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City Living: Murray Hill
Murray Hill, between its blocks of brownstones, variety of popular nightlife spots and historical landmarked buildings, has a much wider appeal than its common frat-boy-and-family-only reputation.
Adjacent to Kips Bay and Gramercy, the very safe Manhattan neighborhood is also close to the United Nations headquarters.
The nabe plays host to numerous cultural centers, ethnic food stores and 19 diplomatic missions, giving it an international feel.
One such institution popular in Murray Hill is the Scandinavia House, which is home to the American-Scandinavian Foundation and is popular among locals for its children’s exhibit and film showings.
Many cite high foot traffic as a help to local businesses, which in turn helps the relatively affordable Murray Hill real estate market prosper. According to Trulia.com, a real estate website, Murray Hill has a 19.3% lower median sales price than Manhattan’s overall average and an 18.55% lower than average price per square foot for homes, making it an increasingly popular neighborhood.
Though Murray Hill is home to flagship branches of famed institutions like Wolfgang’s Steakhouse and JJ Hat Center, recently opened outlets of other New York stores such as Fairway Market in nearby Kips Bay and 16 Handles frozen yogurt have proved popular. Whether you’re looking for a new favorite haunt or a place to call home, consider Murray Hill.
-- BY KATHARINE ULRICH
Need to know
As with many New York nabes, the boundaries of Murray Hill are often argued. The most narrowly defined boundaries of the Manhattan neighborhood are 34th Street to 40th Street between Madison Ave and Third Avenue, but some consider 30th Street as the southern perimeter and all the way to the East River as Murray Hill as well. More »
Trains: The recently renovated 33rd Street-Park Avenue station is your best bet, with the 6 train stopping at all times and the 4 during late night hours. Nearby Grand Central Terminal is about nine blocks north and serves as a main subway hub. Buses: M15, M34, M34A, M101, M102, M103, BxM7, BxM7a and BxM10 More »
Murray Hill boasts libraries and museums for people with wide-ranging interests: The Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Ave. at 36th St.; American Kennel Club Library, 260 Madison Ave.; Burns Archive, 140 E. 38th St.; Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, 200 E. 38th St. More »
P.S. 116, 210 E. 33rd St.; The Churchill School & Center, 301 E. 29th St.; Murray Hill Academy, 111 E. 33rd St. More »
The 17th Precinct at 167 E. 51st St. covers Murray Hill, which has historically been considered a safe area. According to the NYPD CompStat report, the precinct reported a 66% decrease in murders between 1990 and 2012. More »
115 E. 34th St. (between Lexington and Park avenues) More »
Celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year, this Italian-Croatian spot boasts a modern twist on classic Dalmatian coast cuisine. Traditional dishes such as Buzara, a seafood stew, keep locals coming back for more.
Don’s Bogam BBQ and Wine bar
Looking for Korean barbecue in a fun atmosphere? Try Don’s Bogam, where Chef Woo Kim and crew cook up classics like galbi, marinated rib eye steak, and Japchae — sweet potato noodles with vegetables. Wash it down with a glass of wine from their extensive list, or try Soju, a Korean liquor.
Though this elegant steakhouse now has seven locations in the U.S., the flagship restaurant is located in Murray Hill in the former dining room of the Vanderbilt Hotel. The porterhouse is consistently a crowd favorite.
Park Avenue Tavern
With the slogan “enter as strangers, leave as friends,” this well-lit bar and restaurant offers self-service taps available by reservation for private parties of up to 20 guests, $5 cocktail specials during brunch and an extensive selection of brews.
If you consider a glass of wine the best way to end a stressful day, Vino 313 has you covered. The relaxed ambience and friendly staff make Vino 313 a perfect spot to enjoy a drink with friends while munching on Brussels sprouts with bacon or sliders.
Pookie and Sebastian
Indulge your girlie side at Pookie and Sebastian’s Murray Hill location. The store, named after two Yorkies, will become your go-to store when you need a flirty outfit in a pinch. Complete your look with Pookie and Sebastian’s head-turning accessories.
The Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore
Book collectors frequent this shop, which specializes (as the name implies) in antique books on exploring and traveling. Think first editions of vintage books from around the globe.
Though technically located a block away from the boundaries of Murray Hill, if you are in the area, this family-owned hardware store-- the only one open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in New York City-- is a must-visit. From basics like WD-40 and plywood to nuts, bolts, doorknobs and paint, anything you need is almost guaranteed to be found here.
Pure Power Boot Camp
Warning: not for the faint of heart or those averse to sweat. Let “drill officers” at this fitness center kick you into shape in one of their intense sessions, which uses training techniques from former U.S. Marines.
St. Vartan’s Park
This park provides a small but serene respite from the surrounding area. The recently renovated playground is often bustling with local kids.
Between the multiple United Nations embassies and the prevalence of international stores, Murray Hill has a lot to see. Check out NYCWalk.com for a Murray Hill walking tour that focuses on the architecture and history of the nabe. Both a two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half hour tour are offered, and the itinerary includes stops at Robert Murray’s farm and the Union League Club. More »