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Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan

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Hell's Kitchen, also known as Clinton and Midtown West, is a neighborhood of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 between 34th Street
34th Street (Manhattan)
34th Street is a major cross-town street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, connecting the Lincoln Tunnel and Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Like many of New York City's major crosstown streets, it has its own bus routes and four subway stops serving the trains at Eighth Avenue, the trains at...

 and 59th Street
59th Street (Manhattan)
59th Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan runs east-west, from York Avenue to the West Side Highway, with a discontinuity between Ninth Avenue/Columbus Avenue and Eighth Avenue/Central Park West for the Time Warner Center. Although it is bi-directional for most of its length, the...

, from 8th Avenue
Eighth Avenue (Manhattan)
Eighth Avenue is a north-south avenue on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, carrying northbound traffic. Eighth Avenue begins in the West Village neighborhood at Abingdon Square and runs north for 44 blocks through Chelsea, the Garment District, Hell's Kitchen's east end, Midtown and the...

 to the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

.

The neighborhood provides transportation, hospital and warehouse infrastructure support to the Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square...

 business district. Its gritty reputation depressed real estate prices in the area relative to much of the rest of Manhattan until the early 1990s. Since then, rent prices have increased enormously, with current rent prices above the Manhattan average.

The rough and tumble days on the West Side figure prominently in Damon Runyon
Damon Runyon
Alfred Damon Runyon was an American newspaperman and writer.He was best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era. To New Yorkers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type from the...

's stories and the childhood home of Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...

' Daredevil
Daredevil (Marvel Comics)
Daredevil is a fictional character, a superhero in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, with an unspecified amount of input from Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Daredevil #1 .Living in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood...

. Various Manhattan ethnic conflicts formed the basis of the musical and film West Side Story.

Once a bastion of poor and working-class Irish American
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

s, over the last three decades of the 20th century and into the new millennium, Hell's Kitchen has undergone change as a result of its proximity to Midtown
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square...

. 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, many actors reside in the neighborhood because it is near the Broadway theaters and Actors Studio
Actors Studio
The Actors Studio is a membership organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights at 432 West 44th Street in the Clinton neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded October 5, 1947, by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford, Robert Lewis and Anna Sokolow who provided...

 training school.

Geography



"Hell's Kitchen" generally refers to the area from 34th to 59th streets. Starting west of 8th Avenue, city zoning regulations limit buildings to 6 stories high (although exceptions are often made). As a result, most of the buildings are older, often walk-ups. For the most part the neighborhood encompasses the ZIP code
ZIP Code
ZIP codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service since 1963. The term ZIP, an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan, is properly written in capital letters and was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently, and therefore more quickly, when senders use the...

s 10019 and 10036. The post office for 10019 is called Radio City Station, the original name for Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

 on Sixth Avenue
Sixth Avenue (Manhattan)
Sixth Avenue – officially Avenue of the Americas, although this name is seldom used by New Yorkers – is a major thoroughfare in New York City's borough of Manhattan, on which traffic runs northbound, or "uptown"...

.
  • Southern boundary: Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea
    Chelsea, Manhattan
    Chelsea is a neighborhood on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The district's boundaries are roughly 14th Street to the south, 30th Street to the north, the western boundary of the Ladies' Mile Historic District – which lies between the Avenue of the Americas and...

     overlap and are often lumped together as the West Side since they support the Midtown Manhattan
    Midtown Manhattan
    Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square...

     business district. The traditional dividing line is 34th Street
    34th Street (Manhattan)
    34th Street is a major cross-town street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, connecting the Lincoln Tunnel and Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Like many of New York City's major crosstown streets, it has its own bus routes and four subway stops serving the trains at Eighth Avenue, the trains at...

    . The transition area just north of Madison Square Garden
    Madison Square Garden
    Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

     and Pennsylvania Station
    Pennsylvania Station (New York City)
    Pennsylvania Station—commonly known as Penn Station—is the major intercity train station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. It is one of the busiest rail stations in the world, and a hub for inbound and outbound railroad traffic in New York City. The New York City Subway system also...

     includes the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
    Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
    Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is a large convention center located on Eleventh Avenue, between 34th and 38th streets, on the West side of Manhattan in New York City. It was designed by architects I. M. Pei and partners. The revolutionary space frame structure was undertaken in 1979 and...

    .
  • Eastern boundary: The neighborhood overlaps the Times Square
    Times Square
    Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

     theater district to the east at Eighth Avenue
    Eighth Avenue (Manhattan)
    Eighth Avenue is a north-south avenue on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, carrying northbound traffic. Eighth Avenue begins in the West Village neighborhood at Abingdon Square and runs north for 44 blocks through Chelsea, the Garment District, Hell's Kitchen's east end, Midtown and the...

    . On its southeast border, it overlaps the Garment District
    Garment District, Manhattan
    The Garment District, also known as the Garment Center, the Fashion District, or the Fashion Center, is a neighborhood located in the Manhattan borough of New York City. The dense concentration of fashion-related uses give the neighborhood, which is generally considered to span between Fifth Avenue...

     also on Eighth Avenue. Here, two landmarks reside - the New Yorker Hotel
    New Yorker Hotel
    The New Yorker Hotel, is a hotel located 481 Eighth Avenue in New York City. The 43-story Art Deco hotel opened in 1930.-General:The New Yorker Hotel is a 900 room, mid-priced hotel. It is located in Manhattan's Garment Center, central to Pennsylvania Station, Madison Square Garden, Times Square...

     and the dynamic Manhattan Center
    Manhattan Center
    The Manhattan Center building, built in 1906 and located at 311 West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan, houses Manhattan Center Studios , its Grand Ballroom, and the Hammerstein Ballroom, one of New York City's most renowned performance venues...

     building (at the northwest corner of 34th Street
    34th Street (Manhattan)
    34th Street is a major cross-town street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, connecting the Lincoln Tunnel and Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Like many of New York City's major crosstown streets, it has its own bus routes and four subway stops serving the trains at Eighth Avenue, the trains at...

     and Eighth Avenue
    Eighth Avenue (Manhattan)
    Eighth Avenue is a north-south avenue on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, carrying northbound traffic. Eighth Avenue begins in the West Village neighborhood at Abingdon Square and runs north for 44 blocks through Chelsea, the Garment District, Hell's Kitchen's east end, Midtown and the...

