Also known as Lower Midtown East, the more low-key part of Midtown that is Murray Hill stretches from Fifth Avenue to the United Nations at the East River. The pedestrian and traffic congestion of Murray Hill is a major quality-of-life issue for the residents, who also battle against the endless traffic at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Nevertheless, take a walk around the quieter residential blocks, and you’re quickly transported away from the hubbub of central Midtown.
Both the dazzling Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building are stunning architectural highlights. Grand Central Station is certainly worth a look, as it’s one of the most impressive railroad stations in America. Walk in to admire its gleaming brass clock, the exquisite staircases, and the unique celestial ceiling, its light bluish-green background filled with well-known constellations dotted with tiny lights. Restored in recent years, the cavernous main hall is bathed in natural light during the day, and pulsates with activity at night, thanks not least to its three busy restaurants: Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, Metrazur, and the famous Oyster Bar.
The gorgeous Chrysler Building (which turned 75 in 2005) is also nearby. In the bright sunlight, the upper floors gleam, reflect, and even seem to pulsate light, directing the eye upwards towards the spire. Its gorgeous Art Deco lobby, with murals celebrating transportation themes, is definitely one of New York’s finest. Examine the ornamental details, the typical Deco motifs, the lush marble, and the charming light fixtures, all restored in recent years.
Meanwhile, the Pierpont Morgan Library presents diverse cultural offerings. The library is home to a dazzling collection of rare books and the building's structure –an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo reflects the nature and stature of its contents. Murray Hill is also home to various educational and cultural institutions such as the CUNY Graduate Center, Stern College for Women and the Oxford University Press. Other notable establishments include the Mexican Cultural Institute and the Scandinavia House, which is dedicated to the education and preservation of Nordic culture.
There are also plenty of dining options on the Hill. If you're craving pan-Asian fare try Tibetan Kitchen New York's original Tibetan restaurant. After many years, the Kitchen continues to turn out the beloved specialties of the high Himalaya, from momo (steamed or fried dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup) and a host of other fine dishes all at very reasonable prices. The decor even features hand-painted traditional Tibetan motifs, done by a former monk. If Mediterranean cuisine is more your style, check out Salute! and try their excellent homemade pasta. Murray Hill is also home to The Palm, a historic restaurant that became famous for its legendary steak and tradition. The walls are adorned with caricatures of the famous and local. Generations have been coming back to taste the incredible hash browns or to order a three-pound jumbo lobster and you should too.
Murray Hill is an ideal neighborhood to spend your time in New York, as it is in close proximity to so many Midtown attractions, thus the Hill offers a plethora of hotel offerings. The Affinia Dumont is a distinguished, all suite hotel, which among travelers' more spacious and elegant options. The Park South Hotel is a more moderately priced option that's rife with style.