3. Far West 42nd

You don’t open on 42nd Street without going big, and MiMA (awkward shorthand for mid-Manhattan) is full of superlatives. It boasts the most floors (63) and square footage (1.2 million) of any mixed-use building in midtown; ridiculous perks like a nearly NBA-size basketball court in the basement; and three Off Broadway theaters—designed by Frank Gehry, no less—anchoring the base. Plus the Hudson River is just two blocks away.


Mark Simpson, a writer who splits his time between New York and Paris, just signed one of the first rental agreements at MiMA. He’ll be moving from Roosevelt Island this month. Here’s what sold him.

You’re about to go from peaceful Roosevelt Island to one of the busiest parts of the city—why?
I hadn’t counted on the soothing quiet of Roosevelt Island not really fitting my lifestyle. Coming to and fro on the tram is more trouble than it is glamorous.

Aren’t you worried about living by Times Square?
That doesn’t bother me, because I’m a people person. I have a fun New York rule: Since I can’t help everyone, I only help Francophones. Anyone who speaks French I will help.

What was your initial impression of MiMA?
I didn’t care as much about the amenities as the architecture. The apartments are well designed and spacious, and they have washer-dryers. I’ll use the gym because it’s convenient.

And how’s your apartment?
It’s a corner unit. I look toward Times Square and north into Hell’s Kitchen. I like to look out the window. I couldn’t live in a place where I faced a brick wall.

3. Far West 42nd