First of all, Welcome to the Rag! Thanks for coming by, and I hope you stay awhile and check out what we have to offer. The Rag is an online newspaper/blog that covers the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and it’s written by Upper West Siders. We cover real estate, crime, store openings and closings, the parks and many other topics, and we publish colorful columns about the neighborhood.

As far as geography goes, the Upper West Side stretches roughly from 59th to 110th Streets and from Central Park to the Hudson River. But we’re flexible: if something is going on at St. John the Divine on 112th, we’ll cover it. If Keanu Reeves strips down to his underwear on 58th Street and 10th Avenue and starts to dance, we won’t let geographic boundaries get in our way. Oh yes, we will tell that story.

The Rag started publishing in 2011 and in its first year was named one of the four best neighborhood blogs in the city by the Village Voice. Life & Style Weekly called the site “The best insider source about Manhattan’s Upper West Side.” BrickUnderground said the Rag is “wry, addictive, up-to-the-minute.”

Much of what you’ll find on the web is rehashed and repackaged news, or some version of the “official story”: what do top officials have to say about this or that official event? We care what those officials say, but what we’re really after is the unofficial stories, the ones we haven’t heard before. What food do Upper West Siders buy when natural disasters approach? Why is crime up in the 24th precinct? Are new real estate developments making the neighborhood more appealing or simply more unaffordable? Who is the local Sticker Bandit? What’s really in Zabar’s “lobster salad”? In short, what is it like to live on the Upper West Side today? What gets people excited, what gets them angry, what makes them laugh?

We will not be afraid to write about the big issues, but we also won’t shy away from totally trivial topics. And every week, we let you know about the best events in the neighborhood.

But what we really love is to hear from people who live here (there are more than 200,000 of you and we have a very large inbox). That’s where we get our best stories and ideas. Please please please send us tips, gripes, stories, and ideas. If you witness a crime or a crash, let us know. If you see a new store opening or an old store closing, send us a picture. If you had an awful/wonderful experience at a store/park/restaurant…you get the picture.

Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter, follow us on twitter and like us on facebook.

West Side Rag was originally designed and constructed by Laura Koo Nicholas (www.koonicholas.com). In 2020, it was redesigned and re-launched by RLDGROUP.com.