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Midtown, Manhattan, NY (Photo: Fausto Giovanny Pinto/CUNY Journalism)
"Not only is Midtown the middle of Manhattan (give or take a few blocks), but also the center of it all."

Midtown

Is there anywhere in New York with more famous sites than Midtown? From the Chrysler Building to the Empire State Building, Times Square to Rockefeller Center, there is a lot packed into just a few blocks

Midtown is an apt name for this neighborhood. Not only is it the middle of Manhattan (give or take a few blocks), it’s also in the center of it all. New Yorkers come here to work, while visitors come to see some of the most recognizable sites on the island. Midtown stretches from Eighth Avenue west to Lexington Avenue and from 30th Street up to Central Park South. Fifth Avenue is the divider between east and west. There are multiple options for subways and trains and buses from outside the city, including the transport hubs at Grand Central (42nd Street and Park Avenue) on the eastern side and Port Authority (42nd Street and 8th Avenue) and Penn Station (31st Street and 8th Avenue) on the western side.

There is a lot to see in Midtown, with classic sites around every corner. Start at Grand Central, which is part of Midtown East, to gawk at the elaborate astrology-themed ceiling painted with the constellations. Then it’s just one block east to the Chrysler Building. Walk back west to see the grand New York Public Library at 40th Street and 5th Avenue and say hello to Patience and Fortitude, the marble lions that guard the entrance.

Now that you have crossed Fifth Avenue, you are in Midtown West. Head south for the Empire State Building and shopping along 34th Street, including the Macy’s flagship. You’ll also find Koreatown, with restaurants serving authentic bibimbap and bulgogi. North of 42nd Street is Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Modern Art.

Nestled within Midtown’s western boundaries are two more micro neighborhoods packed with important sites: Times Square and the Theater District. Times Square, home to the annual rocking New Year’s Eve and enormous outposts (especially by New York standards) of familiar stores and restaurants, would be unrecognizable to residents in the 1970s, 80s, and even 90s, when the area was much rougher than the family-friendly destination it is today. The surrounding Theater District has Broadway theaters, naturally, and restaurants catering to the pre- and post-performance crowds.

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