5.9 out of 10

Midtown

Ranked 34th best neighborhood in Manhattan
40.7589910156659 -73.9789072711045
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Internet Access
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Parking
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Cost of Living
  • Clean & Green
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Retirees

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"An Amusement Park of Sorts in Midtown West"

This is the busiest part of Manhattan in terms of tourist activity. Who can blame them with all thre is to see. While some may not like the crowds and bright lights, I get revved up by it all and always enjoy being part of the vibe of Times Square. On a few occasions, I have even been part of the crowd who wait for the ball to drop on New Year's Eve.

Times Square is located at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and extends from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street. Aside from the theaters, there are all those lit up billboards and fun stores. Times Square is the only neighborhood that requires building owners to display illuminated signs. It is all these digital and animated advertises that help to create the incredible exciting vibe that draws both tourists and locals.

The area has changed dramatically from times past when it was ripe with crime and prostitution. You did not want to walk through this area after dark. The 1980s saw the beginning of revitalization and "Disneyfication" of the area when the Walk Disney Company opened a Disney Store in the area. This was followed by several other family-friendly stores, such as the Hershey Store. The Hershey Store offers jars of Hershey chocolates, collectible Hershey souvenirs, along with Hershey clothing and toys. You can even have the store display your name on its marquee (for your 15 minutes of fame). Another fun store is the MTV store in the Paramount building in the middle of Times Square with is bright yellow MTV logo announcing that you have arrived at the center of the pop music world. The MTV store is chock full of many MTV souvenirs, from T-shirts to tote bags, to radios all carrying the MTV logo. Then there is the Virgin Megastore between 45th and 46th Street hosing the city's larges multimedia center with everything from DVDs books, cafe, and move theater. The store also hosts occasional live music events and book signings.

In recent years, a pedesetrian sitting and walking area has been set up the length of Times Square that does provide a bit more space for the crowds. It is also a great place to sit and people watch or share a snack.

Restaurants abound in the area. There is the famous Carmine's on West 44th offering some of the best Italian food to be had anywhere, along with Sardi's, also on West 44th, where many of the Broadway starts can be found having a late dinner Another well-known place is Ruby Foos on Broadway and West 49th Street a funky Asian fusion restaurant offering both adult and kids menus (which lists hot dogs, of all things). There is also an Olive Garden, a somewhat less pricey venue for those who miss home.

Transportation in and out of the area is excellent with nearly ever subway serving the area: 1, 2,3,7, A,B,C,D,E,F,N,Q,R, W, and V

While I admit I am glad that I don't need to be in the Times Square area every day, I do enjoy my visits. The area reminds me of why I love this city so much; if offers vim vibe and vigor extraordinaire.
Pros
  • central location
  • Proximity to theatre district
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
  • It's Times Square!
  • some big theaters nearby
  • Fabulous signage so identifiable with New York
Cons
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • Chain restaurants
  • Tourist infested
  • You're the only New Yorker there
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The Most Crowded Area of the City"

Midtown reminds me of tourist centers in every other touristy destination in the world: everything is overpriced and marketed to tourists and the locals don't want any of it.

Living here? Don't see how that would be possible as most of the area is skyscraper office towers and stores. If you did find a place, the cost would be astronomical and you would have to deal with the Midtown crowding every single day. The trains will get you here from anywhere but forget driving or buses...or really even walking. You're right next to Broadway but how often are you really going to shell out $60 for a ticket?

As far as visiting here, Midtown is obviously a must-see for any tourist, which is why it is always packed. Right next to Time's Square you have the Empire State Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, Carnegie Hall, the Plaza Hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Trump Tower, and Bryant Park. Tons of shopping and entertainment as far as the eye can see but the food is okay at best. Overpriced tourist food around here, I'd recommend nearby Hell's Kitchen. Great comedy clubs all over the area too, all are highly recommended.

Overall, this is a place every tourist wants to go and should and a place no resident really wants to go but often has to.
Pros
  • Transportation
  • Byrant Park
  • Famous landmarks
  • Plenty of stores
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
4/5
2yrs+

"infamous but sanitized"

What happened to the sex shops, porn theaters, and drug dealers? Times Square used to be one of the seediest places in the US if not the world. It used to be Disneyland for adults, now it's just Disneyised and made tame. But nobody seems to notice because they've gotten used to the place's new aura. Doesn't mean it's a bad place, just not what it used to be famous for.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5
2yrs+

"Great place...for tourists"

If you’re a tourist, I’m sure I can’t convince you to skip out on this horrible hell hole – but if you’ve been once, you’ve been as much as you’ll ever need to go. I guess if you like crowds that move at about four feet per minute, this is your place. The same goes for people who love shiny objects and flashing lights. But Times Square, to me, is just a place where tourists go to buy corny I heart NY t-shirts or stare up at the windows of the MTV studios (though I don’t know how much that goes on with TRL no longer on the air).
I can’t imagine living here and I feel deeply sorry for anyone who actually does. The area is filled with expensive hotels, though, if you’re looking for a location that offers plenty of chain restaurants and hoards of photo-snapping tourists.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
2yrs+

"Do people live here?"

I actually know that people do, in fact, live here. But the only happy resident I’ve ever met was a person that lived on the twenty-eighth floor. It wasn’t high enough to get away from the lights, he said, but it mostly cut down on the noise.

Everyone who has been even near Times Square knows that’s it’s crazy busy all hours of the day and night. It’s just a big, shiny mess. It’s extremely crowded, even by New York standards. And it’s crawling with retail places: the Gap, Starbucks, Ann Taylor Loft, Forever 21, Toys ‘R Us, etc, etc, etc. Then there are the extra kitschy places, like the store that sells only M&M’s. And the store that sells only Nike. Then there’s the Olive Garden and the Red Lobster and the TGIFridays. I don’t know why the tourists love it so much, because it’s exactly like the mall back home, only more expensive.

However, from a resident’s standpoint, there are a few advantages. It is centrally located and over the Times Square subway stop, which can get you anywhere you want to go in the tri-state area. It’s in Midtown, which is great if you work there. It’s near the great restaurants of the Theatre District and Hell’s Kitchen.

Still, though, I would have significant trouble getting over the swarming people every time I wanted to get a quart of milk.
2/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"Commercialism and Tourism"

Midtown. It's a necessary evil. It's a pit of traffic and tourists. But it's where a lot of us Manhattanites make our money. And if you look hard enough - or should I say, elbow your way through some out-of-towners hard enough, you can find somethings that make Midtown worthwhile.

