We're launching a new series of reader-submitted neighborhood guides! If you're interested in sharing the best of your neighborhood with our community, check out this submission form.
Name: Sarah Coffey
Location: North end of the Upper West Side (96th Street)
City: New York, New York
My Home: One-bedroom apartment in a brick walk-up
I'm new to my neighborhood, having moved to New York from Chicago last spring. Although I'm not yet an expert on the Upper West Side, I've walked, shopped, and eaten my way through a lot of it, and I thought I'd take the plunge and kick off our new feature, in which we're calling on readers to give us a mini tour of their favorite neighborhood stores, sites, and hang-out spots.Sarah's Guide to the Upper West Side
1. Favorite Neighborhood Home Store
GRACIOUS HOME: 1992 Broadway (at 68th Street)
The prices are on the high side, it's far from my apartment, and they actually went bankrupt recently so who knows how long they'll be there BUT I still love the selection at this UWS home store — it's like Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but everything's a couple notches nicer.
2. Go-to Shop for Gifts
ZABAR'S: 2245 Broadway (at 80th Street)
The 2nd floor of Zabar's has a great selection of kitchenware — I like to go there for wedding presents — they have lots of Le Creuset cast iron and good knives.
3. Best Vintage Shop, Thrift Store, or Flea Market
GREENFLEA: Columbus Avenue (Between 76th & 77th Streets)
This Sunday flea market is one of the biggest in Manhattan, it's open year-round, and it's always good for people watching.
4. Favorite Bookstore
WESTSIDER: 2246 Broadway (between 80th and 81st Streets)
It's a tiny store with books piled high to the ceiling — a nice stop when you're on your way to Zabar's / H & H Bagels (my favorite).
5. Favorite Coffee Shop, Café, or Restaurant
B. CAFÉ: 566 Amsterdam (between 87th & 88th Streets)
My favorite restaurant changes every week — there are so many good ones in New York — but right now, it's this Belgian brasserie, where they have amazing fries with mayonnaise dips and a nice Eggs Benedict for weekend brunches.
6. Best Hardware/Paint Store
GRAND METRO HARDWARE: 2554 Broadway (at 96th Street)
This place is right around the corner from my building, the staff is helpful, and they have everything from Benjamin Moore Paint to Stockholm organizational boxes.
7. Best Place to Pick Up Groceries
WHOLE FOODS: 808 Columbus (at 97th Street)
It's convenient, and since this is Manhattan, it's the same price or cheaper than a lot of other nearby grocery stores.
8. Best Place to Buy Flowers
GOURMET GARAGE: Broadway and 96th Street
I really just like walking up Amsterdam or Columbus and buying flowers from street vendors, but if I'm going to give a specific place, I've had good luck with the flowers at G.G. — they seem to last a long time.
9. Best Neighborhood Park
I walk my dog there almost every day. With no outdoor space, it's become my shared lawn (along with thousands of other people).
10. Best Spot to Take Visitors
I love taking out-of-town friends to the Riverside Park Café at 105th Street (where you can have a beer and a burger INSIDE the park — not the best food ever, but a great laid-back atmosphere), and my current favorite random spot in all of NYC is the Joan of Arc monument at 93rd and Riverside.
Photos: Sarah Coffey