Hell’s Kitchen

Originally dominated by Irish immigrants, Hell’s Kitchen is a West Side neighbourhood of Midtown Manhattan, bordered by the Hudson River, Columbus Circle and the Hudson Yards. Since the 1980s, it has turned into an exciting nightlife for young professionals, featuring popular landmarks like the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.

History

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During colonial times, the area that's now known as Hell’s Kitchen was mostly rural and lined with farmhouses. The Great Famine in Ireland drastically changed the demographics and geography of this pastoral part of the island of Manhattan. Fleeing hunger and economic trouble, Irish immigrants settled on New York City's busy docks along the Hudson River. Before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Hell’s Kitchen was already dominated by Irish families. The working-class residents were primarily employed in the rail and maritime industries that thrived in the rapidly changing Manhattan. Tenements and shantytowns defined the dense waterfront neighbourhood for decades. Although it brought some economic prosperity, the Prohibition era also criminalized the district. Underground saloons and bars played a key role in the social scene in Hell’s Kitchen during this part of the early 20th century. The end of World War II marked a gradual change in the character of Hell’s Kitchen. Gentrification has revived many declining and neglected sectors of the neighbourhood. Old warehouses, factories and shops were converted to condominiums and apartments to accommodate the growing middle class in Manhattan. Since the 1980s, Hell’s Kitchen has been a hot spot for exciting nightlife for young professionals in the Big Apple.

Attractions and Landmarks

Having more than 1.8 million square feet of meeting space, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is one of the most visited venues in Hell's Kitchen and all of NYC. This contemporary complex mostly hosts trade shows and other exhibits that attract participants and visitors from all over the world. The New York International Auto Show is one of the top events at the Javits Convention Center. Occupying Pier 86 along the Hudson River, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is another popular attraction in Hell's Kitchen. Deployed in the Pacific Theater during World War II, the USS Intrepid is the main highlight of this unique museum. You'll also get to see a nuclear-equipped submarine, fighter jets and other naval technology. Hell's Kitchen is also home to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, which is served by some of the world's biggest cruise companies. Occupying several piers just to the north of the Intrepid, the terminal leads passengers to extended voyages on the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Location, Layout and Transportation

Naturally separating the island of Manhattan and New Jersey, the Hudson River defines the western edge of Hell’s Kitchen. The northern part of the neighbourhood is roughly marked by Columbus Circle. The southern tip of the district borders the Hudson Yards, which play a vital role in the city's rapid transit maintenance operations. Linking Columbus Circle with Penn Station New York, 9th Avenue acts as a border between Hell’s Kitchen and the core of Midtown Manhattan. The waterfront of the neighbourhood has several large piers and docks that have been transformed into various commercial and recreational facilities. Pier 78 is served by several ferry routes that are operated by the New York Water Taxi. At Pier 81, you can also hop on some ferries that provide sightseeing tours on the Hudson River, New York Harbor and other bodies of water that surround NYC. The most important transportation hub in Hell’s Kitchen is Penn Station, which offers commuter rail by NJ Transit and intercity rail by Amtrak. Several New York City subway lines also serve this busy underground train station. After years of planning and construction, the 34th Street–Hudson Yards station finally opened in 2015. Served by the 7 line, this station has significantly transformed the transportation network in Hell's Kitchen.

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