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Midtown West: It’s not Just the Lullaby of Broadway

November 30, 2011 - In Your Neighborhood

New York City music school offers lessons in Midtown West — so let’s play together!


Among all of NYC neighborhoods, the section known as Midtown West is one of the busiest and liveliest. Every day (and much of the night as well), it is a beehive of frantic activity and nervous energy – always on the move, never at rest. That may be why New York is known as a city that never sleeps. In a span of just a few minutes, hundreds of taxis whizz by, cars honk, street vendors sell hot dogs and other fare, and throngs of pedestrians elbow their way through the sidewalk. This cacophony of sounds, sights and smells is a quintessential Midtown West, the part of Manhattan that famous architect Le Corbursier referred to as “the vertical city with unimaginable diamonds.”

Bright lights, big city Take our word for it: no one who lives, works, or just visits this lively neighborhood — which stretches from 30th to 59th Street on the west side of Fifth Avenue — will ever be bored. Whether you look straight ahead, behind you, left, right, or even skyward, there is something interesting to see. Some of the most famous NYC landmarks are right there in Midtown West, starting with the ultimate high-rise (and not just for King Kong) — the Empire State Building, located at 350 Fifth Avenue. The junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, between 42nd and 47th Streets, is the home of Times Square, possibly the most dazzling sight in the whole of New York. And let’s not forget the Rockefeller Center at Fifth Avenue and 49th Street, not exactly small potatoes if you consider that millions of people from all over the world visit this spot each year, especially during the holidays, when a spectacular Christmas tree illuminates the site with thousands of lights. The vicinity of Rockefeller Center is also famous, because that’s where Radio City music Hall is located at 1260 Sixth Avenue. The legendary home of the Rockettes is the largest indoor theater in the world, and certainly among the major music venues in the city, along with Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, both of which “live” in the Midtown West as well. And let’s not forget this neighborhood’s history as a textile-manufacturing hub, with numerous designers’ offices, wholesale and retail shops still in existence along Seventh Avenue, between 34th Street and Times Square – the area known as the Garment or the Fashion District. And, of course, there is no shortage of dining options in this neighborhood – restaurants, diners, and coffee shops abound at practically every turn. A hell of a neighborhood Despite its name, Hell’s Kitchen is not actually a restaurant (if it were, we are guessing that not many people would want to eat there). It is an area located within Midtown West, between 34th and 52nd Streets, and Eight Avenue to the Hudson River. Though nobody knows for sure how the rather unusual name originated, fact is that from the 19th century until the 1980s, this used to be one tough and dangerous neighborhood, where numerous gang wars played out on almost daily basis. In the past 30 years, however, the area has been cleaned up, “reformed,” and given a new identity: Clinton. Today, Hell’s Kitchen / Clinton is a “respectable” area full of theaters and restaurants – a long way from its gritty beginnings. Given this transformation, New Yorkers now venture into the formerly hellish neighborhood with a new “devil-may-care” attitude! Give our regards to Broadway! We can’t talk about Midtown West (or even New York City, for that matter), without giving its due to Broadway. Not just the street, mind you, but everything it represents: the artistic and musical center of our great city. Whether you call it the Theater District or the Great White Way, for more than a century this stretch of Manhattan, as well as the neighboring streets and avenues, have housed dozens of theaters big and small. Broadway musicals are legendary; no wonder so many of us can play, sing (or at least hum or whistle) some of the more famous tunes. We at Hey Joe Guitar love all the music that’s rocking Broadway – and Midtown West as a whole. If you live or work in this neighborhood and would like to learn to play an instrument, call us. We’ll come to your residence or place of business and teach you. Even in Hell’s Kitchen, we’ll make heavenly music together!


Photo Credit: Paul Lowry
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