The Upper East Side (UES) of Manhattan spans the section of the island from 59th Street to 96th Street east of Central Park and 5th Avenue. The UES includes Lenox Hill, Yorkville, Carnegie Hill and areas along Park Avenue, Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue.
The primary subway service to the Upper East Side is the 4 and 5 express lines and 6 local line, which run under Lexington Avenue. All three lines stop at 59th St. and 86th St., with the 6 also stopping at 68th St., 77th St., and 96th St. 5th Avenue is a three block walk west from Lexington Avenue. Since this is the only north-south subway line serving the east side, these trains can get very crowded during rush hour.
Serving the very southern end of the district is the F line, which stops at Lexington Avenue and 63rd St., and the N, R, and Q lines, which run along 59th Street and stop at 5th Avenue and Lexington Avenue. Both Lexington Avenue stations have a free transfer to the 4/5/6 lines at the 59th Street station (the F station is an out-of-system transfer, meaning you have to walk 4 blocks south to 59th Street from 63rd Street).
Boarding the subway is very simple. You will need to use a MetroCard. If you do not have a MetroCard, one can be purchased in any subway station. Single Ride MetroCards are good for one trip only, however they cost more per ride ($2.50) than regular cards. "Pay-per-ride" MetroCards may be purchases and loaded with multiple fares (at least two) at a cost of $2.25 each. When your MetroCard runs out of fares, you will need to purchase more to continue use of the transit system. In addition, "Unlimited Ride" MetroCards are available for purchase. These cards will be activated when you first use the card for a period of 7 days (7-day unlimited MetroCard) or 30 days (30-day unlimited MetroCard) and cost a fixed rate. If you plan to use the transit system frequently during your stay it can be advantageous to purchase one of these cards.
MetroCard is valid on all subways (and all local city buses) in New York City. A single subway fare allows continuous use of the subway provided the passenger does not exit the system. There is no charge to exit the subway, but a rider must pay again if he or she wishes to re-enter the subway. The rider may also transfer free of charge between the subway and the bus (or vice versa) provided that the second use of the MetroCard occurs less than 2 hours after the first use.
Every major avenue (except Park Avenue) from 5th Avenue to York Avenue has at least one bus route, and there are also crosstown buses on 57th St. (M57; also M31, which doubles as the York Av. bus), 66th/68th Sts. (M66), 72nd St. (M72, which uses the 66th St. transverse through Central Park), 79th St. (M79), 86th St. (M86) and 96th St. (M96). Note that if you use the M15 bus service - which uses First (uptown) and Second (downtown) Avenues - that there are two different types of M15 service. The +Select Bus Service+ buses are painted in a different color scheme and feature bright blue flashing lights on the front of the bus. These buses only make express stops at major cross-streets, such as 79th, 86th, and 96th Streets (for example). To board these +Select Bus Service+ buses you must pay before boarding the bus at a machine located at the bus stop. The fare is the same as any other local bus. Regular buses which are not painted in +Select Bus Service+ livery and do not have the flashing blue lights make all local stops. These local buses are paid for when boarding the bus. In all cases, one free transfer is available between buses per fare provided that the swipe on the second bus route occurs no more than 2 hours after the swipe on the first bus.
On foot or by bicycle
From the Upper West Side, a walk or bike ride to the Upper East Side through Central Park is very pleasant in good weather.
Roosevelt Island Tramway, 60th Street at 2nd Avenue. Take a quick tram ride to Roosevelt Island for gorgeous city and river views.One way fare $2.25, MetroCards accepted.
Museums and galleries
The stretch of Fifth Avenue alongside Central Park in the Upper East Side is commonly referred to as "Museum Mile", though museums and galleries are also to be found off this particular beaten track. Note that the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the primary museums in this area, is covered under the Central Park page.
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2 E 91st St (at 5th Ave; Subway: 4/5/6 trains to 86th St or 96th St), ☎ +1 212 849-8400, . M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-6PM (garden entrance on 90th St open May-Sep, weather permitting). A branch of the Smithsonian Institution, the Cooper-Hewitt is devoted to historic and contemporary design, with changing exhibits.$15 adults, $10 seniors/students, free for children under 12.
Frick Collection, 1 E 70th St (at 5th Ave), ☎ +1 212 288-0700, . Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM (reference library open M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa [Sep-May] 9:30AM-1PM). The former home of steel baron Henry Clay Frick, this sprawling mansion is filled with Frick's enormous personal art collection, displayed as he left it. It's worth a visit for the house alone, which is explained nicely in the audio tour. The collection is impressive, including works by Whistler, Corot, El Greco, Turner, Renoir, and Rembrandt.$18 adults, $12 seniors, $5 students, children under 10 prohibited. Pay what you wish on Su 11AM-1PM.
