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Midtown Manhattan: Attractions, restaurants, real estate and more

While the pulse of the city quite literally pumps from midtown, the area isn't exactly known as a cozy place to live.

Dominated by office buildings, hotels and tourist attractions, it's well-suited for daily commuters -- many of whom take Metro-North to Grand Central Terminal -- and tourists who descend on Times Square and the Theater District.

But the area isn't only packed with visitors because of its train access: its digs are so expensive, many can't afford to stay as residents.

Midtown has experienced an explosion of new developments,
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Midtown has experienced an explosion of new developments, but most of the buildings are in the ultra-luxury market with units that typically sell for millions of dollars. For example, a penthouse at 432 Park Ave., the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, is on the market for a staggering $81 million.

The median recorded sales price in midtown in August was $1,195,000, according to StreetEasy. The median asking rent that month was $4,378, according to the listing's website.

Those in search of less expensive options head toward the East River or Hell's Kitchen, outside the nabe's boundaries.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

"The people who target midtown are generally those looking for a pied-à-terre, corporate relocations or international customers familiar with midtown who want to be close to Central Park and the high-end shopping on Fifth Avenue," explained Nathaniel Faust, an associate broker with Citi Habitats. "A lot of people use midtown as a starting point and then move away after a few years."

Part of what deters longtime residents, he said, is that the area is in the city Department of Education's District 2, which only has four grade schools for the entire area, and some complain that its grocery stores are sparse.

And while midtown includes Bryant Park and Paley
Photo Credit: Total due via Flickr

And while midtown includes Bryant Park and Paley Park within its borders and is just south of Central Park, it's more known for being jammed with high-rise buildings than for having greenspace.

To make up for this, residential buildings in the area offer their own urban refuges, like landscaped gardens and roof decks, plus amenities including fitness centers and swimming pools.

Midtown also offers a plethora of entertainment options
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Midtown also offers a plethora of entertainment options such as Broadway shows, performances at Radio City Music Hall and plenty of places to eat and drink.

"I moved to midtown because I wanted a change of pace," said Elia Wolberger, 34, a special education preschool teacher who relocated to the nabe from the Upper East Side two months ago. "I really like the hustle and bustle of the area and how it's conveniently central to all areas of the city."

Finding midtown

Midtown is bordered to the north by East
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Midtown is bordered to the north by East and West 58th Street and to the south by 40th Street west of Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street east of it, according to StreetEasy. It falls between Eighth Avenue to the west and Lexington Avenue to the east.

What to do in Midtown

The Theater District, Sixth to Eighth avenues between
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

The Theater District, Sixth to Eighth avenues between 41st and 54th streets: It's not just for tourists! Head to the Theater District to see a star-studded musical.

Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.: Take a break from hectic city life and take in some of the world's best art collections. Bonus: Fridays are free from 4-8 p.m. moma.org

Top of the Rock, 30 Rockefeller Plaza: The Empire State Building gets all of the attention, but the views from the observatory atop Rockefeller Center will wow even the most seasoned New Yorker. topoftherocknyc.com

Where to eat in Midtown

Hunt & Fish Club, 124 W. 44th St.:
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Hunt & Fish Club, 124 W. 44th St.: Expect delicious steaks and fish, plus a celebrity sighting or two, at this hot spot. huntandfishnyc.com

Little Collins, 667 Lexington Ave: Head to this Aussie-style coffee shop for a flat white and some of the best avocado toast in town. littlecollinsnyc.com

The Halal Guys, 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue: A midtown staple, the Halal Guys (pictured) are known for their addictive gyros and secret white sauce, served from a street cart. thehalalguys.com

Where to party in Midtown

The Rickey, 210 W. 55th St.: A brand
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

The Rickey, 210 W. 55th St.: A brand new hangout in the Dream Hotel, it serves creative cocktails in a swanky setting. therickey.com

The Campbell Apartment, 15 Vanderbilt Ave.: Tucked away in Grand Central Terminal, this lounge is one of the neighborhood's hidden gems. 212-953-0409

Faces & Names, 159 W. 54th St.: A popular after work hangout, this pub (pictured) serves great pub fare and strong drinks. facesandnames.com

Where to shop in midtown

Fifth Avenue, between 57th and 48th streets: Upscale
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Fifth Avenue, between 57th and 48th streets: Upscale stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue cater to the well-heeled, while those looking for basics can check out H&M, Forever 21 and Uniqlo.

Lee's Art Shop, 220 W. 57th St.: This Midtown institution -- in the same 57th Street location since 1975 -- carries everything from art supplies to furniture to funky gifts. leesartshop.com

Grand Central Terminal market, 89 E. 42nd St.: Locals and commuters can grab goodies from vendors including Murray's Cheese, Li-Lac chocolates and Wild Edibles.

Midtown gets tallest building in the U.S.

While midtown remains unaffordable for many apartment hunters,
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

While midtown remains unaffordable for many apartment hunters, things are looking up -- way up -- for those in the high-end market. With projects including 225 W. 57th St., which will be the tallest residential building in the United States when completed; 432 Park Ave., currently the tallest; the newly opened Baccarat Hotel & Residences; and countless other luxe developments moving into midtown, the neighborhood continues to establish itself as the place to spend big bucks.

Midtown Real Estate

To rent 145 W. 58th St. #3M, One
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

To rent

145 W. 58th St. #3M, One bed, one bath; $3,725 per month

852 Eighth Ave. #4A, Studio, one bath; $1,850 per month

135 E. 54th St. #10B, Two beds, two baths; $5,400 per month

To buy

205 W. 54th St. #11F, One bed, one bath; $497,500

125 W. 56th St. #3B, Two beds, one bath; $620,000

100 W. 57th St. #15P, Studio, one bath; $389,000

2015 Midtown market data as of Nov. 11:

Median sales price: $1,480,000

Number of units on market: 771

Median rental price: $3,900

Number of rentals on market: 1,850

Midtown basics

Transportation Trains: C, E to 50th Street and
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Transportation

Trains: C, E to 50th Street and 42nd Street/Port Authority; E to Seventh Avenue/53rd Street and Fifth Avenue/53rd Street; N, Q, R to 59th Street/Lexington Avenue, Fifth Avenue/59th Street, 57th St., 49th Street and 42nd Street/Times Square; 1 to 50th St.; 1, 2, 3 to 42nd Street/Times Square; 7 to 42nd Street/Times Square, Fifth Avenue/Bryant Park and Grand Central/42nd Street; 4, 5, 6 to 42nd Street/Grand Central; F to 57th Street; 6 to 51st Street and 59th Street; B, D, F, M to 47th-50th Streets/Rockefeller Center and 42nd Street./Bryant Park

Shuttle to 42nd Street/Times Square and 42nd Street/Grand Central

Metro-North at Grand Central Terminal

Library: NYPL 58th Street, 127 E. 58th Street

NYPL Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street

NYPL Terence Cardinal Cooke-Cathedral Library, 560 Lexington Ave.

Post offices: USPS Radio City, 322 W. 52nd St.

USPS Rockefeller Center, 610 Fifth Ave.

USPS Times Square, 340 W. 42nd St. #2

USPS Bryant Park, 23 W. 43rd St.

USPS Appraisers Stores, 580 Fifth Ave. #407

Crime

Midtown is covered by Midtown North at 306 W. 54th St. In the week of Oct. 26-Nov. 1, the precint reported seven robberies and five burglaries. It reported 14 rapes and no murders so far this year as of Nov. 1.

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