    ). Included in the transition area on Eighth Avenue are the Port Authority Bus Terminal
    Port Authority Bus Terminal
    The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the main gateway for interstate buses into Manhattan in New York City...

     at 42nd Street
    42nd Street (Manhattan)
    42nd Street is a major crosstown street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known for its theaters, especially near the intersection with Broadway at Times Square. It is also the name of the region of the theater district near that intersection...

    , the Pride of Manhattan Fire Station (from which 15 firefighters died at the World Trade Center
    World Trade Center
    The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

    ), several theaters including Studio 54
    Studio 54
    Studio 54 was a highly popular discotheque from 1977 until 1991, located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York, USA. It was originally the Gallo Opera House, opening in 1927, after which it changed names several times, eventually becoming a CBS radio and television studio. In 1977 it...

    , the original soup stand of Seinfeld
    Seinfeld
    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

    's Soup Nazi
    The Soup Nazi
    "The Soup Nazi" is the title of the 116th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld, which was the 6th episode of the 7th season. It first aired in the United States on November 2, 1995....

    , and the Hearst Tower
    Hearst Tower (New York City)
    The Brilliant Hearst Tower is located at 300 West 57th Street, 959 8th Avenue, near Columbus Circle in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York...

    .
  • Northern boundary: The neighborhood edges toward the southern boundary of the Upper West Side
    Upper West Side
    The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

    , and 57th Street
    57th Street (Manhattan)
    57th Street is one of New York City's major east-west thoroughfares, which runs east-west in the Midtown section of the borough of Manhattan, from the New York City Department of Sanitation's dock on the Hudson River at the West Side Highway to a small park overlooking the East River built on a...

     is considered by some the traditional northern boundary. However the neighborhood often is considered to extend to 59th Street
    59th Street (Manhattan)
    59th Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan runs east-west, from York Avenue to the West Side Highway, with a discontinuity between Ninth Avenue/Columbus Avenue and Eighth Avenue/Central Park West for the Time Warner Center. Although it is bi-directional for most of its length, the...

     (the southern edge of Central Park
    Central Park
    Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

     starting at Eighth Avenue) where the avenue names change. Included in the 57th to 59th Street transition area are the Time Warner Center
    Time Warner Center
    The Time Warner Center is a mixed-use skyscraper developed by AREA Property Partners and The Related Companies in New York City. Its design, by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, consists of two 750 ft towers bridged by a multi-story atrium containing upscale retail shops...

     at Columbus Circle
    Columbus Circle
    Columbus Circle, named for Christopher Columbus, is a major landmark and point of attraction in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South , and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park. It is the point from...

    , St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
    St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
    St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, an academic affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, is a 1,076-bed, full-service community and tertiary care hospital serving New York City’s Midtown West, Upper West Side and parts of Harlem....

    , where John Lennon
    John Lennon
    John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

     died in 1980 after being shot, and John Jay College
    John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a senior college of the City University of New York in Midtown Manhattan, New York City and is the only liberal arts college with a criminal justice and forensic focus in the United States. The college offers programs in Forensic Science and Forensic...

    .
  • Western boundary: The western boundary is the Hudson River
    Hudson River
    The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

    .

Name



Several explanations exist for the original name. An early use of the phrase appears in a comment Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett
David "Davy" Crockett was a celebrated 19th century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician. He is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet "King of the Wild Frontier". He represented Tennessee in the U.S...

 made about another notorious Irish slum in Manhattan, Five Points
Five Points, Manhattan
Five Points was a neighborhood in central lower Manhattan in New York City. The neighborhood was generally defined as being bound by Centre Street in the west, The Bowery in the east, Canal Street in the north and Park Row in the south...

. According to the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area:
When, in 1835, Davy Crockett said, '"In my part of the country, when you meet an Irishman, you find a first-rate gentleman; but these are worse than savages; they are too mean to swab hell's kitchen." He was referring to the Five Points.


According to an article by Kirkley Greenwell, published online by the Hell's Kitchen Neighborhood Association:
No one can pin down the exact origin of the label, but some refer to a tenement on 54th Street
54th Street (Manhattan)
54th Street is a two-mile-long, one-way street traveling west to east across Midtown Manhattan.-West Side Highway:*The route begins at the West Side Highway . Opposite the intersection is the New York Passenger Ship Terminal and the Hudson River...

 as the first "Hell's Kitchen." Another explanation points to an infamous building at 39th as the true original. A gang and a local dive took the name as well.... a similar slum also existed in London and was known as Hell's Kitchen.


Local historian Mary Clark adds a probably apocryphal anecdote when she states the name:
...first appeared in print on September 22, 1881 when a New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

reporter went to the West 30s with a police guide to get details of a multiple murder there. He referred to a particularly infamous tenement at 39th Street and 10th Avenue as "Hell's Kitchen," and said that the entire section was "probably the lowest and filthiest in the city." According to this version, 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues became known as Hell's Kitchen and the name was later expanded to the surrounding streets. Another version ascribes the name's origins to a German restaurant in the area known as Heil's Kitchen, after its proprietors. But the most common version traces it to the story of Dutch Fred The Cop, a veteran policeman, who with his rookie partner, was watching a small riot on West 39th Street near 10th Avenue. The rookie is supposed to have said, "This place is hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

 itself," to which Fred replied, "Hell's a mild climate. This is Hell's Kitchen."

Alternative names



Hell's Kitchen has stuck as the general and informal name of the neighborhood even though real estate developers have offered alternatives of Clinton and Midtown West or even "the Mid-West". The Clinton name, used by the municipality of New York City, originated in 1959 in an attempt to link the area to DeWitt Clinton Park
DeWitt Clinton Park
DeWitt Clinton Park is a New York City public park in the Hell's Kitchen, New York neighborhood between West 52nd Street and 54th Street and Eleventh Avenue and the West Side Highway in Manhattan....

 at 52nd and 11th Avenue, named after the 19th century New York governor
DeWitt Clinton
DeWitt Clinton was an early American politician and naturalist who served as United States Senator and the sixth Governor of New York. In this last capacity he was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal...

