{Travel} Upper West Side Living

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Welcome back to day two of my New York City look back! Yesterday I shared my suggestions for the 10 essentials you will need to have with you to have a great visit to NYC. Today, I'm getting a little bit more into the specifics about our trip.

It is no secret that hotels in Manhattan are extremely expensive. After doing a cost-comparison, Morgan and I chose to use airbnb to find our place to stay in the city. The way airbnb works, is that individuals list their apartments, extra rooms, couches, castles, whatever they have to share, on the website and "renters" browse through the options. The renter contacts the "landlord" to inquire about availability, and if available, the apartment is booked.

View from our apartment, facing the Hudson River.
The best part is that no money exchanges hands until after the first night of the reservation, just in case there are problems on either end. We chose our apartment based on cost and availability, but the location on the Upper West Side (west of Central Park) ended up being a benefit we didn't even factor in! We paid $190/ night... well below any comparable hotel. The biggest selling point is that the apartment had a full kitchen, so we were able to eat breakfast in our apartment two mornings, saving at least $30!

Once checking in to our apartment, our first morning in New York, we walked around our neighborhood to orient ourselves to our "new home." Here are some of the sights from just within walking distance!

There were many churches throughout the neighborhood. Look how gorgeous the Congregation Ohab Zedek temple is:

We were just blocks from the Hudson River, where the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is located.

Right across from the monument is one very famous apartment complex... This is the apartment building that was used as the exterior of Will & Grace's apartment on their sitcom!

Will & Grace's Apartment | 155 Riverside Dr.
Just a few blocks on the east side of our apartment was the west side of Central Park! We used the park to cross from the west to east side... stopping along the way to take "senior portraits" on a gorgeous rock.

We toured Central Park on our last day in the city, so I will share those pictures later this week.

We also headed uptown even further on the west side into Harlem and stopped at Columbia University on the way back to our apartment. Just across the street from the university is Nussbam & Wu, one of the top 5 bakeries to get a black and white cookie from in all five boroughs!

Yes, the cookie was giant; and yes, I ate it all!

We also ate a few meals in the neighborhood. We were really happy with the prices, considering we were thinking we were going to have to take out a loan just to eat!

Where We Ate on the UWS:

Breakfast - Mila Cafe | 694 Columbus Ave. Small local cafe with daily breakfast specials. Cash only. 

Breakfast - Metro Diner | 2641 Broadway. A typical diner with generous portions.

Lunch - Dinosaur Bar-B-Que | 700 W 125th in Harlem. BBQ joint. Large portions. A bit pricey, but tasty.

Dinner - Firehouse  Tavern | 522 Columbus Ave. All-American food. Tight seating both inside and on patio.

Gelato - Screme Gelato | 176 W 94th. Great gelato place. Some good variety. $5 for a small scoop.

Black and White - Nussbaum & Wu Bakery | 2897 Broadway. Top bakery for black and whites!

Check back tomorrow for more from our New York adventures!

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