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At the heart of Manhattan
This is perhaps the quintessential Manhattan street, or at least for midtown Manhattan. It is also one of the most expensive streets in the world (in terms of property prices, cost of retail spaces etc). No visit to New York is complete without a walk along at least part of its length, but unless you’re an avid shopper with a bottomless purse (I’m not!) you won’t want to spend a lot of time here. In my opinion there are many more interesting sights to be found in other parts of the city.
That doesn’t mean however that I don’t recommend spending some time exploring this famous avenue – of course you must, and there is plenty to be seen. In its length it passes some of the most notable buildings and sights in the city – the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, the Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Fifth Avenue actually starts downtown at Washington Square Park, and it runs all the way up to in Harlem, but the midtown stretch from the Empire State Building on 34th Street to the Grand Army Plaza at 59th Street is perhaps its heart, and is an easily walk-able mile in length. There is architecture of all sorts to admire, and of course shopping galore! Whether you want designer fashion, department stores or chain stores you will find it here. We weren’t interested in doing a lot of shopping, but I did pick up a cardigan in H&M (the weather had turned chilly) and Chris got a memory card for a lot less than in London. If you’re interested in checking out the designer shops, look out for Cartiers, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Versace, Kenneth Cole, Prada, Hermès, Christian Dior – and of course Tiffany & Co. (of “Breakfast at …” fame)
Another nice stretch for a walk is that along Central Park, known as Museum Mile because of the presence of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, as well as some smaller museums. Traffic is one-way, southbound, so it makes sense to walk north and get a bus back, but if you want to do it in reverse you can take a northbound bus along parallel Madison Avenue or use the subway – or walk both ways LOL.
Shop until you drop
Fifth Ave is also featured in my shopping tips, but even if you don't like shopping, it's also a must-see area. This is the NY you know from television: lots of yellow cabs, lots of well-dressed people, lots of designer shops, ...
It can get pretty hectic, especially around 5th Ave/ 57 St, but it's great to mingle among the crowd and discover this part of NY.
Nearby shopping avenues are Madison Ave and Lexington Ave.
- Luxury Travel
(Window) Shopping on Fifth Avenue
Back in 1883, William Henry Vanderbilt built the first high-scale hotel on Fifth Avenue. Other luxurious hotels followed suite, and when the tres chic Cartier jewellery opened its doors in 1917, Fifth Avenue forever became associated with richness and splendor. There is now a wide variety of stores on 5th Ave., though the majority are still pretty upscale: Versace, Gucci, Prada, Tiffany & Co., Abercrombie & Fitch, Lindt Chocolate, Apple and the ever popular FAO Schwartz toy store (who hasn't wanted to try that piano?!) are all there for you, whether you're ready to get in line and get some serious shopping done or just prefer to keep your wallet safely stowed and become an avid window shopper. Also, don't forget to look up once in a while as there are some pretty neat buildings that you might miss otherwise.
- Luxury Travel
Shopping on 5th Avenue
For fashion-conscious visitors, shopping at New York's 5th Avenue stores is a must. The best location is between 39th and 60th Streets. Here you'll find high end department stores, jewelry stores, clothes/accessories stores, etc., etc. - in all price ranges! From Gucci to Prada to Saks to Tiffany's to Saks to the Disney store - it's all there. Wear good walking shoes and bring your credit cards. Don't forget to stop at FAO Schwarz for an amazing selection of toys or American Girl Place for a special selection of dolls and accessories! Stop in at The Trump Tower for some coffee or a meal. And don't forget to check out the Apple Store - underground - across from the Plaza Hotel.
Fifth Avenue shops' windows are especially wonderful at Christmas. Some of the best decorated windows can be found at Saks, Henri Bendel, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany, and Bergdorf Goodman.
- Luxury Travel
Elegant Avenue Lined Up World Famous Stores
The elegant Fifth Avenue starts from 59th Street to 42nd Street, lined up of the world’s most famous stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, F.A.O Schwarz toys wonderland.
Also in the area is the black Trump Tower (at 57th Street) with 6-story atrium of pink marble and polished brass. On the lower floors you will find shops such as Cartier while the upper floors are offices & condominiums.
Fifth Avenue is the dividing street that seperates the east side from the west side of Manhattan. From 34th street north, it has countless stores and eating establishments.
Also, the Empire State building is on the Avenue as well as St. Patricks Cathedral. From 42nd Street north, you'll find some of the best stores in NYC including Lord and Taylor, Saks 5th Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Further north on 81st Street are the Metropolitan Museum and several other museums. This stretch is called Museum Mile. So whether its shopping or museums, 5th Avenue has something for you.
Jackie O’s Home, 1040 Fifth Avenue
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
— Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994)
If you are a fan of Jackie O!, walk by the apartment house where she spent the last 29 years of her life, and where she died, as her son John said, “surrounded by her books and the people she loved.”
Following the death of her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, in 1975, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, moved with her adolescent children, Caroline and John Jr., to an apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue, located at the northeast corner of East 85th Street.
