Getaway Midtown ManhattanAccess
I recommend accessing by subway and walking the neighborhood.
New York (United States)
New York is huge. I try to know every corner of this city, but I can't.
I have been there 3 times. The first two were by pass and I was very few days. I saw the typical things that makes me an idea of the city. The third and last one was the objective of the trip and things changed. I spent there almost two weeks. I organized the visits in four areas: Upper Manhattan (Harlem), Central Park, Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Newark.
To see Midtown Manhattan I started the route in the south of Central Park taking 5th Avenue as my axis and going until to 23rd Street. I have tried to do the route to minimize displacement.
I'm an Android woman, not an Apple fan, and if I'm honest, the first thing I went to see is Apple Fifth Avenue. I did not enter. I wanted to see the famous glass cube with the reflection of the surrounding skyscrapers. The building is amazing. The cube is not too big, it is illuminated with colored lights and the apple floats in the middle. I think it is awesome.
Going down 5th Avenue and very close is the Trump Tower. It is the headquarters of the offices of the Trump Organization and one of the most luxurious apartment buildings in New York. It also has cafes and restaurants; But, for me, the most interesting thing is its peculiar exterior architecture. It is located next to the famous Tiffany jewelry and is one of the most iconic buildings in Manhattan.
On the parallel street (Madison Avenue) and six corners below is the legendary Palace Hotel. It is now called "Lotte New York Palace". I stayed for three nights on my first visit in 2005. It is a 5 star luxury hotel. It is perfect in everything, but its location is what I most value. In this hotel I experienced an unnecessary scare that surprised me a lot. I saw an amazing interior staircase that led to majestic doors, and when I decided to take photos with the camera, in a few minutes two security people came to prohibit me. It had only been 4 years since the attacks on the twin towers and, for security reasons, it was forbidden to take photos of the entrances to the establishments. This is what they told me.
Leaving the hotel, you can see the back of New York Cathedral (Saint Patricks Cathedral). From the outside, I was only struck by the mix of neo-Gothic style in the middle of the skyscrapers. Nothing else. As a cathedral or church, from my point of view, the European ones are much more spectacular. But it is worth entering. The ceiling, columns, and organ are amazing. The front door is on 5th Avenue.
In front of the main door of the Cathedral, is the Atlas. It is a statue of the Rockefeller Center and represents the ancient Greek Atlas that holds the sky on its shoulders. Don't ask me why, but I was impressed to see it at night. What can I say about Rockefeller Center that you don't already know? When I first saw it, it was nothing new. The image of the skating rink with the giant Christmas tree is so prevalent in the movies that the image is familiar. The square is soon seen. If you have time, go to Top of the Rock. They say it is one of the best viewpoints in the city. The day I went there was almost two hours of queuing and I decided not to wait. In one of the corners of the center and with access from outside, is FAO Schwarz. It is one of the largest and spectacular toy stores in the city. As a curiosity I have to say that this is where Tom Hanks movie "Big" was filmed. On the other corner and already on 6th Avenue, is the famous "Radio City Music Hall". It is considered the most important theater in the country.
Already on 7th Avenue and a little further south, there is Times Square. It is the New York square for excellence. I had the same feeling as in the Rockefeller Center: it was familiar to me. It's been seen so much in the movies. It is famous for its bright advertisements. They say the cheapest ad is for Coca-Cola, which pays $ 1 million a year under an old contract. The square has a lot of life.
Going down a little further but heading east, is the well-known Grand Central Terminal. I have not been in this station until my third visit to the city and I regret it. It is elegant.
Nearby is the iconic Chrysler Building. It is probably one of the most emblematic buildings in Manhattan and I dare say: one of the most beautiful. The photos from the outside do not look good because it is very attached to other skyscrapers. You can only enter the hall.
Continuing south is the famous Empire State Building. The building is not worth much; but it is mandatory to go up to the viewpoint on the 86th floor. There are people who say that it is better to go up at night. I went up during the day and, despite coinciding with a foggy day, the visit was really worth it. The viewpoint is four winds; that is, it goes all the way around. This allows views in the direction of the four cardinal points.
A little further and westbound is 34 Penn Station. It is a train station that has nothing. It is not pretty, it has not any charm; but it has to be seen. In Europe we are used to seeing the train track of our destination on the screens. Normally, we look at it and calmly walk towards the platform. At 34 Penn Station it does not work in this way. There is a hall full of screens. People wait together looking at them. When the train is entering it shows which platform it will go on and this causes races for people who have just enough time to arrive. It seemed like a curious way to complicate life...
A casual but correct place to have diner is Tir Na Nog. It is next to Penn Station. It is a place with a lot of life. At the top there is a little more tranquility. The service is fast and the cuisine is correct.
The next stop is one of my favorites in the city. These are two relatively new places that I discovered on my last two visits: Vessel and The High Line. Vessel opened to the public in 2019. It is a very curious building; in fact, it is not even a building. It is an structure that was built as part of the development of the Hudson Yard. There are those who say that it is a representation of a panel of bees and there are those who say that it is a shawarma. It was designed by an Englishman and the parts were made in Italy. You can go up to get a different perspective of New York. The High Line was another discovery. An original idea that I fell in love with. It is an elevated linear park built on an old train line that is no longer in use. They are 2 kilometers to walk. An oasis of tranquility in the middle of the fast-paced city. Located in the Chelsea neighborhood; It goes from Chelsea Market (I'll talk about it in the post in Lower Manhattan) to Vessel.
For those of you who are football fans, and more specifically Barça fans, at Smithfield Hall NYC is the Barça fan club of NY where you can watch all the games. I was "lucky" to experience Liverpool's legendary comeback against Barça in the 2019 Champions League. Horrific match.
An ideal place to eat is La Pecora Bianca NoMad. It is an informal place, without much pretension and with a good value. The space is diaphanous, with white furniture and a lot of windows. I had a unique dish Truffle Tagliatelle that was really good.
Next door is the Rizzoli bookstore. I was very excited to find it. I wasn't looking for it and I suddenly found it. It is one of those places that made me smile, because it is where the movie "falling in love" with Meryl Streep and Robert de Niro was filmed. And this movie is one of my favorites.
Continuing down Broadway Street towards Madison Square Park, you arrive to the famous Flatiron. It is one of the most photographed buildings in Manhattan. It is a skyscraper located in a triangular building. This popular name has earned it for the similarity to a clothes iron. The official name is Fuller, which is the surname of the architect who built it around 1900.
It is perfect to finish the tour of Midtown Manhattan in this building.
I recommend to read: Lo mejor de Nueva York 5 (Guías Lo mejor de Ciudad Lonely Planet)
To see Midtown Manhattan well I recommend spending three days.