Oct 16, 2015

Things to Do On NYC's UES

NYC is an incredibly colorful, vibrant city and I've been lucky to call it home for going on a year and a half now! The city is split into a number of different neighborhoods and, while the city isn't particularly geographically large, it feels enormous because of how many different cultures and subcultures it houses within its different neighborhoods!

I live in lower Manhattan and there is a huge difference between lower Manhattan and upper Manhattan. For the first year+ that I've lived here, I've stuck mostly to lower Manhattan. My favorite bits of the city are Union Square and below (though the Upper West Side is quite nice), so it just made sense. I've recently decided to branch out a bit, however, and took the time to hop on the 4/5 train to the Upper East Side.

Upper East Side
Surprise! It wasn't the stiff and boring home of elderly WASPs that I thought it might be. The UES is as charming as any other bit of NYC! Read on for some of my favorite things to do on NYC's Upper East Side.

Have brunch.

The UES is full of charming places for brunch.

I recently met a date for brunch at a French cafe, Pascalou, and there was another French bistro literally just two storefronts over! Both were established and thriving, so so clearly there's high demand for brunch (specifically French brunch) spots on the UES. The neighborhood certainly rises to meet that demand!

In addition to a ton of quaint, unique cafes, bistros, and restaurants, there are also old familiars. Some of my favorite that pop up on the UES, too, are Le Pain Quotidien, Organic Avenue, and Panera! Sometimes you just want simple and casual.

Go on a stroll.

The neighborhood is just incredibly cute. The storefronts are lovely, there are all sorts of beautiful moldings on the buildings, the architecture is storied, the area is pretty safe and clean, and there are potted plants in window banks as well as flowers and trees in sidewalk flowerbeds! It's a nice place to just wander for a bit on a relaxed Sunday afternoon.

Visit a bookstore.

There are so many cute ones! I'm a children's book author, so I'm partial to the children's bookstores around the city, but I passed the Corner Bookstore by chance the other day and recommend a quick peek in if you're in the area!

The Corner Bookstore NYC

The Corner Bookstore is small (one large room with book-lined walls) but they pack the books in and have a nice assortment. Any place with books hanging in the storefront windows deserves at least a second glance!

Have some tea. 

There are so, so, so many cute tea shops on the UES! I'm pretty sure you can get any and every type of tea in any and every type of setting at probably any and every time of day on the UES.

And I haven't even started talking about Alice's Tea Cup, an iconic cafe that transports you to the childhood fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland! Whether you're a tourist or a local, lovers of fairytales and/or tea should consider trying the cafe at least once. Definitely expect it to be busy!

Bike in the park.

Central Park is huge, beautiful, green, full of fun paths and trails and beautiful things to look at!

Best way to visit Central Park
You can rent a bike in the park for $20/2hr or $40/day if you don't have your own!
Whether you're biking for sport or exercise, you'll love the generously sized, well-laid bike paths all around and throughout the park. You'll also find plenty of people who are there for the same reason as you are, so there's no shame in taking it slow or in pedaling up a storm! You can do whatever you want and feel perfectly comfortable.

Go to the Met. 

Enough said.

What is your favorite NYC neighborhood?

What do you like to do on the UES?

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