Come up here at the wrong time of day, and you will be bombarded by traffic (both pedestrian and vehicular) the likes of which you rarely get to see. With the main artery of the Queensboro Bridge emptying out just south of this corner, cars are in a constant state of stop-and-go. Add to that the proximity this block has to several bus lines, the Lex Ave 59th St Station, the 63rd St F Station and the Roosevelt Island Tram, and you have a pretty busy area.
A brief glance down this avenue and you'll notice that, for the most part, chain stores have yet to infiltrate their way into this area. Sure, there's the odd bank or two, but for the most part, you'll still find local diners and bars, beauty salons, hardware stores, and my favorite the Holby Mixing Valves storefront. The store (which seems to also be the main offices of the Holby company, if I understand their website) looks like it hasn't changed dramatically in decades. Honestly, I couldn't imagine a better way to display their product than by showing how it stands the test of time.
Being a big, wide avenue, this area isn't the most welcoming place to walk around, but the myriad of storefronts, and people make it well worth while.