Upper East Side , Manhattan, New York City
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The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, between Central Park and the East River.
The 1.8 square miles (4.7 km˛) neighborhood, with elegant rows of landmark townhouses, once known as the 'Silk Stocking District', has some of the most expensive real estate in the United States, and is believed to be the greatest concentration of individual wealth in the nation.
In the 19th century, and until the Park Avenue railroad cut was covered (finished in 1910), rich industrialists including Pittsburghers Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick began building stylish mansions and townhouses on the large lots along Fifth Avenue, abutting Central Park. One of the first sections to be developed was around 86th Street, where several prominent families of German descent, including the Schermerhorns, the Astors, and the Rhinelanders built country estates.
Yorkville as it was known, soon moved east past Lexington Avenue and became a suburb of middle-class Germans, many of whom worked in nearby piano factories, stables, and breweries.
A long high bluff fronting the river north of Beekman Place was dotted with fine suburban villas in the 19th century, the last remaining one being Gracie Mansion, now home of New York's mayors.
The Upper East Side is also notable as a significant source of political fundraising in the United States. Four of the top five zip codes in the nation for political contributions are in Manhattan. The top ZIP Code, 10021, is on the Upper East Side and generated the most money for the 2004 presidential campaigns of both George W. Bush and John Kerry.
Madison Avenue from 60th Street well into the 80s is the monied crowd's main shopping strip, recently vaulting ahead of Hong Kong's Causeway Bay to become the most expensive retail real estate in the world. Zip code 10021 has the highest concentration of stores in the United States with more than $1 million in annual sales each.
The Upper East Side stretches from 59th Street north to about 110th Street. Embedded within the Upper East Side are the neighborhoods of Yorkville, centered on 86th Street and Third Avenue, and Carnegie Hill, centered on 91st Street and Park Avenue and Lenox Hill centered on 69th Street and 1st Avenue. While still wealthy, Yorkville does not compare to Carnegie Hill in the scale of its wealth.
Its north-south avenues are Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Park Avenue, Lexington Avenue, Third, Second and First Avenues, York Avenue, and East End Avenue (the latter runs only from East 79th Street to East 90th Street).
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