Good things in Midtown: Fifth Avenue shopping if you can handle the crowds: further down in Midtown, the shopping is affordable fare like Zara and H&M. As you walk north, you’ll hit more designer boutiques. Bryant Park: while also overrun by tourists quite often, this is a really pretty little oasis right smack in the middle of Midtown with tables to eat lunch at, a charming carousel, places to grab a little gourmet sandwich and such a nice leafy lawn. The best part of Bryant Park is its events, like the Holiday Market during winter and outdoor films in the summer.

But mostly, Midtown is for two things: commercial industries and tourists. Yes, the theater district is tops if you’re going to a show but if you’re not, whatever are you doing there? All of the restaurants are marketed toward tourists, so you know what that means: bland, generic food at hiked-up prices. Like Carmine’s? What a bad excuse for New York Italian food. Restaurant row? There’s not a respected culinary force to be seen. You don’t have to go far from Midtown to hit cool Manhattan spots – beer bars await in Hell’s Kitchen and Murray Hill, Central Park awaits uptown, the Flatiron District awaits downtown. But unless you’re looking to get shoved around while you shop at Toys R Us and eat at Red Lobster, there’s not much reason to go here.
Pros
  • Transportation
  • Byrant Park
Cons
  • bars are lame
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • Petty crime remains a problem
  • Ugliest streets in Manhattan
  • Devoid of character
Recommended for
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"A Tourist Mecca but don't get stuck here!"

Times Square is the tourist heart of New York City. To my knowledge, there are no apartments in this immediate vicinity. The closest residential neighborhood is Hell's Kitchen. So, if you're in Times Square, one of three things is true of you: You have the misfortune of working in an office building in the area, you're a local on the way to a show, or you're a tourist. Locals actually avoid Times Square like the dentist chair. In fact, when I have to go into the area for a show, I allow extra time just to get through the pedestrian crowds from the subway to my destination.

That said, if you're a tourist, it's a lot of fun to be in Times Square. Don't spend your entire visit here, however, and think you've seen New York. While too much of Manhattan is becoming filled with chain stores and restaurants, this area is more ridden with these kinds of businesses than the rest of the city. I assume that most tourists have an Olive Garden in their own back yard, so why not walk a couple of blocks over to Ninth Avenue where you can eat at an authentic Italian restaurant with excellent food? All it takes is to walk that one block or two, and you're in the real New York. If you think you'll be spending more for your meal in the "real New York," think again. Times Square is overpriced for tourists. You'll get better prices at the better restaurants. It's a strange New York phenomenon, but it's true.

In other words, have your fun in Times Square. Take pictures of the lights, enjoy the hoards of people, and see shows. But be sure to see other parts of the city that are really what makes it tick.
Pros
  • at least it's iconic
  • Proximity to theatre district
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
Cons
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • Chain restaurants
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • few authentic, non-tourist bars
  • Tourist infested
Recommended for
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Midtown – A True Urban Living Experience"

Bright lights...taxicabs...skyscrapers...the hustle and bustle of millions of New Yorkers rushing here and there. Living in Midtown Manhattan is the stuff movies are made of – Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Wall Street, Sex & the City -- a one-of-a-kind experience that you’ll either love or hate.

Many of New York’s famed tourist attractions are found in the two square miles (approximately) known as midtown. Rockefeller Center, Broadway theatres, the Empire State Building, the United Nations, Fifth Avenue shopping, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, the Carnegie Deli, and Radio City Music Hall are just a few of the iconic spots in the area that runs from 31st Street to 59th Street between Third and Ninth Avenues. Areas of Midtown are usually referred to as Midtown West and Midtown East, and those neighborhoods are further sub-divided into smaller neighborhoods known as Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea (Midtown West) and Turtle Bay, Murray Hill, Kips Bay, and Gramercy (Midtown East)

Each has its own unique charms and challenges. And different neighborhoods are more suitable to specific demographics: families (Kips Bay), hipsters (Hell’s Kitchen), LGBT people (Chelsea) and the ultra-wealthy (Gramercy). Everywhere in Midtown, however, you’ll find restaurants, movie theatres, and plenty of things to keep you busy.

Accommodations go from down-and-out to top-of-the-line. In Midtown West, you’ll find a gritty urban landscape despite the ‘Disney-fication’ of 42nd Street and the Times Square area. There are large areas of un-improved tenement buildings where hard-working blue collar families and individuals are forced to share the streets with drug dealers and gang members. The further west you go, however, the nicer things are getting, particularly along the newly developed waterfront area. Dozens of luxury high rises have sprung up along 11th and 12th Avenues.

Midtown East is the polar opposite. Block after block of high rise towers dominate the north and south avenues there. And on the side streets, you’ll find luxurious townhouses, many of them single family dwellings. Just like on the Westside, you will also find fabulous residences along the waterfront. But unlike the Westside, it is safe, serene, and extremely beautiful.

Although the extremes of Midtown have the most to offer in terms of spectacular apartments and extraordinary views, the cost of living there is high, both in terms of rent/mortgage and time. Cross-town commuting is slow going whether you take public transportation or a taxi. And late night, it may be difficult to find a cab in more obscure areas.
Pros
  • Byrant Park
  • Transportation
  • central location
  • Proximity to theatre district
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
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 5/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Midtown: Everything You Need is Right Here"

If you're the type of person that likes to be in the thick of it all, then Midtown is the place to be. This is where you will find Times Square and a bulk of the businesses that drive the commerce of the city. Large business buildings, theaters, tons of shops along the avenues, eateries, clubs -- you name it, it is all here and more. You could spend the whole day here just visiting the many different stores. Apartments are available but are extremely expensive especially the more central the location. The area is typically quite clean because of the prominence of tourists, and there are many hotels which afford a nice diversion. The Marriott in Times Square for instance features the only revolving restaurant and is a nice place to bring tourists who will appreciate the view! Other places that are fun to visit are the Toys R Us also in Times Square which features an indoor ferris wheel, and Caroline's on Broadway which is one of the oldest and most prominent comedy clubs in the country.

One can always find interesting places to eat along the side streets or visit a museum or two. The Metropolital Museum of Art is along 52nd Street and offers a great escape from the NY summer heat. Lots of transportation here as this is where tons of people come to work every day. Because of that, lunch specials in restaurants abound to draw commuters. Take note, that summers and Christmas time are quite busy. Radio City Music Hall is often busy with concerts but during Christmas it features its famous show with the rockettes.

