Street of the Week: Madison Avenue
In honor of the beginning of the end for Mad Men, whose final season premiered last night on AMC, our featured Street of the Week is none other than Madison Avenue. The name of the prolific period piece drama is derived from Madison Avenue advertising men, hence ‘Mad Men’. While it’s the end of an era for Mad Men, Madison Avenue’s era, from advertising mecca to ‘it’ neighborhood Nomad, is ever evolving.
The street has been synonymous with the advertising industry since the 1920s, when extensive growth in the ad world brought agencies to Madison Avenue en masse.
These days, the buzz surrounding Madison Avenue is more about the neighborhood a swath of it inhabits: Nomad.
Nomad, coined by developers in 1999, is an acronym for “NOrth of MADison Square Park”. The neighborhood’s parameters are somewhat fluid but is generally flanked by Madison Avenue and Sixth Avenue, East 29th Street and East 25th Street. Nomad has skyrocketed in popularity in the last decade, attracting scores of high-end restaurants, trendy boutique hotels, and luxury residential condos.
The Grand Madison - Located at 225 Fifth Avenue, this regal condo-conversion is just north of Madison Square Park and a block west of Madison Avenue. Home of 1906 built Brunswick Hotel, this stately red brick pre-war building seamlessly incorporates historic elegance with modern luxury. The condos feature high ceilings, oversized windows with sweeping skyline views and blonde wood flooring throughout. Kitchens have premium Poggenpohl appliances and baths with powder rooms, accented in glass and marble. In-house washer/dryers offer luxurious convenience. Amenities evoke the grandeur of a five-star hotel, with private fitness center and health club, courtyard and gardens, and 24-hour concierge and doorman.
Eleven Madison Park - Any list of Madison Avenue’s essential destinations would be remiss to neglect Eleven Madison Park, ranked last year as the best restaurant in America and the fourth best restaurant in the world. The stunning art-deco grandeur of owner and celebrity chef/hospitality guru Danny Meyer’s dining room is surpassed only by Executive Chef Daniel Humm’s extraordinary contemporary French-inspired cuisine, which was awarded four stars from the New York Times and three from Michelin. Mindfully indulgent dishes like prawn roulade, goat’s milk ricotta gnocchi and slow-poached egg with Parmesan foam and brown butter hollandaise are an exquisitely unctuous marriage of molecular gastronomy and classic French technique.
The NoMad - The NoMad Hotel and restaurant are housed in an early 20th century Beaux-Arts structure at 1170 Broadway, just off Madison Square Park, which has been restored to its original opulence of a grand European hotel. The atrium, fireplace, and library are reminiscent of French courtyards and chateaus. The stunningly appointed suites and guest rooms evoke classic Parisian flats. Amenities include European-style baths with walk-in showers and separate water closets, clawfoot tubs, custom linens by Frette and Sferra, mahogany French writing desks, handmade vintage Heriz rugs, embossed leather furniture, velvet damask paravents and iHome docking systems.
The NoMad restaurant is one of the most buzz-worthy dining destinations of recent years and is the creation of Daniel Humm, of aforementioned Eleven Madison Park. The plush, royal decor evokes Mad Men era glamour, where one can envision Don Draper imbibing on classically innovative cocktails and tucking into the roasted chicken everyone is talking about.
The Ace Hotel - This Seattle-based hotel brand off Madison Square Park is ultra-hip, with high concept retro lobbies and common areas that make this modern space equal parts turn-of-the-century rustic sporting den and hipster chic digs. The guest rooms feel like your coolest designer friend’s apartment, with throwback retro decor reminiscent of Mad Men era aesthetic, complete with Smeg refrigerators, guitars, and record players.
The cool factor doesn’t end with the hipster guestrooms. The Breslin, Ace Hotel’s ultra-hip artisanal gastropub serves up inspired, reimagined British classics by Chef April Bloomfield, who first put New York gastropubs on the map with the now famous Spotted Pig. Chef Bloomfield is bringing fame to The Breslin as well, and the chargrilled lamb burger with feta and cumin mayo already has something a cult following.
The Sky House, located just off Madison Square Park at 11 East 29th Street, is an elaborately stunning 55-story glass and brick tower that combines post-modern design with classic glamour. Condos feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer sweeping city views. State-of-the-art kitchens are appointed with KitchenAid Architect Series appliances. Luxurious bathrooms boast chrome fixtures and stone baths. The Sky House offers such exemplary amenities as private luxury fitness center, concierge, and doorman, with easy access to Nomad’s dining and culture scene.