center, 120th St. and Riverside Drive.
- 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.
- Rabbi Besser's Shtiebel
- Riverside Church – in Morningside Heights
- Rutgers Presbyterian Church – "More Light" Presbyterian Congregation just off Verdi Square and 72nd Subway Station on 236 W. 73rd Street
- St. Michael's Traditional Anglican and emerging church/Seeker worship services at Amsterdam Ave and W 99th Street
- St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church – Excellent example of Anglican "high church" architecture at 87th Street and West End Avenue
- Society for Ethical Culture Also a classical music venue
- Trinity Lutheran Church – 100st/Am&Col
- The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annuciation – 302 West 91st Street at West End Avenue
- Crenshaw Christian Center – east coast branch of west coast megachurch, occupied the former First Church of Christ, Scientist, (Carrère and Hastings, 1903).
- Society for the Advancement of Judaism
- Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
- West-Park Presbyterian Church, designed by Leopold Eidlitz
- Young Israel of the West Side
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, Leonard Bernstein and Lauren Bacall. Other famous buildings on CPW include the Art Deco Century Apartments (Irwin Chanin, 1931) and The Majestic (building) 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; the home of Herman Wouk's fictional Marjorie Morningstar), and The Beresford were all designed by Emery Roth, as was 41 West 96th Street (completed in 1926). His first commission, the Belle Époque 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), The Dorilton and the Manhasset . All 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. Broadway is lined with such architecturally notable apartment buildings as The Ansonia, The Apthorp, The Belnord, the Astor Court Building, and The Cornwall, which features an Art nouveau cornice..Newly constructed 15 Central Park West and 535 West End Avenue are known to be some of the prestigious residential addressess in Manhattan.
American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is based in the Upper West Side.
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 (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
- Black Swan (2010) The main character, Nina, played by Natalie Portman, states that she lives on Manhattan's upper west side.
- ' (2006) Early on in his trip to America, Borat is seen in Columbus Circle in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower
- ' (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
- Fatal Attraction (1987) In the movie, Michael Douglas' character lives in a building on 100th and West End Avenue
- Ghostbusters (1984) At the opening the title characters shown being ousted professors on the Columbia University campus, and Sigourney Weaver's character lives in 55 Central Park West, at 66th St.
- Ghostbusters II (1989) Janosz says he's from the Upper West Side.
- Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Hannah's parents' apartment is shown on Riverside and 86th Street, and near the end of the film Woody Allen's character is seen walking along Broadway between 92nd and 93rd Streets and then entering the Metro Theatre at Broadway between 100th and 101st Streets.
- 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 fails; author Nora Ephron, on whose novel the film was based, was an Apthorp resident at the time.
- ' (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 scenes from the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West, Broadway / 72nd Street, and Septuagesimo Uno (the smallest NYC public park, on West 71st street between Amsterdam Ave and West End Ave).
- I Am Legend (2007), Will Smith, the now demolished Red Cross building on 66th and Amsterdam was used for many indoor "zombie" scenes.
- Margaret (2006) with Matt Damon, yet to be released.
- Men in Black II (2002), with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, outside in front of Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.
- The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) – a romantic comedy by Barbra Streisand was set in an apartment at 505 West End Avenue.
- Music and Lyrics (2007), with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. All set around 72nd Street which forms the backdrop for Hugh Grant's apartment. 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 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), with Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. Uma Thurman gets her nails done at Pinky's on 89th Street.
- Romancing the Stone (1984) Kathleen Turner's character lives on West End Avenue.
- Rosemary's Baby (1968), apartment building 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
- Up the Sandbox (1972) In the Columbia University neighboorhood and in Riverside Park.
- 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 he provides evidence implicating Douglas in federal security fraud. Bud Fox Charlie Sheen's initial small apartment is described as being on the Upper West Side.
- You've Got Mail (1998) Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks characters live in the Upper West Side and various locations were used in the film
- 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. The meeting at the beginning of the film is also conducted in Riverside Park, though it is mislabeled as Van Cortlandt Park.
- West Side Story (1961), takes place in tenements where Lincoln Center is today, around 66th Street
- 30 Rock - Tina Fey's character Liz Lemon lives at 160 Riverside Drive.
- Ryan's Hope - The series' principal family, the Ryans, lived and owned a bar in the Upper West Side.
- 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.
- How I Met Your Mother - Ted Mosby's Apartment is located in Upper West Side, at the cross streets of 75th and Amsterdam according to the episode Zip, Zip, Zip.
- Gossip girl.
- "Classical Rap" – This parody by Peter Schickele, on his album P. D. Q. Bach: Oedipus Tex & Other Choral Calamities, describes the travails of living on the Upper West Side, as a Yuppie chants hip-hop lyrics to a classical instrumental background.
- Tom's Diner – A song by Suzanne Vega focusing on a woman on a rainy morning at Tom's Restaurant at 112th and Broadway.
- "Lazy Sunday" – A parody rap on the late-night sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (December 2005), performed by Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell about their day going to see ' and getting cupcakes (at Magnolia Bakery, the original of which is in Greenwich Village but there is also one at Columbus Ave at 69th St.). The song's lyrics mention that they see the movie at a theater on 68th Street and Broadway. While there is indeed an AMC movie theater on that corner, the video shows them at a ticket booth for an entirely different theater (on 84th and Broadway).
Famous comedian George Carlin grew up on 121st, and heavily drew upon his New York City roots on a number of his comedy albums, perhaps most memorably on ', where 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.
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.
The Beastie Boys played their first gig in a loft at 100th and Broadway, and recorded some tracks for the EP Polywog Stew there in 1981.
- Birmingham, Steven, Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address, 1996, .
- Goldberg, Jeffrey, "The Decline and Fall of the Upper West Side: How The Poverty Industry Is Ripping Apart A Great New York Neighborhood", New York magazine, April 25, 1994
- Mott, Hopper Striker, The New York of Yesterday: A Descriptive Narrative of Old Bloomingdale, 1908.
- Salwen, Peter, Upper West Side Story 1989, www.upperwestsidestory.net.
- Broadway Mall Association
- Columbus/Amsterdam BID
- Landmark West!
- NYCvisit Upper West Side map
- NYSite Upper West Site Guide including the block by block guide
- NYU – Historical Architecture of the Upper West Side
- Riverside Park Fund This nonprofit maintains an informative page on the history of Riverside Park and its environs.
- Memoir & history of Upper West Side