On the Upper East Side you can find a range of prosperity. To the west, the Upper East Side is characterized by luxurious homes and a high standard of living. This area gained its reputation as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in NYC in the mid-1800’s, when the country’s wealthiest, including the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Rockefellers and Roosevelts, moved into the neighborhood. In 2012 America’s wealthiest zip code, 10065, could be found on the Upper East Side.
Stylish mansions and townhouses were erected along Fifth Avenue, eventually being replaced by apartments with some of the highest pricing per square foot in the United States. The metropolitan museum of Art is on “museum row,” an area with a high concentration of museums, rounding out the elegance and grandeur that characterizes the western side of the Upper East Side.
However, to the east, the Upper East Side becomes more modest with primarily middle class residents. High-rises tower over tenements and the diversity of architecture dwindles, as the Upper East Side becomes Yorkville. Overall, there are few destinations for entertainment, especially after dark, and the Upper East Side is serviced by only one subway line on Lexington Avenue. Nevertheless, the Upper East Side makes up for these shortcomings with its safety, charm and history.