Midtown is a vibrant financial center and a testimony to New York City’s rich past. Home to the corporate headquarters of countless companies, Midtown is a treat to the history and architecture buffs.
In 1822, Midtown became the designated area for a graveyard for the unknown. By 1960, the population of New York City grew exponentially, resulting in the expansion of the borough borders. During the 20th century, the migrant boom populated the area up to 3.5 million. Today the Midtown is a testimony to the growth and variety of NYC culture.
The mystique of Midtown is deeply rooted in its’ dark and mysterious past. This former graveyard is the setting for many famous, unsolved murders and mysteries. For example, “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” by Edgar Allan Poe was inspired by an 1841 murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers, followed by the suicide of her fiancé. Likewise, the story of Arnold Rothstein (rumored to have attempted to influence the outcome of the 1919 World Series) is shrouded in the mystery of his murder. While visiting the Park Central Hotel for a poker game, the mobster got shot in the stomach. He lived for several more days but refused to disclose his murderer’s identity.
The historical allure of Midtown and its’ modern-day glam is sure to enchant and make any couple fall in love.
Activities For the Adventurous
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (intrepidmuseum.org)
The museum houses interactive exhibits, original artifacts, and historical footage. The collections are aircraft and sea-themed.
Spyscape is an interactive museum with spy-related exhibits for the want-to-be detectives and investigators.
Conjuring Arts Research Center
For the occult lovers and anything magical, this free nonprofit offers an endless book collection, artifacts, and displays on magic, psychic phenomena, hypnotism, mentalism, and more.
The Rink at the Rockefeller Center (seasonal-winter)
There’s nothing like skating in the Rockefeller Center amid all the glamour that NYC has to offer. After skating, you will find yourself surrounded by a myriad of restaurants and upscale boutiques.
Skating at Bryant Park (seasonal-winter)
Brant Park is a vibrant area focused on shopping and street vendors. Skating in this winter wonderland amidst holiday shops will bring out the romance in the biggest scrooge.
Theater and Entertainment
Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre
This nonprofit’s mission is to support the arts and revamp the NYC theater scene. The main theater and a smaller, more intimate venue house intimate performances with a dramatic flair.
This world heritage site is the former home of David Belasco, the famous American producer, playwright, and proponent of the “Litter Theater” movement. The performers emphasize interaction with the audience and intimacy.
Founded by Caroline Hirsh in 1982, Caroline’s is an outstanding live comedy theater near Time’s Square.
The Green Room is an intimate social club and performance venue. Patrons sip cocktails or munch on offerings while enjoying music and theater productions.
Located inside the West Bank Café, this intimate cabaret lounge features theater performances, drinks, and fine dining.
A Cabaret dinner club features top Broadway performers in a sultry, New York classic atmosphere.
Lips Drag Queen Show Palace Restaurant and Bar
This over-the-top communal venue is reminiscent of a palace (complete with crystal chandeliers). As the name suggests, guests enjoy drag queen shows while dining (dinner or brunch).
Diva Royale Drag Queen Show NYC, Dinner, and Cabaret
By all accounts, Diva Royale is a complete theater production, dazzling performance in a dining venue.
For the more risqué, Rick’s cabaret is an Adult Entertainment Club in an elegant setting.
This glitzy and glamorous club features a multi-stage setting and the quirky “Liquid Lunch” (early afternoon drink [very] specials).
Multi-stage functional dinner club in Midtown West, featuring music and performances. The décor is elegant with a touch of punk, reminiscent of a speakeasy club.
Executive Club is a beautifully renovated adult entertainment lounge with Robert’s Steakhouse on site. The ambiance is classy, opulent, sexy, and features a private dining room in the back.
Bars and Clubs
This whiskey/cigar lounge is reminiscent of an old-world English living room. The ambiance is warm, elegant, and cozy (fireplace).
48 Club is a unique destination due to its intimate and (relatively) quiet setting. Guests enjoy conversation, cocktails, and small plates while listening to music in a star-studded atmosphere.
Set in a sultry, dark space, this is the place to sample an unending array of vodkas (vodka tasting room), caviar, and traditional cuisine.
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
Lillie’s is likely the most romantic, victorian cocktail bar that you are ever likely to encounter. Great cocktails and a unique vibe make this Midtown gem a must on our list.
This majestic 1920s timeless classic is an ornate bar inside the Grand Central Station. Elegant cocktails are worth the likely wait.
On Fridays and Saturdays, Paradise Club is a sultry, elegant, and the most luxurious club for a party. Michelin star chef John Frasier raises the bar with his Mediterranean-inspired creations.
Karaoke Duet is a quirky karaoke bar equipped with public space and private rooms (for the more timid, budding performers).
A former hardware store turned into a nightclub space features nightly performers, drag shows, and ample dancing space.
Inspired by the nostalgia of the past, Retro Club features music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Iguana is a Tex Mex restaurant and a tri-level club with dancing and a festive, colorful atmosphere.
Decorated in a classic Arte Nouveau style, this French classic features a heated atrium reminiscent of a garden.
This restaurant serves timeless Greek cuisine featuring seafood with citrus accents. The ambiance is spacious and elegant.
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
Brazillian steakhouse rodizio served in an elegant and contemporary atmosphere. This gem is perfect for gluttons. Second helpings, third, fourth, fifth, and tenth (should those be required) are welcome.
A unique concept where Meditarrean flavors rule the kitchen is that the entire menu features flavored olive oils. The setting is warm, cozy, and upbeat, with fig leaf motifs decorating the walls.
Designed by Ralph Laurent, this restaurant is an unforgettable classic with equestrian and plaid accents. On special occasions, The Polo Bar offers a privately-curated dinner experience.
This Russian restaurant offers traditional Eastern-European fare in an old-world, classic atmosphere with live piano music.
Bea’s is an elegant and cozy tapas restaurant with a nostalgic, brick-walled vibe.
This fun beer bar/restaurant features wait staff attired in traditional, Bavarian costumes. Guests enjoy a communal dining experience of traditional, german fare and live music.
It’s time for Cuban tapas. This lively and elegant establishment, reminiscent of a garden with live music, is sure to put you in a festive mood for the rest of the evening.
Founded in 1944, this post-war family establishment serves traditional Italian cuisine in a cozy, homey setting. Experience this truly unique family welcome in NYC.
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