As an active New York City resident for more than 30 years and a Manhattan real estate broker for twenty-two, I’ve had a front row seat to the excitement and opportunity that each of our City’s neighborhoods offer. Through my work with clients and customers that takes me throughout the borough, and having lived downtown, on the Upper East Side, and, now, on the Upper West Side, there is certainly something to be gained from each of Manhattan’s renowned and popular micro-destinations.
The best thing about Manhattan is its juxtapositions: the available prewar and postwar buildings; the trendy and classic architectural designs; the busy and peaceful neighborhoods. The list goes on. What I’ve learned, in essence, is that there’s a piece of something for everybody who wants to be here.
Of the many places in NYC, an exceptional block is West 77th Street, spanning from Central Park West and going West. On the Park block, are beautiful large prewar buildings. The next block West is mostly prewar brownstones, and then between Amsterdam and Broadway are several brand new buildings. Amongst the impressive architecture, both old and new, there is an abundance of retail shops and local businesses. Beyond this block, and without being overly congested, the Upper West Side provides just the right amount of bustle. Offering a calmer vibe than Midtown, you are still exposed to the City’s electric energy – the one we, as Manhattanites, truly feel connected to. In its arts and culture department, dwells the Lincoln Center and The Museum of Natural History. And of course, the much adored, Central and Riverside Parks which one is always near to because the Upper West Side is so narrow. Additionally, there are also two great subway lines: The B and C, which run along Central Park West, and the 1, 2, and 3 on Broadway. The proximity to transportation makes the location conveniently accessible to all other neighborhoods.
Manhattan’s glow goes through Central Park to its neighbor: The Upper East Side, another neighborhood that offers a fantastic array of prewar and exciting new buildings. Museum Row on Fifth Avenue boasts the famous Metropolitan Museum (the MET), along with The Guggenheim and others. A great location to browse boutiques and restaurant menus, the neighborhood is one of the best for an NYC stroll – especially in the spring when the annually-anticipated red and yellow tulips bloom on Park Avenue.
Moving on down, we have the notorious region of Midtown. When we think of the power-house that NYC is, this is the area that defines it. While there is Midtown West and Midtown East, which host some of our Nation’s biggest corporations, this large area is encompassed by a multitude of sectors including Times Square; The Garment District; Murray Hill; Chelsea; Hell’s Kitchen; Gramercy/Flatiron; and Union Square. From Times Square – home to Broadway and some of the World’s greatest entertainment – to Union Square Park, where one can find the best Farmer’s Market around. Midtown’s array of neighborhoods each feature unique attributes of their own and are the reason why NYC has one of the most diverse urban cultures around.
Currently, a location that has been grasping the real estate world’s attention is Hudson Yards. Located on the far West Side of Midtown, it is an evolving landmark, with some of the City’s future largest skyscrapers, the High Line and a booming residential development corridor. With the new 7 Subway Line, Penn Station, and proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel, this area will soon be a goldmine for commuters.
Downtown has always been a trendy region, but its evolution is one that many of us veteran New Yorkers have truly witnessed these past 20 years. With the establishment of NoHo, the development of SoHo and the growing interest from businesses in both the East and West Villages, it is not the same Downtown that we were familiar with back in the 80s. While the Villages offer a host of bohemian and upscale restaurants and retail stores, they have also become one of the most desired residential locations around. They certainly aren’t as affordable as they used to be but why should they be? Between Tribeca’s historical cobblestone and tucked away streets – along with the nearby World Trade Center hub – the East Village’s artisan pop-up shops, the West Village’s beautiful, and the acclaimed Washington Square Park, this region is a city treasure.
Manhattan is undoubtedly one of the most competitive cities out there, but it has also earned the right to be. Its unparalleled services offer the highest quality experiences for tourists, residents, and professionals alike. Regardless of who you are or what you need, New York City is likely to have something for you. Each neighborhood, unique in its own, supports those seeking a stimulating and exciting environment while guaranteeing a gain from an educational perspective. For a good reason, NYC is known as “The Center of the Universe.”
Lisa K. Lippman
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Brown Harris Stevens