While Downtown is where you’ll find hipsters, artsy types, and funky fashion fanatics, Uptown is where you’ll find ladies in mink, moms sporting Cartier watches, and business tycoons dressed in Armani. That’s because the vast area north of 59th Street up to the northernmost tip of the island (218th Street) is home to some of the most expensive zip codes in the world, found in stretches along 5th, Madison, and Park Avenues on the Upper East Side, which is east of Central Park from about 59th Street to 96th Street.
Among these quiet, heavily-residential tree-lined streets filled with luxurious townhouses and apartments, which were originally settled my New York icons like Rockefeller and Vanderbilt, you’ll find a stretch of world-class museums known as Museum Mile (Fifth Avenue from the 70s-90s).
You’ll want to go there and visit places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, theGuggenheim, and lesser-known but just as fascinating spots like the Jewish Museum or El Museo del Barrio. Even though the Upper East Side isn’t known as a foodie destination, there are some worthy restaurants like Crown, Campagnola (you may spot a celeb or two here), and non-touristy grastropub Iron Jones Wood Foundry (order the burger). If you’re in town to shop and have lots of cash to burn, head to Madison Avenue’s shopping district, chock-full of designer shops like Gucci or Ralph Lauren; for more reasonably-priced clothing, head farther east to Third, Second, or First Avenues, where you’ll find wonderful lesser-known shops in the 70s and 80s like Big Drop or Anik.
Across Central Park, which is located in the middle of Manhattan and consists of 843 acres of beautiful trails, reservoirs, and gardens, is the Upper West Side. This upscale area is also home to many families, and has a large Orthodox community. Cultural hubs like Lincoln Center and the Natural Museum of History can be found in this neighbourhood, as can a good burger and chocolate shake from Shake Shack.
Farther north past 110th street is Harlem, a sprawling neighbourhood with a rich history in African-American culture. For a fun evening in this hood, catch a comedy show at The Apollo Theater followed by a bite at Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster. During the day, pay a visit to the Studio Museum, where you’ll find exhibits inspired by black culture.
Two notable stops north of Harlem: the Cloisters Museum, which exhibits art and architecture from Medieval Europe, and Inwood Hill Park at the northern tip of the island, which contains the last natural forest in Manhattan, including the island’s original rugged terrain.Google+