NYC's Upper, Lower, and mid- East Sides

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Jan 7 17:15:45 UTC 2013

As a twenty-year resident of Midtown East (or East Midtown), I can
assure you that it is a real neighborhood and that is really called
that. There are other neighborhoods in the area (including the ones you
mentioned, as well as Kips Bay and more diffuse things like "the Sutton
Place area") too. Agreed that the UES starts at 60th and goes to 96th,
with its own subneighborhoods (Yorkville, Carnegie Hill, etc. etc.).

Nowadays--by which I mean at least the last 20 years--the LES is
regarded as a separate neighborhood from the East Village (or its
subneighborhoods, like NoHo, Alphabet City, etc.) It would be really
unusual to regard the East Village as part of the LES. I'd agree that
the LES would refer to the below-Houston, east-of-Allen area (north of,
say, East Broadway).

Maryam Bakht, at Hunter, sent out a questionnaire last month about these
exact issues. I don't know if she's published the results.

Jesse Sheidlower

On Mon, Jan 07, 2013 at 05:56:20PM +0100, Michael Newman wrote:
> For me:
> The Upper East Side is from 60th to 96th. Above that is East Harlem. East Side is just a vague way of saying east of 5th Avenue above Washington Square and Bway below it. There is no neighborhood called "The East Side"
> The Lower East Side is ambiguous. Some days it's below 14th St, but other days the East Village gets in the way, and in that case, it's below Houston and east more or less of Allen. The question is whether I consider the East Village part of the LES, which is a variable for me. Actually, Kara Becker has a great discussion of this in her 2010 NYU Diss, which I hope she publishes one day. The basic idea is that the whole East Village area was once part of the LES until real estate interests promoted the name East Village during the late 60s if I remember right. As far as I know the Upper East Side hasn't changed in my lifetime.
> There is no Mid East Side. There is talk now of Midtown East, but that seems recent to me. Traditional names are Turtle Bay, Gramercy Park, and Murray Hill, all of which are distinct neighborhoods, all of which are in what might be thought of generally as Midtown East.
> BTW, the Upper West Side goes right up to about 110st, and of course there is no Lower West Side.
> Michael Newman
> Associate Professor of Linguistics
> Queens College/CUNY
> michael.newman at
> On Jan 7, 2013, at 5:18 PM, "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> > Subject:      NYC's Upper, Lower, and mid- East Sides
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Where did New Yorkers use to place, and where do they now place --
> >
> > the Upper East Side?  Do I correctly remember a definition of "above
> > 96th Street"?
> >
> > the Lower East Side?  Below what?
> >
> > the mid East Side?  And what term is used for that region?  (Aside
> > from "the fashionable East Side".)
> >
> > Joel
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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