Tourists stay in midtown New York City in order to see a Broadway show or clip clop through Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage. After all, what else is midtown Manhattan good for?
Presumably, Getaway Mavens readers have done these things. Multiple times.
So really, what’s left to do and see within the slice of Manhattan between Broadway and 7th from Central Park to where they meet in Times Square? Hamilton? Seen. Book of Mormon? Done.
It’s time for Stephen. And a 99cent slice.
DO: Get free tickets to the Late Show taping. As this process takes up most of an afternoon into early evening, the experience is best for visitors who are not expecting to hit New York City museums and highlights that day. If you’re staying a block away (see recommended hotels below), it’s a cinch to walk on over to the Ed Sullivan Theater in the morning, fill out an “application,” (bring picture ID), wait for a short interview, (probably to make sure you’re not a drooling, stumbling, potential liability), and hope your name will be chosen in order to return to the theater at 2pm to wait at the end of a line consisting of other winners for another hour just to get your ticket. Then, it’s wait, line up, wait, more waiting, until at last, around 4pm, you’ll shuffle into the theater and are able to sit down at last. With his star rising, tickets are more difficult to get than ever before. But try anyway. It will be a highlight of your NY visit.
GO: Carnegie Hall. Playing this acclaimed concert hall is still the Holy Grail for every classical musician alive. So if it’s culture you crave after hours of ribald comedy, walk another block – or across the street, depending on hotel – to this palace of symphonic music.
Serafina Broadway Restaurant: There are Serafina’s the world over, from L.A. to New York, Dubai to Japan, India to Turkey. But this one, attached to Dream Midtown and stylized by David Rockwell, has got to be the most glittery: a Fellini-cinema spectacle of metallic mosaic murals. Though very good fish, chicken, and beef dishes are on the menu, devotees of Serafina’s pizza will want to go for the pies. But when I dine there, it’s always a homemade al dente pasta dish for me; either the Rigatoni Bolognese ($19.90), or the heart-shaped lobster ravioli in lobster bisque sauce ($25). So tough to decide as both are downright excellent.
EAT: 99c Pizza: Broadway between 54th and 55th. Employees of nearby luxury hotels prefer this bare-bones slice place over the more famous Ray’s (which happens to be across the street). Not only is this the cheapest pizza joint in New York, it is also, uniformly, one of the freshest not to mention stretch-cheese hot. For a buck, you’ll even get a paper plate and napkin along with your wedge of pie.
Where to Stay in Midtown NY
STAY: Park Central Hotel. Built in 1927 and NYC home to Hollywood stars and Eleanor Roosevelt, Park Central has come through top to bottom renovations and is another Midtown Mavens favorite reviewed here.