Kips Bay – New York, NY

What Kips Bay lacks in major cultural attractions, it makes up for with reasonably priced rentals, its family-friendly atmosphere and proximity to hip, hot neighborhoods. Off the tourist’s beaten path, this quiet residential neighborhood hugs the East River, and houses hospitals, schools and a combination of apartments and co-ops. A short walk from Kips Bay takes you to Midtown Manhattan, the East Village or the hopping, artsy Flatiron District. Kip's Bay has an eclectic restaurant scene and enough bars and lounges to keep you entertained.

Schools in Kips Bay

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

A diverse selection of restaurants, college bars and laid-back lounges characterize Kips Bay's restaurant and nightlife scene. From sushi, shabu shabu and hot pots at Momokawa on East 28th Street to the fine dining at celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's Brasserie Les Halles on Park Avenue, the Kips Bay food scene serves up something for everyone. You'll feel like you've left New York City after stepping foot into Vatan, with the thatched roofs, 20-foot banyan tree and hand painted tables. The menu focuses on Gujarat flavors, offering 19-dish vegetarian meals from a set menu. Be sure to come hungry and be cautious about the peppers you choose to eat. Ideal for a romantic date or a fun girls' night out, Vanguard Wine Bar offers a quiet, relaxed atmosphere with friendly bartenders who help you choose the perfect glass. In addition to serving wine, champagne and beer, Vanguard also presents you with a menu of small plates. Choose from savory flatbread pizzas such as smoked salmon, caviar and creme fraiche, salads, meat and cheese plates and snacks, such as white bean hummus or roasted almonds with smokes sea salt. If you're looking for a younger, college vibe, mosey over to Third Avenue’s variety of low-key bars. Play dart at Fitzgerald's Pub, an Irish tavern that caters to college students and corporate workers alike, or catch the game at Taproom No 307, with its craft beers and nibbles like fried cheese curds and tater tots. When you want to go out and hear live music, check out Jazz Standard, located on East 27th Street, with its chill atmosphere and line up of excellent musicians who play everything from R&B to blues, funk and classic jazz. You can also catch live jazz at Middle Branch located on 33rd between Lexington and 3rd Avenue. For a more adventurous experience, skip the menu altogether and ask for the bartender's choice. After asking you a few questions, the bartender will whip up a handcrafted cocktail that's sure to whet your whistle. Although the nightlife scene in Kips Bay is relatively quiet, your proximity to hopping nearby neighborhoods offers a world of opportunities at your fingertips. Live music venues, dance clubs, comedy clubs and theaters are just a short walk away in the East Village, Flatiron District, Midtown or the Theater District.

History & Culture

During the 1600s, Jacobus Henderson Kip owned a farm on the land now known as Kips Bay. Named for the farmer, this neighborhood’s major claim to fame occurred when George Washington's rebel troops lost a battle with the British army during the Revolutionary War. The Coffee and Tea Festival, Kips Bay’s only annual festival, takes place on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Street. It gets loud and crowded, so try to get there as early as possible to take advantage of the limited number of goody bags handed out by festival organizers. Although Kips Bay lacks an arts scene and museum presence, you can get your fill of arts and culture by taking a short walk to neighboring areas such as the Morgan Library and Museum on Madison Avenue in Murray Hill or the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space on Avenue C in the East Village.

Transportation

Having the FDR running along its eastern border and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel located just a few blocks away makes getting around and out of the city in your car relatively easy. High demand makes on-street parking rather tricky, but you can pay the premium prices to park in one of the three neighborhood parking garages. Better yet, skip the car altogether and embrace walking, an activity you can expect to do plenty of while living in Kips Bay, although you could also easily hail a taxi. Taking a short walk from Kips Bay takes you to hip nearby neighborhoods such as the Flatiron District, Gramercy Park, the East Village and the theater district. You’ll also need to walk quite a bit to catch the 6 train at the nearest subway stations, located on Park Avenue at 23rd, 28th and 33rd Streets. The MTA services this neighborhood with buses such as M1, M2, M3, M15, M16, M21, M23, M34, M98, M101, M102 and the M103. Bike lanes make bicycling around the neighborhood a viable, safe option.

Cost

Because Kips Bay hugs the East River and lacks the convenient proximity to public transportation enjoyed by other neighborhoods, the cost of living in Kips Bay remains lower than the average for New York City. Expect to pay anywhere from $2,100 to $4,000 in monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Kips Bay. For just $2.50, you can catch a bus to take you anywhere in the city. Expect to pay around $7 to grab a pint of beer at a local pub. The average cost of gas is approximately 12 percent higher than the national average.

Shopping

Shopping at upscale boutiques and big name stores requires walking a few blocks outside of Kips Bay to neighboring areas such as the Flatiron District. Although you don't have many shops to choose from in this neighborhood, you'll find plenty of bodegas, particularly at the cross streets of 34th and 28th. If you enjoy thrift store shopping, however, Kips Bay has plenty to offer. Search for treasures like the high-end designer labels and funky furniture at Housing Works Thrift Shop on 23rd Street. Once you finish decorating your new apartment, Nuthouse Hardware ensures that you have everything to keep your domicile in working order. This four-story building overflows with electronic cables, plumbing valves and tools. Head to the basement for a bright green shower curtain or designer cookware. Best of all, Nuthouse welcomes your visit 24 hours a day and seven days a week. When you need groceries, check out the fancy foods and gourmet Italian groceries at Todaro Brothers on 2nd Avenue, or stop at Fairway, located on 2nd Avenue at Kips Bay Plaza near several drugstores and a movie theater. Fairway carries everything from hand-rolled sushi and fresh fish to natural and organic heath products, along with grab-and-go items such as sandwiches, salads and food from the hot bar. Don't leave the market without checking out the bakery items like pastries, bagels and baguettes. Meanwhile, the Union Square Greenmarket is just a few blocks away from the neighborhood, and offers a wide assortment of seasonal produce year round.

Parks

Kips Bay lacks any real public park, although you do have free access to small outdoor spaces such as the Vincent F. Albano, Jr. Playground, located at the corner of Second Avenue and 29th Street. Shoot hoops at the basketball courts at Bellevue South Park, situated near Bellevue Hospitals between 26th and 28th Streets. You only have to take a short walk to reach Madison Square Park, a free public park with a dog run, art installations and other attractions. A short walk south and west of Kips Bay brings you to Union Square Park, the site of a year-round farmer's market, art installations and political gatherings. Another option, 6BC Botanical Gardens, calls the East Village/Alphabet City home. This free park houses lovely well-kept gardens, romantic nooks and plenty of green space to spread a blanket and soak up some sunshine or read a book.
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