Hell’s Kitchen

by Samantha Palmer

Hell’s Kitchen is one of Manhattan’s anomalies. Nobody is completely sure where the name originated. Although there are several interesting versions of the story, there is one thing they all have in common: Hell’s Kitchen was not so named for its timid nature. Also known as Clinton and Midtown West, Hell’s Kitchen is steeped in infamy and intrigue. Covering the area between 34th Street and 57th Street from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River, this neighborhood of Manhattan has featured throughout New York City’s underworld history and was even the inspiration for the Broadway hit, West Side Story which features the feud between two Irish and Puerto Rican gangs.

Due to its somewhat shady reputation, the real estate prices were much lower than the rest of Manhattan. Previously inhabited mainly by the poor and working-class Irish-Americans, the area has undergone massive reconstruction and is today home to many famous actors and entertainers due to its interesting history and proximity to all the major theaters.

Hell’s Kitchen is in close proximity to some of New York’s major attractions which include Central Park, Madison Square Garden, Broadway and Times Square. The borders have always been a contentious issue, much like the area’s history, but one thing is for certain: Hell’s Kitchen is a must-see during any visit to New York City.

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