Rush, rush, rush. Sometimes all the people in the world seem to be elbowing their way through here. Most of Manhattan ’s skyscrapers are in Midtown, along with most of its offices, major hotels, theaters, famous shops and restaurants, and many visitor attractions.
Fifth Avenue  is the heart of Midtown, the artery to which all other addresses relate. Though nothing more than a line on a map as late as 1811, 5th Avenue was the city’s most fashionable address by the time of the Civil War. The Astors, Vanderbilts, and many other wealthy families all had homes along it.
Fifth Avenue began to turn commercial in the early 1900s. Today, its Midtown stretch is almost entirely lined with shops and office buildings. In the lower 40s and upper 30s, these shops tend to be tourist traps selling discounted electronic gadgetry and souvenirs; in the upper 40s and 50s stand the upscale boutiques and department stores for which the avenue is famous.
To see Midtown at its frenzied best, come on a weekday. However, most of the visitor attractions are also open on weekends. With the exception of Times Square , much of Midtown shuts up tight after business hours.