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2. Manhattan Valley

Because it’s suburbia with subways.


The Upper West Side’s stepchild is so perpetually overlooked that many don’t even know where it is. (For the record, it runs from Broadway to Central Park, and from 96th Street to 110th Street.) But the nabe is slowly sloughing off its anonymity, in part thanks to the five glassy buildings that comprise Columbus Square. The still-expanding behemoth is responsible for 710 rentals, two schools, and over 500,000 square feet of retail space, some occupied by stores that are, for better or worse, suburban-mall in flavor. Its construction was a battle royale, with many locals fearing a loss of authenticity and affordabilityand some locals have yet to embrace the transformation (the new Whole Foods can’t have helped). But the metamorphosis continues apace, inching north along Amsterdam Avenue, which, in Buca Brick Oven Pizza and the upcoming American bistro The Neighborhood, will have more buzzy restaurants than these parts have seen in yearsif ever.


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