Midtown East

City Living, Midtown East, More Top Stories

Rendering of Freedom Plaza. Credit: Soloviev Group.

As the competition for three New York City casino licenses heats up, the latest contender, Soloviev Group, announced this week a partnership with Mohegan in a plan that would include a partially subterranean casino anchoring a Midtown entertainment district near the United Nations headquarters. In addition to the casino, the mixed-use development known as Freedom Plaza would include a hotel, two residential towers, green space, a performance venue, a giant Ferris wheel, and–because nothing says “democracy” like a casino and a Ferris wheel–a museum dedicated to democracy.

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History, Midtown East

Joan Didion, undated.

The New York Public Library (NYPLhas acquired an extensive collection of papers and personal items belonging to writer Joan Didion and her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne. The archive of writings, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera provides a rich portrait of the celebrated couples’ life and work.

Find out more about the collection

Midtown, Midtown East

All photos courtesy of the Empire State Building

Employees of the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor Observatory will look a little different the next time you see them. The uniforms of Observatory hosts and gift shop attendants have been given a modern makeover, courtesy of fashion designer Peyman Umay, who for the last two years worked to create a look that would complement the style of the iconic Art Deco building and the observatory’s exhibit galleries. Replacing the previous burgundy and black attire, the new uniforms are light gray with blue trimming on the lapels, collars, and pocket flaps.

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Midtown East, Policy, Transportation

LIRR service to Grand Central Madison starts this week

By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, January 24, 2023

Photo of Grand Central Madison in December 2022; Credit: Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

After a month-long delay due to vent exhaust problems, Grand Central Madison will officially open this week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday. The first Long Island Rail Road train with service to Manhattan’s east side is scheduled to leave Jamaica at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday and arrive at the new terminal at 11:07 a.m. As part of the initial roll-out, there will be limited shuttle service between the two stations to help commuters get familiar with the new terminal, which cost roughly $12 billion, according to the transit agency.

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Manhattan, Midtown East, Restaurants

Image courtesy of Alex Fradkin

Simon Kim, the restaurateur who founded the Michelin-starred COTE Korean Steakhouse, will be opening a new dining concept inside the landmark 550 Madison Avenue. The new “multi-faceted” concept will span 15,000 square feet across three floors at the tower’s base, boast soaring 60-foot ceilings, and provide direct access to the building’s new landscaped, half-acre public garden. Olayan Group is currently leading a renovation of 550 Madison Avenue, which was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in the 1980s as the world’s first postmodern skyscraper.

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Manhattan, Midtown East, Restaurants

All photos of Cornelius courtesy of City Winery

Cornelius, a new high-end restaurant by City Winery, opened in Grand Central Terminal last week. The 75-seat restaurant offers patrons farm-to-table fare inspired by Gilded Age menus and created by Chef Zach Bondy. The restaurant joins two other concepts from City Winery, including a signature experience with tasting bars and City Jams, which has a first-of-its-kind wine-to-go program and an all-day menu.  Find out more

Cool Listings, Midtown East

This $2.5M Park Avenue classic six is a book lover’s dream

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, December 16, 2022

All photos courtesy of The Corcoran Group

It’s rare to find a classic deco-era co-op that has been beautifully renovated, yet retains every bit of its pre-war charm and grace. This three-bedroom home at the Emery Roth-designed 480 Park Avenue is just such a find. Asking $2,495,000, this six-room residence boasts a 28-foot living room, a formal dining area, oversized proportions, high ceilings, and hardwood floors. Beyond the elegant features and architectural details, built-in bookshelves that line several of the rooms make this a perfect home for your treasured book collection.

Read on

Midtown East, Transportation

All photos courtesy of Walks

Official guided tours of Grand Central Terminal are returning for the first time since the start of the pandemic. MTA Metro-North announced this week City Experiences’s sightseeing company “Walks” will become the new operator of the official tour of Grand Central. Tours of the historic landmark are available daily, starting at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $35 for adults and $30 for children.

Find out more

Events, holidays, Midtown East

All images courtesy of the Empire State Realty Trust

Santa Claus will be visiting the Empire State Building Observatory for the first time ever this holiday season. On two days in December, visitors can meet Santa and share their Christmas wishes on the iconic building’s 80th floor. The landmark skyscraper will be decked out with festive decor and offer musical performances.

How to meet Santa

Architecture, Green Design, Midtown East

All photos courtesy of Barret Doherty unless otherwise noted

The new public garden at Philip Johnson’s 550 Madison Avenue building opened this week, the final component of the postmodern landmark’s renovation led by the Olayan Group. Designed by Snøhetta, the lush privately-owned public space (POPS) is located adjacent to 550 Madison in a formerly enclosed mid-block passageway. Increasing the public space at the site by 50 percent, the half-acre garden is now the largest in Midtown East.

See more here

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