Kips Bay gives off a homey suburban feel, with an ample supply of everyday conveniences, such as grocery stores and ATMs. The neighborhood is spotted with many micro-neighborhoods, such as the area affectionately known as Curry Hill, where the 20-something streets cross Lexington. It offers a myriad of ethnic foods and groceries, including Trader Joe's. The south east corner of Kips Bay houses Baruch College, and various cheap college hangouts. As you move further east, it becomes more residential.
Kips Bay is ideal for cyclists, as both First and Second Avenue have decent bike lanes. Runners and dog walkers can go along the East River pathway. In addition, there is the Asser Levy Recreation Center located at the east end of 23rd Street, which features indoor weight and aerobic facilities, as well as an outdoor pool.
Kips Bay is also home to NYU College of Dentistry, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Bellevue Hospital Center. This means residents living on the east side may hear sirens more often than they would like. However, that’s pretty much the extent for noise complaints. The lack of night life is made up for with slightly cheaper rent, and proximity to nightlife areas.
In addition, Kips Bay boasts their very own neighborhood AMC Loews 15 on Second Avenue and 31st Street. The more out-of-the-way location offers a chance for a better seat for a popular film.
Kips Bay is perhaps one of the more unassuming neighborhoods in Manhattan. Because of its simple nature, it is popular with families, especially those who have children. There are both brownstones and high-rise apartment complexes, many of which nurture their own little communities. Kips Bay is not on the tourist path, but with rush hour and the 35th Street ramp to the Midtown Tunnel, it can get a little congested. The area is seeing an increase in young professionals, as businesses continue to expand in Murray Hill and NoMad. Kips Bay’s proximity to slightly more “exciting” areas like East Village and the Flatiron district allows its residents easy access, while at the same time separating home from play.
- The Asser Levy Recreation Center used to be a public bath. Named after an influential Jewish immigrant who advocated for civil liberties, the baths were part of an effort to promote public hygiene, as many people living in tenements had no place to bathe. The design was modeled after ancient Roman baths and the building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1974.
- Kips Bay is named after farm owner Jacobus Henderson Kip from the 19th Century. There is some contention about the name of the area, as there was another larger farm called Rosehill.
- Many native New Yorkers do not know that the neighborhood has a name, and still lump it in with Murray Hill or Turtle Bay.
Kips Bay is exactly what it sounds like: a bay off of the Kips family farm. The area was mostly farmland, and as the decades went by, more and more land was bought off to become a development for something or another. For example in 1794, Bellevue Farm was purchased in order to construct a medical facility, and in subsequent years, parcels of Kips Bay Farm was bought off to expand the facilities.