Lunchtime Walks in the City: All in a 4-Block Radius

Today, Tuesday, was unseasonably chilly. In the high 40’s, windy, overcast…not a great walking day. I ate my sandwich at my desk as usual and thought about not going out. Even if QPA (aka “Big Mommy”) did call out sick, which reduced the tension level of our cubic confine to a noticeably low level.

Still, I had to get out and breathe some real air. But instead of a long walk, I thought: why not bring the outdoors indoors and knew just where to go. I crossed 57th  St.and headed towards the “520 Madison Urban Plaza” to hang out.

It’s between Fifth and Madison. Just look at it (below). Glass-enclosed, with not just trees (some of them, bamboo), but also birds. It’s true. Sparrows hopping from branch to branch, flying and tweeting. It’s the next best thing to the Park. There’s even a little restaurant in the corner serving artisan soups and other small plates.

OutdoorsIndoors

And I got to thinking about an earlier post, when I mentioned how one can walk through buildings in Manhattan, thereby avoiding rushing to corners and encircling blocks, in order to move north and south in midtown.

After spending some quality time in this lovely little space, I cut through the space over to 56th St., crossed over, and entered the Sony building, aka the Sony Public Space at 590 Madison. Inside, you can entertain yourself by touring the Sony Wonder exhibit and listen and watch Sony brag on itself. Or you can sit down and enjoy a delicious cappuccino and biscotti from the small cafe.

SonyPublicSpace

Or, newly added since the winter, you can have a slice of pizza:

NewPizzaAtSony

This is really bringing the outside “in,” without having to endure the stale malaise and polyester odor (and potpourri fumes…) of a mall. Because doors to the outside are always opening and closing. The air is constantly being replenished and freshened.

Or, when you have had enough mingle time with the general public, you can walk through the Sony building to the opposite side and exit onto 55th St. I wandered around a bit, turned the corner, walked mid-block — and ran into a chunk of the Berlin Wall!

BerlinWall

The details:

BerlinPlacard

Okay, how is this not the greatest city in the world?

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50swaterfall

Over on 53rd St., for a little South American feel, I stopped to gaze at this waterfall…

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10Eastwalkthru

Eureka! Another walk-through building on 53rd st.

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666Walkthru

Yet another walk-through building on another section of 53rd St.  At 666 Fifth Avenue.

In the 90’s, I frequented a dimly-lit, clubby piano bar called “Top of the Sixes” located on the top floor of 666 Fifth, which had a stunning, wraparound view of Manhattan. It was so captivating at night! My cousin and I (we worked together at the time) spent many a Thursday or Friday evening eating dinner at the polished mahogany bar while sipping perfectly poured Margaritas and staring at the view. Such good times…

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Taking advantage of the inclement weather today, I stayed close to work, took my time and didn’t have to scramble for a bus or subway to make it back to the office in time. In a mere 4 blocks between 57th and 53rd Streets, I saw so much.

On my way back to work, I ran into this gentlemen in front of the Presbyterian church on 5th Avenue. I asked him if I could take his picture. He said, “Of course,” and posed for me.

YellowShoes

Even better than a Bergdorf’s window!

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2 Responses to “Lunchtime Walks in the City: All in a 4-Block Radius”

  1. Tom Snowden Says:

    I’ll bet we passed each other many times. The Berlin Wall is now inside the building to protect it from the elements, the pictured walk- thru on 53rd is no more, and the Top-Of-The-Sixes turned into a cigar bar and then who knows?
    -Tom S.

    • Typehype Says:

      Hey Tom! Things are disappearing fast. The city is literally changing overnight. Or so it seems. I’m replying from my phone so I don’t recall the date of this post. Must be a couple of years ago though. I’ll keep my eyes open for you when the weather warms up and I’m out and about again at lunchtime. Regards to the family!

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