7.1 out of 10

8 Ave, Midtown

Ranked 4th best street in Midtown
40.767266899588 -73.9824752189475
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Shopping Options
  • Public Transport
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Tourists
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"A little bit of everything"

West 52nd is a very theatrey part of town. 52nd at 8th has two of the big Broadway theatres, The August Wilson and The Neil Simon. I haven't ever seen a show at either of these theatres, but they both often showcase musicals and I'm just really not a musicals fan. The Roseland Ballroom is next door to the Wilson and it is a live music venue, but they, generally, have bands that cater to the older, touristy theatre crowd so I haven't been here either. Across the street from Roseland is Gallagher's Steakhouse. The is allegedly where the New York Strip Steak was introduced and it was a very fancy and expensive place to eat around the 1940's. Unfortunately, like most of the theatre area, it has become a really touristy place and no one I know has ever been there.
The block between 5th and 6th was the biggest jazz club area in the city back in the day. It still has some speakeasys lingering around, but it has nothing to the tune that it used to. Much of the jazz scene moved into the West Village in the 60's but its cool to look at the facades of the places on 52nd because a lot of them are the same. Marlon Brando lived at 37 West 52nd in 1948. Apparently, his apartment had almost nothing in it.
One of my favorite places in the city is on this block as well: 21 Club. 21 Club is a restaurant that was built as a speakeasy in 1929. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had their first date here. It is incredibly pricey and snotty but fantastic for people watching and time travel. It doesn't seem to have changed a bit since it opened and on any given day there are old women in furs enjoying a leisurely lunch in the midst of a taxing day of doing nothing.
The rest of the block leading up to East 52nd is filled with big ugly buildings that replaced all of the mansions that people like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilt's lived in. It's a shame but that's New York for ya.
There's definitely stuff to see and do on this street but it's not the most happening part of town and it's no longer the most beautiful. It gets big points for 21 Club, though.
Pros
  • 21 Club
  • Theatres
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Tourists
  • Pricey
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Used to be really cool"

There's a really pretty church on the corner of 51st and 9th that is almost 150 years old and gets no love as far as landmark churches in this city go, so I thought I would mention it because the more well known churches are always so crowded. The architecture is really lovely and I love historical buildings. Directly across the street is the site where Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly died of a heart attack. He started the flagpole sitting craze in 1924. People are crazy.

There's a really funny church on the corner of 51st and 8th called the Times Square Church.

There's actually nothing funny about it except for the fact that it was founded to minister to the hookers, pimps, drug addicts, runaways and hustlers of the old Times Square. I'm not even kidding.

There's a hotel on the corner of 7th Ave called the Michelangelo that includes part of the old Taft Hotel. The Taft used to be one of the biggest and most notable hotels in the city. And, weirdly, a lot of people died in that hotel. Phillip Loeb committed suicide in one of the rooms in 1955 and I think that's really creepy but also cool as far as history and ghosty stuff. Across the street is one of the most famous and expensive restaurants in New York: Le Bernadin. It is incredibly stale as far as atmosphere and the food is inventive but I find it terribly pretentious. I, generally, don't like foodie restaurants and this place is no exception. The foie gras was definitely the best I've ever had, so I'm glad I went. But, I doubt I'll ever go back . . . especially after I saw the bill.

Sixth and 51st marks more of Rock Center and Radio City, which I wrote about on my review of 50th street. But on the north side of 51st, there was a place called Toots Shore which I am incredibly sorry is no longer with us. Like a lot of New York, this old school famous restaurant was overtaken by some boring skyscraper with suits in it. Toots Shore was a hangout for athletes, writers, actors, and society people. There's an infamous story that took place at Toots wherein Yogi Berra was introduced to Hemingway, and he said "You're a famous writer? What pape do you write for, Ernie?" Oh, athletes. . . .

