COLUMN: THE UPPER WEST SIDE DON’T GET NO RESPECT

uws-missing
Such a lovely neighborhood, and yet the Times treats us like chopped liver? Slightly altered graphic by Stan Solomon. Photo by Sarah Ackerman.

By Stan Solomon

Remember your elementary school? Remember being escorted out for P.T. (Physical Training) in that fenced-in schoolyard? Remember that one kid who was never picked for that day’s Dodgeball/Punchball/Whatever-ball team, unless Ms./Mr. Throgbottom insisted that (s)he be included, ignoring the cries of “Ugh! NOT her/him, (s)he stinks!” For the rest of his/her years, that kid could never erase the stigma of having been Mr./Ms. Left-Out.

Well, that’s how many UWS’ers might have felt this past Sunday morning as they sat down to consume their Fairway bagel (we miss you, H&H!) and Cold Brew coffee while indulging in the Manhattanite’s second-most-favorite form of recreation – Real Estate Envy – by reading The Sunday New York Times “Real Estate” section. “Oh-my-gosh, that one is a three-bedroom/three-bath two-thousand six hundred square-footer with Central Park views, an eat-in-kitchen, a soaking tub, and radiant-heated floors – and it sold for just twenty-one-point-three million!”

But Sunday morning, right there on the front page, above the top-of-the-fold lead article, is the headline: “Where to Live? Ask an App”. Directly below is a cutesy graphic depicting the five boroughs as colorful jigsaw pieces, and on each piece appears the name of various neighborhoods. There’s Brooklyn (Magenta), with its Williamsburg and Park Slope; The Bronx (Baby-blue) with its Hunts Point and Parkchester; Queens (Turquoise) with its Astoria and Jamaica; and even Staten Island (Mucus-yellow, befitting its “Vile Isle” moniker) with its St. George and Latourette Park.

Then there’s Manhattan (Purple), with our Battery Park, Chelsea (but not Clinton), Harlem, Tribeca, and even the snooty Upper East Side.

But NO Upper West Side! Instead, in the spot where “Upper West Side” should appear, is a wee graphic, either a piece of framed art…or maybe a postage stamp…it’s hard to tell. But definitely missing are those words: “Upper West Side”.

What nerve! That misinformed graphic artist left us out! Doesn’t he know that the UWS is cultured? Is it not home to Lincoln Center, to Symphony Space, …and to all those guys selling slightly-distressed books, magazines, and CD’s from card tables on the sidewalk?

Oh, the injustice! It is enough to make the aggrieved Real Estate section readers exclaim, “What are we, Zabar’s Chopped Liver?!?

ABSURDITY, COLUMNS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Cato says:

      Nah. It’s just that the author realized that anyone who reads the Real Estate section in the Sunday Times can’t afford to live on the Upper West Side, so why even bother discussing it?

      Now revise the same article for the *Business* section (or perhaps a special section on “Hedge Funds”), and you’ll see much more attention given to the UWS.

    2. dannyboy says:

      Happy to be left out.

      Maybe there’s more to the UWS than RE prices?

    3. Doug Garr says:

      Oh please stop with the H&H Bagels already. I’m happy they went under. They ripped of the gov’t big time by pocketing their employees withholding taxes. They raised the price of a bagel 5 cents every six months. The quality went down. Es-A-Bagel downtown had a much better bagel cheaper, and even Fairway did (now their prices are up because the company is being mismanaged). If you have any sense of civic pride and public responsibility, you won’t lament the loss of H&H Bagels.

    4. Finally Priced Out says:

      Slow news day, huh? And the “snooty” upper east side comment is a bit outdated. A two bedroom apartment for a growing family is far cheaper in Yorkville than anywhere from 59th to 110 on the West Side. With that being said, the UWS is still hands down the best place to live in New York. I wish I could stay, but as an endangered species the city isn’t for city workers anymore, hasn’t been for a long time.

      • JH says:

        Hah. I don’t think anyone thinks of Yorkville as being in the snooty section of the UES. You need to head west of Lex for that.

        Hey Cato, there are plenty of us on the UWS who read the real estate section.

    5. Liz says:

      As they say — the Upper West Side — it ain’t what it used to be.

      I moved to the Upper West Side about 20 years ago from the village, i.e., 13th St. and 5th Ave.

      Honestly, none of the “old neighborhoods” in the City are the same as they were 10, 15, or 20 years ago.

      Every thing has been gentrified and rents are outrageous every where in the City. I miss the old Mom and Pop stores where you knew the owners and they knew you and your family. Ten years ago or less there were at least 10 small bodega/deli stores in the area between 70th St. and Broadway and 79th and Columbus/Amsterdam.

      Now there are maybe only three left. The great little, comfy neighborhood restaurants like Niko’s gave the Upper West Side a certain type of unique character.

      Now, because of the astronomically high rents, the only business that can survive on the UPS are banks and clothing stores.

      Hey, even the Starbucks on 67th and Columbus closed because the rent was too high and that shop was always super busy.

      What the UPS really lacks is good places, other than Gray’s Papaya to get cheap eats.

    6. Melissa says:

      Good. I’d rather keep this hidden gem to myself.