If you can though make sure you visit the skating rink at Rockerfellar Center and stroll along Fifth Avenue if only for the window shopping.
Pros
  • Shopping
  • Byrant Park
  • Rockefellar Center
Cons
  • Crowded at certain times of the year
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The Heart of the City"

Midtown, the heart of it all! I love the area and while I wouldn't live here due to the noise and crowds, it is a must see destination for tourists and locals alike. The area is primarily commercial with some residential buildings scattered about (think Trump on Fifth Avenue and 53rd). Fifth Avenue also has some of the most expensive shopping in Manhattan with Saks and Tiffany's located mere blocks from one another.

Although all parts of midtown are pretty busy, by far the most crowded is Times Square. However, it is nicer since they blocked traffic and built walking and bike lanes. In the summer, people sit at one of the many tables to people watch and have a bite to eat. You almost don't know what to look at first. There is the large ToysRUs store, the Hershey's Store, and all those billboards covered in bright lights. The area has come a very long way from the 1970s when crime and prostitution ruled the Times Square neighborhood.

On the more sedate side is the always pleasant Bryant Park. In the warm weather, people sit on the grass to eat lunch, read, take in some sun. There is also a quiet area sectioned off named the Reading Room with books donated by the publishers of books and magazines. On the south end you will find the carousel open to both children and adults. It is also fun to watch a ping pong, tennis match and even a bocci game on the west side of the park. You can also catch a free movie in the summer--arrive early as the lawn fills up quickly. in the winter you can ice skate on the smaller-size rink which comes down in February in order to prepare the lawn for the upcoming season.

About 8 blocks north is the famous Rockefeller Center known for the lighting of the Christmas tree and its ice skating rink, a bit larger than the one at Bryant Park.It is a pretty little area lined with high-end shops and a restaurant that surrounds the rink. In the warm weather, the restaurant extends seating outside in place of the rink. The food is good but Rockefeller Center itself is an Art Deco building and the center is filled with many sculptures themed "New Frontiers" to signify man's development in the arts, sciences, and industry. Rockefeller Center hosts tours and you can buy tickets to the Observation Deck which rises 70 floors high. From the top you will have an exhilarating and unobstructed 360 degree view of Manhattan and points beyond.

Radio City Music Hall is in back of Rockefeller Center on Sixth Avenue (also known as Avenue of the Americas). More than 300 million visitors have come to Radio City Music Hall since its opening in the 1930s. Radio City Music hall is the largest indoor theater in the world with a marquee that stretches a full city block. It is the sight where the famous Rockettes perform in the Christmas Spectacular.

Restaurants abound at all price levels. One of my favorites is Carmines on West 44th, a fine Italian restaurant. This is a good place to spot some Broadway stars after the show. If star-watching is your thing, you can also check out the famous Sardi's also on West 44th (indeed steps from Carmine's). This is convenient in case you wish to have dinner in one place and dessert in the other to increase your chances of spotting celebrities.

Transportation to and from the midtown area is excellent with every train or bus line within a block or two walk.

I could go on and on about the Midtown area but hopefully I have included enough to whet your appetite for a visit.
Pros
  • Transportation
  • Byrant Park
  • beaux-arts architecture
  • The Grand building of the New York Public Library
  • Famous landmarks
  • Plenty of stores
  • The New York Public Library
  • Proximity to the retail corridor of 34th Street
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • Too busy at times
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"The Most Crowded Place On Earth - Only For Tourists"

Times Square is simply too much of a tourist trap for New Yorkers to actually ever go there. There are no apartments so all you really have are theme restaurants and other cutesy attractions.

The big movies theaters are here, so are the big Broadway theaters and a few major shopping venues (though nothing you can't find elsewhere) are the only things that may draw some New Yorkers to the area. When you are here, prepare to move at the speed of paint drying as the foot traffic, street vendors selling tours, nuts, pretzels, and sodas, and tourists stopping to take photos impede your every move.

For tourists, I'm sure this is a great experience. The area is filled with things to do at tourist prices. There are a lot of studios and tapings going on, there are stageplay and film theaters, restaurants like Olive Garden, The Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, and countless other theme restaurants. There are big flashing lights everywhere, tall historic buildings (which look cool from the outside but are filled with very miserable people on the inside), shopping as far as the eye can see, and even a few nifty museums (the Wax Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not, etc.). It is all very touristy. Every major city has one of these neighborhoods but it's New York and it's Time Square so take any tourist trap and multiply it by a thousand and that is what you get. It is like Vegas without all the fun parts.
Pros
  • central location
  • Proximity to theatre district
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
Cons
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • Chain restaurants
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • nothing but fast food joints
  • Tourist infested
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
2yrs+

"Good for everything but living!"

Midtown Manhattan is not so much a neighborhood as a force of nature – or a force of mankind, I should say. There's very little natural about it. Don't get me wrong; I love midtown. It's the pulse of New York City, and it's great for tourists. It's also great if you need to shop or do business. But it certainly isn't for living.

Some other neighborhoods are technically considered to be in midtown (as opposed to uptown or downtown), but they are west or east of the central avenues of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, Madison Avenue, Park Avenue, and much of Sixth Avenue (aka Avenue of the Americas). There are some residences in this central midtown area, but for the most part, it's a commercial neighborhood with office buildings, stores, and landmarks. This is where tourists go – and should go. It's where you'll find Times Square, the theater district, the giant Toys R Us store, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Center.

But I can't imagine living in this area. It's entirely too expensive, crowded, and noisy. The truth is that locals only go into midtown proper to see a show, go to work, or shop. We steer clear of touristy areas otherwise because we're trying to get from point A to point B, not stroll and look around. Whenever I have to go near Times Square, I cringe because I know I'll have to fight crowds of tourists to get where I'm going. But as I said, this is the life blood of New York, so you've gotta love it.
Pros
  • Transportation
  • beaux-arts architecture
  • Byrant Park
  • The Grand building of the New York Public Library
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • Absence of good grocery stores in the area
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Center of the World"

Midtown has an awesome energy and if you can't feel it you have no business being in New York. Hustle and bustle is not something to avoid at all costs, hustle and bustle can infuse your lifestyle and keep you energized and eager to succeed. I personally love seeing young professionals dress well, ready to take on the world. Midtown has a snap to it. If you don't like it, move to the country.

