A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 12, 2008
Murraytown (Murray Hill, Kips Bay, Gramercy & the Flatiron)

The blog “Welcome to Murraytown” was started in late May 2008, with the slogan: ‘Reporting from the front lines of Murray Hill, Kips Bay, Gramercy & the Flatiron.” This blog possibly coined the Manhattan neighborhood nickname and is helping to popularize it.


Wikipedia: Murray Hill, Manhattan
Murray Hill is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan that extends south from 42nd Street to meet the neighborhood of Gramercy (or Rose Hill as the northern half of Gramercy is often referred to) at 29th Street. Blocks on Lexington Avenue around 28th Street are sometimes known as “Curry Hill”, for the high concentration of Indian restaurants. Some sources draw the southern border at 34th Street.

Its western border is at Fifth Avenue and eastern border now extends beyond Lexington Avenue, to meet the distinct waterfront neighborhoods of Kips Bay and Tudor City at Second Avenue.

The neighborhood is part of Manhattan Community Board 6, which defines the area as extending from 34th Street north to 40th and from the East River west to Madison Avenue.

Eighteenth century
Murray Hill derives its name from the Murray family, 18th-century Quaker merchants mainly concerned with shipping and overseas trade. Robert Murray (1721-1786), the family patriarch, was born in Pennsylvania and came to New York in 1753 after a short residence in North Carolina. He quickly established himself as a merchant, eventually owned more shipping tonnage than any other New Yorker. About 1762 rented land from the city for a great house and farm. His great house, which he named Inclenberg (or Belmont), but which was popularly termed Murray Hill, was built on a since-leveled hill at what is today Park Avenue and Thirty-Sixth Street. The great square house was approached by an avenue of mixed trees leading from the Boston Post Road; it was surrounded with verandas, or “piazzas”, on three sides and commanded views of the East River over Kip’s Bay. The total area was just over 29 acres (117,000 m²). In today’s terms, the farm began a few feet (meters) south of 33rd Street and extended north to the middle of the block between 38th and 39th Streets. At the southern end, the plot was rather narrow but at the northern end it went from approximately Lexington Avenue to a spot between Madison and Fifth Avenues.

Wikipedia: Kips Bay
The Kips Bay is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Like other neighborhoods in New York City, the boundaries of Kip’s Bay are somewhat vague, but it is often considered to be the area between 23rd Street and 34th Street extending from the East River to Third Avenue. Often Kips Bay is linked to neighboring regions such as Murray Hill, Midtown East, or Gramercy.

Kips Bay was named after the Dutch farmer Jacobus Kip, whose New Amsterdam farm ran from Second Avenue and 35th Street to the East River. At that time, the river formed a bay which was named for him. This bay became reclaimed land, yet “Kips Bay” remains in the name of the area.

Kips Bay was also the site of the Landing at Kip’s Bay, an episode of the American Revolutionary War and part of the New York and New Jersey campaign. About 4000 British Army troops under General William Howe landed at Kips Bay on September 15, 1776, near what is now the foot of East 33th Street. Howe’s forces defeated about 500 American militiamen commanded by Colonel William Douglas. The American forces immediately retreated and the battle contributed to the British occupation of New York City soon afterward.

There are two large apartment buildings in the neighborhood named Kips Bay Towers, designed by architect I.M. Pei. Many businesses in the neighborhood use the name (Kips Bay Cinemas, Kips Bay Cleaners, Kips Bay branch of the New York Public Library). Built on a pier above the East River between 25th and 28th Streets are Waterside Plaza and the United Nations International School. There were plans to build additional above-water apartment towers in the 1980s, but environmental concerns doomed them. Today, the waterfront south of Waterside Plaza is Stuyvesant Cove Park.

Wikipedia: Gramercy Park
Gramercy Park (sometimes misspelled as Grammercy) is a small, fenced-in private park in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, New York State. The park is one of only two remaining private parks in New York City with almost no access to the public, the other being Sunnyside Gardens, Queens.

Location
Gramercy Park is located between East 20th Street and East 21st Street and between Park Avenue South and Third Avenue (although it does not take up the entire block between these two avenues). Lexington Avenue, a major north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of Manhattan, terminates at the northern end of Gramercy Park.

Welcome to Murraytown
Welcome to Murraytown
Reporting from the front lines of Murray Hill, Kips Bay, Gramercy & the Flatiron

Murraytown
THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008
murraytown
photos of murray hill (aka girltown, as my wife calls it)

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New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Thursday, June 12, 2008 • Permalink