Midtown

Midtown, Restaurants

All photos courtesy of Angelina Paris

While traveling to France may be a distant dream at the moment, you can now get a taste of Paris in New York City. Century-old French patisserie Angelina Paris opened in Midtown near Bryant Park this month, bringing its beloved hot chocolate, signature Mont-Blanc pastry, and an all-day menu to its first U.S. location.

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holidays, Manhattan, Midtown

Photo by Michael Vadon via Wikimedia 

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has taken its rightful place in Midtown. This year, a 75-foot tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce from Oneonta, N.Y. will serve as the centerpiece for the famous event. Donated by Daddy Al’s General Store, the approximately 80-year-old tree last week was cut down, hoisted by a crane, and delivered by flatbed truck to Manhattan on Saturday. The public cannot attend the tree lighting ceremony this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the live event will be broadcast nationally on December 2.

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Midtown, Transportation, Urban Design

Can Times Square ever be completely car-free?

By Devin Gannon, Tue, November 10, 2020

Rendering courtesy of 3deluxe

It’s been over ten years since cars were first banned in some sections of Times Square. Is it time for additional street closures along bustling Broadway? In a new design study, the Germany-based architecture firm 3deluxe has reimagined Times Square to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists, trading vehicular traffic lanes for recreational activities, landscaped features, and public transportation. The concept comes as New York and other cities continue to reexamine the value of safe public space as the fight to control the coronavirus pandemic continues.

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CityRealty, Midtown

Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr cc

As was first reported by the New York Times, the famous ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center will be be open for the holidays this year, but it will be a much abbreviated season. The rink will open a month later to give more time to restaurants currently using the plaza for outdoor dining, and it will close several months early on January 17 to begin work on a major revamp that was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in April.

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Events, Midtown

Photo by Colin Miller

When the ice skating rink and holiday market opens at Bryant Park this month, things will look a little different than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the Bank of America Winter Village will require face coverings, reservations for the rink, and will debut a new layout of shops for optimal distancing. Now in its 19th year, the winter village will open on October 30 and run through March 7, 2021.

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Midtown, Restaurants

Photo (cropped) by Jazzy Guy via Wikimedia Commons

Ellen’s Stardust Diner has been a Theater District fixture since 1987, famous for its retro ’50s design, subway car entrance, and singing waitstaff. But like so many other restaurants in New York City, Ellen’s struggled to reopen due to the pandemic. As Broadway World reported in July, a photo on Facebook showed a notice posted at the diner from the landlord that said Ellen’s owed $618,459.22 in back rent. But good news–Time Out NY now reports that the restaurant and landlord seem to have resolved their conflict, and Ellen’s will reopen (singing waiters and all!) as of tomorrow.

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Featured Story

Features, History, Midtown, Transportation

Grand Central, Track 61, secret track, elevator, FDR

Image © Emily Nonko for 6sqft

The iconic Grand Central Terminal is a building with more than a few secrets. Constructed in 1913 with the wealth of the Vanderbilt family, there was a lavish private office (now known as The Campbell Apartment), glass catwalks, a hidden spiral staircase, and even artists’ studios on an upper floor. One of the most infamous secrets of the terminal, however, was a secret track used specifically for a president to access one of the most famous hotels in the world. Known as Track 61, it leads to a special platform that was never used or intended to be used in regular passenger service—it just happened to be in the right place.

Keep reading about Grand Central’s secret track

Events, holidays, Midtown

Photo credit: Countdown Entertainment, LLC, courtesy of Times Square Alliance

The Times Square Alliance announced that its annual New Year’s Eve celebration will take place this year virtually, and it will include the famous ball drop. This will be the first time in 114 years that the December 31 event will not have a crowd. The news came as Mayor de Blasio extended his executive order limiting event permits through December 31, 2020.

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City Living, Midtown

Photo courtesy of CV-19 ESSENTIAL

It was bound to happen–a store selling solely coronavirus-related products. CV-19 ESSENTIAL opened today in Herald Square, selling everything from masks and cell phone sanitizers to plexiglass dividers and UV lights. There’s even a “Safe Zone” Interactive Experience Center where shoppers can try out the gadgets (we’re assuming they’ll be sanitized between uses).

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Art, Midtown

Free outdoor sculpture garden opens at Rockefeller Center

By Devin Gannon, Wed, September 2, 2020

Illusory Progression, True to Myth, and Rhizogenic Rhythms by artist Thaddeus Mosley; Photo courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer

Another free public art installation has opened at Rockefeller Center. In its second year, the Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center opened on Tuesday as an outdoor sculpture garden with works from six major international artists. Originally scheduled to open this past spring as part of art programs offered by Frieze New York, the installation was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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