3 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
You found me! And you found the Metropolitan Club. It is a private social club founded as a gentleman’s club in 1891 by J.P. Morgan. And, good luck getting in there. You have to be a member and their dress code is very strict. Men are required to wear jackets and ties at all times and they specifically say turtlenecks and ascots are not acceptable. Oh, they let ladies in now but they must be in dresses or skirts, or dressy pant suits. Absolutely no jeans, shorts, stirrup pants, stretch pants, tight pants, sweats or t-shirts. Well that’s not really my scene, so let’s head east toward 5th Avenue. You should be walking with the flow of traffic. When you get to 5th Avenue, go ahead and turn left and I’ll meet you at the Apple Store.
769 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022, USA
You are about to cross over 59th street and when you do, look to your left and you’ll see New York’s largest Apple store. I should tell you that if you’re looking for an actual store with the apple logo on it, you’ll be looking for a long time. That’s because the only thing you’ll see is the elevator that takes you to the Apple store! Apple’s Fifth Avenue “Cube” store is truly retail at its finest. After renovations starting in April of 2017, the store has nearly doubled in size, along with raising the roofs to give it a larger feel. The “Cube” store has become easily the most visited and iconic Apple retail store in NYC. With the assistance of architectural firm Foster and Partners, the old underground store was completely demolished, along with the outdoor plaza being redone as well. With Apple starting from scratch, they spared no expense. Through the main entrance, one may take either the two spiral staircases, replacing glass with stainless steel, or the elevator, to arrive at the store. Along with seating and displays for presentations, trees and other foliage have been provided to give it a warm, community atmosphere. To add to this “chill atmosphere”, the plaza has been redone, adding 62 circular skylights, shining natural light down onto the store and seating below. Also to either side of the famous “Apple Cube”, there have been added what Apple refers to as “sky-lenses”, which are metal seats that let tourists sit and gaze a into the store below. To add to the ambiance provided by the natural light and foliage, LED lights that can change from warm to cool tones depending on the time of day have been added as well. This has been done to remove the customer from the artificial and indoor surroundings, allowing the experience to be more natural. Clearly, this retail store is a must see for out-of-town visitors and definitely a favorite for the locals. When you are done here, keep walking along 5th Avenue. Cross over 58th Street and I’ll meet you at a store that I could never afford to shop at.
724 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA
It would be tragic if I didn’t make sure to point out the very famous hope-you-brought-your-credit- cards, Louis Vuitton 5th Avenue store. Is the inside calling to you? Whispering for you to come inside because you deserve to treat yourself? Do it! Ttreat yourself with an amazing souvenir and go see its feature centerpiece, the three story “Feature Wall”. What is this feature wall you ask? You’ll have to go inside to see for yourself, but I can tell you it doesn’t just change colors, show images and videos, but it also doubles as a display for new clothes and designs. Throughout the store you may also find hovering walls fashioned with vintage trunks and the cantilevered staircase so you can explore every floor. But the inside isn’t the only cool part to see. The outside has its own story to tell. This store once was an Art Deco building, a style from the 1920’s and 30s that uses geometric patterns and stylistic designs with man-made material (an example of this design in use is the top of the Empire State Building). The exterior itself is in some ways a piece of art itself. Its designer, Jun Aoki, describes the modern glass facade design as “a playfully sleek meditation on crystalline transparency and clouded translucency”. Well ok then. Our next stop is the Trump Tower and whether you like the guy or not, you have to admit it is a pretty impressive building. Keep walking down 5th Avenue and I’ll see you there.
5 Av/w 56 St, New York, NY 10019, USA
President Trump is not only famous for his stand-alone, one of a kind hair style, but also for this 664 foot high building on your left. Yep, that would be the one - Trump Tower. During the 2016 presidential election this was where Donald Trump resided. This reinforced concrete mammoth began construction in 1979 and in 1983 was open for business. The glass facade has 28 sides, utilizing the jagged shapes to augment the number of corner rooms in the building. Not too shabby, Mr. President. The interior of Trump Towers is quite interesting. The lowest above-ground floor has an artificial waterfall, along with Trump-branded shops and food courts. Above that are office spaces and 39 condominiums. One office space is where they filmed the president’s TV show, The Apprentice. And in case you were wondering what one of those 39 condos would go for, a 1000 square foot, one bedroom one and a half bath rents for $7000 a month, or if you have 1.5 million dollars lying around you could go ahead and buy one. Above the offices and condos, the top three floors to be exact, is President Trump’s personal residence. If you were hoping to see what they handed out on Halloween, you’ll be sorely disappointed as his residence is only accessible using a private elevator. As we make our way to our next stop, make sure you keep an eye out for the Gucci store next door in case Louis Vuitton inspired you to treat yourself a little more on our 5th Avenue tour.
