Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, and what to see there
What’s the History Of the Upper West Side?
The Upper West Side (UWS) encloses present-day Manhattan Valley and used to be farms and villages called “Bloomingdale District.” Then in 1868, it was renamed the Boulevard when the villages and farms were absorbed into the city.
A non-industrial development of Central Park caused many squatters to move into the shacks. This made the area rowdy and shaggy in the mid-1850s.
The development of this neighborhood lagged while Central Park was being built, but things changed when a new road was put in in 1870.
A building boom happened in 1885 when the first subway line opened. This area massively changed in the 1930s to the 1950s when more residents and travelers came to this area. It’s said that the influx of gay white men in 1950-1960 accelerated the gentrification of the UWS.
Today, many charitable institutions are located in this area, as are educational institutions.
What are the demographics?
This neighborhood has a reputation for being the intellectual hub of New York City with many educational institutions. It’s also one of NYC’s wealthiest neighborhoods. The population is 193,000 with an income of $123,000 a year. Seventy percent are white, 13% are Latino or Hispanic, 7% are African-American, and 7% percent are Asian. In age, 25-64 make up 61% of the population.
- Columbia University (right outside of UWS). An Ivy League school focusing on medicine, business, the arts, and more.
- Barnard College (right outside of UWS). An all-woman college designed to provide the highest quality education to high-achieving young women.
- Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Music and performing arts school for teenage students.
What’s something interesting to see in this area?
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is also known as the “Lincoln Center,” is a multi-venue complex for many prominent groups around the world. According to their website, the Lincoln Center serves three primary roles: world’s leading presenter of superb artistic programming, a national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus.”
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