There's still some history to be seen on West 51st and there are still some very posh restaurants and joints in the neighborhood, but 51st street is a sad example of how grand New York used to be. And, now there's just a bunch of tourist bologna.
Pros
  • Sight seeing
  • Theatres
Cons
  • Tourist Trap
  • Crazy crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Puttin on the Ritz"

For a street in the hustle and bustle of it all, this is one of the fanciest. Some of the most expensive apartments, restaurants and shops are on West 58th. And, this is the south entrance to Central Park just to add to the glamour of this street. I wouldn't want to live on this street, but all kinds of people with money do. It's just too busy for my liking but to each his own.
There's a law college named after the author of the Federalist Papers (John Jay) on the corner of 11th and 58th. I don't know of anyone who went here for Law but I'm sure it's gotta be somewhat credible if it has survived in this city. The next block over houses one of the lesser known hospitals in the city. But, if you live uptown and on the west side, this is your best bet. It's weird how there's such a scarcity of hospitals now that St. Vincent's closed. The only one people ever mention now is Beth Israel.
The corner of 58th and 8th is marks one side of Columbus Circle. The Time Warner Center is here and it's one of the weirder things I've ever walked into. There are businesses here, shopping, and most bizarrely, some of the most expensive restaurants in NYC. Masa and Per Se are two of the most noteworthy food endeavors on any foodie's list. They are both incredibly expensive and fancy pants. How weird is it that they're both located in a shopping center above a Sephora? All of these people in fur coats just cruising up the escalator to have a 1000 dollar dinner: strange much?
The building at the corner of of Broadway and 58th has an interesting past. It's now a Catholic School but it used to be a theatre where one of O'Neill's plays premiered. Then it was the site of the Dick Cavitt Show where John Irving Rodale died during a taping. Then it was where shows like the 20,000 dollar pyramid were taped. Now it's a school. Go figure. I would not want to be on those grounds after dark. Spooky.
There's a really beautiful apartment building on the corner of 7th and 58th called Alwyn Court. There have been some famous residents in the past and the restaurant on the ground floor, Petrossian, is famous for its caviar. You have to be pretty fancy to live in a building that has the world's best caviar. Next door to that is another extremely high end building. The Penthouse is in the neighborhood of 20 million dollars. I can't imagine buying an apartment for 20 million dollars when you can get a pretty sweet townhouse for half of that; but, it must work for some people.
The 6th Ave and 58th intersection is where the famous "I'm walking here" scene from Urban Cowboy was here. And, speaking of famous, The Plaza is on this corner as well. This is where a million million dollar weddings have been held, famous people have stayed and countless episodes of Sex and the City have mentioned. And, just to round out an extremely high end block . . Bergdorfs is a stone's throw away (58th and 5th).
Pros
  • The Park
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants - if you have money
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Really beautiful"

West 57th has a lot to offer for tourists and residents. It's beautiful, has a lot of history and there is plenty to do and see.
CBS Studios is on the corner of 57th and 11th. There aren't a lot of cool shows taped here but all of the CBS Soaps are here if you're into soaps. Across the street is where Ask Dr Ruth is taped. That woman is awesome so I thinks that's pretty cool. The corner of 57th and 10th has some really interesting things on it. There's a "Catholic Church" that has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic church but is actually some radical Protestant sect where they do weird things. Not as formidable as Scientology, I presume, but equally as strange. Across the street is a building called the Windemere. It's the oldest surviving project apartment complex that was originally constructed for bachelor women. I like that bachelor woman used to be considered as people that needed help. Well, actually, guess they still kinda are, huh?
There are a lot of beautiful apartment buildings on the block between 8th and 9th. The one on the south corner at 9th avenue has a gorgeous courtyard. A lot of 80's celebrities used to live there but it's pretty much just wealthy people now. The block is far enough west wherein it's still pretty removed from the mid-city bustle so I can kind of see the appeal of living in one of the buildings even though it's in the 50's. Hearst magazine headquarters are in a giant building that's impossible to miss on 57th between 9th and 8th. Not as filled with "clackers" and fashion drones as the Conde Nast building but you can still see some interesting people walking in and out because of magazines like Cosmopolitan. The Fisk building on the corner of 8th has a giant record label so if you're lucky you can catch someone from the Rolling Stones or U2 walking in.
The block between 6th and 7th is one of the more architecturally stunning blocks in the city. Carnegie Hall is on the south corner at 7th Ave. It's just gorgeous. There are no other words for it. You can't live in New York City and not see a show at Carnegie. Other beautiful buildings are Steinway Hall, The Metropolitan (ok, not beautiful but cool and 80's looking), and a little strip of rowhouses. As far as architecturally diversity, this block is hard to beat.
West 57th has eateries (like Nobu) cool places to hang (like Russian Tea Room) and shopping (Van Cleef and Club Monaco to name a few). It's not crazy as far as nightlife, but there is plenty to do and see. The block is really well-rounded.
Pros
  • Easy public transportation
  • Near some of the city's best restaurants - like Trattoria dell'Arte
  • Proximity to culture: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Central Park, the Theatre District...
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Perfect Street for Culture Vultures"