There's more than just finance and industry. Midtown has the Museum of Modern Art--the best museum in the city with the most exciting exhibits, Carnegie Hall, New York Library, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC studios. Central Park is just a few blocks to the North and Midtown Madison Avenue has the best shopping in the city.

Is it crowded? Sometimes. When you live there you know how to avoid the crowds. Any neighborhood in New York City can be crowded at anytime. What are you going to do about it? Hide in your apartment? Brave the crowds...they'll get out of your way if you know where you're going.

Midtown skyscrapers are also inspiring. Again, if you find them ugly it's your own loss. To live in midtown you've got to love the crome and steel.
Pros
  • beaux-arts architecture
  • Transportation
  • Byrant Park
  • The Grand building of the New York Public Library
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"Mall of America"

Times Square has become this strange little hub in the center of Manhattan that actual New Yorkers don’t ever visit. Unless, of course, they are unfortunate enough to be employed somewhere in the area. The pedestrian traffic that fills Times Square can be classified as tourists – Times Square means New York to them. It’s the first thing they want to see when they make it to Manhattan. That idea is very strange, because there’s nothing about Times Square that’s very New York at all. The high-wattage lights and blinking billboards are more Vegas than anything, and the stores and restaurants that fill the square are actually catered to tourists to make them feel more at home instead of giving them a taste of the city they’re visiting. These places are all the same places they can find in their malls – American Eagle, Forever 21, Toys R Us, TGI Fridays, Olive Garden. Shoving through crowds to shop chain stores and eat chain food – not anyone’s idea of New York. Where are the tiny restaurants crafting each plate to be a gourmet treat? Where are the cool bars with the fascinating mix of creative types? Where are the boutiques and vintage stores? They’re not here, so there’s no reason for a native to go here – and it’s unfortunate that tourists think there’s a reason to go here, too, when they could be out exploring other neighborhoods and really getting to know this city.
Pros
  • central location
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
Cons
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • Chain restaurants
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • few authentic, non-tourist bars
  • nothing but fast food joints
  • You're the only New Yorker there
  • Too crowded and busy at all times of the day
  • Tourist infested
Recommended for
  • Tourists
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Theme Park, Not New York"

If you live in Times Square, you don't live in New York. You live in a Theme Park.

People who live in New York avoid this area, and unless you're a tourist you should too. It's crowded, awful, and the stores and "restaurants" (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co) cater exclusively to tourists. The only museum is Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.

Please understand. Nobody eating at these restaurants actually live in New York. They're from Middle America or Europe. If you want to experience New York Culture, you have to go far, far away from Times Square.

Unless it's New Years Eve...in which case you should leave the state.

The street merchants and tourists make navigating the sidewalks impossible. The I heart NY products that are for sale are an embarrassment.

If you live here, you need to live high up in one of the luxury buildings--so high you can't see Times Square, just the far reaches of the city.

Homeless people flock to Times Square, hoping to take advantage of scared tourists, and various scam artists annoy and follow you.

There's nothing good to say about Times Square. In fact, as a proud New Yorker, I apologize for it.

I'm sorry.
Cons
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
2yrs+

"Buck up people! It's not that bad!"

There are some horrible things about Midtown: the crowds, the noise, the people stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures, the swell of busy busy business people during the day. The winter holidays are by far the worse, when those red tourist buses are packed and there are hoards of gawkers trying to find their way down to the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. It’s amazingly annoying, to be sure.

There is a lot of high-end shopping here, but many of the more common stores are repeated farther down 5th, around the teens and twenties. If you need to go to Express, the Gap, H&M, or Barnes and Noble, save yourself and headache and get thee down the street a bit.

However, Midtown has many redeeming factors for residents. Many of the apartments are new and really beautiful, with full amenities. They’re also pricey, but less expensive than comparable abodes on the Upper West or East Sides. It’s a nice location to live in, with easy access to any other part of the city. It’s close to Central Park, which – even at the very busy southern end – is great for calming strolls. Midtown is fairly safe and clean and nearby some of the greatest restaurants in the city.

If you can talk yourself into enduring the holidays, consider living in Midtown.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Bright lights, bright city"

Established and received wisdom tells us that Times Square is anything but New York proper: a gaudy, glitzy array of chain stores, tourist traps, and blaring traffic, suitable for little more than a cursory glance by a passing tourist checking off items on a to-do list. But such a dismissal overlooks the very heart of Times Square's appeal. It's glitzy. It's gaudy. But above all things - in its camp and tacky way - it is New York. It may not be where the Upper East Side crowd goes to brunch, or where the hipsters have their raves, but there's something unbeatably corny about Times Square. It's the comfort-food of the city - a place to gorge on all the lights and sounds New York has to offer. Its shopping and dining options may not sound like all too much, but for this seasoned New Yorker, sometimes a walk through the neon lights of Times Square is just what the doctor ordered.
Pros
  • It's Times Square!
  • Proximity to theatre district
Cons
  • You're the only New Yorker there
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • Chain restaurants
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Full of Commercialism"

If you are a businessman, or even a sales person, you would love midtown. There are stores, offices, and restaurants in the area. This is known as the center of Manhattan and should be considered the center of business and commercialism. Everywhere you go you see stores, commercial buildings, and what not. Of course, on top of the stores are apartment buildings. You will not go one place in NYC and not see apartment buildings over businesses. That is just the way Manhattan has been built.

There are schools around as well as medical facilities. You will see just about anything in this area. Getting here is easy. Just take the subway to any stop from 40th St to 60th St and from 3rd Ave to 9th Ave. In fact, if you walk down 42nd St, which is considered Midtown, you will eventually run into Times Square.
Pros
  • Plenty of stores
  • Famous landmarks
  • Mixed bag
  • Transportation
  • Byrant Park
  • The Grand building of the New York Public Library
  • The New York Public Library
Cons
  • Too busy at times
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • bars are lame
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • Petty crime remains a problem
  • Ugliest streets in Manhattan
  • Devoid of character
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Overwhelming commercial outpost"

While I understand the power this place has over tourists and people who have otherwise never seen New York City - and, hey, I even encourage them to go! check it out! make up your own mind! - I absolutely hate this horrible neighborhood. But, then, I rarely have an occasion to go. It's not as if I'm one of those people who needs to check out the latest Broadway musical - especially when the powers that be are letting people like Green Day contribute to the art form - and I don't especially want to spend ridiculous amounts of money at Saks or any of the chain restaurants that roost here in great numbers.

