New York City's Fifth Avenue is among the most famous streets in the world. It is a byword for the best and the most opulent services and commodities that the city has to offer. What is less well known is the avenue's surprising diversity: from Manhattan's Greenwich Village to Harlem, Fifth Avenue event venues can provide an amazingly complete New York experience.
Getting to and from Manhattan takes approximately 45 minutes via taxi or car from the New York metropolitan area's three major airports - LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Once on Fifth Avenue, group transportation is readily accessible through buses, subways and taxis. (Planners who are considering chartering transportation services may want to factor in the heavy traffic along the avenue—indeed, along all New York streets.)
Among hotel venues on Fifth Avenue, the most famous can be found in Midtown East, near Central Park. These include the 189-room Pierre – a Taj Hotel (18,000 square feet of meeting space), the 282-room Plaza (20,000 square feet of space) and the 53-room Sherry Netherland. Farther downtown, the 184-room Andaz 5th Avenue has 6,000 square feet of space, while the 214-room Langham Place, New York features 5,000 square feet.
Special event venues on Fifth Avenue include the prestigious New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (where the glass-enclosed, Temple of Dendur is a much-envied reception spot) and the institutions along Museum Mile, the most famous of which are the Guggenheim and the Frick Collection. Another "lofty" venue is the Manhattan Penthouse on Fifth Avenue, which offers 8,000 square feet of banquet space and a priceless view. Way uptown in Harlem, the National Black Theatre rents its 100-seat theater and "Temple of Liberation," a 4,000-square-foot, Yoruba-themed temple, featuring another 4,000 square feet of reception space and kitchen. A sneaky venue fact: On the south side of Washington Square Park, the tiny street called LaGuardia Place was once known as Old Fifth Avenue – which adds the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (part of New York University) to the roster of Fifth Avenue event venues.
Fifth Avenue is predominantly a shopping district at its lower end and a residential-cum-museum-walk at its upper end. Restaurants tend to be tucked along the side streets or part of a hotel (the Palm Court at the Plaza, Harry Cipriani in the Sherry Netherland, The Shop at Andaz 5th Avenue and Ai Fiori at the Langham Place.) A few exceptions to this rule are Morton's Steakhouse, which has a 5th Avenue address, but is actually on 45th Street, and the Armani Ristorante, both of which offer private dining facilities.