It's incredibly hard to beat the charm of the Upper West Side. When I first moved to the city over 10 years ago, I dreamt that one day I would live on that special slice of Manhattan, cozied between both parks where I would take daily strolls to Central Park passing by the most beautiful historic townhomes. 

My dream was to live what I call a "New York happily ever after" not unlike Meg Ryan in the 90's classic "You've Got Mail" where even the barista at the local coffee shop would know my name. Fortunately, a couple of years ago I got my chance to live out my dream of becoming an Upper West Sider when I moved to a historic prewar building that was built in 1901 by the Astor family. I renovated the apartment, transforming it into a contemporary oasis immersed in beautiful classic architecture and the rest was history. 

The Upper West Side has exceeded my high expectations in every way. I find myself having a remarkable sense of calm strolling the streets saying hello to a neighbor while passing a Banksy art piece on a historic building's wall or hearing music fill the air near Lincoln Center. Pure and simple, the Upper West Side is magical and the small businesses and incredible people that fill it are what make the magic.

[Photos via @hernewyorkedit, @sterlingmcdavid]