Stretching from Fifth Avenue to the West Side Highway and 34th Street to the southern tip of Central Park, the Midtown West area is home to many storied landmarks: the Plaza Hotel, Sardis, Carnegie Hall and the Russian Tea Room, to name just a few. Always vibrant, Midtown West is remarkable for its great diversity. From housing, music and theater to restaurants, bars and shops, Midtown West is the great melting pot, a destination for tourists from all over the world who mix and mingle with locals out for post-theater dinner or a stroll along Central Park South.
At the heart of Midtown West is the Times Square Theater District. Until the 1990s, Times Square was still a rundown red-light district dotted with adult stores and theaters. Throughout the next decade, the area began to quickly morph into a family friendly destination, as Mayor Rudolph Giuliani led the effort to close down adult establishments along 42nd Street and replace them with Disney on Broadway and other G-rated fare.
Though much of the area caters primarily to tourists, locals also delight in the tastes, sounds and sights of this enthralling district.
Even for the seasoned New Yorker, a trip to Restaurant Row at 46th Street between Broadway and Ninth Avenue inspires a sense of awe when considering the choices — everything from 100-year-old Barbetta (the oldest Italian restaurant in New York), to romantic French bistro Le Rivage, and B. Smith’s, the eponymous Southern-influenced restaurant from the celebrity chef and restaurateur.
To the west of Times Square is Clinton, previously known as Hell’s Kitchen. Once a poor area besieged with violence, Clinton is now a prime residential neighborhood featuring a large number of new high-end condo developments such as The Links, a 44-story, glass-cube-like building developed by Elad Properties at 310 West 57th Street.
Clinton is a vibrant residential neighborhood featuring a lively restaurant-and-bar scene along Ninth Avenue. Given its proximity to Broadway and its more affordable rents, Clinton has long been home to actors just breaking into the business, with celebrities such as Burt Reynolds, Bob Hope, James Dean, Madonna, Jerry Seinfeld and Sylvester Stallone having lived there while “paying their dues” in the industry.
In stark contrast to the Times Square area, the northern edge of the neighborhood — running closest to Central Park South — boasts some of New York’s most expensive real estate, shops and landmarks. Icons include The Plaza Hotel, recently renovated and partially converted into condominiums that have commanded some of the highest prices in the city, and the Time Warner Center, the twin mixed-use buildings at Columbus Circle that feature exclusive residences, along with an upscale mall on the lower floors housing acclaimed world-class shops and restaurants.
While the area is primarily known for theater and music, Midtown West is home to the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography, as well as smaller institutions devoted to art and culture of a specific region.
Midtown West is within close proximity of virtually every subway line in the city and is also convenient for walking, with many area residents opting for walking as their primary mode of transport.