Interior of the Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 5th Ave (at 89th St), ☎ +1 212 423-3500, . Su-W,F 10AM-5:45PM, Sa 10AM-7:45PM, closed Th. Probably the most famous of the Guggenheim foundations (others found in Bilbao, Venice, Berlin and Las Vegas), which hold avant-garde modern art by artists such as Kandinsky and Mondrian, the New York branch is housed in a unique and famous Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building rendered in a rounded, organic form and completed in 1959. Be sure to take the elevator to the top floor, then follow the spiral viewing floors downwards to the street level.$18 adults, $15 seniors/students, free for children under 12. Pay what you wish on Sa 5:45PM-7:45PM.
The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave (at 92nd St), ☎ +1 212 423-3200, . Sa-Tu 11AM-5:45PM, Th 11AM-8PM, F 11AM-4PM, closed W (open until 5:45 on Fridays until Nov 1). Containing artifacts spanning 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture, with a collection of 26,000 objects – paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial objects and broadcast media. The museum also hosts the annual SummerNights concert series and the annual New York Jewish Film Festival.$12 adults, $10 seniors, $7.50 students, free for children under 12. Free admission for all on Saturdays.
Neue Galerie New York (Museum for German and Austrian Art), 1048 5th Ave (at 86th St; Subway: 4/5/6 trains to 86th St), ☎ +1 212 628-6200, . Th-M 11AM-6PM. $15 adults, $10 students and seniors, free admission on the first Friday of the month from 6PM-8PM (Children under 12 are prohibited and children 12-16 must be accompanied by an adult).
Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave (at 75th St; Subway: 6 train to 77th St), ☎ +1 212 570-3600, . W-Th,Sa-Su 11AM-6PM, F 1PM-9PM, closed M-Tu. Founded in 1931, the Whitney Museum is known for displaying contemporary American art even more up-to-date than the Museum of Modern Art. It is most famous for its long-standing tradition of hosting a biennial art show that displays many lesser-known artists new to the American art scene.$18 adults (26-61), $12 seniors (62+)/students/young adults (19-25), free for children 18 and under. Pay what you wish on F 6PM-9PM.
The Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection are among the many venues in the neighborhood that host concert series.
92 St. Y, 92 St. and Lexington Av., . A full season of concerts, lectures, and other events takes place here. The Y's Kaufmann Concert Hall is one of the premiere concert halls in the city, and its lecture and concert series feature many well-known groups and individuals. Some fans particularly recommend the chamber music concerts featuring members of the New York Philharmonic. The Y also offers classes in various subjects.
Carl Schurz Park, East End Avenue and 86th Street. Home of Gracie Mansion, the Official Residence of the Mayor of New York, Carl Schurz Park also boasts wonderful views of Hell Gate and the East River. Compared to other New York parks, Carl Schurz is extremely quiet, given that the surrounding area is almost exclusively residential.
Madison Avenue is the center of New York's haute couture, full of small shops selling fabulously expensive clothes, accessories, and housewares to people who can afford not to look at the price tag. Even if it's out of your price range, it's worth a visit just to gawk.
Barney's- 660 Madison Avenue (at 60th Street). Anyone who hopes to make it into New York's high society makes regular trips to Barney's, where the clothes and accessories are priced to empty all but the fattest wallets.
Dylan's Candy Bar, 1011 Third Ave (at 59th Street), . An upscale candy store started by Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan.
Carlyle Restaurant, 35 East 76th St, ☎ +1 212 744-1600, . Daily 7AM-11PM. A luxury restaurant located in a classy, boutique hotel. Serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus.$40.
Two Little Red Hens, 1652 2nd Avenue (between 85th and 86th Sts.), ☎ +1 212 452-0476, . A great bakery specializing in American pastries and cakes. They make one of the best cheesecakes in New York; but don't pass up their other offerings, such as the various squares (lemon, lime, Linzer, etc.).
Ito En, 822 Madison Avenue (between 68th and 69th Streets), . Leave it to Ito En, the largest supplier of green tea in the world, to open the most beautiful tea shop in town. Seventy-five varieties of black, green, white, and herbal tea from India, China, and Sri Lanka are for sale.
Hotel Wales, 1295 Madison Ave (between 92nd & 93rd Sts), ☎ +1 212 876-6000 (toll free: +1 866 925-3746), . European style boutique hotel.
The Carlyle, 35 East 76th St. (at Madison Avenue), ☎ +1 212 744-1600, . A luxury boutique hotel, the Carlyle offers rooms and suites for extended stays, and luxury apartments and rentals.
Courtyard New York Manhattan/Upper East Side, 410 East 92nd Street, ☎ +1 212 410-6777, . Free hi-speed Internet & large work desk in each room.
Helmsley Carlton House, 680 Madison Avenue (between 61st & 62nd Sts.), . Studios, one and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens, services and amenities with attention to the details.
Hotel 57, 57th Street and Park Ave., . Caters to a younger crowd of international travelers.From $295.
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