Built in 1930 by Anthony Paterno and designed by Rosario Candela, this 17-story limestone-clad apartment house has only 27 apartments. The fifth-story sculpted masks (see photo #4), and the bas-relief panels and the ornamental arches (see photo #3) above the entrance door are the least bit of detail work on this otherwise plain façade.
Mrs. Onassis’s apartment, which occupies the entire 15th floor, was bought for her by her brother-in-law, Robert F. Kennedy, in 1964 for $100,000. Following Mrs. Onassis’s death in 1994 the apartment was sold for $9.5 million.
From her apartment windows Mrs. Onassis had an outstanding view of the glass-enclosed wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which houses the Temple of Dendur. During the Kennedy administration the government of Egypt made a gift of the 15th century BC Temple to the United States. The United States had played a key role in saving several temples and other Ancient Egyptian objects that would have otherwise been destroyed after the construction of the Aswan Dam.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Apple Store - F.A.O. Schwarz
As I heard about the new Apple Store that opened on the Fifth Ave. last month, I was keen on going to. This store was very interesting. It looked like the large glass cube and you needed to go downstairs 'cause the store was actually located ‘underground’ - the same entrance design as in the Louvre. It is the real Apple’s paradise that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ;-)
Just right behind the Apple Store, it was the famous toy store in NY, F.A.O. Schwarz. It had been once a scene of an 80’s movie, “Big”. I grabbed some toys for my little niece & nephew.
- Business Travel
Every girls shopping dream!
I say every girls shopping dream because unless you are incredibly well off for most of the stores that is all it is a dream!
This Avenue is worth looking down to have a wander in the department stores and other shops or simply gaze at the amazing window displays that they have - particularly during the holiday period.
It has all the big names down here but be warned it can get incredibly busy. If you have kids and you need the toilet the best bet is to nip into one of the department stores such as SAKS or somewhere.
Shopping at Christmastime.......
Manhattan is a wonderful place to shop anytime of the year, but especially Christmastime...There are so many varieties of stores and merchandise....You should try to visit Saks Fifth Avenue, if only to see the beautiful display at Christmas..If you go inside, its a mad house with so many shoppers!! Many other stores have displays too, such as Lord and Taylor, also on Fifth avenue......they have a Christmas scene in their window!!!
PS if you go, there is a cute dress I like in the lady's department, nice pretty black dress, size 6 if you are dying to buy something !! : )
Great Buys @ H&M
There is a store called H&M on 5th Ave. They have this store in some other large cities like Chicago. They have beautiful pants, skirts, shoes, purses, casual and dressy tops, and sooo many cute accessories!!! They also sell guys clothes, but that doesnt excite me as much as all the cool girls stuff. It is 3 floors, they keep getting better. There are very reasonably priced. My favorite thing I got was this unique hair pins, with little charms, that are very "in style" now. Its a great store to shop at and not go broke.
- Women's Travel
The Frick Collection: A Real Gem
In addition to the outstanding permanent collection, which Henry Clay Frick amassed with his coal fortune, this gem of a house museum has special exhibitions on the lower level that are eye-opening and worth a visit.
Mr. Frick built his $5,000,000.00 house in 1913 with the intention that one day it would be turned into a public art gallery, which happened in 1935 following his death in 1919 and Mrs. Frick’s death in 1931. The house is as much a part of the show as the art. The central courtyard, which is enclosed, offers one of New York City’s most tranquil spaces. Take a moment to sit, relax, reflect on the beauty of this space and the beauty of the art you have seen.
My favorite part of the permanent collection is the Fragonard Room. Between 1771-1773 Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) completed four major oil-on-canvas panels entitled “The Progress of Love” for Madame du Barry, the mistress of Louis XV. La comtesse du Barry returned these panels to the artist, without explanation, soon after taking possession of them. Fragonard held on to them for twenty years before he augmented them with seven other canvases and installed the lot in a cousin’s villa in the south of France.
Mr. Frick bought the complete work from the estate of J. P. Morgan for $1,250,000.00 in 1914. He spent another $5,000,000 on the room’s other objects and its paneling, which was designed and created in France while the First World War raged on.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
I recommend stopping in the toy store which is on Fifth Avenue near the corner where Central Park begins and near the Fifth Avenue Subway stop for the N and W trains.
You can spend a good part of the day there, no matter what age you are! I was there in February, and I saw this display of polar bears enjoying a $50,000.00 toy Ferrari!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
5th Avenue is one of the most important places here in NY for shopping freaks. ;-) Ok, ok, this area is not simply for shoppers, there is much more to it: 3 museums, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trump Tower and many other buildings in diverse architectural styles.
The interior of the Trump Tower atrium is lavished with pink marble, a waterfall, mirrors and glitz... Above the six-story atrium rises extraorbitantly expensive apartment and office tower. It looks quite amazing and, well, who wouldn’t like to have an apartment here...
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