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Tour New York's Newest Entertainment Destrict on 42nd Street

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 1/18/2010 - www.Littleviews.com ]

>>  Move over Broadway! Discover New York's latest entertainment district.

Coming of age is a block bounded by 42nd Street, 8th Avenue, 41st Street, and 7th Avenue. It features multiple-theaters, drop-in entertainment centers, multiple restaurants designed to feed crowds, and, if you look up, spectacular views of skyscrapers. It is becoming New York's premier, celebrity-worthy, fun place to visit.

This article provides a tour of the area, beginning by looking south on the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. The scene pictured below was taken from in front of the NY NJ Port Authority's 42nd Street building (1 on the map). During rush hours, the sidewalks in this area are packed with New Jersey commuters.

NY NJ Port Authority

Numbered "call-outs" mark points of interest on the map below. Refer to them throughout this article.

While the tour starts at (1) and ends at (10), the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue offers a multitude of spectacular views, only a few of which are highlighted in this article. To make the most of your curiosity, make a point of looking UP on each street corner. You'll be amazed at what you see!

Map of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue Entertainment Area in New York

New York City features plenty of gritty, or "well used" neighborhoods. As an example, consider the east-side of the city's famous Garment District. The picture below of this area was taken from in front of the 41st Street NY NJ Port Authority building (the second of two buildings). It shows the contrast between the city's original "tall" buildings, related to increasingly newer skyscrapers, such as you'll see in this article. (2).

Looking down 8th Avenue from the NY NJ Port Authority at the Garment District

In front of the Port Authority's 41st Street Building (between 2 and 4 on the map) is a statue of Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), a popular fictional New York City bus driver from the 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners.

NY NJ Port Authority - Ralph Kramden Statue

Inside this building (3) is the Port Authority's main hall. At street-level is the soon-to-open Heartland Brewery, a symbol of New York City-brewed beer and dining. Inside the main hall are women's clothing shops, several coffee and pizza shops, a Radio Shack, and Hudson News (a magazine vendor). In back of the hall, you'll find a massive, ticket vending area, a bookshop, and best, spacious, clean, public restrooms.

The second and third floors lead to NJ Transit bus terminals (plus more shops and a popular bar), while the basement leads to national bus line terminals and the New York Subway.

Need entertaining? Leisure Time Bowl was recently remodeled inside of this building, done with such flourish that its owners now request patrons to "dress to impress" . . .

Inside of the NY NJ Port Authority

Make a point of having your picture taken next to the frozen bus travelers, who have been standing in line since the 1970s. They are located in front of the Port Authority's main ticket area (near those clean, public restrooms).

Waiting for a Bus - plaster statues inside of the NY NJ Port Authority

Leaving the Port Authority building and walking to the corner of 40th and 8th Avenue (4), you'll see the scene below of the New York Times building. Shortly after this building was opened, a few publicity-seekers scaled the skyscraper by climbing its ladder-like facade. To reduce the possibility of this happening again, the facade was trimmed so it no longer reaches the first three floors.

Hungry? You'll find two, excellent, fast food restaurants: Dean & Deluca (known throughout the city for gourmet products), and Schnipper's Quality Kitchen (burgers, mac 'n cheese, fries, salads, and sandwiches).

Front of the New York Times Building on 8th Avenue in New York City

Looking north along 8th Avenue, paying attention to the area between 41st and 42nd Streets (5), you'll see the about-to-be completed Eleven Times Square. Check its website to see its planned "wowzer" environment, including a new subway entrance and entertainment venues.

Always make a point of looking UP! Although you might think the command to "look up" is obvious, its easy to forget when surrounded by massive buildings. Sidewalk-level activities are very distracting, and are often so filled with people that you might hesitate before you stop-to-gawk for fear of being trampled.

Eleven Times Square on 42nd and 41st Streets and 8th Avenue

Across the street from Eleven Times Square on 42nd Street is the Westin Times Square Hotel. Prior to the construction of Eleven Times Square, it was easy to see this glistening, multi-colored building. Today, you need to make a point of observing this view.

Westin Times Square Hotel on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in New York

The pictures above were taken from the corner of 41st Street and 8th Avenue looking north (4). Now we'll venture east on W 41st Street (5), between The New York Times and the Eleven Times Square buildings.