11 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019, USA
This beautiful building coming up on your right, is New York’s Presbyterian Church, founded in 1808. If you happen to pass by during the right time you can almost hear the beautiful music as the congregation sings, flowing through the majestic halls. They have made some impressive moves to help improve the city in which it lives, specifically in homeless advocacy. So much so that the church actually sued the state of NY in 2001 to allow homeless individuals to take shelter on the front steps of their sanctuary. There have been several interesting events that have been held at the site, including the wedding of Theodore Roosevelt Jr in 1910, the 1965 recording of “A Concert of Sacred Music” by Duke Ellington, and a three hour memorial service in 2009 by Frankie Manning! One more fun fact is that this building has gone through several moves and name changes, including Cedar Street Presbyterian, Duane Street Presbyterian, and Fifth Avenue at the Corner of Nineteenth Street. Keep walking down 5th Avenue. If you haven’t noticed yet, that’s what we are doing on this tour - walking down 5th Avenue.
5 Avenue & West 54 St, New York, NY 10019, USA
Still looking to your right you’ll see the University Club of New York. The entrance is around the corner, facing West 54th Street. From an outward appearance, this may seem to be no more than a grand architectural landmark along the iconic 5th avenue, but this premier social club has become the pinnacle of fine living. With grand and luxurious dining, expansive athletics fields, and the world's largest and finest club library, any visitor can enjoy this unparalleled experience, all with a humble and warm ambiance. While this private membership club is considered to be one of prestige, it came from surprisingly humble beginnings. The first meeting was held in the rooms of a townhouse on 26th and Madison by a professor from Hamilton College, starting as an all-men’s club (that is until the late 1980’s). In its founding charter, its mission was to “promote Literature and Art by establishing and maintaining a Library, Reading Room and Gallery of Art, and by such other means as shall be expedient and proper for such purposes." Speaking of art, this club holds one of New York’s great private art collections. Wanna go see another beautiful church? Ok, let’s go!
5 Avenue & West 54 St, New York, NY 10019, USA
Here at the corner of 53rd street and 5th avenue lies an Episcopal parish church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. To put it frankly, it’s the Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. It was completed in construction in 1914. Something that sets this church apart from the other two is the angelic sounds of the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, which perform at worship services and concerts. The choir performs five services each week, and has toured all across the world. They release records and a CD every year to fill your homes with their sounds of peace, possibly even making a heaven on earth in your kitchen. Another beautiful aspect to this building is the stained glass window on the fourth floor. These windows will literally stain your mind with images of bright colors and intricate designs. Perched atop statues of holy individuals, this piece will be one to remember on your visit along 5th Avenue as it leaves you with wonderment, not only for its inspiring message of love, but for the beauty in its design. Wanna finish maxing out your credit card? Cool! Keep walking.
5th Ave @ 51st St, New York, NY 10111, USA
After you cross the street, you’ll see another treat yourself opportunity on your left! I mean there’s no way I could point out Louis Vuittan and Gucci and not point out Versace! I mean what kind of barbarian would do that! Go ahead, treat yourself. You still deserve it. Another beautiful and historic church is up next, just past 51st Street. I’l meet back up with you there.
620 5th Ave, New York, NY 10020, USA
This beautiful church up on your left is considered to be not only the most visible symbol of Roman Catholicism in NY, but possibly in the entire United States. The St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Featuring beautiful stained glass from artists stretching from Boston to across Europe, along with two massive pipe organs, this is a sight to behold. It makes sense why people would want their Requiem Masses here. Notable people such as Babe Ruth, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ed Sullivan had their masses here. Special memorial masses were also held here for people such as Andy Warhol and Joe DiMaggio. Ok, I hope you have another credit card because we aren’t done shopping. Saks 5th Avenue is next.