This is the neighborhood of flashing lights and sparkling sidewalks - as seen in Times Square - and it tends to be overwrought with crowds, which may be something that most people expect from this city, but in this case the crowds are a bit out-of-control and entirely slow-moving. Besides tourists, plenty of people make the trek to this neighborhood to go to their corporate professions so it stays incredibly packed during business hours.

I've seen Midtown - even Times Square - looking pretty desolate during the weeknight hours, and I suppose that while there are plenty of bars to be found they tend to cater to the after work crews and the tourist types rather than the trendy New York club goer.
Pros
  • The New York Public Library
  • beaux-arts architecture
  • Transportation
  • Byrant Park
  • The Grand building of the New York Public Library
Cons
  • bars are lame
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • Petty crime remains a problem
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Much too much"

I appreciate Times Square for what it is: a place of much too much-ness. There have to be these kinds of places in the world, and it just so happens that one such too-much spot is located in my town. I deal with that as best I can. The narrow, dense streets packed to the brink of madness with lights and people and cars, is as abnormal of an experience as you can get. A shot of pure adrenaline. You have to be careful not to overdose on the drug that is Times Square.

One interesting change in recent years is the general gentrification. There was a time when Times Square was synonymous with the shadiest activities you can imagine, like prostitution, drugs, and crime. Times Square used to be the center of so much illegal activity, and as a kid I was always told to steer clear of the area at night. Those days are long gone, and the area has become as safe as Disneyworld. Maybe a Disneyworld on sterroids, but really pretty safe and overly touristy. For locals, I think the vibe gets old pretty quickly, which is why almost no one I know ever has a reason to hang out there. The famed Broadway shows are also mostly for tourists.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Gives me vertigo"

Although it is hands-down the greatest commercial district in the world, or maybe because of this fact, Midtown is just really un-endearing. I routinely see people come out of the subways in Midtown, looking around with wide eyes, and going, “Wow.” Yeah, okay, wow. I see why the lights and the hullaballoo can be breathtaking and exciting to someone who has never been to New York before, but it's really hard to maintain that level of enthusiasm when you live in this city. The day-to-day reality of Midtown kicks in pretty soon: unbelievable congestion, gawking annoying tourists who all say the same things and marvel at the same details, stylized and corny commercial detritus, over-priced food, over-priced drinks, over-priced everything. I've also heard the phrase “epicenter of American theater” used to describe Midtown, but this really scares me, since I don't think that what passes for theater inside Broadway venues deserves that name. It is much more appropriately called entertainment, and what scares me is that your typical tourist from the Midwest wouldn't know the difference. Trust me, theater is something other than what you would see on Broadway, but since the Marketing Department at the NYC tourist office tells everyone so, that's where they all go. And since I'm on my Midtown gripe, let me just say that few other areas in the city show off the shocking contrast between rich and poor in NYC as does Midtown. There's something about those vintage Beaux-Arts skyscrapers and modern glass and steel mega-buildings that just drips wealth and privilege. Meanwhile, if you bother to notice, you might see some poor guy offering shoe shines at the train station, or standing all day next to a hot dog cart and selling hot dogs at $2 a shot. If you look closely at the details in this mess of lights and colors and money and tourists, you might just get vertigo.
Pros
  • beaux-arts architecture
  • breathtaking contrasts
  • everyone dressed so well
Cons
  • old-money feel
  • bars are lame
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"See it once and then avoid it like the plague"

The last time I had to accompany a visiting friend to Times Square for the obligatory tourist experience, I had to take an afternoon nap beforehand. Times Square literally makes me feel insane; there's too much sensory input, visual and acoustic and experiential, and I can't stand more than a few minutes of it before I feel totally exhausted and close to a mental breakdown. But, it does impress the tourists, as it is one of those iconic New York spots that everyone must see at least once. It is the quintessential place to gather for massive New York City events, like the dropping of the ball at New Year's eve, and also the quintessential place to drive though, a la the Fugees music video, with the top down and the music blaring. As of 2009, Bloomberg has put into effect a plan to de-map selected parts of the Times Square area, essentially eliminating car traffic in a few key locations and making them pedestrian only. The hope is that this will reduce some of the serious traffic congestion in the area. Times Square, once a notorious center of underworld and prostitution activities, was famously “cleaned up” in the 90's. It is now much more family friendly – to its detractors it is Disneyfied – and surprisingly safe. I still keep a keen eye on my wallet whenever I'm forced to walk around in this area, but it really is quite secure now, in contrast to ten years ago. Personally, I truly truly hate the Broadway theater scene and wish all those tourists would patronize some of the small, decent downtown theaters, rather than the sappy garbage that passes for entertainment on Broadway. There's just no accounting for taste.
Pros
  • central location
  • some big theaters nearby
  • at least it's iconic
Cons
  • nothing but fast food joints
  • few authentic, non-tourist bars
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Sensory Overload"

Times Square is one of the most talked about and visited parts of Manhattan, but it's definitely not a neighborhood -- it's more of a spectacle. I remember when I first came to New York and walked through Times Square at night: it's really mind blowing. Lights flash from every different direction, the crowd of people is insane, horns honking, police whistles, people yelling, the Naked Cowboy. It's really a unique experience. The first time you take in Times Square at night, you really really feel the energy of New York . . . not, a real New York New York energy that you come to know as you live here. But, this crazy energy of a city that people flock to by the thousands. It's a pretty incredible experience.
But, after you live here a while, Times Square is a word you groan at. I do everything in my power to avoid this place. The lights make me feel like I'm going to have a seizure, the crowds don't walk fast enough and it's impossible to get around them, the horns honk over and over again. It's an impossible area of town 24 hours a day. God, I hate Times Square. The tourists alone are enough to drive anyone crazy. And, it's really gimmicky. All of the stores and restaurants are completely catered to tourists so it's mostly big, crappy chains and a lot of smoke. It's really not a place you hang it. It's a place I go to great lengths to avoid.
Pros
  • at least it's iconic
  • central location
  • Proximity to theatre district
Cons
  • Chain restaurants
  • few authentic, non-tourist bars
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • nothing but fast food joints
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Oh Midtown -- what a necessary evil"

