If names like Graydon Carter, Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker ring a bell, check out one of Manhattan’s most coveted dwelling locations the West Village. It is a neighborhood of off the grid streets with glorious 18th century townhouses, continuous celebrity sightings, and movie made famous hotspots like Magnolia Bakery, where the patrons line the street for fresh cream topped delights.
The West Village is also home to Donna Karen’s Urban Zen, an oasis of calm within the chaos of the hustle and bustle of the city. Hugh Jackman, Calvin Klein and Sting are just a few names that frequent the events at Urban Zen. Take a stroll on Bleecker street to shop boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, and Mulberry.
A wonderful neighborhood for a peaceful stroll, Gramercy is a place where Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Rufus Wainwright, Edwin Booth, Theodore Roosevelt and Oscar Wilde, have all at one time or another called home.
Residents enjoy stable real estate and choose their abodes from an array of architectural styles, including 19th-century brownstones, townhouses with spacious backyards, and carriage houses. At the heart of the neighborhood is Gramercy Park, one of the city’s only privately owned parks. Along the perimeter of the lush green behind iron gates are historic and iconic establishments, including Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel, The National Arts Club, established in 1884, and The Players House, founded in 1888.
Upper East Side
With Central Park, the East River, 59th street and 96th street marking it’s parameters The Upper East Side (UES) is home to some of most affluent residents of New York City, not to mention some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. Family names like Roosevelt, Vanderbilt, Lenox have all found a place to call home for centuries in this part of Manhattan.
According to the 2000 census, 207,543 people, 88.25% of which are Caucasian at $85,081 per capita income, reside in The Upper East Side. In terms of politics, UES’s zip code 10021 generated the most money for the 2004 presidential campaigns of both George W. Bush and John Kerry. Host to some of the most famous museums in the world, from the Guggenheim to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as an abundance of private boys and girls schools, and the Trump Palace Condominiums, the UES is a foundation of long seeded wealth.
Upper West Side
The western counterpart to the UES, the Upper West Side (UWS), finds its borders at Central Park, the Hudson River, West 58th, and 110th or 125th street. Also considered an extremely affluent area to reside, notable residents have often been of an artistic or cultural iconic status, such as John Lennon who once lived at The Dakota on 72nd. It is no wonder since Lincoln Center, Julliard School of Music, Metropolitan Opera, and American Museum of Natural History call this neighborhood home.
The most desired are the apartments along Central Park West, though residents can choose from the high rises at Columbus circle to higher number streets abounding with 4 and 5 story brownstones, imagine Sex and the City’s Carrie on her stoop. Not the only show to film in the area, the Upper West Side is a haven for film makers. Ghostbusters, Eyes Wide Shut, Law and Order, Spider-Man, Vanilla Sky and Annie Hall, just to name a few, have all filmed in this cultural hotspot.
Soho, named for “South of Houston,” features cast iron buildings with artist lofts of wide open spaces, floods of natural light, floor to ceiling windows, and brick walls.Though once a haven for artists and cheap rent in the 1960s and 70s the area has transformed over time to Crate and Barrel corner shops and shiny new kitchen appliances.
There is still plenty of artistic energy still in the air for the neighborhood, as well as quaint boutiques and a taste for luxury. Shoppers find a mix of H&M, Victoria Secret to Chanel, Prada, and Louis Vuitton along the streets of Prince, Broadway and Spring.