The Once Gritty Neighborhood Of Hell’s Kitchen

By | 2018-01-16T14:29:55+00:00 November 19th, 2015|New York|

The place with several names, Hell’s Kitchen is also called Clinton and Midtown West, but Hell’s Kitchen is the most common. It is a neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City, in the middle of 34th Street in the south. 59th Street in the north, Eighth Avenue in the east, and to the west of the Hudson River.

hells kitchen

What’s In A Name?

Up until the 1980s, Hell’s Kitchen was regarded as a dangerous and gritty place to live. But where did the name come from? Well, the origins of this name are not very clear, but it is clear that from the mid 1800s and well into the 1980s, this area was riddled with crime.

One of the notorious gangsters in the area were two generations of Irish gangsters dubbed the Westies by the police and the press. The Westies were involved in murders, thefts, arson, extortion, gambling, drugs, you name it they did it, contributing to the area’s name- Hell’s Kitchen.

Changes In The Neighborhood

The area has been going through some gentrification since the 1980’s and is becoming one of the safest areas to live. Gentrification has come about through some recent building developments. Older buildings are being converted into high-end homes and developments such as the Hudson Yards, the High Line, and the Time Warner Center have prompted growth in the area. Needless to say, property prices are started to go up in the neighborhood.

As Hell’s Kitchen is starting to blossom, there are a number of places to explore in this district.

Take In the Culture & Food

Due to its proximity to Broadway, Hell’s Kitchen has attracted creatives in the acting and entertainment industries. The following are some of the areas you can find in this area.

The Actor’s Studio

The Actor’s studio located in the area and has seen a number of stars in the making come through its doors. Founded in 1947, The Actor’s Studio was created to provide a place where professional actors can work together between jobs or when they are in the middle of long runs. The purpose is for them to continue to develop their craft and experiment with new types of creative theater work.

Television Tapings

Studios in the neighborhood can allow you to see the following tapings:

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: The Show that parodies politics, pop culture, entertainment and news, tapes at 733 Eleventh Avenue between W. 51st and W. 52nd Streets. You have to reserve your tickets, but admission is not always guaranteed even with reservations.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: The show that premiered on September 8, 2015, provides more political and news of the day from host Stephen Colbert. Taped on 1697 Broadway between W. 53rd and W. 54th Streets. Again you have to reserve your tickets in advance because tickets go very quickly.

For more information about live tapings you can catch in and around the area, click here.

Theaters & Markets

Because of its proximity to Broadway, there is so much the area has to offer in terms of arts and culture.

Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC): Located at 450 W 37th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, is a foundation and arts complex that was opened by Mikhail Baryshnikov in 2005. The BAC offers space. tech, funding and mentoring for new artists to be able to present their work. The Center also houses the Orchestra of St.Luke’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music. You can find dance and music shows at the Center.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Founded by Alvin Ailey in 1958, this dance theater celebrates African-American culture and modern culture. The Ailey company has performed for approximately 25 million people at theaters in 48 stats and 71 countries on six different continents.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market: This twelve-year-old flea market has over 100 stalls with a range of vintage to mid-century housewares and contemporary crafts on offer. The flea market is opened every Saturday and Sunday all year round.

Gotham West Market: With an industrial design and communal food court seating arrangement, Gotham West Market is considered a “first of its kind day and night market dining destination in Hell’s Kitchen”. There are numerous vendors that come together and offer diverse culinary dishes. Visit here to learn more about Gotham West Market.

Transportation

There are a lot of subway lines at Columbus Circle that will get you in and out of Hell’s Kitchen like the A, B, C, D, 1. At Port Authority you can use the A, C, E, Times Square, 1, 2,3,7, S, N, Q, R and from Penn Station, you take the A, C, E, 1,2,3).

Emergency Services

For any time you need police, fire services, and hospital services, here are some of the numbers you can keep in situations of emergencies.

NYPD Midtown North Precinct

306 West 54th Street,
New York, NY, 10019-5102
(212) 767-8400

FDNY Engine 34/Ladder 21

Fire Station- Hell’s Kitchen
440 W 38th St
New York, NY 10018

St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center

1000 Tenth Avenue, Suite 2B
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 523-7780

About the Author:

Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.

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