Ah, midtown, the heart of the city, feel the hustle and bustle of the workweek crowd while dodging heavy street traffic all around you. After your first encounter with New York via homely Upper West Side, you're now ready for the grit of Manhattan. New Yorkers know to avoid midtown unless they are obligated to indulge in the busiest part of the city. But for many locals, the attractions of midtown are the reason for their visit.
Your day starts at Grand Central; this historic attraction is still one of the busiest train stations in the world. The decor is intricate and the main concourse has been the location setting for many movies and TV shows. After Grand Central, head over to the New York Public Library. I don’t know if many public libraries are worth a visit but do check out the neo-classical space of the New York Public Library on 6th Avenue. Behind the library is Bryant Park - a local's favorite park. At this time of the year, the park comes to life with the Bank of America Winter Village, featuring many local shops and eateries, and an ice rink. Make a quick stop here for a bite to eat or a cup of joe.
Head a few blocks north to the Museum of Modern Art - home to some extraordinary exhibits and is a great place for creativity. I love to pop into MOMA whenever I’m in the area just to soak up a little bit of inspiration. This is yet another museum that warrants a good half-day visit, so make sure to plan accordingly.
While you’re in the area, the Rockefeller Center is near by. Visitors may want to head up for a great view of the city and check out the ice-skate rink below. From the observation deck, you can see the Empire State Building and all of downtown to your south, and the large area of Central Park greenery to the north. Opposite the Rockefeller is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this was the first church I visited on my first trip to New York in 2010 (before I became a full-time resident of the city). The towering neb-gothic church stands in magnificent contrast to the office buildings and storefronts nearby.
After a busy day of walking - and dodging pedestrians, taxis, and not to mention double deck bus ticket sellers - end your day at Time Square. I have to admit, Time Square is pretty much the bane of any New Yorker’s existence. And no, we don’t come here to see the ball drop on New Years Eve. But for visitors, a mention of New York probably evokes the flashing billboard of Time Square. The best time to see Time Square is at night when you’ll find yourself surrounded by endless flashing lights.