Five Interesting Facts about Every Day Upper West Side

Five Interesting Facts about Every Day Upper West Side

The Upper West Side has colorful history, and many fascinating facts behind things we walk past every day. As a lifelong resident of this wonderful NYC neighborhood, I try my best to learn something new about it every day. I hope you enjoy these bits and pieces I’ve picked up along with way!

Hot dog hustlers

Next time you see a Central Park hot dog vendor asking for $2 per dog (or more), keep in mind that their real estate costs are through the roof! It can cost almost $300,00 per year to operate in Central Park! That’s a lot of hot dogs just to break even.

photo by Flickr user Marlon E


Don’t test the Upper West!

Upper West Siders are not to be crossed! Well, I suppose it isn’t that surprising that we ranked # 2 nationwide in the number of consumer credit card complaints, just after Boca Raton, Florida. What many found surprising about this find was the lack of any correlation between low-income levels and these complaints.


The Ansonia

Oh, it has an interesting history. From famed resident Babe Ruth with his wacky hallway antics, to being the home of a scandalous “night club” with its own orgy room, to having a lobby level sex shop, this famous NYC building boasted some naughty activity you might only expect from one of Manhattan’s downtown neighborhoods!
upper west side manhattan


Central Park

Here are a few interesting facts:

  • Central Park is bigger than some cities and even countries!
  • The first public landscaped park built in the United States, the design was the result of a nineteenth contest with many submissions!
  • According to the 2010 US Census, 25 people were counted as permanent residents! And, did you know that Sheep Meadow was once occupied by a whole bunch of sheep!?


Columbia University

Columbia University’s campus, folks, used to be an insane asylum! Bloomingdale Insane Asylum was actually the first in New York State, and one of the first in the country … so you can’t help but wonder how many New Yorkers had been on the wait list at that point!

nyc upper west side

I hope you’ve enjoyed these fun facts about NYC’s best neighborhood. Thanks for reading!

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Mike Mishkin

Mike Mishkin

Blogger & Native Upper West Sider
Mike is a native Upper West Sider. He's lived in the Lincoln Center area, Morningside Heights, and pretty much everywhere in between. You can frequently find him eating through the many great restaurants on the Upper West Side or awkwardly taking iPhone photos for @ilovetheupperwestside.