.

History



On the island of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 as it was when Europeans first saw it, the Great Kill
Kill (body of water)
As a body of water, a kill is a creek. The word comes from the Middle Dutch kille, meaning "riverbed" or "water channel." The modern Dutch term is kil....

 (Dutch: Grote Kil, Middle Dutch: Groote Kille), which formed from three small streams that united near 10th Avenue and 40th street, wound through the low-lying Reed Valley renowned for fish and waterfowl to empty into the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

 at a deep bay on the river at the present 42nd Street. The name was retained in a tiny hamlet, Great Kill, that became a center for carriage-making, as the upland to the south and east became known as Longacre, the predecessor of Longacre, now Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

. One of the large farms of the colonial era in this neighborhood was that of Andreas Hopper and his descendants; it spanned the distance between today's 48th Street nearly to 59th Street and stretched from the river east to what is now Sixth Avenue. One of the Hopper farmhouses, built in 1752 for John Hopper the younger, stood near 53rd Street and 11th Avenue; christened "Rosevale" for its extensive gardens, it was the home of the War of 1812 veteran, Gen. Garrit Hopper Striker, and lasted until 1896, when it was demolished; the site was purchased for the city and naturalistically landscaped by Samuel Parsons Jr. as DeWitt Clinton Park
DeWitt Clinton Park
DeWitt Clinton Park is a New York City public park in the Hell's Kitchen, New York neighborhood between West 52nd Street and 54th Street and Eleventh Avenue and the West Side Highway in Manhattan....

. In 1911 New York Hospital
New York Hospital
New York Hospital or “Old New York Hospital” or “City Hospital” was the oldest hospital in New York City and the second oldest hospital in the United States.-Early History:...

 bought a full city block largely of the Hopper property, between 54th and 55th Street, Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues. Beyond the railroad track, projecting into the river at 54th Street, was Mott's Point, with an 18th-century Mott family house, surrounded by gardens, that was inhabited by members of the family until 1884 and survived until 1895.

A lone surviving structure that dates from the time this area was open farmland and suburban villas is the carriage house (pre-1800) that once belonged to a villa owned by ex-Vice President and New York State governor George Clinton
George Clinton (vice president)
George Clinton was an American soldier and politician, considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was the first Governor of New York, and then the fourth Vice President of the United States , serving under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He and John C...

, now in a narrow court behind 422 West 46th Street. From 1811 until it was officially de-mapped the ghostly Bloomingdale Square was part of the city's intended future; it extended from 53rd to 57th Streets between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. It was eliminated in 1857 after the establishment of Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

, and the name shifted to the junction of Broadway, West End Avenue, and 106th Street, now Straus Park
Straus Park
Straus Park is a small landscaped park in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, at the intersection of Broadway, West End Avenue, and 106th Street....

. In 1825, for $10 the City purchased clear title to a right-of-way through John Leake Norton's farm, "The Hermitage", to lay out 42nd Street
42nd Street (Manhattan)
42nd Street is a major crosstown street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known for its theaters, especially near the intersection with Broadway at Times Square. It is also the name of the region of the theater district near that intersection...

 clear to the river. Before long, cattle ferried from Weehawken were being driven along the unpaved route, to slaughterhouses on the East Side. Seventy acres of the Leake, later Norton property, extending north from 42nd to 46th Street and from Broadway to the river, had been purchased before 1807 by John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor , born Johann Jakob Astor, was a German-American business magnate and investor who was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States...

 and William Cutting, who held it before dividing it into building lots as the district became more suburban.

The first change that began to unite the area more closely to New York City was the construction of the Hudson River Railroad
West Side Line (NYCRR)
The West Side Line, also called the West Side Freight Line, is a railroad line on the west side of the New York City borough of Manhattan. North of Penn Station, from 34th Street, the line is used by Amtrak passenger service heading north via Albany to Toronto, Montreal and Chicago...

, which completed the forty miles to Peekskill
Peekskill, New York
Peekskill is a city in Westchester County, New York. It is situated on a bay along the east side of the Hudson River, across from Jones Point.This community was known to be an early American industrial center, primarily for its iron plow and stove products...

 on 29 September 1849, to Poughkeepsie
Poughkeepsie (city), New York
Poughkeepsie is a city in the state of New York, United States, which serves as the county seat of Dutchess County. Poughkeepsie is located in the Hudson River Valley midway between New York City and Albany...

 by the end of that year, and extended to Albany
Albany, New York
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about south of its confluence with the Mohawk River...

 in 1851. As far as 60th Street, the track ran at street grade up 11th Avenue, before the independent riverside roadbed commenced.
The formerly rural riverfront was transformed for industrial uses such as tanneries that could discharge their effluent into the river and ship their production by the rails. Hence the beginnings of the neighborhood of the southern part of the 22nd Ward, which would become known as Hell's Kitchen, start in the mid-19th century, when immigrants from Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, most of whom were refugees from the Great Famine, began settling on the west side of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in shantytown
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s along the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

. Many of these immigrants found work on the docks nearby, or along the railroad that carried freight into the city along 11th Avenue.

After the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 the population increased dramatically, as tenements were erected and increased immigration added to the neighborhood's congestion. Many in this poverty stricken area turned to gang life and the neighborhood soon became known as the "most dangerous area on the American Continent". At the turn of the century, the neighborhood was controlled by gangs, including the violent Gopher Gang
Gopher Gang
The Gopher Gang was an early 20th century New York street gang known for its members including Goo Goo Knox, James "Biff" Ellison, and Owney Madden...

 led by the notorious Owney Madden
Owney Madden
Owney "The Killer" Madden was a leading underworld figure in Manhattan, most notable for his involvement in organized crime during Prohibition. He also ran the famous Cotton Club and was a leading boxing promoter in the 1930s.-Early life:Owen Vincent Madden was born at 25 Somerset Street, in...

