5.7 out of 10

5th Ave, Midtown

Ranked 17th best street in Midtown
40.7579080281303 -73.9776580267223
Great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


2/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5

"5th Ave from 40th to 48th"

All of the Avenues that run through midtown are very expansive and the neighborhood changes quite a bit between the lower and upper parts of midtown, so I broke the review into two parts. The lower part of midtown is so different from the upper, that it's like running through two different neighborhoods -- though both sections are extremely crowded and commercial during the day with out much of a neighborhood feel. That's really the only thing they have in common.
The lower part of midtown at 5th Avenue starts off with one of my favorite buildings in Manhattan, the main branch of the New York Public Library. This building is so gorgeous. It looks like a palace from the outside with sprawling steps and lion statues at the entrance. It has been in a ton of movies from Ghost Busters to Sex and the City and it really looks like a library meant for kings. The interior is no disappointment either. I'm nerdy and love libraries anyway but this place is the cream of the crop. It is not to be missed for a resident or a tourist and makes every other public library look look depressing.
The corner of 5th and 42nd is kind of cool as far as old meets new architecture. There's a lovely old building on the west side that was built at the turn of the century for transportation offices and a building directly across the street that's about the same height built nearly 100 years later. It's brick vs glass and a really cool study in the evolution of buildings . . even if none of the offices in the buildings are cool at all. The block on the same side as the glass building used to be quite the residential block. Boss Tweed once had a house here as well as a wealthy merchant who had such attractive daughters that they all married into families like the Astors and Vanderbilts. Now, it's just a bunch of commercial buildings with zero cool to their aesthetic but that's midtown nowadays, for the most part.
The block at 43rd was once pretty colored. It had a "colored orphanage" that was burnt to the ground during the draft riots and the last bar on 5th Avenue that was demolished in 1905. There's a Stanford White building that still stands where the orphanage was but it's a pretty boring block outside of that. And, the block at 44th took a very direct departure with businesses like the uptown chain of Delmonicos (probably the most famous New York restaurant that no longer exists) and a bank that was specifically for elite women (weird, right?). The buildings are pretty much all the same, but the block is vanilla and commercial now much like this neighborhood in general.
The block at 45th is still boring as far as people watching, restaurants and really any sort of fun activity. It houses things like the Philippine Consulate. But, it used to be a stretch of slaughterhouses so I'd say that's definitely an improvement. And, this stretch of blocks, if nothing else, is what people think of when they think of New York City, in my opinion. It's people in suits walking every which way, a million cabs whizzing by, and an endless sea of massive buildings. I tend to think of this stretch as an eye sore with nothing to do, but I guess to a newcomer from a rural area, this must be quite a sight. The last block of this section (47th) is one of the blocks in the diamond district. They don't call it that for nothing . . nearly every shop in this area is diamond dealing and it's one of the biggest in the world. The buildings are a bit older and this block used to have a lot of high end hotels with brownstones that all came down by the 20th century. 5th at 47th is what kick starts the part of 5th Avenue that most people know: the shopping part. And, the vibe changes into a very uptown sort of commercial street.
I wouldn't live on 5th Avenue because it's way too crazy during the day and dead at night. And, there is zero neighborhood appeal or energy, in my opinion. And, this part is particularly sad because there's nothing to do outside of the library.
  • The library
  • No neighborhood feel
  • No bars or restaurants
  • Crowded during the day
Recommended for
  • Professionals

"Great place to see some wild art!"

If you have never been to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on 11 West 53rd Street then I would highly recommend that you visit it the next time you are in the big apple. MoMA, as they call it, has some of the wackiest and most interesting exhibitions I have ever seen. With a wide variety of things, ranging from regular exhibitions to film and other multimedia, this museum is a must see. I had an amazing time there and did not want to leave. This makes a great place for singles, couples, and family.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Best Streets in Midtown


West 44th St

"Most forgotten street"
40.7566688315915 -73.984420568138

East 50 St

"East 50th Street"
40.7571799713041 -73.9739794867638

East 58th St

"Not a bad vibe - mixed things to do"
40.7622876239081 -73.9702549773178

8 Ave

"A little bit of everything"
40.767266899588 -73.9824752189475

West 47 St

"an amazing street"
40.7583210742079 -73.9825160080408

Vanderbilt Ave

"Street filled with fun and frolic"
40.7540263899126 -73.9772064394254

West 53 St

"The MOMA and pricey restaurants"
40.7635197896058 -73.9831888574784

East 56 St

"East 56th Street"
40.7609347587427 -73.9712401451688

West 55 St

"Good food and great shopping"
40.7647817238428 -73.9823234376464

West 48 St

"Lou Walters Way"
40.7587372306894 -73.9815603608052

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More