"The MOMA and pricey restaurants"
There's a church at 9th and 53rd that was built in the 1830's specifically for the Catholic Black Congregation. It was moved from downtown at some point but it's crazy to think that we used used to do things like that. Just up at Broadway was the former site of the Marshall Club-- a place where black performers, artists and writers hung out in the 1900's. It's so interesting to me that the neighborhood has now turned into part stuffy uptown / part theatre tourist enclave. Being the tourist trap that this part of town is, West 53rd is almost entirely hotels. But, there aren't any of the high end or noteworthy hotels on this street. What is noteworthy, however, is the MOMA -- which is at 53rd between 5th and 6th. To be totally honest, this is my least favorite museum in the city. I'm not a huge fan of modern art and the architecture that goes along with it. But, the museum has Van Gogh, Dali and Picasso so it was nice to be able to have seen them. The cool thing about the MOMA, in my opinion, is the gift shop. And, as far as really pretentious restaurants go, the Modern is the best one. The food is still inventive but isn't scary and the ambience is as static as other restaurants of this caliber. Across the street is an equally pretentious place, The Grand Havana Club. It is a private cigar club that is basically all Republican Men smoking expensive cigars inside. It is a really wild sight to see. I don't know if being in that place was horrifying or entertaining but I'm glad I did it. There's a lot to do on West 53rd if you have the money. It's boring as hell as far as nightlife and regular dining go. But, if you have money to blow on a day, then this is a good place to start.