Monday, December 14, 2009


My trip to the Upper West Side was what I expected. I took the 1 to 86th Street and Broadway and intended to walk uptown to 90th, but after relying on my internal New Yorker navigational system, found myself at 82nd Street… My entire stroll was a short one, from 86th to 82nd on Broadway. I stopped at Barnes and Nobles on the Corner, and then took 82nd all the way to Central Park West. I sat on the end of the Park for a while, and then walked to 81st street BD Subway Station. All in all it was much shorter than my walk in el Barrio. Partially because I walked in the wrong direction… and partially because I was bored. Everything was the same. Nannies were walking the children they are surrogate mothers for. Old ladies were slowly walking, talking about all the hottest gossip (“Did you know that my daughter is getting her 10 year old a cell phone? Kids these days…”). Buildings are tall, some with doorman, others just with well lit lobbies, including both Christmas Trees and Menorahs.

Though I really enjoyed my time in el Barrio, the UWS made me see more of the things el Barrio lacks. As I realized I was walking South (instead of my intended Northern route), I saw a HUGE Barnes and Noble Bookstore on the corner. I love book stores. They are fantastic like libraries- you can go, sit, and read or be read to. It’s just a fantastic resource, especially for children. Reading and literacy are so incredibly important, and there, front and center, was a huge bookstore. Major points Upper West Side.

As I walked down 82nd, looking at all the nice building and holiday garb, I noticed a trend- lots of these buildings have doctor’s offices on the first floors. Talk about access to health care!!

On top of that, right across the street was a police precinct.

Then of course Central Park. Complete with park benches, playground, and grassiness.

Followed by the Natural History Museum.

Between all those things, and all the shops, grocery stores, restaurants, etc located on Broadway, I can see the appeal of the Upper West Side. It’s very family oriented. Everything you need is right there! You have options! Competition keeps prices lower. You have bookstores, movie theatre, other places to entertain yourself. Though I could never picture myself as a resident of the Upper West Side, I get it.

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