.

The violence escalated during the 1920s, as Prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

 was implemented. The many warehouses in the district served as ideal breweries for the rumrunners
Rum-running
Rum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...

 who controlled the illicit liquor. Gradually the earlier gangs such as the Hell's Kitchen Gang were transformed into organized crime entities around the same time that Owney Madden
Owney Madden
Owney "The Killer" Madden was a leading underworld figure in Manhattan, most notable for his involvement in organized crime during Prohibition. He also ran the famous Cotton Club and was a leading boxing promoter in the 1930s.-Early life:Owen Vincent Madden was born at 25 Somerset Street, in...

 became one of the most powerful mobsters in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.

After the Repeal of Prohibition
Repeal of Prohibition
The Repeal of Prohibition in the United States was accomplished with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 5, 1933.-Background:...

, many of the organized crime elements moved into other rackets, such as illegal gambling
Gambling
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods...

 and union shakedowns. The postwar era was characterized by a flourishing waterfront, and work as a longshoreman was plentiful. By the end of the 1950s, however, the implementation of containerized
Containerization
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

 shipping led to the decline of the West Side
West Side (Manhattan)
The West Side of Manhattan refers to the side of Manhattan Island which abuts the Hudson River and faces New Jersey. Fifth Avenue, Central Park, and lower Broadway separate it from the East Side. The major neighborhoods on the West Side are West Harlem, Morningside Heights, Manhattan Valley, Upper...

 piers and many longshoremen found themselves out of work. In addition, the construction of the Lincoln Tunnel
Lincoln Tunnel
The Lincoln Tunnel is a long tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting Weehawken, New Jersey and the borough of Manhattan in New York City.-History:...

 had devastated much of Hell's Kitchen to the south of 39th Street.

West Side Story


During the 1950s, immigrants, notably Puerto Ricans
Puerto Rican people
A Puerto Rican is a person who was born in Puerto Rico.Puerto Ricans born and raised in the continental United States are also sometimes referred to as Puerto Ricans, although they were not born in Puerto Rico...

, moved into the neighborhood. The conflict between the Irish, Italians, and the Puerto Ricans is highlighted in West Side Story. The movie
West Side Story (film)
West Side Story is a 1961 musical film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was adapted from William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno,...

 was filmed from 65th Street and 69th Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenue, north of Hell's Kitchen. Part of the sites seen are old P. S. 94 on the corner of 68th Street and Amsterdam Avenue and St. Michael's Church
St. Michael's Church, New York City
St. Michael's Church is a historic Episcopal church at 225 W. 99th Street in New York City. It was founded in January 1807; the present Romanesque building was built in 1890 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996....

. The movie was filmed during the demolition of this area that was to become Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of New York City's Upper West Side. Reynold Levy has been its president since 2002.-History and facilities:...

.

In 1959, an aborted rumble between rival Irish and Puerto Rican gangs led to the notorious "Capeman
Salvador Agron
Salvador Agron The correct spelling of his surname in Spanish is Agrón. But the biography by Jacoby, his personal friend, uses the americanized spelling Agron exclusively throughout...

" murders in which two innocent teenagers were killed.

By 1965, Hell's Kitchen was the home base of the Westies, a deeply violent Irish American
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 crew aligned with the Gambino crime family
Gambino crime family
The Gambino crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominates organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia . The group is named after Carlo Gambino, boss of the family at the time of the McClellan hearings in 1963...

. It was not until the early 1980s that widespread gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 began to alter the demographics of the longtime working-class Irish American
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 neighborhood. The 1980s also saw an end to the Westies' reign of terror, when the gang lost all of its power after the RICO
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization...

 convictions of most of its principals in 1986.

Today Hell's Kitchen is an increasingly upscale neighborhood of actors and affluent young professionals, as well as residents from the 'old days'. It has also acquired a large diverse community as residents have moved north from Chelsea
Chelsea, Manhattan
Chelsea is a neighborhood on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The district's boundaries are roughly 14th Street to the south, 30th Street to the north, the western boundary of the Ladies' Mile Historic District – which lies between the Avenue of the Americas and...

.

Special Clinton district


Although the neighborhood is immediately west of New York's main business district, development lagged for more than 30 years because of strict zoning rules called the Special Clinton District designed to protect the neighborhood's low-rise character.

When the third incarnation of Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden (1925)
Madison Square Garden was an indoor arena in New York City, the third of that name. It was built in 1925 and closed in 1968, and was located on Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets in Manhattan on the site of the city's trolley car barns. It was the first Garden that was not located near...

 at 50th and Eighth Avenue was torn down in 1968, New York developed a master plan calling for two to three thousand hotel rooms, 25,000 apartments, 25000000 square feet (2,322,576 m²) of office space, and a new super liner terminal in the neighborhood, which it described as "blocks of antiquated and deteriorating structures of every sort." During this time a proposal was made to build the world's tallest building on the Madison Square Garden site and a massive convention center at 44th Street and the Hudson River.

The District severely restricted development in the neighborhood for more than 20 years. The world's tallest building was not to rise and its Madison Square site was to remain a parking lot until 1989.


Provisions of the District:

The SCD was originally split into four areas:
  • Preservation Area: 43rd to 56th Streets between 8th and 10th Avenues. R-7 density, 6-story height limit on new buildings, suggested average apartment size of two bedrooms (this was a response to the fact that between 1960 and 1970 developers had torn down 2,300 family-sized units and replaced them with 1,500 smaller units).

  • Perimeter Area: 8th Avenue, 42nd and 57th Streets. Bulkier development permitted to counterbalance the downzoning in the preservation area.

  • Mixed Use Area: 10th and 11th Avenues between 43rd and 50th Streets. Mixed residential and manufacturing. New residential development only permitted in conjunction with manufacturing areas.

  • Other Areas: West of 11th Avenue. Industrial and waterfront uses.


The mixed use area and other area are now combined into "Other areas."

