Central Park West
Although I've lived in Manhattan for almost a year now, I haven't really taken advantage of everything that Central Park has to offer. Yesterday evening, I took the subway to 72nd street in the Upper West Side and then walked a few avenues to the park entrance on 72nd and Central Park West. I'm running the JPMorganChase Corporate Challenge next week. It's a 3.5 mile course through the park and being a first-time long-distance runner, I dilligently attended the practice run despite the 95 degree heat.
The park is definitely the shining jewel in Manhattan's crown. Once you're inside and absorbed by nature, you can totally forget about the urban grind until a fire engine's screeching reminds you that no place in the city is shielded from that deafening siren. That aside, Central Park is a dream for fitness enthusiasts, romantic couples, families to name a few. There's something for everyone from the jogging trails to the picnic meadows. I'm going to start coming here more often!
The Upper West Side seems to be a nice balance between the edginess/cool factor of downtown and the sophistication of the Upper West Side. Here you won't find investment banking millionaires and corporate tycoons but you may bump into Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams or Helen Hunt and plenty of directors, musicians and ad folks to name a few. I noticed lots of pre-war buildings and walk-up brownstones which gives the neighbourhood a certain grandeur without any pretentions. No guesses for where I'd like to live if we choose to settle down in Manhattan!