North of 59th Street and east of Central Park is some of the city's most expensive residential real estate.

This is New York at its most gentrified: Walk along Fifth and Park avenues, especially between 60th and 80th streets, and you're sure to encounter some of the wizened WASPs and Chanel-suited socialites that make up the most rarefied of the city's population.

Madison Avenue to 79th Street is the monied crowd's main shopping strip, recently vaunting ahead of Hong Kong's Causeway Bay to become the most expensive retail real estate in the world--so bring your platinum card.

You can also use it to stay at one of the neighborhood's remarkably luxurious hotels, such as the The Carlyle, or to dine at four-star wonders like Le Cirque 2000 and Daniel.

 

le cirque 2000
The main attraction of this neighborhood is Museum Mile, the stretch of Fifth Avenue fronting Central Park that's home to no fewer than 10 terrific cultural institutions, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim, and anchored by the mind-boggling Metropolitan Museum of Art.
But the elegant rows of landmark town houses are worth a look alone: East 70th Street, from Madison east to Lexington, is one of the world's most charming residential streets.
If you want to see where real people live, move east to Third Avenue and beyond; that's where affordable restaurants and active street life start popping up.

A second subway line is in the works, but it's still no more than an architect's blueprint.
For now, the Upper East Side is served solely by the Lexington Avenue line (4, 5, 6 trains), so wear your walking shoes (or bring taxi fare) if you're heading up here to explore.