5.0 out of 10

West 42nd St, Midtown

40.7554794383701 -73.9856287437
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Pest Free
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Tourists


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

"The Library and the Park"

West 42nd's run through midtown starts off really beautifully. It would be a stunning block if it weren't for all of the people, trash, noise and traffic. It's really hard to beat a block that features a park and the NY Public Library. This library is absolutely stunning. The building is from 1895 and it features two lions guarding the sprawling steps. It has been a research library for many famous writers and inventors and featured in countless movies. It's hard to beat, aesthetically, as far as elegance and grandeur go. I've been to a couple of parties here and I'm always blown away by how beautiful it is. Across the street is an NYU housing building that is actually pretty (most of them aren't) with a couple of student-related places like a coffee and sandwich shop next door. The next few buildings after the NYU dorm are very modern looking and house businesses like the HBO headquarters. But, directly next to the library is Bryant Park. It has been set aside since the late 17th century for public use and was a big drug exchange park until the early 90's when it got a major makeover. It's now a really lovely park where Fashion Week was held for a number of years. The summer outdoor movie series held here is my absolute favorite in the city. It's an absolute rite of passage for me every year.
Once you cross 6th, you run right into massive skyscraper buildings like the Verizon Building and One Bryant Park which is one of the taller buildings in the city. Many moons ago, this block used to be all mansions but it's not a residential area at all anymore. There's even a peep show place on this block just to remind you that you're in midtown. The Knickerbocker Hotel building at Broadway is the only reminder of how the aesthetic used to be when the neighborhood started becoming commercial. It's a stunning building but a little out of place next to the very tall and modern Conde Naste Building (across the street). I love the Knickerbocker and I, somehow, don't think many of the Vogue employees stop to admire it on their way to work every morning.
There are a few nice things about 42nd, like Bryant Park, but on the whole, it's a really commercial area and it's way too close to Times Square for me to ever consider living here. It's loud and tourist ridden. And, there's no such thing as a local bar or restaurant around these parts and, subsequently, no neighborhood feel to it whatsoever.
  • Some beautiful architecture
  • Bryant Park
  • Loud
  • Tourists
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Tourists

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