Murray Hill is mainly co-op territory, with a few newer condo buildings and some historic single-family homes. These larger properties are often remarkable, whether converted 1860s stables like the homes of famous Sniffen Court, or traditional New York rowhouses that have been historically landmarked. Co-ops here run the gamut, but many offer excellent amenities and white-glove services. Buyers seeking newer digs are not out of luck, however, as Murray Hill balances all the brass and brick with a spate of gleaming high-rise condos touting luxuries, views, and the absence of an inquisitive co-op board.
While Murray Hill has many charms, proximity to the subway is not foremost among them. Trains on the 4, 5, and 6 line stop at 42nd Street (in Grand Central Terminal), 33rd Street, and 28th Street along Park Avenue, clipping the western edge of the neighborhood. Numerous bus lines also serve the area. As with almost anywhere in Manhattan, getting a taxi or an Uber on the avenues of Murray Hill will usually be easy.
Murray Hill saw the opening of a brand-new public elementary school, PS 281 The River School, in the fall of 2013, and there are several other highly regarded public schools in the surrounding area, including PS 40 in Gramercy and PS 116 in Kips Bay. As a smaller neighborhood, Murray Hill offers few private options for older students, but gives residents easy access to the bevy of excellent schools on the Upper East Side.
Murray Hill is dotted with smaller parks, including the Robert Moses Playground at 42nd Street and First Avenue, and St. Vartan Park at 35th Street and 1st Avenue. A serendipitous place to discover on a walk, Tudor City Greens spans one block between 42nd and 43rd streets just west of United Nations Headquarters, and provides an incredible oasis of tranquility in the middle of the bustling city.
Restaurants and bars
There’s a ton of great places to eat and drink in Murray Hill, and plenty of establishments that belie its reputation as a quieter and more conservative area. Penelope is the requisite neighborhood purveyor of comfort food, and a Murray Hill staple for which the brunch crowds start to line up early. Meat and craft beer are served with style and joy at aptly named The Cannibal; and stylish young professionals happily bide their time waiting for bespoke cocktails at Middle Branch. Perhaps Murray Hill’s biggest culinary landmark is Second Avenue Deli, which sits proudly on the top tier of Manhattan’s pickle-and-pastrami palaces. If you prefer something a little less precious, there are plenty of lively taverns lining Murray Hill’s Second and Third avenues.
Murray Hill might not be the first place you think of for designer clothing and boutiques, but someone has to dress all those corner-office aspirants, and lately some top-notch clothiers have taken up the task. Kamakura Shirts offers Ivy League style for men, while an output of the TaROO chainlet purveys pretty print dresses for the ladies. Even designer Rebecca Minkoff will sell you a handbag or some denim in Murray Hill, as long as you make an appointment. Small shops line Third, Second, and First avenues retailing life’s more pedestrian necessities, and the neighborhood is well-served by grocery chains, with nearby locations of Fairway and Trader Joe’s.
Landmarks and culture
As you’d expect of any historic neighborhood, Murray Hill offers a fair share of landmarks and historic buildings. Among the most prominent of these is The Morgan Library and Museum, a combination library and performance space that hosts numerous art exhibits inside three sumptuous buildings. Other notable locales in Murray Hill include United Nations Headquarters, the New York Public Library’s flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman building, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the latter two of which offer numerous public performances and events.