5.1 out of 10

West 56 St, Midtown

40.765662557728 -73.9824630444818
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Shopping Options
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Neighborly Spirit
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+


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

"Great tourist attractions"

West 56th starts off in a very uptown kind of vibe at 5th Avenue. 5th Avenue is known for its high end shopping and it starts in the 50's so this is right in the thick of it. The north corner holds the Abercrombie flagship store, which definitely isn't high end, but the tourists enjoy it and it used to be somewhat of a big deal back in the day. Directly across the street is the jewelry store, Harry Winston, which has always been a pretty big deal. It's ridiculously expensive and the one of the more popular engagement ring brands in the celebrity set. I always like their ads at this store. They're simple and elegant which I guess is because they don't have to try too hard. The Fellisimo store is in a lovely townhouse next door. It's one of the only townhouses left in the area and I think it makes the store a little bit cooler. It's kind of a downer to the aesthetic, however, because next to that there's a run of several to go restaurants that are pretty chintzy that cater to the tourist set which is enormous in this area. These little joints are the thing that make this street seem more midtown and I'm not a huge fan of that kind of energy. I'm not really sure why we need this many little Mexican joints on one block considering New York isn't even good at Mexican. It makes the block seem kind of slummy even with all of the cool buildings and ritzy stores. Benihana is also on this block which is one of my guilty pleasures even though its a very midtown chain kind of restaurant. I know a lot of hedgefund guys go to the Hana for lunch so it's not particularly touristy then but definitely at night and on the weekends.
The block across 6th has a couple of nice apartment buildings but they are completely overshadowed by the tourist draws that line the rest of the block. New York City Center which holds Alven Ailey, New York Theatre Company and the American Ballet Company amongst a few other performing arts companies is located on the south side of the block. It's a monster of a building but an incredible experience regarding anything you see here. It's pretty magical. Across the street is the Russian Tea Room. The Tea Room has been around for nearly 100 years. It started as a restaurant catering to the ballet company and then turned into a show business hang, then to a powerhouse hang and now finally into a tourist hang. People love this place but I wasn't at all impressed. The decor is fun in a ridiculous sort of way but the food was just ok and it really is mostly tourists. Carnegie Hall is next to the Tea Room which is one of the most famous concert halls in the city. There are apartments above the theatre which have always been to house artists (Marlon Brando once lived here) but the last few remaining residents are currently being threatened with removal. A lot of them are really old characters that wouldn't be able to afford staying in the city if they had to leave so there has been quite the protest regarding this. Bill Cunningham, the famous (in New York) style section photographer of the NY Times is one of the residents trying to hold on.
The block leading up to Broadway holds a few chain hotels and a massive Hooters if that isn't any indication of how tourist catering this block is. I can't believe there's a Hooters in Manhattan, but I'm not at all surprised its in Midtown.
There are some great things to do see and do on 56th but it's still a little too midtown for me to want to live here. There are people everywhere and none of the restaurants are neighborhood restaurants. Plus, there's almost no nightlife here outside of seeing a show. If you're visiting, this is a great street. But, living here, it's not my ideal.
  • Catching a great show
  • Crowded and loud during the day
  • Tourist catered
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+

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