Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the United States and ranks among the most intensely used pieces of real estate in the world. The majority of New York City's skyscrapers, including its tallest hotels and apartment towers, lie within Midtown. The area hosts commuters and residents working in its offices, hotels, and retail establishments; many tourists, visiting residents, and students populate the district. Some areas, such as Times Square and Fifth Avenue, have large clusters of retail stores. Sixth Avenue in Midtown holds the headquarters of three of the four major U.S. television networks. It is a growing center of finance, second in importance within the United States only to Downtown Manhattan's Financial District. Times Square is the center of Broadway theatre.
Geographically, Midtown is commonly defined as the area south of 59th Street, east of the Hudson River, west of the East River, and though its southern border is less clear, most consider it to be somewhere between 14th Street and 30th Street. Overall, Manhattan can be divided into three geographic regions: "Uptown", Midtown, and "Downtown".
The border of Midtown Manhattan is nebulous and further confused by the fact that the term "Midtown Manhattan" can be used to refer either to a district or a group of neighborhoods and districts in Manhattan. The area between 14th and 86th Streets includes roughly the center of Manhattan; however, the term Midtown Manhattan can also apply to the area between 31st Street and 59th Streets, although there are still office buildings south of 31st Street. The "Plaza District", a term used by Manhattan real estate professionals to denote the most expensive area of midtown from a commercial real estate perspective, lies between 42nd Street and 59th Street, from Third Avenue to Seventh Avenue, about a square kilometer or half a square mile. There is also "Midtown South," which can refer to the part of Midtown between 23rd Street and around 42nd Street (although its northern boundary is defined differently depending on the source). Midtown South has considerably lower rents. In 1982, the City of New York identified the "Manhattan Core" as the area that includes some of the City’s most populous neighborhoods, major institutions, parks and transit hubs, and the City’s primary Central Business District (CBD), defined as Manhattan below 60th Street. The "Manhattan Core" includes some areas slightly further north of 86th Street in Manhattan, as well as the area below 14th Street; however, this definition is problematic because it ignores the fact that Manhattan has not one but two zones in which people do business within this area separated by a wide swath of low-rise (by New York standards) residential development: there is Midtown (which is in Midtown Manhattan), and the Financial District, (also known simply as "Downtown" because of its location in Downtown Manhattan). In other sources these districts are referred to as separate central business districts.
Several countries, including Argentina, The Bahamas, People's Republic of China, Costa Rica, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, Ukraine, have consulates-general in Midtown Manhattan accredited to the United States. In addition the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is in Midtown Manhattan.
Traffic congestion is common, especially for crosstown traffic. In 2011, a new system of traffic light control, known as "Midtown in Motion" was announced, with the aim of reducing traffic congestion. Approximately 750,000 vehicles enter Midtown Manhattan on a fall business day. According to the 2011 Traffic Data Report for New York State, 777,527 vehicles a day went through select toll facilities into Manhattan.
The New York City Fire Department currently operates 12 firehouses, organized into 3 Battalions in Midtown Manhattan. The following companies are quartered between 14th Street and 59th Street: Engine 1, Engine 3, Engine 8, Engine 14, Engine 16, Engine 21, Engine 23, Engine 26, Engine 34, Engine 54, Engine 65, Ladder 2, Ladder 4, Ladder 7, Ladder 12, Ladder 21, Ladder 24, Rescue 1, and the Chiefs of the 7th Battalion, 8th Battalion, and 9th Battalion.
In addition to its well-known Main Branch research library—now known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building—the New York Public Library operates the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th and Madison, the Mid-Manhattan Library at 455 Fifth Avenue (at 40th Street), the Grand Central Library on East 46th Street, and the 58th Street Branch Library at 127 East 58th Street, between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue.
^"Air France in the United States." Air France. June 11, 2007. 15 (15/16). Retrieved on February 13, 2010. "The Air France “United States” regional management is located in New York: 125 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 Tel: (212) 830–4000."
^Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Juvenile Delinquency: Comic Books. Motion Pictures. Obscene and Pornographic Materials. Television Programs. Greenwood Press, 1969. 47. Retrieved on January 25, 2011. "American Comics Group, 45 West 45th Street, New York, NY"