What to Do in Midtown East (City Guide Magazine)

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What to Do in Midtown East

September 28, 2015 - by City Guide

Midtown is not only the center of Manhattan, but also the center of many visitor trips to New York. This section covers the east side of Midtown, approximately 34th Street to 60th Street, east of Fifth Avenue.

Exclusive clothing stores on Fifth Avenue and well-known landmarks have turned this into a desirable residential neighborhood. Younger crowds have brought in a great nightlife, with a string of bars and restaurants on Third Avenue.

One of the newer attractions in the area is the Premier 57 Spa (115 E. 57th St.). A day pass to the 39,000-square-foot spa (capacity: 480)—which includes use of an Asian/European bath area, indoor and outdoor Bade pools (hydrotherapy spa facilities; not swimming pools), lounge areas, sauna rooms, and other communal areas—will be $65. There is an on-site bistro for healthy food and beverages, and in the Bade Pool, there is a swim-up Aqua Bar. Hours are 9am to midnight, seven days a week.

Premier 57 Spa
Premier 57 Spa

Gramercy Park is located in the southern part of Midtown East, between 21st and 23rd Streets and bordered by Park Avenue South and Third Avenue. It's best known for its small, fenced park, the last private park in the city accessible only to residents of surrounding buildings. Click here for more information on its history. Murray Hill is another residential neighborhood from 29th to 42nd Streets bordered by Second and Fifth Avenues. The area around Lexington Avenue and 28th Street is known for its high concentration of Indian restaurants.

Midtown East is also home to some of the city's most famous buildings and structures. Grand Central Terminal isn't just the world's most famous train station—it's also a midtown destination for shopping (with a multitude of specialty stops), dining, public events, and tours. GCT is steps away from the Chrysler Building, which, while not open to the public, remains the one of the world's finest examples of 1930s Art Deco architecture and the second-tallest building in the city. The United Nations headquarters, built in 1949-50, is also nearby. Guided tours are offered seven days a week (except during January and February, when the UN is closed to the public on weekends). The 56-story Chanin Building is one of the more well-known, ornate Art Deco buildings in the city. One of the city's finest examples of 1960s architecture, the steel-and-glass Ford Foundation Building is home to a beautiful, open-to-the-public, 1/3-acre interior semi-tropical garden complete with lily pond. Beautiful churches are also found in this area, including St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Bartholomew's Church, and St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral.

Many important cultural institutions and museums are also in this neighborhood, including the Museum of Sex, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, Japan Society, Morgan Library & Museum, and Scandinavia House.

Dining in Midtown East quick links: Benjamin Steakhouse; Darbar (Indian); The Sea Fire Grill (seafood).

Shopping in Midtown East quick links: DataVision (electronics); Eastside Luggage; FAO SchwarzGenesis (leather fashions); Harley-Davidson of New YorkMidtown Comics; Sony Store; Schumer's Wines & Liquors.

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