Building height in the Preservation Area cannot exceed 66 feet (20.1 m) or seven stories, whichever is less.

Special permits are required for all demolition and construction in the SCD, including demolition of "any sound housing in the District" and any rehabilitation that increases the number of dwellings in a structure. New developments, conversions, or alterations that create new units or zero bedroom units must contain at least 20% two bedroom apartments with a minimum room size of 168 square feet (16 m²). Alterations that reduce the percentage of two bedroom units are not permitted unless the resulting building meets the 20% two bedroom requirement.

In the original provisions no building could be demolished unless it was unsound.

Windermere



As the gentrification pace increased, there were numerous reports of problems between landlords and tenants. The most extreme example was the eight story Windermere complex at the southwest corner of Ninth Avenue and 57th Street—two blocks from Central Park.

Built in 1881, it is the second-oldest large apartment house in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. All the major New York newspapers covered the trials that sent the Windermere's managers to jail. According to former tenants and court papers, rooms were ransacked, doors were ripped out, prostitutes were moved in, and tenants received death threats in the campaign to empty the building. Its landlord Alan B. Weissman made top billing in the 1985 edition of The Village Voice
The Village Voice
The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

annual list, "The Dirty Dozen: New York's Worst Landlords, surpassed only by Traill." He too was never convicted of anything.

Most of the tenants eventually settled and moved out of the building. As of May 2006, seven tenants remained and court orders protecting the tenants and the building allowed it to remain in derelict condition even as the surrounding neighborhood was experiencing a dramatic burst of demolition and redevelopment. Finally, in September 2007, the fire department evacuated those remaining seven residents from the building citing dangerous conditions and padlocked the front door. In 2008 the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the owners of the building, who include the Toa Construction Company of Japan, must repair it.

September 11th, 2001


While almost all fire stations in Manhattan lost firefighters in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, the hardest hit station was Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 at 48th Street and Eighth Avenue, which lost 15 firefighters. Given its proximity to Midtown, the station had specialized in skyscraper fires and rescues and in 2007 was the second busiest firehouse in New York City, with 9,685 runs between the two companies.

Its patch reads "Pride of Midtown" and "Never Missed a Performance". Memorials dot the station's exterior walls and a granite memorial is in a park to its north.

Also Ladder 21, the "Pride of Hell's Kitchen", located on 38th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, and stationed with Engine 34, lost 7 firefighters on September 11. In addition, on September 11, Engine 26 was temporarily stationed with Engine 34/Ladder 21 and lost many firefighters themselves.

Developer Larry Silverstein
Larry Silverstein
Larry A. Silverstein is an American businessman, and real estate investor and developer in New York City.Silverstein was born in Brooklyn, and became involved in real estate, together with his father, establishing Silverstein Properties...

 made part of his fortune that eventually earned him the lease for the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 by building and managing buildings in the neighborhood. Silverstein's architect David Childs
David Childs
David M. Childs is the Consulting Design Partner at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. He is best known for his redesign of the new One World Trade Center in New York....

 who is designing the Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower
One World Trade Center , more simply known as 1 WTC and formerly known as the Freedom Tower, is the lead building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan in New York City...

 designed the Time Warner Center
Time Warner Center
The Time Warner Center is a mixed-use skyscraper developed by AREA Property Partners and The Related Companies in New York City. Its design, by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, consists of two 750 ft towers bridged by a multi-story atrium containing upscale retail shops...

 and Worldwide Plaza
One Worldwide Plaza
One Worldwide Plaza is part of a three-building, mixed-use commercial and residential complex completed in 1989, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known collectively as Worldwide Plaza. One Worldwide Plaza is a commercial office tower on Eighth Avenue...

 buildings in the neighborhood. Signature features of those towers are slated for the Freedom Tower.

Boom times


Zoning
Zoning in the United States
Zoning in the United States comprise land use state laws falling under the police power rights that State governments and local governments have the authority to exercise over privately owned real property.-Origins and history:...

 has long restricted the extension of Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square...

's skyscraper development into Hell's Kitchen. The David Childs
David Childs
David M. Childs is the Consulting Design Partner at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. He is best known for his redesign of the new One World Trade Center in New York....

 designed Worldwide Plaza
One Worldwide Plaza
One Worldwide Plaza is part of a three-building, mixed-use commercial and residential complex completed in 1989, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known collectively as Worldwide Plaza. One Worldwide Plaza is a commercial office tower on Eighth Avenue...

 established a beach head when it was built in 1989 at the former Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

 site, a full city block between 49th and 50th Streets and between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

The city under Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City. With a net worth of $19.5 billion in 2011, he is also the 12th-richest person in the United States...

 relaxed zoning all over the city in the wake of the September 11 attacks. This led to a real-estate building boom with Hell's Kitchen getting some of the biggest projects in the city including the Hearst Tower
Hearst Tower (New York City)
The Brilliant Hearst Tower is located at 300 West 57th Street, 959 8th Avenue, near Columbus Circle in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York...

 at 56th Street and Eighth Avenue.

An indication of how fast the neighborhood became hot was a 2004 transaction involving the Howard Johnson's
Howard Johnson's
Howard Johnson's is a chain of hotels and restaurants, located primarily throughout the United States and Canada. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Howard Johnson's was the largest restaurant chain in the United States, with over 1,000 restaurants...

 Motel at 52nd and Eighth Avenue. In June, Vikram Chatwal's Hampshire Hotel Group bought the motel and adjoining SIR (Studio Instrument Rental) building for $9 million. In August, they sold the property to ElAd Properties
El-Ad Group
El-Ad Group, is a real estate development conglomerate based in Israel. Among its subsidiaries is New York City-based Elad Properties, which owns several landmark properties in that city and in May 2007 purchased the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for a record $1.2 billion...

 for about $43 million. Elad, which owns Plaza Hotel
Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel in New York City is a landmark 20-story luxury hotel with a height of and length of that occupies the west side of Grand Army Plaza, from which it derives its name, and extends along Central Park South in Manhattan. Fifth Avenue extends along the east side of Grand Army Plaza...

