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City Living: Hell's Kitchen
Once a nefarious playground for street thugs, Hell’s Kitchen is now a hot spot for foodies, theater aficionados, tourists and real estate investors.
It’s far along from the days when Irish, African American and Hispanic street gangs with names like the Gophers and the Gorillas roamed, violently clashing. But its gritty name remains, adored by many residents and resilient to past proposals aimed at rebranding it as Clinton.
How this neighborhood earned its sinister name is still unclear — some say it’s because of the gangs, others say it was a particular tenement building.
Another group tells a story of a rookie cop who might have played a part in coining it. Despite its unclear origins, Hell’s Kitchen is also known as Clinton and Midtown West.
During the 18 and 1900s warehouses, tenement buildings, slaughterhouses, lumberyards and factories dominated. These days, culture meets convenience, as it is home to Theater Row on 49th Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues, Restaurant Row on 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, and the scenic piers overlooking the Hudson River. Its proximity to Times Square, Central park and Lincoln Center provides a plus to residents and visitors.
And it is situated in a prime location for transportation, conveniently close to trains, buses and the Lincoln Tunnel.
Though parts of Hell’s Kitchen remain industrialized, it has its share of green spaces: Hudson River Park along the West Side Highway; the Clinton Community Garden at 434 W. 48th St.; to Hell’s Kitchen Park at 10th Avenue between 47th and 48th streets; and DeWitt Clinton Park at 52nd Street between 11th and 12th avenues.
NEED TO KNOW
A, C, E to 34th Street/Penn Station and 42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Station; C, E to 50th Street; A, C, D, 1 Trains to 59th Street/Columbus Circle; M11, M20, M 31, M34, M34A, M42, M 50, M57, M104. More »
New York Public Library, Columbus Branch. 742 10th Ave. 212-586-5098 More »
340 W. 42nd St. 212-502-0421 & 322 W. 52nd St. 800-275-8777 More »
The 18th Precinct (also known as the Midtown North Precinct) and the 14th Precinct (also known as the Midtown South Precinct) both cover Hell's Kitchen. Reports of petit larceny are high in both precincts. More »
Queen of Sheba
Experience the traditional ways Ethiopian cuisine is eaten.
Bourbon Street Bar & Grille
This restaurant row hotspot brings New Orleans to New York.
The Pony Bar
The Pony Bar known for its assortment of craft beers on tap.
Birdland Jazz Club
Birdland has hosted some of the most famous acts from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie. Live bands continue the tradition today, taking the stage every night.
This rooftop bar offers a panoramic view of the city and happy hour specials during the week.
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
Open every Saturday and Sunday year-round, this flea market offers vintage and contemporary finds and features many eccentric and obscure items from more than 30 vendors.
Coup De Coeur
This small contemporary boutique has a friendly staff and offers new styles every week.
Delphinium Home has attracted locals and tourists for 14 years with stylish home décor.
The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
Get an up close view of the prototype space shuttle Enterprise, the aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid or cold-war era submarine, the USS Growler at this landmark.
The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
Car shows and college graduations are not what Jacob Javits is all about. The space also hosts exhibitions like New York Comic Con last weekend and Circle of Sisters, the largest expo for women of color through October 20.
Triton Gallery specializes exclusively in theatrical posters and art. They offer a large collection of posters and windowcards of current and past Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.