Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan NY


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Hell's Kitchen, also known as Clinton and Midtown West, is a neighborhood that includes roughly the area between 34th Street and 57th Street, from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River. The neighborhood provides transportation, hospital and warehouse infrastructure support to the Midtown Manhattan business district. Its gritty reputation had depressed real estate prices relative to much of the rest of Manhattan until the early 1990s.

Different Names for Hell’s Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen has stuck as the name even though real estate developers have offered alternatives of Clinton and Midtown West or even the Mid-West. The Clinton name originated in 1959 in an attempt to link the area to DeWitt Clinton Park at 52nd and 11th Avenue, named for the 19th century New York governor.

Throughout its history, Hell's Kitchen has figured prominently in the New York City underworld, especially in Irish-American organized crime circles. Gangsters like Owney Madden, bootleggers like Bill Dwyer, and Westies leaders Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone were Hell's Kitchen natives. The rough and tumble days on the West Side figure prominently in Damon Runyon stories. Various Manhattan ethnic conflicts formed the basis of the musical and film West Side Story. Once a bastion of poor and working-class Irish-Americans, over the last three decades of the 20th century and into the new century, Hell's Kitchen has undergone tremendous gentrification as a result of its proximity to Midtown. However, this has been a long and steady process since the 1960s. The 1969 edition of the Plan for New York City book authored by the City Planning Commission stated that people of modest means were being driven from the area by development pressures due to the Midtown location. Today, a great number of actors have resided in the neighborhood thanks to its proximity to the Broadway theaters and The Actors Studio training school.

Hell's Kitchen - Transportation center

About every conceivable form of transportation, including horses, ocean going ships, and airplanes, has some form of infrastructure in the neighborhood.

Automobiles - The Lincoln Tunnel connects New York City to New Jersey. Parking lots dot the neighborhood. Eleventh Avenue is lined with car dealerships, many of which claim to have the highest volume among all dealerships for their brands in the country.

Buses - The massive Port Authority Bus Terminal is between 40th and 42nd Streets and 8th and 9th Avenues.

Horses - Many of the horse drawn carriages from Central Park stay in stables just off the West Side Highway. It is not uncommon to hear the clip clop of horses in the neighborhood. There have also been calls for banning horses following collisions between horses and cars.

Planes - An assortment of planes including the Concorde and SR-71 Blackbird are on display at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.

Ships - Cruise ships, including the RMS Queen Mary 2 and Freedom of the Seas continuously dock at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal in the 48th to 52nd piers called Piers 88, 90, 92. The SS Normandie caught fire and sank its Pier 88 berth during World War II. Cruise ship horns are a common sound in the neighborhood. Several French restaurants opened on West 51st Street to accommodate traffic from the French Line. The piers originally built in 1930 are now considered small and so the city is considering sending cruise traffic to other locations. In addition to the passenger ships, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum features the USS Intrepid (CV-11) Aircraft Carrier as well as an assortment of submarines and destroyers. Other ship operations in the neighborhood include the Circle Line at West 42nd and the New York Waterway ferry service.

Trains - Hell's Kitchen begins just northwest of Penn Station. Amtrak trains going into the station run along a sunken corridor just west of 11th Avenue. It is not uncommon to hear their train whistles in the neighborhood. During the post-9/11 building boom, apartment houses have been built over sections of the train tracks. It is bounded on its eastern-most border by the Eighth Avenue subway line, which here is the westernmost NYC subway line.


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