47th Street (Manhattan)
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47th Street is an east-west running street between First Avenue and the West Side Highway in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Traffic runs one way along the street, from east to west, starting at the United Nations Headquarters. The street features the Diamond District in a single block and also courses through Times Square.
- The Factory was Andy Warhol's original New York City studio from 1963 to 1968, although his later studios were known as The Factory as well. The Factory was located on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.
- After opening in 1920 on West 45th Street, the Gotham Book Mart later moved to 51 West 47th Street and then spent many years at 41 West 47th Street before moving to 16 East 46th Street.
- Vanderbilt Avenue is a short street that runs from 42nd Street to 47th Street, between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue. The street was built as the result of construction of Grand Central Terminal, and is named for the family of the terminal's original owners, Cornelius Vanderbilt. Grand Central Terminal can be accessed via 47th Street through the "Northwest Passage", a 1,000-foot (300 m)-long corridor that runs parallel to the tracks, connecting to the Main Concourse by way of an entrance at the northeast corner of East 47th Street and Madison Avenue.
- The portion of 47th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue is known as the Diamond District, which hosts a kosher cafe, the IDT Megabite Café.
- An NHL store stands at 1185 Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) between West 46th Street and West 47th Street. It is the only one of its kind in the country and has its own Starbucks within the store.
- The TKTS booth, reconstructed and reopened in 2008, is located on 47th Street at Duffy Square, between Seventh Avenue and Broadway. Theater-goers may purchase Broadway theatre tickets at a discount of 25 to 50% for listed plays and musicals on the day of the shows. The Morgan Stanley Building is located diagonally opposite to TKTS at Broadway and 47th Street.
- Broadway theatre is well represented on West 47th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, including the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (at 256 West 47th Street), the Ethel Barrymore Theatre at (243 West 47th Street) and the Biltmore Theater (at 261 West 47th Street).
The Diamond District is between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The district was created when dealers moved north from an earlier district near Canal Street and the Bowery that was created in the 1920s, and from a second district located in the Financial District, near the intersection of Fulton and Nassau Streets, which started in 1931, and also at Maiden Lane, which had existed since the 18th century. The move uptown started in 1941. The district grew in importance when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands and Belgium, forcing thousands of Orthodox Jews in the diamond business to flee Antwerp and Amsterdam and settle in New York City. Most of them remained after World War II, and remain a dominant influence in the Diamond District. A notable, long-time anomaly of the district was the famous Gotham Book Mart, a bookstore, which was located at 41 West 47th Street from 1946 to 2004.
The area is one of the primary centers of the global diamond industry (along with London — rough stones; the Antwerp diamond district in Belgium — historical but waning; Mumbai, India — increasing in significance; Diamond Exchange District, Ramat Gan, Israel — also growing; and Johannesburg, South Africa — the major historical source), as well as the premier center for jewelry shopping in the city. Total receipts for the value of a single day's trade on the block average $400 million. An estimated 90% of diamonds in the United States enter through New York. There are 2,600 independent businesses located in the district, nearly all of them dealing in diamonds or jewelry. Most are located in booths at one of the 25 "exchanges" in the district, and in a public corridor to 46th Street.
Many deals are finalized by a simple, traditional blessing (mazel und brucha) and handshake. The Diamond Dealers Club is an exclusive club that acts as a de facto diamond exchange and has its own synagogue. Retailers with shops line the streets outside. Above the bazaar is the Gemological Institute of America which trains gem dealers.
The New York City Subway's 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center station on the IND Sixth Avenue Line offers service on the B D F M services. An underground concourse connects the station with the buildings of Rockefeller Center. The 49th Street station on the BMT Broadway Line offers service on the N Q R trains, and is accessible via a part-time booth at Seventh Avenue and 47th Street at the south end of the station.
Additionally, several New York City Bus routes running along north-south avenues stop near the street.
In popular culture
- West 47th Street, co-produced by Bill Lichtenstein and June Peoples, was the title of a PBS documentary that debuted on P.O.V. on August 19, 2003. The documentary focused on the mentally ill who inhabit the streets and was filmed over three years at Fountain House, a renowned 50-year-old rehabilitation center on West 47th Street.
- Seen in the closing scene of the Mike Nichols film Closer (2004), starring Natalie Portman and Jude Law.
- Seen in the John Schlesinger film Marathon Man (1976) with Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman.
- The 47th Street Diamond Exchange was featured in the 2009 film New York, I Love You in a segment with Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan.
- One of the starting rounds of the arcade game Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (1992) portraits a rundown 47th Street in a flooded 26th-century New York.
- Jackson, Kenneth T. The Encyclopedia of New York City, New York Historical Society; Yale University Press; 1995. p. 332.
- WNBC-TV's Jane Hanson on her Jane's New York special on the Diamond District.
- West 47th Street – About the Film, accessed December 12, 2006
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