Midtown has everything that people talk about when they reference the New York dream. It's where the Broadway is, Rockefeller Plaza, the Empire State building, Times Square, etc. You have to walk around mid - town when you visit New York -- it's a requisite.
It's great because you can go to an old restaurant where all the old Broadway stars hung out after shows, like Carmine's. Then go to a great show with the cream of the crop of the acting world, head to the Top of the Rock to see the city in panoramic view. . .
Times Square is visually overwhelming the first time you walk through it at night. The lights alone are incredible and there are so so many people on the streets any time of day or night. You really do feel like you're in a dream when you're in midtown in so many ways.
But, it's also an incredibly annoying neighborhood to walk through or even go near if you live in the city. It's always crowded with tourists and slow walkers / gawkers. It's always dirty and loud. It's impossible to get anywhere in a timely manner if it involves midtown. This is really unfortunate because some of the nicest restaurants in the city are in this area. Le Bernadin and Jean Jacques along with a slew of other uppity, foodie haunts are all located within a few blocks of each other in this neighborhood. You exit a tranquil and very pampered dinner and get hit, immediately, with people exiting the TGI Fridays on their way to gawk at the Rockefeller Christmas tree. There are solicitors everywhere and a lot of gimmicky and dumpy chains everywhere and it just makes the whole are completely unpalatable.
I wouldn't live in this neighborhood if someone paid me. The amount of time that I have to spend in the neighborhood is irritating already; and the living situation is really depressing. It's not less expensive than a lot of desirable neighborhoods, but it's noisy, and too congested and makes your blood pressure boil within about five minutes. It's also rather difficult to get a cab because of the amount of people, so you feel stuck there for way longer than you want. . which for me, five minutes is already way to much.
Pros
  • Transportation
Cons
  • Ugliest streets in Manhattan
  • Tourists
  • Crowded
  • bars are lame
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"the city at its best"

well its always busy i mean millions of people everywhere. not to mention the noise and during rush hour there is a flood of people n not to mention ur average everyday pit-pocketer. so watch out if your a tourist. and never look up at the buildings u will fall backwards. also there are some great resturants and oh yeah if u like rats n roaches well be my guest quite frankly its not my cup of tea.
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"A home away from home for tourists"

Midtown East encompasses most everything that you think of when you think NYC: tall buildings, Bryant Park, an H&M across the street from a Zara, a Starbucks on every corner and just as many hot dog stands, United Nations and Rockefeller Center. This is a great area, and though it's crowded (especially in areas with multiple department stores), it's not nearly as packed as some places in Midtown West (Times Square, anyone?).

Tourists should take a stroll up and down Fifth Avenue, and so should residents at that. Midtown is full of hotels and caters to out-of-town visitors, so tourists should feel right at home here, because they practically are.
Pros
  • Convenient equally close to uptown and downtown Manhattan
  • Landmark buildings dominate the neighborhood
  • Safe
Cons
  • lacks personality
  • Some pockets of the neighborhood are very pricey
  • The nightlfe scene is dominated by the after work crowd
Recommended for
  • Tourists
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Dazzling Lights and Magic"

If you like dazzling lights, large TV monitors, digital screens, and all the glitter, but the onslaught of wall-to-wall people, you are in for a treat. Times Square has it all. If you are driving, it is hard to get around, but if you take the bus or subway, you can get right to it without a problem.

There are a ton of tourist that go through there every day. It is worth the time to check it out. There are many places to eat and tons of shopping. Make sure to bring your credit card.
Pros
  • at least it's iconic
  • central location
  • Proximity to theatre district
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
  • It's Times Square!
  • some big theaters nearby
  • Fabulous signage so identifiable with New York
Cons
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • Chain restaurants
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • nothing but fast food joints
  • Tourist infested
  • Too crowded and busy at all times of the day
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5
2yrs+

"Tacky and inhospitable - yet a standby for tourists and theatregoers"

Less a neighborhood than an institution, the glitzy, gaudy Times Square represents the best and worst of New York City: lights, theaters, gauze, and glamour alongside tacky neon signs, rampant commercialism, and swarming crowds of tourists. But love it or hate it, Times Square occupies a very special niche in the heart of the New Yorker - as the heart of the city's theatre district, Broadwaygoers tend to make their way here to see the latest in Great White Way Spectacle.

Nobody actually lives in Times Square. From the advertisements glimmering and gleaming from every billboard and video screen to the enormous stores and company office, home to MTV, Times Square Studios, and more, this is the most commercial of commercial districts. While it's worth a visit for sheer tourist factor alone, it's not particularly pleasant: culinary options tend towards Red Lobster and Olive Garden, a waste among the rich options of the city's dining landscape - and although the seedy reputation of decades past has vanished, the corporate shininess of the naughts is no more appealing.
3/5
2yrs+

"New York, New York! (Though not necessarily the real one!)"

Midtown Manhattan is at once the most New York and the least New York of neighborhoods. It contains some of the city's most recognizable landmarks, like Broadway, the gleefully garish Times Square, and Rockefeller Square, home to the famous Christmas tree and winter ice skating ring, along with the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. And yet it's a neighborhood of New Yorkers at work, not at play, and lacks the real neighborhood character and feel of areas like Carnegie Hill, Greenwich Village, or the East Village. The glistening skyscrapers belong to a New York that's highly mythical, a New York of film and legend, and it's true that spending time in this district, particularly around Christmas, can be breath-taking at first. It's fast-paced, exciting, and altogether exhilarating. That said, it's best an area to visit or to work in: the lack of "down-time," both in terms of leisure activities and in term of quieter streets, can often begin to feel overwhelming.

That said, any visitor to Manhattan should make sure to do the basics: take a walk through Times Square (it must be done!), and see the city's new, bizarre lawn chairs in the middle of the city, meant to promote eco-friendly walking as opposed to cars. Visit a Broadway show - from the old chestnuts to avant-garde pieces of new writing, Broadway really does have something for everybody. Key restaurants in the area include touristy-but-fun theatre standby Sardi's, the more authentic Joe Allen's, and the charming Trattoria dell'Arte on 57th Street and 7th Avenue, known as much for its delicious antipasto bar as for the enormous marble body parts with which it is decorated.
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Bryant Park- a green oasis in the heart of Midtown"

Some years ago I had the chance to spend a few months at cousin’s apartment that was located in Midtown on W38 Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Though the apartment building ( The Atlas) was quite nice as it had many coveted amenities like a roof deck and a gym , the area of Midtown where it was situated was quite characterless dominated as it was by office buildings that housed showrooms of garment manufacturers, bead and bauble stores and beauty salons that offered waxing and threading services.
What I did however enjoy was the apartment’s proximity to the city’s 34th Street retail corridor and its ease of access to Midtown’s premier patch of green, Bryant Park. Bryant Park is an oasis of calm located in the heart of the perennially busy neighborhood of Midtown West . This park which has the largest patch of green after Central Park provides a welcome refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.
In fact the park is a favorite of office goers who work in the various office buildings that surrounded and are located near the park as they enjoy kicking back in its lush green environs during their lunch hour or having an after-work drink at the park’s raucous open air bar at the Bryant Park Café.

