Morningside Heights in Manhattan NY

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Morningside Heights - Educational Center

Stretching from West 106th to 125th Streets, Morningside Heights has several extraordinary institutions of note, including Columbia University, the Manhattan School of Music, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Riverside Church, Union Theological Seminary and the Jewish Theological Seminary, in addition to Grant’s Tomb and Riverside Park.

Construction began on both the Cathedral and Columbia’s uptown campus right around the end of the nineteenth century, and the neighborhood, previously farm land, became urbanized over the ensuing decades. Head up the tower at Riverside Church for great views of Manhattan or attend one of the numerous concerts at the churches, seminaries or schools. Walk around beautiful Riverside Park, with stunning views of the Hudson River and New Jersey shoreline. Also visit Grant’s Tomb — you might be surprised to find out who is buried there. Bookstores abound, and there are some lesser-known yet intriguing places, such as the Nicholas Roerich Museum on West 107th Street. Although the Morningside Heights’ restaurants have become decidely more upscale in recent years, perennial student favorities remain the West End, the Mill Korean Restaurant, and Tom’s Restaurant (made famous by both Suzanne Vega and Jerry Seinfeld).

Morningside Heights, the institutional heart of New York City, is also one of the city's most architecturally distinguished neighborhoods. The high plateau that forms Morningside Heights is geographically isolated within the city and remained largely undeveloped even as neighboring Harlem and the Upper West Side became prestigious residential communities. At the end of the nineteenth century, institutions relocated to the plateau where sizable plots were available at a convenient distance from the built-up city. In 1887 Episcopal Bishop Henry Potter announced plans for the construction of a great cathedral at the edge of the plateau. The cathedral was soon followed by Columbia College and St. Luke's Hospital, which contemplated grand complexes, and by newer institutions such as Barnard College and Teachers College that were intent on establishing a presence in the rapidly growing city. Thus, Morningside Heights became indelibly associated with New York's educational, medical, and religious foundations, and was appropriately dubbed “the Acropolis of New York.”

The area also features a growing selection of restaurants lining both Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Some favorites include Bistro Ten 18 on Amsterdam and 110th Street, featuring traditional American bistro cuisine and a wide selection of wines and beers from around the world, and Awash Ethiopian, which offers a taste of East Africa at 107th and Amsterdam.

Transportation in Morningside Heights is dominated by the Number 1 train, which follows Broadway and has stops at 96th Street, 103rd Street, 110th Street, 116th Street and 125th Street. For those venturing to midtown Manhattan or downtown, there is a connection to the express 2,3 trains at 96th Street. The neighborhood also features an extensive bus network including the M60 bus, which travels up Broadway from 106th Street to 125th Street and then cross-town and over the Tri-boro Bridge to La Guardia Airport.

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