When all nearby construction is completed, 41st Street will become increasingly interesting. Currently, you'll find restaurants and public spaces related to the New York Times building. Among entertainment venues in the area is the popular The Times Center, which hosts Times Talks, where you can meet famous authors, actors, artists, and media pundits.

Across the street from The Times Center is Hilton Times Square Hotel and its playful, brass statues by Tom Otterness, whose work decorates many public places. It's a great place to take pictures. Feel free to walk inside to explore the hotel, too! You'll end up on 42nd Street, the hotel's main entrance.

The Times Center - theater of The New York Times in New York

A bit further down 41st Street is the Nederlander Theater, one of New York's nine Broadway theaters that holds over 1,000 seats.

Other interesting places include the stage door to 42nd Street's Amsterdam Theater (a popular place to see stars leave the theater), the back door entrance to one of the coolest McDonald's in the nation, and, if you continued to walk two more blocks east, Bryant Park and the main New York Public Library.

The Nederlander Theater in New York

Turn to your left (north) at 41st and 7th Avenue. Just before heading west on 42nd Street (7), you'll see spectacular views of giant, flashing, graphical signs lining what is known as "Broadway."

Seventh Avenue marks the eastern end of the enormously popular 42nd Street entertainment district. On its south side, you will pass the New Amsterdam Theater, where Disney hosts many of its famous shows. Make a point of looking UP! In the distance, you will see a hand holding up the Madam Tussauds sign just down the block.

To the west of the New Amsterdam Theater, you'll come to an enormous and interesting McDonalds. It serves amazingly fast food for the crowds that flock there. Its dining areas, which look like the backstage of an old play house, are fascinating.

Corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street - looking at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York

Across the street from the New Amsterdam Theater is the ornate, New Victory Theater (8), which features live entertainment for kids and families. Just next to the New Victory Theater (out of view in the photo below) is the tiny-but-historically-interesting, Hilton Theater.

For clarity, the view of the area pictured below is seen from the second-floor level. Pictures of famous buildings from the ground-floor level up tend to be jammed with pedestrians and the glitter of multiple signs, making building details hard to perceive.

The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street in New York

As you continue walking west on 42nd Street, you'll reach the ultra-popular Madame Tussauds (9), followed by the equally popular Ripley's - Believe It or Not Times Square. When it first opened, Ripley's received the distinction of an enthusiastic review in the New York Times. Visit this place! Just a bit more down the street is the game room, Dave & Busters, where you can drink, eat, play games, and be merry.

Note that the sidewalks along this area on both sides of the street are usually jammed with pedestrians and street-vendors. There, you can invest in quick-draw portraits, hand-lettered signs, graffiti baseball caps, and (if you let them) personalized magazine covers featuring your face embedded in famous Times Square scenes.

Looking at Madam Tussauds, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and Dave and Buster's on 42nd Street in New York

Just past Dave & Busters, heading west, is the stunning AMC Empire 25 theater, which a skyscraper movie-house nested inside of the walls of an historic theater.

AMC Empire 25 Theater's sign on 42nd Street in New York

Across the street from the AMC Empire 25 is the equally beautiful, multi-level Regal E-Walk Statium 13 Theater (near 10). To its right, you'll find additional attractions, such as the BB King Blues Club and Grill, which features musical entertainment and gospel brunches, and a large, delicious branch of the famous Dallas BBQ restaurant chain.

Regal E-Walk Statium 13 Theater, BB Kings Blues Club, and Dallas BBQ along 42nd Street in New York

As always, no matter how many people are on the street, make a point to look UP! Near the corner of 42nd and 8th Avenue (10), you'll see more views of the stunning Westin Times Square Hotel (at night, you'll also see its traveling light). The currently under-construction Eleven Times Square building across the street is also spectacular, even though at this point, it is not completed.

The Regal E-Walk Statium 13 Theater sign and the Westin Times Square Hotel on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in New York

We are now back where this tour started, at the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenues. I suspect that if you are curious and hungry, this area will take you several hours to tour. Make a point of going into buildings (if even at the door) to look around. And, of course, take pictures. You'll be amazed at the amount of detail your photos will hold!

Not tired? Double-back to Broadway and continue walking north. OK, tired now? During the warmer seasons, this area of Broadway is lined with tables. Purchase some always-nearby coffee, sit back at this center-of-the-world location, and enjoy the people streaming by.

Questions? Ask Karen at Karen@littleviews.com

Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 1/18/2010. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.







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