Bryant Park which hosts New York City’s foremost fashion event, the New York Fashion Week twice a year is a center for much activity in Midtown for during the summer months when it is the choice location for concerts and movie screenings while in the winter months it offers free ice skating on 'The Pond' and a holiday market.

Moreover Bryant Park is also equipped with enough seating, free Wi-fi access and reasonably clean restrooms if you ever fancy working in the park on a beautiful New York summer’s day.
Pros
  • Byrant Park
  • The Grand building of the New York Public Library
  • Proximity to the retail corridor of 34th Street
  • beaux-arts architecture
  • Transportation
Cons
  • Absence of good grocery stores in the area
  • Petty crime remains a problem
  • Devoid of character
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • Ugliest streets in Manhattan
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • 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+

"Not for locals"

Last year when I was traveling on a long haul flight out of JFK to Asia, I got talking to my seatmate, a portly gentleman who was also on his way to Asia for a six month sojourn. My seatmate went on to tell me that he was retired and since he could no longer bear the bitter New York City winters, he spent the months between October and April each year in Asia where the temperatures were comfortably warm during that period. He also went on to tell me that he owned an apartment in one of the new condominium buildings in the heart of Times Square which he sublet for the period that he was away. While he was relating all this I couldn’t help but wonder why had he decided to invest in an apartment that was located in the most tourist infested neighborhood of the city when he had the rest of the city and its many enchanting residential neighborhoods at his disposal?
Times Square according to me is strictly for tourists who are enthralled by its ‘bright lights big city feel’ illuminated as it is by hundreds of neon signs. This area which lies at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue extends from W42nd to W47th streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues. It is home to several tall office buildings, mega stores (Toys R Us, Hershey) theaters, hotels, cheesy souvenir stores and several restaurants (Carmine’s, Ruby Foo’s) that serve mediocre fare at highly inflated prices.

Times Square features on every tourist’s ‘visit to the Big Apple map’ and as a result is one of the most heavily trafficked districts of New York City which seems perennially busy and congested. More so on the last day of the year when it becomes the epicenter of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations which are duly televised around the nation and the rest of the world.

The only saving grace of this intensely commercial area according to me is the fact that it is well connected to the rest of the city as it hosts a plethora of subway lines ( N, Q, R, W, S, 7, 1,2,3) at its Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street station. Additionally it also hosts several long distance bus services and the A, C, E, subway lines at its decidedly seedy Port Authority Bus Terminal which is located at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue.
Pros
  • Fabulous signage so identifiable with New York
  • The kitschy but typically New York Naked Cowboy
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
  • at least it's iconic
  • central location
  • Proximity to theatre district
  • It's Times Square!
  • some big theaters nearby
Cons
  • Too crowded and busy at all times of the day
  • Tourist infested
  • Chain restaurants
  • few authentic, non-tourist bars
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • nothing but fast food joints
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • You're the only New Yorker there
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Safe and secure"

Midtown east which stretches from 30th street east to 59th street is a mix of commercial and corporate enterprise as well as distinct residential neighborhoods such as Murray Hill, Sutton Place, Beekman Place and Tudor city.

Some of New York’s most famous buildings are located within this neighborhood like with the beaux art Grand Central Terminal Building which is located on 42nd street and Park Avenue, the iconic Chrysler Building which is located on 42nd street and Lexington Avenue, the beautiful Hemsley building which overlooks Park Avenue from its position between 45th and 46th Streets, the MetLife building and of course the tallest building in North America the Empire State Building which is a major tourist attraction that is located on 34th street and 5th Avenue. The United Nations which is located on 45th street and First Avenue is the most important institution in the area which also has several other diplomatic missions located within its boundaries. The presence of U.N and these diplomatic missions renders the area as an extremely safe and secure neighborhood.

Since the area also hosts numerous offices within its environs it is populated by several after-work bars and r eateries like the Smith and Wollensky steakhouse, P.J. Clarks, Le Colonial, Megu, Emma, Dos Caminos and several business centric hotels like the Courtyard Marriot which is located on 54th Street and 3rd Avenue, The Grand Hyatt which is located next to Grand Central Hotel, The Four Seasons Hotel which is located on 57th street and Fifth Avenue and the uber-stylish Pod Hotel which is located on 51st street between 2nd and 3rd avenues though the area also has some of the most iconic hotels of New York City like the Plaza, the Waldorf Astoria, the Sherry Netherland and the Pierre. Additionally the area also hosts some of the most well known upscale retail heavens of New York City like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and Henri Bendel which are all located along its section of Fifth Avenue.

Despite its profile as a commercial neighborhood in New York City, Midtown East is home to countless full service condominium buildings like the Corinthian and the opulent Trump World Tower which are populated by young families, couples and single professionals.
Pros
  • Landmark buildings dominate the neighborhood
  • Safe
  • Convenient equally close to uptown and downtown Manhattan
Cons
  • The nightlfe scene is dominated by the after work crowd
  • This is a mixed use neighborhood and it doesnt have a distinct identity
  • Some pockets of the neighborhood are very pricey
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Very Busy Area"

I have lived and worked in Midtown Manhattan and it is definitely a busy area since it is right near a bridge and lots of lawyer offices. It is definitely a place for business people but there are decent restaurants to eat there. There's some Mexican and also lots of sushi places.

There is so many places to go shopping as well. Best Buy, H&M, and of course, Bloomingdales, where I practically went shopping every day! But of course, Midtown is known for the more expensive tastes so if you are on a limited budget, I wouldn't shop there.

If you want to grab a quick bite, there are plenty of street vendors selling hot dogs and delicious gyros that come with rice for only $6!
Recommended for
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"Quiet on the weekends!"

