Midtown’s Mini-Plaza


This is one of my favorite little spots near where I work. Seems almost too hip for Midtown-East. Comments? Thoughts? What other pedestrian plazas do other folks like?

  • I always trip there. Always. It looks cool, though.

  • Hannah

    Isn’t there a hanging, piano-shaped bench somewhere near there? (Third Ave., high 40s?) Wherever it is, I think it looks like a fun place to sit.

  • We called these “The Bubbles” when I was a young skateboarding lad.

  • AD

    Third and 48th, right? My friend lives in the Octavia on this block. These things ARE AWESOME, extremely funny, and fun.

  • Yes, I believe it’s Third and 48th. It’s a great little imaginative use of public space. It sure beats the conventional concrete and steel benches. This has a much warmer feeling. And it really helps that it is shaded by a canopy. I once ate my lunch under that when it was lightly raining.

  • That place makes me feel like I’m in the village. It looks like one of frank gehry’s student projects from undergrad.

  • Annon Y. Mouse

    One of the few places in NYC where it feels a little like Portland, OR.

  • Thanks for everyone’s comments – aside from a small reminder to not trip over the sloped sidewalk, it seems like everyone likes this one.

    I encourage folks to send in their own photos of their favorite pedestrian friendly scenes to Streetsblog.

  • Glenn, you must have misread my comment… I don’t like this little plaza… it’s just too wierd. But, if these kinds of places were all the same, I guess it’d be too monotonous.

    What I feel NYC needs more of are public spaces that are grand and elegant. Like the esplanade in Battery Park City, Bryant Park, the steps of the Met, and Grand Central.

    Before they started stopping people from resting on the steps, the old post office and the court house worked in this way.

    Of course when modern architect say “plaza” they often mean… “empty wind-swept place of vacancy” and this little spot, at least avoids that error. But I have to say it is pretty junky, especially for midtown.

  • Sure, I can see that. I certainly like big grand open spaces like the steps of the Met.

    I guess the problem with that area is that it’s a little too small for that. But I like it’s funky-ness in the midst of all the serious business-folks.

    One block over between Second and Third Ave is Dag Hammerskjold Plaza, which has a bit more grandeur to it. Unfortunately they have closed off UN Park which was my absolute favorite place to eat lunch outdoors in the area.

    I guess it takes all types…

  • ddartley

    Futurebird: what post office are you talking about? 8th Ave and 33rd? Is there still construction going on on that side of the building? If not, then it’s a real shame if people are not allowed to sit there. I’d like to find out who is enforcing that rule and ask them to relent.

    I’m in Philadelphia this weekend, and from the admittedly very little I’ve seen so far, NY friends, they’re well ahead of us in terms of “liveable streets.” And like my impression of Philly in 1993 (last time I was here), the drivers are SANE.

  • 8th Ave and 33rd? That’s the one!

    The last time I checked was about a year ago and they had fences up to stop “terror” maybe they’ve taken them down.

  • I’ve passed this spot a few times and I’ve always liked it – it gives me a positive feeling and pleases my eye. But it is pretty subjective, huh…


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