, is in the process of building The Link, a luxury 44-story building.

Actors' neighborhood


Hell's Kitchen's gritty reputation has made its housing prices lower than elsewhere in Manhattan. Given the lower costs and its proximity to Broadway theaters, the neighborhood is a haven for aspiring actors. Many famous actors and entertainers have resided there, including Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds
Burton Leon "Burt" Reynolds, Jr. is an American actor. Some of his memorable roles include Bo 'Bandit' Darville in Smokey and the Bandit, Lewis Medlock in Deliverance, Bobby "Gator" McCluskey in White Lightning and sequel Gator, Paul Crewe and Coach Nate Scarborough in The Longest Yard and its...

, Rip Torn
Rip Torn
Elmore Rual "Rip" Torn, Jr. , is an American actor of stage, screen and television.Torn received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1983 film Cross Creek. His work includes the role of Artie, the producer, on The Larry Sanders Show, for which he was nominated...

, Bob Hope
Bob Hope
Bob Hope, KBE, KCSG, KSS was a British-born American comedian and actor who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies. He was also noted for his work with the US Armed Forces and his numerous USO shows entertaining American military personnel...

, Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

, James Dean
James Dean
James Byron Dean was an American film actor. He is a cultural icon, best embodied in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause , in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark...

, Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

, Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld
Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and television and film producer, known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the situation comedy Seinfeld , which he co-created and co-wrote with Larry David, and, in the show's final two seasons,...

, Larry David
Larry David
Lawrence Gene "Larry" David is an American actor, writer, comedian and producer. He is best known as the co-creator , head writer, and executive producer of the television series Seinfeld from 1989 to 1996, and for creating the 1999 HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, a partially improvised sitcom in...

, Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
Alicia Augello Cook , better known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and occasional actress. She was raised by a single mother in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City. At age seven, Keys began playing the piano...

, John Michael Bolger
John Michael Bolger
John Michael Bolger is an American actor who resides in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan's Westside.Bolger can be seen in the 2009 summer release of Michael Mann's Public Enemies, portraying 1930s East Chicago, Indiana Detective Martin Zarkovich. Public Enemies stars Johnny Depp, Christian...

, and Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

. This is due in large part to the Actors Studio
Actors Studio
The Actors Studio is a membership organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights at 432 West 44th Street in the Clinton neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded October 5, 1947, by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford, Robert Lewis and Anna Sokolow who provided...

 on West 44th, which rose to prominence under Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg was an American actor, director and acting teacher. He cofounded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective"...

 and is famed for its method acting
Method acting
Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances...

 style.

With the opening of the original Improv
The Improv
The Improv is a comedy club franchise. Originally, it was a single venue founded in 1963 by Budd Friedman and located in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City on West 44th near the SE corner of 9th Ave. A second location was opened in 1974 at 8162 Melrose Avenue in the Fairfax District...

 by Budd Friedman
Budd Friedman
Budd Friedman is best known as the founder and original proprietor and MC of the Improvisation Comedy Club, which opened in 1963, on West 44th Street near the SE corner of 9th Avenue, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan...

 in 1963, the club became a hangout for singers to perform but quickly attracted comedians, as well, turning it into the reigning comedy club of its time. Located on West 44th near the SE corner of 9th Ave, it has since shuttered, replaced by a restaurant.

Manhattan Plaza
Manhattan Plaza
Manhattan Plaza is a large federally-subsidized residential complex at 400 West 43rd Street in midtown Manhattan, New York City. It has 1,688 units and about 3,500 tenants, primarily in the performing arts. It occupies the city block bounded north by 43rd Street, east by 9th Avenue, south by 42nd...

 at 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues was built in the 1970s to house artists. It consists of two 46-story towers with 70 percent of the apartments set aside for performing artists. The Actors Temple
The Actors Temple
The Actors' Temple, officially named Congregation Ezrath Israel, is a synagogue founded in 1917 in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Located at 339 West 47th Street since 1923, the temple was originally dubbed "The West Side Hebrew Relief Association," and it was the...

 and Saint Malachy's Roman Catholic Church
Saint Malachy's Roman Catholic Church
Saint Malachy's Roman Catholic Church is in Manhattan on West 49th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. Parishioners have included Bob Hope and Gregory Peck.-History:...

 with its Actors' Chapel also testify to the long-time presence of show business people.

The neighborhood is also home to a number of broadcast and music-recording studios, including the CBS Broadcast Center
CBS Broadcast Center
The CBS Broadcast Center is a television and radio production facility located in New York City, New York. It is CBS's main East Coast production center, much as Television City in Los Angeles is the West Coast hub.-Overview:...

 at 524 West 57th Street (also the home of Black Entertainment Television
Black Entertainment Television
Black Entertainment Television is an American, Viacom-owned cable network based in Washington, D.C.. Currently viewed in more than 90 million homes worldwide, it is the most prominent television network targeting young Black-American audiences. The network was launched on January 25, 1980, by its...

's 106 & Park
106 & Park
106 & Park is a Top Ten Hip-Hop and R&B music video show, set up in a countdown format, that airs weekdays at 6:00 PM on BET . Since its inception, it was the network's #1 rated show...

show), Sony Music Studios
Sony Music Studios
Sony Music Studios was a well-known former music recording and mastering facility in New York City. The music and broadcasting complex was located at 460 W. 54th St., at 10th Avenue, in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan...

 at 460 West 54th Street, Manhattan Center Studios
Manhattan Center
The Manhattan Center building, built in 1906 and located at 311 West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan, houses Manhattan Center Studios , its Grand Ballroom, and the Hammerstein Ballroom, one of New York City's most renowned performance venues...

 at 311 West 34th Street, and Right Track Recording
Right Track Recording
Right Track Recording is a four-studio recording studio located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Established in 1976 by Simon Andrews, Right Track Recording today is one of the premier recording studios in New York City....