Midtown extends from Eighth Avenue to Lexington Avenue and between 42nd and 59th Streets and is a neighborhood frenzy of activity. If you don’t like a lot of hustle and bustle, Midtown is not the place you will want to call home. But, for those who don’t mind the nine to five hustle of financial companies and the Broadway theater bustle Midtown is your home.

High-rises and luxury doorman buildings rule and reign in Midtown, and as a result one can expect to pay a stiff premium for that two minute walk to work every morning. Midtown also offer some pretty amazing dining choices. From institutions like the Four Seasons and 21 to the elegant upstarts like Ola, Midtown offers quite a variety for your palette.

Between Broadway, MOMA, and Rockefeller Center, and many upscale hotel bars in Midtown, but if you are looking for a real weekend club scene, look elsewhere.

Some great fitness clubs are in the area, like Equinox Fitness Center and Sola Pilates. You can also stay in shape by walking around Midtown on the weekends. Don’t expect to stroll the neighborhood on the weekdays or your blood pressure may rise due to the crowds, but Central Park is just north. Bryant Park is a popular place for a weekday picnic lunch.

Great bookstores, all-purpose retail chains (Walgreens Drug), hardware stores, shoe stores, and libraries (Modern Library) populate the neighborhood and make Midtown a popular place to live. Midtown is a business powerhouse and if you don’t mind the weekday masses, it’s a great place to live.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5
2yrs+

"Remind me to never move here!"

Manhattan's Times Square is exclusively for tourists; nobody else could be that deranged, right? Think again, there are many who call Times Square their home and live among the throngs of photo snapping crowds that move at a snail's pace along the sidewalk. Personally, you could not pay me enough to live in this neighborhood. If you hate peace, love ear buzzing and neon lights, this could be your haven.

The area is packed with theaters, tourist "traps," and glowing neon signs. More than one visit is one too many, but you should visit at least once in your lifetime. The Broadway marquees and MTV studio are fun to see, but again, get me out of here soon! I won't even return on New Year's Eve.

There is plenty to do and plenty to see. If you must, take the Big Onion Walking Tour and explore the history, architecture, and the "underworld" of Times Square. This will give you all you need to satisfy that touristy desire, then you can skip over to Fifth Avenue for some real shopping and retail therapy. "Therapy" being the operative word.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
4/5
2yrs+

"Tourists unite to shop and eat and marvel!"

One of my friends has a theory that all cities make a point of designating certain parts of their property as tourist attractions, and in this way the tourists stay out of everyone’s hair. I’m not sure how true this is, but if there was any neighborhood in Manhattan that attracted the most tourists, it would certainly be Midtown. Midtown is the tourist’s dream – particularly the Broadway theatre-going tourist. International tourists can get their fill of American chain restaurants (because certainly any U.S. citizen must be bored of eating at Hard Rock Café or Chilis), and admire the sparkling glass that lights up the sidewalks of Times Square. During my entire New York residency, I think I have graced this neighborhood with my presence all of two or three times. If you want to go see the Broadway show In the Heights, by all means check out Midtown. But if you’re looking for something that resembles real New York culture (besides a Broadway show), then run far away from Midtown.
5/5
2yrs+

"The heart of NYC"

Midtown is the center of New York City and the heartbeat of the city. A prime tourist location and a hectic yet jubilant section of Manhattan, Midtown West, spanning from 40th to 58th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenue, is a delightful haunt for native New Yorkers as well as first-time visitors to the city.

Midtown is filled with the sites that make New York City famous the entire world round. Here, you’ll find the famous Radio City Music Hall, home of the beautiful Rockette dancers, as well as NBC Studios Rainbow Room, where Saturday Night Live is filmed. Other wonderful sites include Carnegie Hall and Rockefeller Center. Carnegie Hall is one of the most prestigious performance spaces in the world and everything from opera to comedy has been performed on its hallowed stage. Rockefeller Center, home of the spectacular Christmas Tree and famous ice-skating rink, is a wonderful place to spend a day with the family, as well as getting in some high-end shopping. If you’re lucky, you might

Midtown is one of the most convenient neighborhoods to live in when living in Manhattan. Real Estate in the neighborhood is generally restricted to high rise apartments, but is also home to a cross-section of ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Transportation is extremely convenient with cabs, subway, and public buses more than readily available in this popular neighborhood.

Entertainment is a synch in Midtown, with the Theater District, home of Broadway nearby. Some of the most famous American Musicals including Cats, West Side Story, RENT, and The Lion King have shown here, and it is the stomping ground of some of the world’s most talented new faces in the theater world. This is the perfect place to spend an evening in the city.

Dining and nightlife in Midtown is plentiful, with several restaurants, both chain and upscale, lining each and every street. For some, just having an authentic New York City vendor hot dog will suffice after a long day touring the city.

Midtown typifies the energy of New York, and is a must-see for any newcomer.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5
2yrs+

"Seeing it in real life is a must"

Regardless of how many television shows and films you have seen this historic area in, you won’t believe your eyes when you first arrive. Busy and over the top doesn’t do it justice and you can easily spend a large part of your day wandering around in a daze looking up and trying to take everything in, all the while trying to dodge traffic and people going about their daily routine. It must be something to see Times Square that often that you become blasé about it but as a tourist, it’s a must see place in New York.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5
2yrs+

"Times Square is any New Yorker's..."

Any true new yorker will squirm at the slightest mention of times square.
...crawling with overzealous tourists that stop at the most uncalled-for moments when you need to be somewhere...
...bad overpriced fast food... red lobster, tgif, and any other restaurateur must not be serious about good food if they're opened in times square... olive garden might be your best option but did i mention overpriced food?
really.. what's there to like about new york??
...this is really not what new york is about but what the tourist want new york to be about... i really really dislike times sq
5/5
2yrs+

"Loving Times Square & Broadway Shows"

I always love going to Times Square on Broadway. I enjoy going here in the early morning when the people are busy bustling about to get their day started. I can be a bit frustrating trying to get through here when you're in a hurry and then have a tourist just stop in front of you to take a picture. Coming here at night is a whole other experience. The lights from the neon signs make it look magical. There is so much going on here it's like sensory overload.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5
2yrs+

"Full of lights"

Although it’s not really a “street,” it is home for the best restaurants and bars, for the best happenings in town, for the flashy advertisements, and it is exactly where the entire city joins together as it celebrates the New Year countdown every New Year’s Eve and where the new year ball drops.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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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