Uptown NYC vs Downtown NYC

Aerial view of lower Manhattan New York City

One of the most common questions someone has when moving to Manhattan for the first time is should I live uptown or downtown. The two neighborhoods definitely have their distinct differences, and depending upon what you are looking to get out of your NYC life, you will find either uptown or downtown living suits you better! We have come up with some important topics to consider when choosing to live uptown or downtown, whether that be restaurants, night life, museums or easy access out of NYC! Keep reading to hear our opinion!

Uptown Living

Uptown living (considered above 57th Street) is great for families or anyone who wants to experience NYC and all its delights in a slightly more quiet manner! Uptown has something for everyone, great shops, restaurants, and residential areas that are close to parks, museums and excellent private schools! Glenwood has 16 buildings in uptown Manhattan. If you are set on living uptown but can’t decide between the upper east side versus the upper west side, click here to read a blog post we wrote about the differences between the two neighborhoods! If you are interested in Glenwood’s uptown buildings click here for the east side and here for the west side.

Downtown Living

Living downtown (considered below 14th Street) is a very lively choice filled with different neighborhoods, each having their own distinct personalities! If you are looking for more of a neighborhood, tight community feel in the big city–downtown living might be for you! If you want the hustle and bustle of stores, restaurants, and nightlife soho is a great option! The west village is quaint with great neighborhood coffee shop and beautiful townhouses! If you want to live downtown in a neighborhood that is very family try Tribeca where you can live, work and play all in the same neighborhood! Glenwood has 3 buildings downtown. If you are interested in Glenwood downtown buildings click here!

Let’s Dive Into It:


gourmet chef preparing food in kitchen

Both uptown and downtown Manhattan have great food options!

If you want to try a restaurant that is a little more trendy with often a festive vibe, downtown spots may be more favorable to you! Downtown restaurants are always packed with foodies trying the new and best spots! A 9pm table is not considered a late table, and if you love being able to walk to great restaurants downtown may be more favorable to you! Don’t forget Little Italy and Chinatown are so close to all the downtown neighborhoods, which ads a really fun dining element if you are a foodie! Some great spots to try are Lure Fishbar (in soho), Bondst Sushi (in soho), Mamos (in soho), Bodega Negra (in chelsea) and Morimoto (in chelsea). These are all great spots for Glenwood downtown residents to try!

Don’t be fooled by the fact that you hear it is impossible to get a dinner reservation downtown, if you want a table at a popular restaurant uptown,  you need a reservation weeks in advance as well! Uptown dining has endless options as well with all different cuisine types too! If you are looking for a more classic restaurant with a little more of a docile atmosphere that is still lively, uptown restaurants may be up your alley! With great spots like Omars, Le Colonial, Bar Italia,  Avra, Kappa Masa  (all on the upper east side), RedFarm (on the west side), and Red Rooster (in harlem)  there are definitely diverse cuisine types with great ambiances that is just a little more relaxed than many downtown spots come the later hours! Glenwood uptown east side and west side residents should try these great spots!

The Seaport has several restaurants all walking distance of Glenwood’s Liberty Plaza! 

Which Neighborhood Would You Live In?

Ariel view of Central Park in NYC

Looking for endless dining options, high end shops, and parks that are within walking distance?


Looking for an energetic atmosphere with historic landmarks and riverside views?


Night Life

Professional bartender in black apron pours brown drink from shaker into glass

If you ask a New Yorker where the best nightlife is in Manhattan, most will definitely tell you downtown! And, if you are looking to live close to very lively, trendy, hot spots that can be walking distance from each other, downtown living is definitely for you. Downtown is packed with options in all of its neighborhoods like soho, the meatpacking district, and china town! There are also great late night activities in downtown Manhattan  like The Magician at The Nomad Hotel or Sleep No More at The McKittrick Hotel.

If you want to live in a quieter area, but occasionally want to frequent great nightlife and don’t mind hopping on a subway or taking a 20minute cab ride to get there, then uptown living will suite you! Uptown has some great bars too like the Mark Hotel’s Bar, The Regency Bar, the bar at Avra Madison, the bar at Omars (all upper east side), or Vanguard Wine Bar (upper west side). These are more lounge type of casual vibes that are great if you just want to enjoy a drink out on the town.


Sunset at Battery Park in New York City

If parks are very important to you, this is a big consideration when deciding if you want to live uptown or downtown. Uptown has so many great parks like Central Park, Morning Side Park, Riverside Park, Carl Shurz Park, and Fort Tyron Park. These are larger, more traditional parks with more emphasis on the greenery! If you love taking a morning jog around the reservoir, uptown eastside and westside are perfect for you!

Downtown parks are often smaller with a bit more concrete, but  have a lot of lively entertainment like at Washington Square Park! If you like to stroll after dinner and find some nice entertainment–from the occasional live music to performances, downtown parks are for you! Don’t forget about the High Line! This 1.45 mile park runs on what were old railroad tracks on the lower west side through the Meat Packing District and Chelsea.

Battery Park and Rockefeller Park are just steps from Glenwood’s Tribeca Bridge Tower!


T-Rex dinosaur at Natural History Museum in NYC

There are great museums both uptown and downtown in Manhattan. You can’t go wrong visiting any of them! Here are a list of some of the top museums in each of the areas.


East Side:

  • The Met
  • Met Cloisters
  • The Met Bruier
  • The Frick
  • The Guggenheim
  • The Cooper Hewitt Museum

West Side:

  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • The New-York Historical Society
  • The Children’s Museum of Manhattan


  • 911 Memorial
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • New Museum
  • New York City Fire Museum

The Art Scene

Rear view of young people looking at paintings on the wall at art gallery

There are definitely good museums and galleries both uptown and downtown. But, if you are a an art gallery lover, downtown has so many different options to pop into that frequently are displaying new works!

A couple of great art galleries uptown:

  • Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue
  • David Zwirner
  • Almine Rech Galler

There are just so many great art galleries downtown, if you walk in Chelsea you are sure to stumble upon numerous  but to name a few:

  • Andrew Kreps Gallery
  • Mary Boone Gallery
  • Gladstone Gallery
  • Pace Gallery
  • Hauser & Wirth New York
  • Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea
  • Taglialatella Gallery
  • Chase Contemporary Gallery
  • David Zwirner in Chelsea
  • Click here to see a map of downtown galleries!

The Ease Of Leaving Manhattan

If you like to leave Manhattan either for some fun weekend exploration or for a work commute, it is important to choose where you live! If you love to go to Brooklyn and explore areas like Vinegar Hill or Dumbo, then living in Glenwood downtown buildings is much more convenient for you!

If you work or like to visit Long Island, Westchster or Connecticut on the weekends, living uptown will largely reduce the time spent in your car if you are driving!

What are your favorite reasons you live uptown or downtown? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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