's Studio A509 orchestral recording facility at West 38th Street and 10th Avenue. The syndicated Montel Williams Show
The Montel Williams Show
The Montel Williams Show is a syndicated talk show hosted by Montel Williams. On January 30, 2008 it was announced that The Montel Williams Show would stop production on new episodes at the end of the 2007-2008 television season after seventeen years...

 is also taped locally at the Unitel Studios, 433 W. 53rd Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.

Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

's satirical program The Daily Show
The Daily Show
The Daily Show , is an American late night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998...

is also taped in Hell's Kitchen. In the summer of 2005, it moved from its quarters at 54th Street and 10th Avenue to a new studio in the neighborhood, at 733 11th Avenue, between 51st
51st Street (Manhattan)
51st Street is a long one-way street traveling east to west across Midtown Manhattan.-East 51st Street:*The route officially begins at Beekman Place which is on a hill overlooking FDR Drive...

 and 52nd Streets. The old location at 54th and 10th is now home to The Colbert Report.

Next door to Colbert at 511 W. 54th St. is Ars Nova Theater, home to emerging artists Joe Iconis
Joe Iconis
Joseph Peter Philip Iconis is an American musical theatre writer. He is a graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. He is a recipient of the 2006 Jonathan Larson Award, the 2007 Ed Kleban Award, and a Backstage Bistro Award. His innovative rock musical...

 and breakout star Jesse Eisenberg
Jesse Eisenberg
Jesse Adam Eisenberg is an American actor. He made his screen debut with the comedy-drama television series Get Real from 1999 to 2000...

, among others.

The headquarters of Troma
Troma Entertainment
Troma Entertainment is an American independent film production and distribution company founded by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz in 1974.The company produces low-budget independent movies that play on 1950s horror with elements of farce...

 studios is located in Hell's Kitchen.

The Alvin Ailey
Alvin Ailey
Alvin Ailey, Jr. was an American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. Ailey is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in 20th century concert dance...

 American Dance Theater opened at 55th Street and Ninth Avenue in 2006.

The Clinton Community Garden is a result of the actors living in the area. Since they mostly work at night in the local theaters, they took time to create a garden in a rubble-strewn lot. Eventually it became a selling point for gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

, providing real estate agents with another selling point.

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
    Lincoln Tunnel
    The Lincoln Tunnel is a long tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting Weehawken, New Jersey and the borough of Manhattan in New York City.-History:...

     connects New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     to New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

    . Parking lots dot the neighborhood. Eleventh Avenue
    Eleventh Avenue (Manhattan)
    Eleventh Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the far West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, not far from the Hudson River. It carries downtown traffic only, south of West 44th Street, and two-way traffic north of it....

     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
    Port Authority Bus Terminal
    The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the main gateway for interstate buses into Manhattan in New York City...

     is between 40th and 42nd Streets and 8th and 9th Avenues.
  • Horses - Many of the horse drawn carriages from Central Park
    Central Park
    Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

     stay in stables just off the West Side Highway
    West Side Highway
    The West Side Highway is a mostly surface section of New York State Route 9A that runs from West 72nd Street along the Hudson River to the southern tip of Manhattan. It replaced the West Side Elevated Highway, built between 1929 and 1951, which was shut down in 1973 due to neglect and lack of...

    . It is not uncommon to hear the clip clop of horses in the neighborhood. There have been calls for banning horse-drawn carriages following a handful of collisions between cars and carriages. The carriage horses live in historic stables originally built in the 19th century, but today boast the latest in barn design, such as fans, misting systems, box stalls, and state of the art sprinkler systems. As horses always have in densely populated urban areas, the carriage horses live upstairs in their stables while the carriages are parked below on the ground floor.
  • Planes - An assortment of planes including the Concorde
    Concorde
    Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport . It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation...

     and Lockheed A-12 are on display at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
    Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
    The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum is a military and maritime history museum with a collection of museum ships in New York City. It is located at Pier 86 at 46th Street on the West Side of Manhattan. The museum showcases the World War II aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the submarine , a Concorde...

     located at Pier 86 at 46th Street.
  • Ships - Cruise ship
    Cruise ship
    A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

    s frequently dock at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal
    New York Passenger Ship Terminal
    The New York Passenger Ship Terminal is a terminal for ocean-going passenger ships on Manhattan's west side....

     in the 48th to 52nd piers called Piers 88, 90, 92. 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
    Compagnie Générale Transatlantique
    The Compagnie Générale Transatlantique , typically known overseas as the French Line, was a shipping company established during 1861 as an attempt to revive the French merchant marine, the poor state of which was indicated during the Crimean War of 1856...

    . The piers originally built in 1930 are now considered small, and some cruise traffic uses other locations.
  • In addition to the passenger ships, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
    Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
    The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum is a military and maritime history museum with a collection of museum ships in New York City. It is located at Pier 86 at 46th Street on the West Side of Manhattan. The museum showcases the World War II aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the submarine , a Concorde...

     features the USS Intrepid (CV-11)
    USS Intrepid (CV-11)
    USS Intrepid , also known as The Fighting "I", is one of 24 s built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in August 1943, Intrepid participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, most notably the Battle...

     Aircraft Carrier as well as an assortment of submarines and destroyers. Other ship operations in the neighborhood include Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises at West 42nd and the NY Waterway
    NY Waterway
    NY Waterway, or New York Waterway, is a private transportation company running ferry and bus service in the Port of New York and New Jersey and in the Hudson Valley...

     ferry service.

  • Trains - Hell's Kitchen begins northwest of Penn Station
    Pennsylvania Station (New York City)
    Pennsylvania Station—commonly known as Penn Station—is the major intercity train station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. It is one of the busiest rail stations in the world, and a hub for inbound and outbound railroad traffic in New York City. The New York City Subway system also...

    . Amtrak
    Amtrak
    The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

     trains going into the station run along a sunken corridor west of 10th 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. Hell's Kitchen is bounded on the east by the Eighth Avenue subway line
    IND Eighth Avenue Line
    The Eighth Avenue Line is a rapid transit line in New York City, United States, and is part of the B Division of the New York City Subway...

