The early risers in Murray Hill utilize the cozy St. Vartan Park for their daily activities. The handball and racquetball stronghold doesn’t unfortunately offer much greenery, but is rather a sports-driven spot. Still, there’s plenty of seating around to give you a chance to sit down and catch your breath after a morning run.
Many locals may not even know about The Morgan Library & Museum. This beautiful white classic building is muted by its larger museum and library counterparts in the heart of the city. Originally, this was the personal library of JP Morgan’s in the early 1900s. Since, the institution has evolved into one of the most important artistic and literary collections in the world. For instance, the library contains a large collection of pamphlets, prints and drawings of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough, Durer and Picasso. They also carry early printed bibles and three Gutenberg Bibles.
There’s a distinct international appeal in the area due to the relative proximity of the United Nations headquarters. Take some time to stroll around and create your own little private consulate building tour. Many foreign countries’ consulates are housed in the area’s landmarked mansions. The three most notable are the Consulate-General of Mexico at 27 East 39th Street, the Consulate-General of South Africa at 333 East 38th Street and the Consulate-General of the Republic of Poland at 233 Madison Avenue. Nineteen other countries house their ambassadorial staff in the neighborhood, including Fiji, Estonia, Iran, India and Guinea.
The dinner scene in Murray Hill is filled with new wave style of small eateries that think simple. The best of the bunch are The Cannibal (meat-centric small plates and charcuterie with craft beer) and Penelope (comfort food with lines that sling around the block at times). But tonight, the night is reserved for Salvation Taco in the Pod 39 Hotel. On the surface, the Mexican place is stylish (think Dos Caminos) with pricey tacos. But there’s much more to this Mexican street food specialist. They have changed the way in which New Yorkers appreciate the Mexican cuisine. For starters, the restaurant often serves a whole roasted pig’s head as a family-style event. Beyond delectable!
Yes, it’s true: there’s a legendary college bar called Joshua Tree. But there’s also an ultimate cocktail bar that’s right in your neighborhood. The drinks at Middle Branch are incredible. The bar is part of a privately-owned cocktail bar family in the city (the other is Little Branch and formerly Milk & Honey (now closed) in the Village.) The drinks you would hope to experience here include a rum-based Island Old Fashioned as well as various takes on numerous other Prohibition-era cocktails.