620 5th Ave, New York, NY 10020, USA
Across the street and on your left I’d like to welcome you to the Historic Saks Fifth Avenue on...well… Fifth Avenue! This “dream store” was founded by Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel. The vision: to create a “unique speciality store...synonymous with fashionable, gracious living.” With its opening on Sept. 15, 1924, Saks 5th Avenue became the first large retail operation in a primarily residential district, at the time. Today, Saks is synonymous with high end quality clothes and accessories for men and women alike, suiting to the style and taste of the elite class. Here customers of all kinds and sizes can experience and take home a look of taste and elegance. This specific store has things such as a “leather spa”, Royce Monogram shop, a beauty concierge, a Kari Coffee bar, and more. The famous Rockefeller Center is on the other side of 5th Avenue and that’s our next stop.
5 Avenue & West 46 St, New York, NY 10036, USA
Ah, Rockefeller Center. A “city within a city”. Consisting of 19 high-rise commercial buildings, this center is a hallmark of Manhattan. Named after John D. Rockefeller Jr., the center was commissioned by the Rockefeller family and was developed beginning in 1930. It is known as the largest private building project ever to be conceived in modern times. The centerpiece of the center is the 30 Rockefeller Center, also known as the Comcast building, or 30 Rock. This site is home to one of the most popular landmarks in all of Manhattan: The Top of the Rock. Standing on the observation deck behind sheets of glass, one can stare and gaze upon the breathtaking view and spectacle of New York. From up here you can see Central Park, the Empire State Building (King Kong climbing if you’re lucky) and much more down in the Big Apple. Another spot in here is Radio City Music Hall. At the time of its construction in 1932 it was the largest theater in the world! Come here to see shows and comedy routines to leave your troubles behind. The interior is by far one of the world’s greatest examples of the Art Deco design. Easily one of the most famous stops in all of Rockefeller Center is the Ice Skating Rink and the annual Christmas Tree, made famous over countless movies and tv shows. A stop here can put you in the spot where young Kevin McCallister went when he was lost in New York, or where Buddy the Elf sees the Christmas tree and skates with his date Jovie. Thanks to Hollywood, this rink has become a quintessential holiday activity for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Some amazing photo opportunities can be taken in some of the incredible art located in the Center. You can stand in front of the Statue of Atlas, holding the world upon his shoulders and looking down at pedestrians and tourists alike. Or the Statue of Prometheus, arguably one of, if not the best-known sculpture in New York. Almost as if flying gracefully past skaters in the rink, it represents the theme in the quote off the wall behind him, etched in red granite: “Prometheus, Teacher in Every Art, Brought the Fire That Hath Proved to Mortals a Means to Mighty Ends.” One last interesting fact to literally take home is that in late 2010, former architect Adam Reed Tucker designed a lego model of the center for the well known LEGO Architecture Series. How about that? Ok, I’m guessing you may want to wander around Rockefeller Plaze for a bit, and that is just fine. I’ll wait for you just before the corner of 47th Street. Remember, we are walking down 5th Avenue.
5 Avenue & West 46 St, New York, NY 10036, USA
On our way to the Empire State Building we’re going to pass some Consulate buildings. Essentially, these buildings are the offices for the official duties of a consul, or a representative of the government of the state in which they are from. They are similar to an ambassador and embassies in short. The first one is the Ghana Consulate General. While it’s not right here on 5th Avenue, it’s very close. If you took left on this next street, East 47th Street, you’ll find it located at the end of the block on your left. While we’re not going to go and see it right now, make a mental note of where it is if you want to come check it out after the tour. As you may know, Ghana is famous for its Cocoa, but it’s also known historically for its gold production. Sounds like the perfect combination to me - a cup of hot cocoa in one hand and a pot of gold in the other. Ghana was previously known as the Gold Coast bordering the Gulf of Guinea. If you ever have a chance to visit you might not want to come back once you see the incredible forests and diverse animal life, to the sandy beaches that run along the Guinea Gulf Coast. I say we go there for our next tour!!! Who wants to join me? Ok maybe later. Let’s finish up this tour first. Keep walking.
