HistoryFor most of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Upper East Side was primarily rural and isolated from the commercial frenzy of Lower and Midtown Manhattan. Built in 1799, the elegant Gracie Mansion is a perfect example of the typical architecture that has dominated the neighbourhood for generations. Since its construction, this Federal Style dwelling has been officially reserved for the mayor of NYC. By the late 1800's, the Upper East Side was heavily developed to accommodate the city's growing population of elites. Today, you'll find an interesting mixture of traditional mansions with contemporary skyscrapers that carry some of the most expensive price tags in the United States of America. The district’s eastern portion is situated along the East River, which provides a natural border with the nearby Roosevelt Island. Running between the Ed Koch Bridge and the Grand Army Plaza, the busy 59th Street precisely marks the southern edge of the Upper East Side. The northern boundary of the neighbourhood has traditionally been defined by 96th Street. Perhaps the most recognizable thoroughfare in this part of Manhattan is 5th Avenue, which runs perfectly parallel to Central Park. For most of its length in the Upper East Side, this avenue is simply known as Museum Mile.
Museums and GalleriesMuseum Mile defines the rich cultural scene in the Upper East Side. This stretch along the eastern flank of Central Park includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is one of the largest and most visited venues of its kind worldwide. There's plenty of more fine art to admire at the Henry Frick House, Neue Galerie and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Once home to the steel mogul Andrew Carnegie, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum focuses on American design since the birth of the nation.Click to book your Central Park and Upper East Side walking tour. The El Museo del Barrio and Jewish Museum of New York provide in-depth information on the diversity of NYC. Additionally, you can learn much more about Jewish culture at the Bernard Museum of Judaica in the grand Temple Emanu-El, which is one of the most prominent synagogues in North America. Some other notable cultural centres in the Upper East Side include Asia Society and the Museum of the City of New York.
TransportationThanks to the New York City subway, getting to the Upper East Side should be quite easy from any point in Manhattan. Running just below Lexington Avenue, the 4, 5 and 6 lines cut through the heart of this district. The Q line has multiple stops that are situated roughly under 2nd Avenue. One of the most interesting and exciting transit options in the neighbourhood is the Roosevelt Island Tramway. Moving above the East River, this aerial tram provides express service between the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. The corner of 59th Street and 5th Avenue is one of the most famous intersections in the Upper East Side. This iconic point is home to the luxurious Plaza Hotel, Grand Army Plaza and several flagship department stores. For generations, the NYC Horse Carriage Rides have been picking up and dropping off passengers in this lively part of Manhattan.
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