Second to the subway for most of us (save messengers and Olympians), bicycling affords the quickest transit around Manhattan. We have seen people leaving black tie affairs at the Plaza and the Waldorf on bike, and we dodge (and sometimes join) masses of bikers in Central Park. We have also seen plenty of bike accidents. With caution we recommend bicycling in and around Manhattan to the visitor. For the die-hard, a helmet and a horn, bell, or whistle are a must. Plan your route in advance, and be alert for opening car doors and swerving cars. Heed my grandfather's three favorite adages: "easy does it", "better safe than sorry", and "not all the nuts are in the nuthouse."
Murray Hill is a small residential neighborhood whose good side is blocks of former carriage houses from the 20th century and whose bad side is lackluster post-war apartment buildings. Here you could have discovered an interesting apartment ten years ago; what remains today are lots of large residential buildings without charm or doormen, and local services that cater mostly to residents: small grocery stores, hardware stores, non-remarkable restaurants, and nail salons.