The Upper East Side is a neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the East River. It is generally accepted to stretch from 59th Street (known as Central Park South west of Fifth Avenue, where it abuts Central Park) to about 96th Street, where the railroad tracks of the former New York Central Railroad emerge from beneath Park Avenue to span Manhattan Valley on a massive stone viaduct. Embedded within the Upper East Side is the older neighborhood of Yorkville, centered on 86th Street and Third Avenue.
The two-square mile neighborhood, once known as the 'Silk Stocking District', has some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. Until the railroad cut was covered, about 1910, the stylish part of the Upper East Side, with mansions and townhouses lay towards the park, generally speaking, while the area east of Lexington Avenue was a blue-collar district that included stables and breweries. A long high bluff fronting the river north of Beekman Place was dotted with fine suburban villas in the nineteenth century, the last remaining one being Gracie Mansion, home of New York's mayors.
The area is host to some of the most famous museums in the world. The string of museums along Fifth Avenue has been dubbed "Museum Mile." Among the cultural institutions on the Upper East Side:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Guggenheim Museum of Art
- Whitney Museum of American Art
- Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
- National Academy of Design
- Neue Galerie
- The Asia Society
- Frick Collection
- Museum of the City of New York (north of 96th Street)
- The Jewish Museum
- The 92nd Street Y
- Museum of American Illustration