Our Story

West Side Rag is the local news source for the Upper West Side neighborhoods of Manhattan

First of all, Welcome to the Rag! Thanks for coming by, and we hope you stay awhile and check out what we have to offer. The Rag is an online local news site that covers the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and it’s written by Upper West Siders. We cover politics, crime, real estate, store openings and closings, the neighborhood’s museums and 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. We’ve lately expanded north to Morningside Heights, including Columbia University as it stretches up to West 125th. But we’re flexible: 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.” Brick Underground said the Rag is “wry, addictive, up-to-the-minute.” And during the pandemic, New York Magazine called the Rag, “The Hyperlocal News Site We All Wish We Had Right Now.”

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.

Like the one about an apartment building that was emptied out by a landlord using what tenants called ‘inhumane displacement’ tactics. Or the treasure chest that was found floating in the Hudson River. Or the up-and-down saga of West-Park Church, or the e-bike controversy, or the riveting trial of an Upper West Sider who murdered her neighbor.

In short, we cover what is happening 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 X, 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.

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