5 Av/W 44 St, New York, NY 10036, USA
On the right you’ll see the other consulate. This one is the Consulate General of the Philippines. Ahhh, the Philippines. Did you know that the Philippine islands were named after King Philip II of Spain?! I often dream of walking along those beautiful beaches, taking advantage of some of the most amazing scuba diving spots in the world, followed by eating so much delicious coconut my stomach might explode. The hardest part of my daydreaming is deciding which of the 7,641 islands I want to visit. I say that’s the hardest part, but in reality I know exactly which beach I want to go to first. Naturally it would be the paradise island of Boracay with its powder-like white sand. You just can’t go wrong with that one! Ok, who likes sports? Who likes the sport of Pro Basketball? Everyone? Ok, good. You will really enjoy our next stop!
5 Av/W 43 St, New York, NY 10036, USA
How does 25,000 Square feet covering three floors, concierge service, personalized merchandise, state-of-the-art tech including a video wall with game highlights and scores, tv screens with live games, video game consoles, POP-A-Shots and Player measurement charts sound? If it sounds like heaven, I give you the NBA store. The NBA partnered with Fanatics to open a 5th Avenue store that would have something for everyone and with interactive experiences on all three floors. I’d say they hit their mark. The second floor has a locker room theme, with NBA, WNBA, and D-League merchandise and gear for teens, tweens, inbetweens, and adults alike. You can even get a personalized jersey. This stop is a must have on your list of places to visit in the Big Apple.
W 42 St/5 Av, New York, NY, USA
W 42 St/5 Av, New York, NY, USA
Ta-da!!! The New York Public Library! And it’s not just the library that’s amazing, it’s Bryant Park that’s one of my favorite places too! Definitely take the time to go around the back side of the library to check out the park. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you more about it in a minute. The New York Library is the second largest public library in the United States, behind the Library of Congress itself that is, but it does hold the title for the third largest library in the entire world. Containing 53 million books, one can comfortably say they can find whatever they are looking for in one of these books. While not everyone can make it into the city to check out a book at the library, the powers that be built branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, along with four research libraries. The “Main Branch”, the one you see before you, is a designated city landmark, most easily recognized by the two lion statues, Patience and Fortitude, representing (you guessed it), Patience and Fortitude. These tabby cats sit on either side of the main entrance As for Bryant Park - If you do go behind the library to check it out, which I highly recommend, just make sure you come back to 5th Avenue so we can continue to make our way to the Empire State Building!! Bryant Park was opened in 1847 with a large green open lawn on the western half, with the eastern occupied by the New York Public Library. Today there are so many fun activities to do here! It’s the best place to kick back and enjoy the day! During the warmer days you can take a ride on the carousel with your kids or find the perfect spot to sit and read a book or two. The park also features amazing events such as Bryant Park Movie Nights, Square Dance, and even Broadway in Bryant Park! Come winter time the fun doesn’t end. Oh no. Come winter the park transforms into a magical Winter Village which hosts an ice rink and seasonal shops that you’ll wish were here year round. And the centerpiece of the Park is the William Cullen Bryant Memorial, where Bryant himself - er statue of him - sits comfortably and nobly as he watches his park come to life with each new day. By the way, William Cullen Bryant was an American romance poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post way back in the mid to late 1800’s. Ok, here’s an idea. Wanna stop for a drink with me? Great! I’ll meet you just before the corner of 39th Street.
W 37 St & 5 Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
Ok, wanna go get a drink? Go check out Raines law Room at the William. It’s to your left, down East 39th Avenue just past Madison Avenue. If you aren’t feeling thirsty you can continue on 5th Avenue. Raines Law room isn’t the kind of place you’ll hear the banging gavel of swift justice, but you may hear the banging of mugs and glasses demanding more liquid refreshment. You may find irony and humor in the origin of its name. The Raines Law Room is a speakeasy-style bar near 5th avenue, named after a 1896 law imposing a liquor tax to lessen the amount of drinkers! Although the snack options may be limited, the bar seems to make up for it with its stellar drink options. Business here is booming, being placed high in the golden rankings of Insiders 16 best low-key bars around the world. With a button to press at every table to summon your server, enjoy the supreme feeling of excellency, class, and secrecy. Who doesn’t love a little secrecy in life! If you decide to go grab a drink, just come back to, you guessed it, 5th Avenue, and continue walking. I’ll meet up with you just past 37th Street.
