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800.ELLIMAN

6.8 out of 10

Morningside Heights

Ranked 23rd best neighborhood in Manhattan
40.8084724683652 -73.9588219751545
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Public Transport
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Country Lovers
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Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
2yrs+

"Morningside Heights: Quiet and Well Kept with a lovely park (Riverside Park)"

Morningside Heights is a best kept secret for those who live uptown. Near Columbia University, it offers lots of apartments of various types which are rather spacious, but at a more affordable rate than downtown because of its proximity to Harlem. While the university and neighborhood is rather close to Harlem you wouldn't know it. Central Park is not far away and on the other side is Riverside Park (a glorious strip of a park with mature trees that runs all the way down to 79th street or thereabouts).

Morningside residents have a pick of a number of eclectic restaurants, cafes and bars that cater to the students from the university. Poetry readings and such may abound. The Cathedral of St John the Divine is a local church which any tourist should visit as it's massive and gorgeous. One should be careful about walking at night just because it's the city. You need to be careful wherever you are.

Apartments are a great buy here if you can afford them. Doormen buildings are preferred as they usually have elevators. Walkups will not only require toting yourself up stairs but usually won't have AC either. This is a lovely area. Be sure to walk the campus of Columbia University. It is not to be missed!
Pros
  • Columbia University
  • Rivierside Park
Cons
  • way up town
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
2yrs+

"One of the first areas I'd look for an apartment"

Morningside Heights is a neighborhood that some say is part of the Upper West Side and others say is north of the Upper West Side. It runs from about 110th Street to 125th Street from Morningside Drive (which becomes Columbus Avenue farther south) to Riverside Drive. This was once a questionable neighborhood, but gentrification has made it much more favorable in recent years.

There are lots of colleges in this neighborhood, the most famous of which, of course, is Columbia University. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine – the most beautiful church in New York City, in my opinion – is also in this neighborhood. If you live there, you'll have the lovely Riverside Park, and the 'hood is just northwest of the northernmost border of Central Park near the Harlem Meer. Not bad! I live pretty far from this neighborhood now and almost never get up there, but when I do, I always appreciate it.

If you're a tourist, you'll definitely want to check out the Cathedral and Tom's Restaurant at Broadway and West 112th Street, the famous restaurant featured in Seinfeld (well, the outside of the restaurant, anyway.) The 'hood has a pedigree, too: George Gershwin and F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there back in the day, and George Carlin grew up there.

While no apartments in Manhattan are what you'd call cheap by standards elsewhere, you can still find some deals in this neighborhood because it's slightly off the beaten track. It's just a few subway stops from midtown or downtown, but if you work on the east side, you might feel like you're commuting from the outer boroughs by the time you get to your business via subway or bus.
Pros
  • feels like a college town
  • Buildings are beautiful
  • family-friendly
  • Home to the stunning Cathedral of St John the Divine
Cons
  • bars are full of students
  • Noisy and crowded, especially if you're not a student
  • Most restaurants located here cater to the student population and are not very good
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Charming college town aura"

If I were asked to choose between the college town neighborhood that is Washington Square, near the NYU spread, and the one that is Morningside Heights, where Columbia and a lot of other establishments of higher education reside, I would have to say that I prefer the latter.

The neighborhood boasts some incredible history which can be found in landmarks like Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Grant's Tomb and Riverside Church or the West End Bar, where beat poets liked to meet up and compared notes during the forties and fifties.

Surrounding streets boast a little bit of that old school charm without being too overrun by corporate restaurant chains and/or stores, like you see down in NYU territory.
Pros
  • great bookstores
  • feels like a college town
  • Buildings are beautiful
  • Great coffee shops to write a novel in
  • Proximity to Columbia
  • Home to the stunning Cathedral of St John the Divine
Cons
  • bars are full of students
  • Noisy and crowded, especially if you're not a student
Recommended for
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
2yrs+

"Get a look at Manhattan below"

You'll want to go to Riverside Church (at West 120th Street and Riverside Drive) and be discreet about finding the Laura Spellman Rockefeller memorial Carillon. The reason for it, as you'll discover, is that you can ascend to the top and have an unobstructed view of the city below. Not at all like the metal grilles at the Empire State Building, you can really get a sense of the poetry of Manhattan's bird's eye view. I haven't been up there in many years, so I really hope they haven't caged it in by now. If they have, a trip up to Morningside Heights is still not wasted, since you can visit the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, one of the largest cathedrals in the world. The guidebooks say it's still not complete, more than a hundred years after construction began, and they are still pumping visitors for donations, which would go toward this or that construction. They offer a Vertical Tour periodically, up the stone spiral staircases and onto the roof of the building. If you're lucky enough to catch one of these tours I highly recommend it. Otherwise, there's not a lot of amusement going on in Morningside Heights, as the area is dominated by the Columbia University campus. Many of the buildings outside of the fenced-in campus at 116th Street are in one way or another part of Columbia too, so the area is just one big university town, really. It is definitely one of the more beautiful campuses you'll see, with pristine lawns and students hanging out on the steps of the big domed library in the center. But once you're not a student any more, the area doesn't have a lot to offer you, so you'd best just head downtown for any kind of entertainment.

Unranked Streets in Morningside Heights

"Great way to drive past traffic & get gas "
40.8083243328889 -73.9562325282973
"Vast shopping avenues"
40.8099851136245 -73.9530684100428

West 115 St

3.5/5
"The Library and the Park Are Excellent"
40.8057185141129 -73.9605249474607
"West 121st Street"
40.80940449583 -73.9572487217254

West 123 St

2.5/5
"West 123rd Street"
40.8104536599345 -73.9558905860833

West 125 St

3.5/5
"Center of Harlem"
40.8133354319614 -73.9562331434883

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All information regarding a property for sale, rental, taxes or financing is from sources deemed reliable. No representation is made as to the accuracy thereof, and such information is subject to errors, omission, change of price, rental, commission, prior sale, lease or financing, or withdrawal without notice. All square footage and dimensions are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of a professional architect or engineer.

The number of bedrooms listed above is not a legal conclusion. Each person should consult with his/her own attorney, architect or zoning expert to make a determination as to the number of rooms in the unit that may be legally used as a bedroom.

© 2014. Douglas Elliman Real Estate. All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While, this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. All property information, including, but not limited to square footage, room count, number of bedrooms and the school district in property listings are deemed reliable, but should be verified by your own attorney, architect or zoning expert. Equal Housing Opportunity.