Hi John: My sister lives on the Upper East Side, at 80th and Lexington. I've enjoyed its many boutiques, higher end bistros, great shopping and, of course, the awesome architecture. From the brownstones to the doorman buildings, it covers a full gamut.
In my opinion, San Francisco's Russian Hill begins to have similarities. Hyde Street and Polk Street have the very beckoning restaurant scene, very neighborhoody, very walkable, the requisite coffee shops, and architecture that spans Victorian, Edwardian and mid-century walk-ups. The architecture also encompasses several high-rise, full-service, doorman buildings housing some of the City's society-folk.
Nothing compares to New York's Upper East Side, but San Francisco's Russian Hill is a good start. Happy Hunting! Paul