Sunday, April 15, 2007

City Walk #4 - Columbus Circle to Grand Army Plaza

Card No. 29 - photos
This walk follows Central Park South from west to east.

Begin at Broadway and Central Park South (A, B, C, D or 1 train to Columbus Circle).
With the AOL-Time Warner building rising on the west side of Columbus Circle, this once forlorn intersection has come into its own at last - providing a long-needed focal point at the west end of Central Park South while framing a symbolic entryway to the Upper West Side. From the east side of Broadway, head west, circumenting Columbus before returning to a point roughly 310 degrees from where you began - in front of the "Maine" monument at the southewest corner of Central Park. From here, walk east along Central Park South, one of the nicest streets in all New York on which to live, even if many of the buildings seem to have been thrown up with only the view in mind. Gainsborough Studios (222 Central Park South) is one exception; another is the Italianate western face of the New York Athletic Club, at Sevent Avenue. Stop of a moment just before Sixth Avenue to enjoy the sight of two of New York's most elegant hotels rising over Fifth Avenue like competing Florentine bell towers - the Pierre (on the left, at 2 E. 61st St) and the Sherry Netherland (781 Fifth). The hotel lineup continues across the street, with the most famous of all accupying its own priviledged corner of Fifth. Set back from the Avenue and screened by the lower half of Grand Army Plaza, the Plaza Hotel may appear forbidding but is not. Visitors are welcome in the main lobbies and more welcome still for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner. If you have time only for a quick drink, have it in the Oak Bar.

From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay

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