The Midtown Guide
Save for the theatre district, this slice of the island has historically been associated with office buildings, salad bars, and little else: When you ask most New Yorkers where to get a great lunch or after work drink, you’re met with blank stares. We’ve rounded up the best of the best, including a lot of great new arrivals, as the neighborhood has been enjoying a Renaissance of sorts. Here, our favorites for everything from a quick lunch to the perfect hostess gift.
MoMA11 W. 53rd St., Midtown | 212.708.9400
Despite its popularity, which translates into lines around the block on any given day, MoMA is still one of our favorite places in the city. Whenever we come to visit, whether to walk the permanent collection or to check out a new, contemporary exhibition, we always spend some time in the white marble-clad sculpture garden, a rare respite in the middle of bustling midtown. The MoMA has plans to expand into what was previously the Folk Art Museum next door: Headed up by architectural practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro, it will certainly be as artfully conceived as the famous 2002-2004 revamp.
New York Public Library5th Ave. at 42nd St., Midtown | 917.275.6975
The iconic seat of the NYPL takes pride of place on Bryant Park in Midtown. While it is still an important research institution, it's also a landmark we like to visit for many reasons beyond the book-lined shelves, from the Children's Library housing the original Winnie the Pooh Dolls, to the Rose Reading room, where anyone can grab a seat and work in peace and quiet, to the excellent bookshop, full of NYC-themed storybooks and classic reads. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the exhibitions themed around the library's holdings and the stunning Beaux Arts 1911 building itself.
Pace/MacGill32 E. 57th St. 9th Floor, Midtown East | 212.759.7999
Since the '80s Pace/MacGill has been showing some of the best artists in modern and contemporary photography. As part of The Pace Gallery family, the standards for work and placement here are as high as they come.