Midtown extends from Eight Avenue to Lexington Avenue between 42nd and 59th Streets. Between the Broadway theater district and the nine- to- five bustle of financial companies and ad agencies; it’s a frenzy of activity. And while it used to be the case that much of the area simply shut down after work hours, all that has changed in the last ten years.
Though Times Square and the Theater District offer West Side residents lots of glamor and glitz, Midtown East is the side of the city where power resides, especially in the apartment buildings enveloping UN Plaza, the venerable New York Public Library and the transportation hub to both: Grand Central Station. During every weekday, the population of this stretch of Manhattan from 5th Avenue to the East River and 40th to 59th effectively handles 200,000 people; at night, about 40,000 residents roam the city streets.
Still, people pay for the convenience of the district and the close proximity – not only to work, but also everything historic about New York. They also pay for the adjacency to some of the best restaurants in New York: Cipriani, Bobby Van’s steakhouse and the renowned Oyster Bar with the best oysters in the region. For the cosmopolitan residents and United Nations envoys of the famed Tudor City apartments (as well as well-heeled locals), Tudor City Greens features a lovely garden and benches for a relaxing afternoon book read. Other nearby parks include Greenacre, a respite with a small waterfall that drowns out the city noises, Peter Detmold Park, with a dog run, and Bryant Park, with film festivals in the summer and ice skating in the winter. East Midtown maybe a bit bland for the seasoned New Yorker, but for the commuter tired of the daily trains and the empty-nesters looking to leave the suburbs, Midtown nicely melds city and country.
The heart of New York City beats in Midtown West, which comprises Times Square, the Theater District, the Garment District, Penn Station, Madison Square Garden and the 34th Street shopping district, including Macy’s flagship store. A business hub, a tourist destination, a dining deluge, an entertainment capital and even a residential area – essentially, a city within the city – Midtown West stretches from West 34rd to West 57th streets, the West Side Highway to Fifth Ave. Even as other international cities have their own renowned hubs, Midtown West remains the model district – ground zero for restaurants, businesses, tourist attractions, and world-famous buildings.
Though Midtown West remains more corporate-friendly, these days, it’s hard to tell a commercial skyscraper from a residential one, especially down 9th and 10th Avenues. The Clinton district – formerly known as “Hell’s Kitchen” – just to the far West, is now home to many of New York’s publishing magnates, working actors and theater producers who enjoy the activity of the city and the serenity along the Hudson River. Zoning had long restricted the extension of Midtown Manhattan’s skyscraper development into Hell's Kitchen, but the city relaxed the laws just before Sept. 11, 2001, which leading to a residential real-estate building boom: Midtown West landed some of the biggest projects in the city and has undergone tremendous gentrification.
With so many overstuffed wallets here, it stands to reason that Midtown offers some of the best eating in the city. From venerable institutions like the Four Seasons and 21 to elegant upstarts like Ola.
Broadway, Rockefeller Center, MOMA, need we say more….
Central Park on your northern frontier and for a midweek lunch, Bryant Park.
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