While midtown has long been thought the province of tourists and businessmen, the amenity-rich rental buildings and condos dotting the city's Art Deco landscape are increasingly becoming an option for well-heeled New Yorkers valuing location and culture over square footage. Far from family-friendly - the area is filled with blaring sirens, the mobbing of tourists, and is located near few of the city's great schools - midtown is nevertheless becoming a choice for older, established singletons and empty-nesters (including more and more seniors) seeking the convenience that midtown affords. 56th Street is one such option. Located just a block from the major transport thoroughfare of 57th street (easily walkable, but far from the noise), 56th street is located a stone's throw from Carnegie Hall, many of the city's Broadway and off-Broadway theatres, and a number of museums, including MoMa and the Museum of Art and Design. Culinary aficionados, too, will be delighted with the sheer amount of choice on offer here: among the city's best restaurants are Italian high-end Trattoria dell'Arte, the elegant Eastern-themed cafe at Hotel Meridien, and of course, the renovated Russian Tea Room, which may have lost its former status but is still a destination in itself. Whether you're a tourist looking for a day out, a businessman scouting a new office location, or an empty-nester or senior looking to live in a bustling, convenient area where cars are far from a necessity, 56th street is a well-worthy option.
Pros
  • Great nightlife
  • Varied restaurant scene
  • Thrilling energy
Cons
  • Not family-friendly
  • Noisy, busy
  • Crowded
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"Traverses every kind of lifestyle"

West 56th is a great mix of old and new, fancy and not so fancy. It's not the most exciting street for singles, but it is cool for stuff to see in the early evening.
All of the CBS soap operas are taped on 56th and 11th. If you're into soap stars, this is the place to catch one. Two flagship stores are on West 56th: Abercrombie and Fitch and Patsys. Abercrombie isn't all that cool unless you're young -- but before it was famous for ripped jeans, it was famous for selling hunting equipment like rifles. The brand has survived for almost 150 years so that's pretty cool. Patsy's is my favorite pizza in New York. I know I'll be met with a lot of contention for that comment but it is. And, this is the hub -- although the Harlem outpost has an anniversary every year with depression prices which is pretty cool. It was Frank Sinatra's favorite restaurant too, so if you have a problem with my opinion you can take it up with him.
There are two very famous places on the same block between 7th and 6th. Carnegie Hall and the Russian Tea Room are right next door to each other on the north side of the street. Carnegie Hall is a very famous concert house built at the end of the 19th century. All of the greats including the Beatles have performed here. And, this place is so old and beautiful I can see why they would want to. Next door is The Russian Tea Room. This was a important person powerhouse and the place, despite closing and reopening several times recently, is still pretty cool. It is old and opulent and definitely a must-do in New York. Across the street is the house to The American Ballet Theatre, Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey are all there which I think is pretty cool.
The block between 5th and 6th has just about every single kind of food you could want -- although none of the restaurants are especially renowned. If you want something quick and easy, this is the block. The very end of 56th marks the big Harry Winston store. So, if you're in the mood to check out some serious jewelry after some serious cavier at the Tea Room, this is the place. The diamonds at this store are incredible. I love that this street has Harry Wintons and Patsys within two blocks of each other. It's one of the things that makes New York so unique.
Pros
  • Things to see
  • Old world revisited
  • eclectic mix of activities
Cons
  • Not a real neighborhood kind of street
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A thoroughfare for culture vultures"

