Tag Archive | Midtown

Christmas Things That Are Merry and Bright: Midtown, Manhattan

Radio City Tree and Marquee
Radio City Music Hall (All Photos By Gail)

On the Saturday that fell over the Thanksgiving long weekend, Geoffrey and I had the bright idea that it would be a fine time to visit the Museum of Modern Art. By 2 or 3 in the afternoon, we felt sure that the crowds would have thinned out and we could just slip through the line and see some rad art. HAHA, how funny to have thought that, as we quickly discovered that the place was ridiculously mobbed and the lines were so endlessly long, that we had no choice but to bail on the idea of seeing any art that day. However, we decided to at least “take advantage” of the fact that we were actually in midtown, and perhaps do some window shopping and a bit of sightseeing.

Salvatore Ferragamo Building Front
Salvatore Ferragamo Store Front, Fifth Avenue

You may know that in a recent post that I admonished anyone who wants to maintain their sanity against even trying to be in the vicinity of midtown Manhattan during the Christmas season, because it will make you hate your life. But what made the trip worthwhile was getting to see all of the fantastic Christmas holiday decorations that make for some terrific photographs.

The photos in this post were all taken between Radio City, located at the corner of 6th Avenue and 5oth Street, on Fifth Avenue just a few blocks downtown, and then west through the 40s towards Times Square. I didn’t always take note of an exact addresses, but if you walk around that general area, you should be able to spot most of these. Because, they are kind of big and, well, lit up.

Uniqlo Store Windows

Uniqlo clothing store, window displays. 53rd St. on the Southwest Corner of 5th Ave.

Uniqlo Store Windows

Uniqlo Display

This is what the Window Displays looks like from inside the store.

Chase Plaza Red Christmas Balls

These oversized Red Christmas Balls are an annual fixture in the fountain at Chase Plaza, 1251 Avenue of the Americas.

Chase Plaza Red Christmas Balls

Night had not quite fallen, so I’m not sure if they are illuminated in the darkness, but I would guess that perhaps they are.

Reindeer and Red Trees

I really love these reindeer sculptures, and the bare trees wrapped in tiny red lights. I believe this is just down the street from Chase Plaza, but don’t hold me to that.

Reindeer and Red Trees

Giant String of Christmas Lights

This colorful String of Over-Sized Christmas Lights is in front of the McGraw-Hill Building, Located at 1221 Avenue of the Americas.

Giant String of Christmas Lights
Giant String of Christmas Lights

Tree of Lights

I am pretty sure this Holiday Tree of Golden Lights is inside a building that’s just one block further downtown than the Giant String of Christmas Lights. I love the fact that I captured a man working on this display.

Silver Christmas Balls

These assorted sized Silver Balls were inside a  clothing store  window. I didn’t  notice  which one.

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These Giant Christmas Balls sitting atop a pair of revolving doors were possibly on W. 49th St. as we walked towards Times Square.

I hope you enjoyed my photos! Merry Christmas, everyone!

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SpongeBob Square Pants Mail Box

SpongeBob Square Pants Mail Box
All Photos By Gail

According to the Inter Webs, this SpongeBob Square Pants Mail Box is a lone survivor from a December 2013 campaign by the Nickelodeon Kids Network and the USPS to get kids to write more letters. Or something like that. Spotted on Fifth Avenue at the corner of 49th Street, right by Saks Fifth Avenue!

SpongeBob Square Pants Mail Box

Top Ten Things I Love About Bobby Van’s Grill

Bobby Vans Grill Interior
I Love This Place (Photo Courtesy Bobby Van’s Grill)

It’s been more than a year since our previous review of Bobby Van’s Grill on West 50th Street, so it was a special treat to be invited back again for another taste of what we here at The Gig consider to be the Best Filet Mignon in Manhattan. Just being serious. Here are a few of the reasons why this surely won’t be our last visit to this Midtown gem.

First of all, the place is gorgeous. Bobby Van’s is an old school steakhouse fitted out in warm woods, polished brass fixtures and classic lighting moderated by decorative glass shades. As soon as you enter the restaurant, which is fronted by a spectacular long bar, you feel comfortable and welcome, but also like you are in for a very special dining experience.

