© Sean Pavone / Alamy
Andrew Sessa
January 01, 2015

To witness one of the most remarkable transformations in New York City, one need only walk along 57th Street, where new ultra-luxe towers soaring above 1,000 feet now (or will soon) line what has come to be called Billionaire’s Row. And that’s only part of the redemption story of midtown Manhattan in the 50s, the swath between Central Park and Rockefeller Center. While Michael’s and Mr. Chow (55th and 57th, respectively) remain forever glamorous, the current of cool—along with Michelin stars and high thread counts—has long flowed downtown and Brooklyn-ward. But money on an oligarchical scale is pouring back into midtown, bringing with it sleek new hotels and restaurants (some of them dusted-off favorites). The prospective buyers of $25 million condos will need someplace to repair to after raiding Chanel and Dior (both 57th). No doubt everyone else will follow them to the Baccarat Hotel, the Polo Bar, the Park Hyatt’s Onyx Room—thirsty for some old-fashioned, unapologetic glitz.

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