"Grand, but a tad grandiose"
While the stretch of the Upper East Side north of 86th Street has the quirky charm of a Parisian side-street, with wood-paneled bistros, established "local" patisseries, creative boutiques, and a healthy supply of posh children's outfitters, the southern stretch of the Upper East Side is another beast altogether. Here, you're more likely to see one of the major fashion houses of the world than you are to come across an independently-owned boutique, and charming brownstones have been replaced in large part by sullen white-gloved doormen. This is one of the most elegant and exclusive areas in Manhattan, with brand names to match: the Carlyle, Yves St Laurent, and Clyde Chemist - the world's most expensive local pharmacy. There's plenty on offer here: Via Quadronno, between Madison and 5th, is one of the city's best kept secrets for Italian restaurants, while proud parents will be pleased to know that posh private schools Buckley, Birch Wathen Lenox, and the Catholic Domincan Academy are all within easy walking distance. Yet if you're looking for a more "neighborhood" friendly-feel, you might want to try heading further north or east.