Which brings us to  service that is exceptional on every level. Our waiter and additional wait staff were all friendly and attentive, but also confident and invested in making sure each customer has a memorable meal at Bobby Van’s. General Manager Paul Modica even stopped by our table to make sure we were being taken care of. Paul, who has a professional background like something out of a movie, also entertained us briefly with engaging stories of his impressive career in the restaurant business, which began when he was just 14 years old. Paul is the coolest.

Warm Crispy Artichoke Salad

Among an exhaustive list of tempting appetizers and salads, the Warm, Crispy Artichoke Salad ($15.95) stands out — served as a portion generous enough to split with your dining companion, but also hearty enough to satisfy as a main dish at a lunch visit. These lightly battered and quick fried, tender artichoke hearts mixed with frisee greens are tossed with tangy Parmesan cheese and then garnished with another slice of cheese. This is a very special salad the likes of which I’ve not encountered at other steakhouse restaurants.

Brussels Sprouts

When it comes to choosing your accompanying vegetable side dishes you will not have an easy time of it, as there are so many good things to try. On this visit we opted for the Brussels Sprouts, which are sauteed in garlic, rosemary and olive oil before being lightly braise and crisped  with a quick trip to the oven, for an elegant presentation.

Creamed Spinach

And if you’re going for Classic Steakhouse Meal sides all the way, their Creamed Spinach cannot be topped.

Mac and Cheese

Look at this Macaroni and Cheese. Just look at it. Bobby Van’s serves an authentic baked Macaroni and Cheese, created with two different kinds of White Cheddar (English and American) plus Parmesan cheeses and topped with bread crumbs and seasonings. This dish is culinary perfection in a white ramekin.

Filet Mignon

Here it is, the star of our show: The Filet Migon! You can see the masterful result of perfect cooking in the lightly charred and caramelized crust on the filet’s exterior, which reveals a perfect, juicy medium pink inside (medium rare is also recommended, depending on your preference). At approximately 16 ounces pre-cooked weight, this steak is a bargain at $49.95.   Bobby Van’s signature Filet is so flavorful, buttery tender and outrageously delicious that it tastes perfect on its own, though a side of rich Bearnaise sauce comes with the entree. You may want to also try…

Bobby Vans Steak Sauce

Bobby Van’s Original Homemade Steak Sauce, just to change it up and keep your palate amused. A little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, so so so good.

21 Layer Crepe Cake

OK, it’s time for dessert and that means just one thing: 21 Layer Crepe Cake! Trust me, this pastry treat tastes even better than it looks — and it looks pretty great! You can see in this photo how whipped cream-like custard is layered between stacks of tender crepes to create a dessert that is both decadent and yet light. While Bobby Van’s does procure these cakes from an outside vendor, they prepare it their own with garnishes of mint leaves, fresh sliced Strawberries and tart Raspberry Coulis. This cake is a must have on any visit and is perfect to share after an indulgent meal.

Finally, we love the value of a visit to Bobby Van’s Grill. Considering the high quality, consistently delicious food and generous portions of all their dishes, the prices are quite reasonable, and the menu is so extensive and varied that you can find dining choices to suit  any budget. We recommend that you consider Bobby Van’s Grill to be a desired destination for all celebratory events as well as just a rewarding weeknight  break from the grind!

Bobby Van’s Grill is located 135 West 50th Street (Between 6th and 7th Avenues), New York, NY 10020, and is convenient to many subways including the 1, N and R Trains. Hours are Monday to Friday: 11:30 AM – 11 PM, Saturday and Sunday: 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM. Phone (212) 957-5050 for Reservations.

Midtown Manhattan on a Desk Top

This scale miniature of Midtown Manhattan by Artist Michael Chesko took 2000 hours to complete. As reference, Chesko used blueprints, old photographs, digital reproductions, and satellite images. On a good day, he’d work his way through four city blocks. The entire model is 36″ x 30″ – a good deal smaller than most office desks. At the 1:3200 scale, the Empire State Building is approximately the height of a Campbell’s Soup can.

From Tinselman Via Neat-O-Rama