Residential side streets flanked by bustling avenues. The area is perfect for families or young professionals looking for a neighborhood with a real neighborhood feel. Central Park- and nearby Riverside Park- attract frisbee throwers, dog walkers, and cyclists. New restaurants mingle with family-run Halal groceries on Columbus and Amsterdam, enticing trendy and traditional palates.
Manhattan Valley is one of the fastest developing areas in the city. Since the late '90s, it has transformed from a rough neighborhood into the most desirable destination on the Upper West Side. Homes in Manhattan Valley are more affordable than their counterparts south of 96th St., making the neighborhood "the better side of 96th." Manhattan Valley is also one of New York's most diverse neighborhoods.
Classic brownstone townhouses and stately brick apartment complexes are interspersed with contemporary condo and rental developments. Manhattan Valley's iconic condo, located at 455 Central Park West, is housed in the castle-like building that was once the New York Cancer Hospital.
Best Kept Secret
Pomander Walk-- a gated complex of twenty-seven small, single family houses connected by a narrow courtyard. The complex was built in 1921 by Thomas J. Healy, who intended to build a luxury hotel on the site. The houses are nearly obscured by the high-rise apartment buildings surrounding them. Novelist Darryl Pinckney called Pomander Walk "an insertion of incredible whimsy" into the neighborhood.
Casual shoppers peruse Amsterdam Ave., joggers and families head for the parks, and students commute to class uptown.
On the quiet side. Manhattan Valley's ethnic restaurants outnumber bars and clubs. There's a wide selection of places to go for a glass of wine, and Jazz fans can catch a set at Smoke, a favorite neighborhood Jazz & Blues venue.