With the well-recieved Hearst Tower sitting on the corner to start this block off, there's no mistaking that you're in midtown...But after just a few steps, things quickly calm down. Whereas 8th Avenue has many characteristics of a midtown street, 9th Avenue is decidedly quieter. The buildings get shorter, the sidewalks less crowded, and everything just feels slower – all in the span of one block.
There are some rather interesting residential buildings mixed in with the businesses on the street. An open-air court sits about 1/3rd down the block with benches and a passthrough to 57th. The Parc Vendome condominium takes up a good part of the north side of the street, butting up against some public space on 9th Avenue (which is currently under construction). Overall, not a terrible place to walk around – if it weren't for the gray cloud that is midtown, I could easily mistake this for a street that's much further north (or even south as the case may be).