NYC has a ton of great songs that take place within it, or about it, and a lot of them are as nuanced as specific locations in the city. And with perfect reason! There’s a lot of awesome places in the city to write a song about!
Upper East (Or West?) Side:
Uptown Girl by Billy Joel is all about the uptown, more refined girl meeting the downtown, gruff guy from the Lower East Side. It’s like a West Side Story romance, except less violence.
Do you know how many jazz songs have been written about Park Avenue? “Park Avenue Blues” or “Park Avenue Rag” might hit the spot when you want something old timey and perfect for your stroll down what used to be known as 4th ave.
Like, Literally all of it. But one of the most iconic songs about the entire borough is “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys. It’s a crowd pleaser and to be shouted out loud at any party or wedding. Runner up: Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn Go Hard.”
LL Cool J literally has a song called Queens, featuring 50 Cent. And where to they both hail from? You guessed it. For a borough that gets not as much love as Brooklyn on a daily basis, a lot of major rappers have come out of its borders and it is duly celebrated in their music.
Plenty of songs mention the area, but one of the more recent hits that speaks to an exact crossroads of Bowery & Canal is “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, one of the sweetest and saddest love songs of our generation. Only in New York.