People, yellow cabs, bright lights, big crowds, 24-hour eateries and just about every type of store imaginable. it’s a frenetic buzz that only a few places on the globe can offer. And that’s just one part of it. Midtown West is the birthplace of hustle and bustle and it’s bordered by 42nd to the south, 59th Street to the north, 8th Avenue to the west, and 5th Avenue to the east.
Midtown West is not as residential as other neighborhoods in Manhattan. The bustling part of Midtown West is 42nd Street between Times Square and 8th Avenues where the retail and office space, theatres, and attractions are. No matter what time of day it is, you'll always find activity there.
Residential buildings lay near the western end of Midtown West beginning around 8th Avenue.
Location, location, location. Of all the neighborhoods and enclaves of Manhattan, Midtown West is perhaps the most commutable place to live, visit, or work. It contains one of the highest concentrations of subway lines in the Big Apple. A, C, E, N, Q, R, 1, 2, 3, and the 7 train. The transit system feeds the streets with commuters from everywhere. The Port Authority Bus Terminal and nearby Penn Station adds to the number of people that flood Midtown on any given day.
It’s one of the easiest places in all of Manhattan to navigate because it’s a true grid. Uptown, street numbers go up. Downtown, street numbers go down. It’s the same concept from east to west. You really can’t get lost in Midtown West.
There is so much to do in this neighborhood. Theatre goers, foodies, bar hoppers and shoppers rejoice. There is something for everyone in this neck of the woods.
For the foodie - If you like French food then try Le Bernardin, it is world famous and absolutely fabulous. The Modern offers tasty French/New American fare in a modernist space with garden views at the Museum of Modern Art. Milos serves Greek cuisine with a lean towards seafood, and Marea offers the very best Italian food. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Food choices from fast to fancy are unlimited in Midtown West.
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a must do for first time Manhattan visitors or even the most hardened New Yorker. It’s one of the most inspiring places in New York City and it has extraordinary exhibitions and a notable collection of modern and contemporary art.
Top of the Rock – 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Yes, we know it's touristy but sometimes you just have to reconnect with this city. The three-tiered observation deck on the 70th floor is the best way to do that. 360-degree unobstructed views really gives you an incredible perspective of this wonderful city!
And we can’t forget the Theatre District’s Restaurant Row. Around the world in one street (46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues). The spot offers just about any type of food from Japanese to Italian, to Creole. Perfect place for the pre or post theatre crowd.
New York Public Library – It’s right on the cusp of Midtown West and definitely worth the visit. You can’t miss the Beaux Arts building flanked by two giant lions. There’s only one building like it in all of Manhattan.
What You Might See
You’ll see people of all kinds. Workers commuting to or from their jobs or taking lunch breaks, tourists and looky-loo’s walking really slow and looking upwards, and locals just trying to push their way through the crowds to make it to their next appointment. You’ll see a lot of hot dog vendors, yellow cabs and traffic too. Don’t forget Midtown is the highest populated district of Manhattan.
You’ll see a variety of both old and new buildings. Hearst Tower, American Radiator Building, The GE Building, Time Warner Center and The Bush Tower to name a few. Turn of the century buildings mixed with modern ones makes a very interesting cityscape.
What You Don’t Know
Back to those New York Public Library lions again. In the 1930’s, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia nicknamed them Patience and Fortitude because he thought that New Yorkers needed to possess these qualities in order to survive the depression.
Midtown West has a great spot to observe Manhattanhenge. Go to 57th Street and Eighth Avenue, near the Hearst Building and get your camera ready. Two times a year, usually around May 28 and July 12, the sunset aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan. It’s awesome to watch epic sunsets descend between buildings. It makes the city glow like never before.
Neon lights, giant television screens and billboards, and electronic ticker messaging, Times Square uses 161 megawatts of electricity per year. That's enough electricity to power 161,000 average U.S. homes and twice the electricity required to power all of the casinos in Las Vegas.