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Rare View Murray Hill

The views from the sixteenth floor of the Shelburne Murray Hill Hotel are exceptional. The Chrysler and Empire State buildings are virtually unobstructed, giving a view that rivals the more popular (and much more cleverly marketed) 230 Fifth. It is therefore especially disappointing that this bar is ordinary in so many other respects. Not very much thought has been given to the decor, which consists mostly of veneered white chairs and picnic benches. The crowd tends to comprise discrete groups in disparate corners and there is rarely much of an atmosphere -- probably because the early closing time of 11 p.m. deters real partiers.