367 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA
Welcome to the Official Yankees Clubhouse! What better to go with our NBA merchandise than Yankee’s merchandise!!!! This store is one of six locations near the stadium and is the perfect place to buy tickets to a game and dress head to toe in Yankee apparel. This is also a fantastic store for all kinds of Yankee memorabilia. In fact, what better place to buy a gift to give all the Boston Red Sox fans you know! Ok, maybe skip the gift giving part as New York Yankee gifts should be cherished and not burned. But it’s the thought that counts, right? Ok, not sure if you can see it from here, but keep walking down 5th Avenue and set your sights on the tallest building you can find. Yup, we are coming up on the Empire State Building. It’s only a couple of blocks away.
367 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA
Few buildings have captured American’s imagination like the Empire State Building. From King Kong climbing up the enormous structure, to Buddy the Elf lighting up the entire elevator panel, to the final scene of Sleepless in Seattle, I dare say there are fewer iconic buildings in the United States. In case you haven’t found it yet, it’s that super tall one across 34th Street and to your right. Named after the nickname of New York, the Empire State, the building was constructed over a two-year period from 1930-1931. And from its completion until 1970, it was the tallest building in the world. The building is so large that it actually has its own zip code! The history of the Empire State Building is a fantastic lesson in “it’s who you know, not necessarily what you know.” Original investors included John Raskob, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Coleman and Pierre du Pont, of the Du Pont family, and Alfred Smith, former governor of the state and presidential candidate in 1928. The building was first planned to be 50 stories, then raised to 60, and then finally 80 floors. According to a New York Times article from 1929, height restrictions were placed on nearby buildings to ensure that the top 50 floors had unobstructed views of the surrounding city. Because of construction of the Chrysler Building and the 40 Wall Street buildings, a “race to the sky” became one of the media’s favorite stories for the time. Each building was vying to be the tallest in the city and, thus, tallest in the world. When the design for Empire was being finalized, designers realized it would only be 4 feet taller than the Chrysler Building. So, the plans were revised one last time to include 102 floors. Most floors are taken up by office space, but the 86th and 102nd floors are open to the public as observation decks. The very top of the building includes a 16-story metal “crown” and a 222-foot mooring mast. Now, you may be asking yourself, “a mooring mast for what?” Well, one of the common beliefs is that Gov. Smith intended dirigibles to be anchored up there. What’s a dirigible? It’s a parking space for blimps. Don’t worry, I didn’t know that either. The design of the Empire State Building is perhaps one of the finest examples of art deco that was so common in the U.S. prior to World War II. You may remember from our other tours that Deco represented luxury and glamour in society. The bold geometric characteristics are found throughout the design. Since 1976, one thing that has really made the Empire State Building stand out (in addition to its sheer size) is the exterior light atop the building with the tradition of changing colors in honor of various causes or organizations. More recently, the building switched to computerized LEDs in 2012, which means the building went from displaying only 9 colors to now displaying more than 16 million colors instantaneously! Immediately following September 11th, the building’s colors were changed to red, white, and blue. The building has also commemorated a number of celebrities. Upon the death of Frank Sinatra, the building was bathed in blue to honor “old blue eyes” and more recently, the lights were switched to purple and gold following the death of Laker Great Kobe Bryant. The managers of the Empire State Building frequently partner with iHeartRadio to do light shows to music from a wide range of musicians – including the Beatles! In March of 2020, the building did an amazing light show with Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” in support of the city’s response to the CoVid-19 pandemic. I can’t think of a more perfect place to end our tour of New York’s 5th Avenue. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I did, but then again, I always have fun hanging out with you! If you’re wanting to discover more of what this amazing city has to offer, check out our other New York tours because I would love to show you around some more! There’s always something to explore in the city that never sleeps! Until then, so long and happy touring!