Neigborhoods

Murray Hill

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Right in the middle of Manhattan one can find his/her special piece of the city. This is achievable in Murray Hill, which lies south of 42nd Street to 30th Street and is bounded roughly by Madison Avenue to the East River. It has a mystique quite unique to the neighborhood. The land now considered Murray Hill was originally known as Inclenburg. In 1753 Robert Murray moved to New York from Pennsylvania and took up residence at the foot of Wall Street where he founded Murray Wharf. He purchased a large tract of land on which he built his country estate. The estate, despite being named “Belmont,” soon became “Murray Hill” to residents. As progress came to New York and construction began on the New York and Harlem railroad, the Murray descendants created the Murray Hill Restriction, which in effect banned the use of the land for building anything other than brick and stone dwellings. People of wealth, who began moving up from Lower Manhattan, commence settling in Murray Hill, a favored destination. With many commercial establishments opening up in the neighborhood, the 3rd Avenue EL opened in 1878. This further gave rise to other commercial Eshtablishments designed to serve the middle class and new immigrants. Grand Central Depot opened in 1871, which led to the opening of several hotels in the area. By the close of the 19th century, Murray Hill had taken on its present characteristics with many mansions and elegant brownstones. Though most of the mansions, built by the wealthy, have been torn down some homes as well as carriage houses remain to remind us of Murray Hill in its heydays. Murray Hill abounds with convenience. It is a neighborhood with a low-key residential feel. The brownstones in the area are elegant turn of the century buildings, yet unpretentious. Luxury high-rises add to the residential diversity mix. It is a neighborhood for family and, for many, walking to work from their homes in this quiet, tranquil neighborhood becomes a leisurely stroll. FOOD/NIGHTLIFE There are a large number of ethnically diverse places to eat—from Chinese takeout to any of the quality Indian establishments lining Lexington Avenue—all in your price range, whatever it is. The majority of restaurants are found along Second Avenue from East 30th and up. The area around Third Avenue and 34th Street (Kip’s Bay) has a wide array of restaurants, movie theaters, and after-work meeting spots. Entertainment in the form of clubs is fairly slim, although the raucous establishments of Flatiron and Chelsea are just a stone’s throw away. For movie lovers, however, the Kips Bay Loews Theater on 2nd Ave is a cushy place to catch a flick.