"Colorful History -- Corporate present"
West 44th starts off at 5th Avenue in midtown at the Bank of New York building which I find very telling about how this neighborhood used to be. This bank in a townhouse used to cater to only society women which I think is really amusing. I didn't realize women used to bank, but I guess rich women did. Next to that is another lovely old building that houses the Harvard Club. Across the street is one of Stanford White's buildings that used to house massive society parties. The sidewalk clock outside the building used to be all over Manhattan before the pocket watch and this is the last of the mohicans. The New York Yacht club is also on this block because this was a big Astor family plot back in the day. This used to be a very elite block and now it's mostly tourists and chain restaurants which I think is really depressing. The remainder of the block is dominated by hotels and relics of the past when this street was great. The Iroquois Hotel where James Dean used to stay is right next to the fairly new Sofitel. The Clash used to stay here all the time as well. The Royalton Hotel used to be the place of residence for writers including William Saroyan until it got a big corporate makeover by Phillipe Starck. Next to the Iroquois is the very famous Algonquin Hotel. This hotel from 1902 has the famous Round Table were literary big wigs meet once a week. Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and Gertrude Stein have all lived here with temporary guests including Audrey Hepburn, Olivier and Barrymore. It's a big deal in New York however crusty it has become in its old age. Across the street is the Hippodrome which used to have an arena where Harry Houdini and various carnival acts performed. It was quite the raucous block back in the day!
The next block leading up to Times Square I go into detail about in the Times Square section but there are a lot of theatres and a ton of people. It's a very tourist driven section but it's one of the streets to be if you're into the Broadway set. I wouldn't live on this street because of all the tourists, noise and trash. But, it's great for history because it used to be really colorful instead of corporate. And, a lot of the buildings remain.
- Historical sites
- Tourist machine
- Families with kids
"Most forgotten street"
The W 44th street is the mostly forgotten street in the midtown, but it is good place to live with the affordable cost, in this street there are some good finds between the 05th and 08th avenues, this street has the good food shop of "Viva pancho" in it, and also it has "Old belasco" theater in it, also it has little jewelers.... there are some offices and companies... mostly this street is suitable for all the peoples because it looks very piece fully...
- Families with kids
"All the glitz without the glory."
West 44th street is almost a forgotten street. 42nd street and the glitz and glamour has eclipsed the streets surrounding it but there are some great finds on 44th street as well between 5th and 8th avenues. There are many offices and companies in the area, but the street also intersects the famous time square. Because of it's location there is a ton of through traffic which can be a bit annoying for those walking around. Viva Pancho is a great food stop. It has a ton of atmosphere and great fajitas for those passing by. 44th does not get the glory it rightfully deserves. Tourists should step off 42nd and check out this gem.
"A wonderful street with a lot to offer....."
This is one of my favorite streets in Midtown. Not only are there some wonderful little jewels of hotels on 44th, like the Algonquin and the Iroquois, there is the wonderful old Belasco theater, still one of the premier theater experience hotels in the Theater District. A great thing to do on a Saturday, is to stroll down 44th (or any of the 40’s off Fifth Avenue) and look up at all the businesses in the upper floors. Unless you make an effort to look up, you don’t realize how many little specialty places there are left, like button companies, or print shops.