And let me just apologize to my few friends who inhabit the precinct: I’m truly sorry
That being said, I think Murray Hill (which shall henceforth be referred to as Murray Hell) is the.worst.hood in ‘hattan.
My first up-close n’ personal encounter with this Midtown Eastish locale was in the summer of 2004. My friend Jackie (unlucky lass) was assigned to those NYU dorms.
I hadn’t been formally introduced to the West Village yet so my love affair/obsession was nonexistent. Midtown and Murray Hell were the only areas I had some familiarity with. I thought that ugly high rises, filthy litter, ceaseless construction, countless bodegas, disgusting restaurants, and douchebag bars were de rigueur in Manhattan. I thought Manhattan was just plain gross.
My next visit to Murray Hell was a year-and-a-half later when I (unfortunately) stayed at a hotel right in the heart of the hood. Vomitus. I was dragged to packed bars full of underage kids, too-loud music, and too-expensive Bud Lights. I was submitted to “healthy” falafel chains instead of standalone pizza joints. Blasphemy! Insanity!
That second stay sealed the No Dankes! deal. I was in hate with Murray Hell. Never did I ever want to return to that most loathsome location. And I’ve done a pretty stand-up job of avoiding it the past 3.5 years.
Alas, it was my most unlucky lot in life to waste the past two Saturdays in - can you guess? - Murray Hell. Sob sob.
As I mentioned a few entries ago, I participated in the AMC Best Picture Showcase extravaganza with my friends Melissa and Meg. It was fine inside the theater, I guessss. But walking to and from the train, taking breaks outside, trying to find something for dinner - well, it was sheer misery.
I wonder if Murray Hell has a higher suicide rate than any other neighborhood in NYC. Probably. Hmm...definitely.
It’s so inaccessible. Even subways hate it round there! There’s nary a train - well there’s the 6, but that’s way over on Park. There’s still Lex, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st to go. And honestly, I don’t blame the trains for not wanting to plummet deeper into the depths of Hell. In fact, I give them two very big thumbs up.
The Buildings. Methinks people realized just how awful Murray Hell was way back in the day - that’s why there’s no cute, charming apartamentos with character. It was (and still is) a hood of denizens by denizens for denizens: tasteless, classless peeps who wouldn’t know a brownstone if it smothered them à la Wicked Witch of the East.
There’s nothing but apartment building after apartment building. All of them heinous with horrifically horrible names. Names! Do they think they’re plantations or something? Wtf.
Some of my favorite least favorites: The Leonard, The Sycamore (so original), The Wilshire (really? is this Beverly Hills?), Chesapeake House, Manhattan Promenade. Ick! Each block is worse than the last.
The “restaurants”? Revolting! Who wants to chow down at Lyric Diner or Mike Due Pizza. Mike Due Pizza?? That doesn’t even make sense. People who live and work in Murray Hill apparently didn’t pass grammar school English.
Nope, there’s not a single place worth eating at. OK, maybe one - Penelope where my darling friends Ri and Will work. But because it’s the only decent joint, the wait (for people not in with the staff) is always ridiculous. And that pretty much cancels out any goodness.
The bars? Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realize a magical time machine had beamed me back to the Maingate in Allentown, PA circa 2002. And dem der memories ain’t pretty, believe you me. Joshua Tree? Atrocious. Galway Hooker? Hella no. Tonic East and Hook & Ladder and Red Sky and PS 450 - no no no no NO.
The street litter is more vile. The construction workers more miserable. Shit yo, even the SNOW is dirtier and uglier than our Greenwich Village snow!
What sane person with any iota of an IQ would want to live in a hood chock full of cookie-cutter high rises and shitty restaurants? Where bars are called The Hairy Monk? Where you can’t step foot outside without crashing into armies of JAPs donning Tory Burch combat flats and cradling Louis Vuitton rucksacks?
This video sums up all that is my own personal version of Hell:
O to the m to the f to the g NO DANKES!