Get to Know Columbus Circle

One of the features of the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City is Columbus Circle. A traffic roundabout near the western side of Central Park, Columbus Circle is named for Christopher Columbus, and the name also describes the surrounding neighborhood. The area is a busy one, with lots of shopping options, a transportation hub, and of course, one of the main entrances to Central Park. Here are some highlights of the Columbus Circle, New York City neighborhood.

Shopping

The main shopping area of Columbus Circle is the Shops at Columbus Circle, which are housed in the Time Warner Center, on the site of the former New York Coliseum. Stores in the center include a variety of apparel shops, such as J.Crew and LK Bennett, as well as kitchenware store Williams Sonoma, cosmetic retailer Sephora, and Papyrus, a stationery shop. The lower level of the shopping center is home to a Whole Foods Market.

Dining

Several highly regarded restaurants are nestled just above Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center. Per Se, by Thomas Keller, features a prix-fixe menu, views of the park, and Instagram-worthy plates of upscale cuisine. The restaurant offers a nine-course tasting menu that changes daily. Courses are prepared using French techniques and the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. Per Se is known as a destination restaurant, where countless diners have celebrated special occasions with meals from the tasting menu that can cost more than $300 per person. The restaurant also has a more laid-back Salon area, where reservations are not required and an a la carte menu is offered.

Parks

The Time Warner Center is just below and to the west of Central Park. At the entrance to the park closest to Columbus Circle is the Merchant’s Gate. A focal point of the gate is the USS Maine National Monument, a prominent bronze and marble fountain and monument towering 63 feet above the park. It was built in 1913 in memory of the sailors who died when the USS Maine exploded in 1898, just before the start of the Spanish American War.

Transit

Given that Columbus Circle is a traffic circle that was created and designed to make travel safer, it should be little surprise that the area is a transit hub. Several subway lines, such as the A,C B,D, and 1 all stop at 59th Street/Columbus Circle, which is one of the city’s busiest stations. A number of MTA buses stop in the area surrounding the subway station and Columbus Circle. Needless to say, renting in Columbus Circle means you have the city’s public transit system practically at your fingertips.

Museum of Arts and Design

Columbus Circle is home to the Museum of Arts and Design, which houses collections that focus on arts, design and craftsmanship. The museum’s building has a history that might be more interesting than the museum itself. First built in 1956, the museum moved into its current location at 2 Columbus Circle in 2008, taking over a building designed by Edward Durell Stone. The facade of the building was greatly changed when the museum moved in, leading many people to protest the changes made to a building they considered historic and worthy of preservation.

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