Located in the heart of Midtown, West 57th Street has it all for culture vultures. Proximity to some of the most thrilling and thriving arts scenes in Manhattan - from the glitz and glamour of the major Broadway shows to the highbrow classical and ballet performances at Lincoln Centre to the top-notch music at nearby Carnegie Hall - makes this busy neighborhood far more flavorful than the offices and business-lunch places that dot much of Midtown Manhattan. While the lacklustre high-rises, punctuated on occassion by scenic Art Deco buildings, don't exactly add character, West 57th Street is also an easy walk from Central Park, where evocative horse-carriages wait patiently outside the park walls to (depending on your perspective) either provide visitors with a charming Gilded Age experience or fleece them dry. The food in this area is also a cut above the businessmen's joints further south; head to the Trattoria dell'Arte on 7th Avenue for some of the city's best antipasti, Greek Molyvos for something more upscale than your typical taverna, or visit takeaways Morton Williams or Whole Foods for a cheaper option. Easily accessible either from the Q train or the 1-2-3 subway line. There is an M57 heading crosstown.
Pros
  • Near some of the city's best restaurants - like Trattoria dell'Arte
  • Proximity to culture: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Central Park, the Theatre District...
  • Easy public transportation
Cons
  • Litthe "neighborhood' or family-friendly feel
  • Noisy, busy
  • Could be prettier
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
4/5
2yrs+

"Spanning the heart of midtown"

Crossing the most vibrant sections of Midtown, West 52nd Street may not be the most livable thoroughfare in Manhattan, but it's certainly one of the most vibrant. Starting at the West Side Highway and flowing naturally into East 52nd Street at Fifth Avenue (with no park to delineate the Sides clearly), West 52nd has been known in the past as the "Avenue of Jazz" for its lively bars and clubs. While the area in Hell's Kitchen is probably better known for gentlemen's clubs than jazz proper at this juncture, the area between 5th and 6th avenue has a long history of hosting jazz greats throughout the 19th century. However, this reputation is somewhat undeserved in the present day - most jazz clubs have been replaced by banks, shops, and boutiques. But 52nd Street is still well worth strolling down. The Hell's Kitchen area is filled with delicious, exotic fare from the numerous restaurants in the area, while closer to MIdtown proper you have access to some of the city's most prestigious dramatic spaces, including the Neil Simon Theatre and August Wilson Theatres. Food tends to be more touristy the closer you get to Times Square, but a West-East stroll for dinner and a show is bound to be top quality in both food and entertainment.

Best Streets in Midtown

1

West 44th St

4/5
"Most forgotten street"
40.7566688315915 -73.984420568138
2

East 50 St

4/5
"East 50th Street"
40.7571799713041 -73.9739794867638
3

East 58th St

3.5/5
"Not a bad vibe - mixed things to do"
40.7622876239081 -73.9702549773178
4

8 Ave

3.5/5
"A little bit of everything"
40.767266899588 -73.9824752189475
5

West 47 St

3.5/5
"an amazing street"
40.7583210742079 -73.9825160080408
6

Vanderbilt Ave

3.5/5
"Street filled with fun and frolic"
40.7540263899126 -73.9772064394254
7

West 53 St

3.5/5
"The MOMA and pricey restaurants"
40.7635197896058 -73.9831888574784
8

East 56 St

3.5/5
"East 56th Street"
40.7609347587427 -73.9712401451688
9

West 55 St

3/5
"Good food and great shopping"
40.7647817238428 -73.9823234376464
10

West 48 St

3/5
"Lou Walters Way"
40.7587372306894 -73.9815603608052

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