Just north of Hell’s Kitchen on the southwest corner of Central Park lies Columbus Circle, a Midtown highlight that welcomes a bevy of tourists and New Yorkers alike on a daily basis. This is your guide to the neighborhood’s best museums, eats and shopping.   By Alyson Schwartz.

Museum of Arts and Design

2 Columbus Circle at Broadway and 8th Avenue
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Head south back down Broadway to the Museum of Arts and Design, located in Columbus Circle. Collections include contemporary art and objects from everyday life. One of the current exhibitions, entitled Eat Drink Art Design, features an extensive collection of dishes and tableware from many artists including Roy Lichtenstein and Dale Chihuly. Their permanent exhibition of jewelry is not to be missed featuring artists from around the world.

Levain Bakery

74th St & Amsterdam
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New Yorkers can argue for hours over which bakery makes the best chocolate chip cookies, but not far rom Columbus Circle lies Levain Bakery – and it’s on our short list. This uptown shop has a cult following and when nearby, it would be a shame not to start your day here.

RELATED: Just Add Milk: New York’s Top 5 Cookies | NYC’s Best Bakeries

Lincoln Center David Rubenstein Atrium

Broadway, between 62nd and 63rd Sts.

One of the world’s leading performing arts centers offers ‘Meet The Artist’ Saturdays, an event that takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Unlike the pricey concerts, operas and ballets offered at Lincoln Center, Meet the Artist is free. The performances are informal, interactive and made to be enjoyed by kids and parents alike.

Gray’s Papaya

2090 Broadway at 72nd Street
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What would a trip to New York be without a hot dog? Take a short walk up Broadway to 72 Street to Grays Papaya for one of the best. Don’t forget to pair it with a papaya juice for a quick and delicious lunch. It might sound like a weird combination, but try it anyway, it’s a New York tradition.


9th Floor 2 Columbus Circle at Broadway and 8th Avenue

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For dinner you don’t have to go far. Take the elevator to the 9th floor for an amazing view of Central Park and a great meal at Robert. The restaurant décor is as contemporary as the exhibits in the museum making for a fun and fabulous meal.

Alyson Schwartz is the author of the blog Ribbons of Thought, which features musings on topics from fashion to NYC living including fun activities, food and unique finds.