5.1 out of 10

West 50th St, Midtown

40.7600041041603 -73.9806779564062
Great for
  • Shopping Options
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Safe & Sound
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists


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

"Tourism mecca"

The two buildings on the corner of West 50th at the start of midtown (5th Ave) are pretty funny in that they are supposed to be dedicated to the British and Italian . . .they ended up being buildings that contain shops like Cole Haan and the Banana Republic Flagship store. Soooo, basically the Americans did what they do best which is pretend to care about other countries. It does make for some nice variety in the shopping arena, however. There is an actual building on this block called the International Building which has nothing International in it. The closest thing on this block to a culture and country mix is the Rockefeller Ice Skating plaza on the west side. It's massive and a pretty good place for people melting and watching. I don't really like ice skating rinks but from what I understand, I'm the only person that doesn't go here.
The next block brings Rockefeller Plaza proper which is an absolute tourist zoo nearly 24 hours a day. The south side of the block holds the studios for shows like Saturday Night LIve, 30 Rock and the Today Show. So, there are always people hanging around trying to get a glimpse of one of the cast members of the show. It's particularly crazy on Saturday Night as fans can often get pictures with cast members of Saturday Night LIve. I've been to the show a few times and it's an absolute madhouse after the show right here. It's also a madhouse in the winter on the weekends because across the street is the ever famous Radio City Music Hall. It opened in 1932 and saw premieres of movies like Singing in the Rain as well as being featured in several movies itself. It's kind of a cheesy theatre nowadays but it still looks magical.
The block across 6th takes a rather depressing departure featuring massive commercial buildings like the Exxon, Lehman Brothers and Time and Life Headquarters. These buildings are what you think of when you think of a massive Manhattan skyscraper. They are enormous buildings with people rushing to and fro outside of them. The block also holds one of the largest TGI Fridays which I think is kind of sad. I love their potato skins just as much as anyone else but that's some prime real estate to put such a touristy kind of chain restaurant. And, who goes to New York City to eat at Fridays? Apparently, a lot of people . . .
The final block of 50th in midtown holds the ominous Morgan Stanley building and the lovely Winter Garden Theatre. It would be half saved by the theatre if it weren't for all of the tourists lurking around. The theatre is old and beautiful and saw the premieres of shows like West Side Story and Funny Girl. It's a staple in the theatre world and a nice relic to have in the midst of all of these big corporation buildings. It's a reminder of what the neighborhood used to be.
I wouldn't want to live on 50th because there are just too many tourists in the area and not enough of a neighborhood feel or local good restaurants and bars. But, there are things to do, I guess. You just really have to like living in a place that's crazy busy all day and doesn't have much of a life at night.
  • Kitschy things to do
  • Transportation
  • Crowded and loud during the day
  • No neighborhood feel
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists

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