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825 Eighth Avenue
Worldwide Plaza, built on one of the former Madison Square Garden sites, is a large plaza that spans 49th and 50th Streets between 8th and 9th Avenues. It contains stationary seating around a large fountain as well as movable tables and chairs scattered throughout the plaza. There are even two public restrooms by the 8th Ave. entrance in the arcade. You can enter from 49th or 50th, but the effect is definitely not as dramatic. If you enter from 8th Ave., and walk through the circular retail arcade, an expanse of plaza will open up to you at the end of the corridor. The effect is as impressive as it is unexpected.
Completed in 1989 and designed by SWA Group, the plaza lends itself to lingering when the weather is nice. Be advised, though, that the management’s security guards are adamant about public propriety. They will tell visitors to keep their feet off the chairs and warn sunbathers to keep their shirts on if they dare to take them off. In short, play nice, be respectful to the plaza, and no one will get yelled at.