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Upper East Side vs. Upper West Side

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It is no secret that Upper East Side and Upper West Side have the most expensive zip codes in the U.S.!

That is precisely the reason why it’s so fun to compare them.

New York Roadway truck
Beautiful sunny day and a Roadway truck on the street in New York.

What neighborhood is the poshest of the poshest?

Roadway Moving has prepared a comparison between these two gems. What are the overall vibes? How much cash do you need to survive? Are there any yummy foods available? We’ve covered it all!

Enjoy it in the poshest way possible!

Getting the taste of

Upper East Side

The area below E. 96th Street and above E. 59th, between Central Park and East River, is the one and only Upper East Side!

Historically looking, we all know the drill. Upper East Side represents the old money and everything that goes with it. It is posh, wealthy, and affluent. It is expensive, and rarely can someone actually afford to buy a place there.

What makes it so irresistible? It may be its neo-federal and neo-gothic architecture that is perfectly mixed together! It may be its pop-culture status. We’ve all had a phase of dreaming about the Upper East Side and the lives of T.V. show stars. Gossip Girl, as well as Sex and the City, have really made Upper East Side popular worldwide!

No wonder people like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Madonna chose to call it home.

Upper East Side
Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City

Upper West Side

On the west side of Central Park, we have Upper West Side! More precisely, the area is south of W. 110th Street and north of W. 59th Street, between Central Park and the Hudson River. There is no location as perfect as this!

While Upper East Side represents the classic rich neighborhood, Upper West Side is more lowkey. Dominantly a base for professionals working in Manhattan, with an overall residential and nouveau riche vibe. Brownstone buildings keep it simple but pretty, and Columbia and Barnard College keep it young.

This laid-back and enjoyable area used to be a base of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Upper West Sid
Aerial view of Central Park and the Upper West Side form Midtown Manhattan

Housing prices

Upper East Side

Contrary to our expectations, Upper East Side is more affordable than its west side neighbor.

This shows us that the Upper East is all about the name and the status.

The average price for a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side is $3,600, which is undoubtedly a decrease in 2023 compared to 2022!

The median price for a condo is $2.5 million! That is why almost 70% of Upper East Side’s residents live in a rental unit!

New York window
Two girls in the apartment and window view of New York City Manhattan skyline with empire state building

Upper West Side

While Upper East Side had a decrease in prices, Upper West Side went through a 12% increase from 2022 to 2023! That is why today (April 2023), the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment is insane at $4,600! More than 60% of residents in the Upper West Side rent.

This sounds weird, but it is logical since many people have been moving to the area considering it more affordable than the Upper East. This influx made it more expensive than the Upper East. Now it is filled with students, young professionals, and people working on their careers!

Fun escapades and foodie hotspots

Upper East Side

Upper East Side is home to the most popular NYC spots.

Central Park is the most filmed location in the world! It is 840 acres big, and walking through it would take around two hours at minimum. It is truly one of the most amazing places in NYC!

Upper East Side has its cultural aspect as well. It is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the world’s fifth-largest museum! It consists of more than 2 million pieces of art. Besides MoMa, Upper East Side can be proud of Guggenheim Museum!

For the coffee cup of your dreams, Ralph’s is a must. J.G. Melon is a hotspot of classic NYC burgers, and Noz Market provides some of the best sushi in New York. You’re welcome.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian Room

Upper West Side

Upper West Side is primarily a residential area with everything a resident needs! Unique weekly Farmer’s Markets, for example.

More than nine parks for recreation (including Central Park and Riverside Park).

New York Central Park
Tourists in Central Park, the city attracts 50 million people annually.

Amazing food scene. For breakfast – salmon and creme cheese bagel at iconic Barney Greengrass. After that, a brunch at Jacob’s Pickles with some amazing staples. Caffe Fiorelo for a nice romantic dinner under the candles and some of the best Italian cuisine in Manhattan.

When you feel like you want to see some art and culture, Upper West Side has the American Museum of Natural History and Beacon Theatre waiting for you.

Fun fact: The iconic Dakota Building on 72nd was the residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Transportation

Upper East Side

The con of living on the Upper East Side does exist. It is its transportation. Actually, it’s a lack of transportation!

There are a few options, including 4/5 and 6, but residents rely on Uber and taxis. Of course, some of them have private drivers as well.

Manhattan taxi driver
Yellow Taxi in Manhattan at night

Upper West Side

Since Upper West Side is filled with professionals and students, it has more accessible transportation. Two metro lines run through it as well as a couple of buses!

Wrap up

So, which one is better? We cannot say. It all depends on your dreams and wishes.

If you have almost dreamt about living that classic poster NYC life, choose the posh and insanely pretty Upper East Side!

On the other hand, be prepared to pay more for a relaxed and eventful Upper West Side!

These nabes can easily compete with some of the world’s prettiest areas.

Shhh, they are at least in the top 3!

If you decide to move, know that Roadway Moving is experienced in both Upper East Side moves and in Upper West Side moves. We always try to find an excuse to grab a J.G. Melon burger and Barney Greengrass bagel.

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