    , the westernmost NYC subway line in Midtown. The MTA
    Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York)
    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York is a public benefit corporation responsible for public transportation in the U.S...

     is extending the Flushing Line
    IRT Flushing Line
    The Flushing Line is a rapid transit route of the New York City Subway system, operated as part of the IRT Division and designated the 7 route...

     west from its current terminus at Times Square to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 34th Street
    34th Street (IRT Flushing Line)
    The 34th Street Station is a planned terminal station, under construction as part of the 7 Subway Extension for the IRT Flushing Line of the New York City Subway. It will have two tracks and one island platform with a large mezzanine overhead...

     and 11th Avenue.

Food diversity



Ninth Avenue is noted for its many ethnic restaurants. The Ninth Avenue Association's International Food Festival, stretches through the Kitchen from 37th to 57th Streets every May, usually on the third weekend of the month. It has been going on since 1974 and is one of the oldest street fairs in the city. In addition to the usual American, Caribbean
Caribbean cuisine
Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Amerindian, British, Spanish, French, Dutch, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. These traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region's population...

, Chinese
American Chinese cuisine
American Chinese cuisine refers to the style of food served by many Chinese restaurants in the United States. This type of cooking typically caters to Western tastes, and differs significantly from the original Chinese cuisine.-History:...

, French
French cuisine
French cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from France that has developed from centuries of social change. In the Middle Ages, Guillaume Tirel , a court chef, authored Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe collections of Medieval France...

, German
German cuisine
German cuisine is a style of cooking derived from the nation of Germany. It has evolved as a national cuisine through centuries of social and political change with variations from region to region. The southern regions of Germany, including Bavaria and neighbouring Swabia, share many dishes....

, Greek, Italian
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

, Irish
Irish cuisine
Irish cuisine is a style of cooking originating from Ireland or developed by Irish people. It evolved from centuries of social and political change. The cuisine takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in its temperate climate. The introduction of the potato in the second half of...

, Mexican
Mexican cuisine
Mexican cuisine, a style of food that originates in Mexico, is known for its varied flavors, colourful decoration and variety of spices and ingredients, most of which are native to the country. The cuisine of Mexico has evolved through thousands of years of blending indigenous cultures, with later...

 and Thai restaurants, there are multiple Afghan, Argentine, Ethiopian, Peruvian
Peruvian cuisine
Peruvian cuisine reflects local cooking practices and ingredients—and, through immigration, influences from Spain, China, Italy, West Africa, and Japan. Due to a lack of ingredients from their home countries, immigrants to Peru modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients...

, Turkish
Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe...

, Indian
Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine consists of thousands of regional cuisines which date back thousands of years. The dishes of India are characterised by the extensive use of various Indian spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit. Indian cuisine is also known for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society...

, Pakistani and Vietnamese restaurants.
Restaurant Row
Restaurant Row (New York City)
Restaurant Row is the name used for West 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in the Theater District of Manhattan in New York City. The name is derived from the numerous small restaurants that line the street.-List of restaurants:*B...

 is located on West 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

Parks



Hell's Kitchen's side streets are mostly lined with trees. The neighborhood does not have many parks or recreational area though, but smaller plots that were converted into green spaces. One of them is Hell's Kitchen Park
Hell's Kitchen Park
Hell's Kitchen Park is small park in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan, New York City.- History :In the 1960s, the civic authorities responding to the community's request for more recreation spaces, began to study the possibility of constructing a park on what was then a parking lot on Tenth Avenue...

.

Novels based in Hell's Kitchen


Novels based in Hell's Kitchen include:
  • Daredevil (2003) by Mark Steven Johnson

  • Bringing Out the Dead (1999) Joe Connelly

  • Fortunate Pilgrim (1964) by Mario Puzo
    Mario Puzo
    Mario Gianluigi Puzo was an American author and screenwriter, known for his novels about the Mafia, including The Godfather , which he later co-adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola...


  • Devil's Heaven (1995) by Thomas Adcock
    Thomas Adcock
    Thomas Adcock is a Detroit-born journalist and mystery novelist who won the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original in 1992. His novels and short stories been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Bulgarian and Czech...


  • Payback (1997) by Thomas Kelly

  • Everybody Dies (1998) by Lawrence Block
    Lawrence Block
    Lawrence Block is an acclaimed contemporary American crime writer best known for two long-running New York–set series, about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, respectively...


  • A Fugue in Hell's Kitchen (2004) by Hal Glatzer

  • Mafia Summer (2005) by E. Duke Vincent
    E. Duke Vincent
    E. Duke Vincent is an American television producer. He is a former producing partner of Aaron Spelling and an executive at various Spelling production company entities...


  • Family Matters (2006) by Ira Berkowitz
    Ira Berkowitz
    Ira Berkowitz is an American writer of crime fiction. His Jackson Steeg Mystery Series novels are set in Hell’s Kitchen....


  • Old Flame (2008) by Ira Berkowitz
    Ira Berkowitz
    Ira Berkowitz is an American writer of crime fiction. His Jackson Steeg Mystery Series novels are set in Hell’s Kitchen....


  • Sinners' Ball (2009) by Ira Berkowitz
    Ira Berkowitz
    Ira Berkowitz is an American writer of crime fiction. His Jackson Steeg Mystery Series novels are set in Hell’s Kitchen....


  • Shamrock Alley (2009) by Ronald Malfi
    Ronald Malfi
    Ronald Malfi is an American novelist whose genres include horror, thrillers, mainstream, and literary fiction. Malfi is also a musician, and for a time he fronted the Baltimore-based alternative rock band Nellie Blide...


  • Sleepers (1995) by Lorenzo Carcaterra
    Lorenzo Carcaterra
    Lorenzo Carcaterra is an American writer. Hell's Kitchen is the setting for his most famous book, Sleepers, which was adapted into the Sleepers...


  • The Nero Wolfe
    Nero Wolfe
    Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created in 1934 by the American mystery writer Rex Stout. Wolfe's confidential assistant Archie Goodwin narrates the cases of the detective genius. Stout wrote 33 novels and 39 short stories from 1934 to 1974, with most of them set in New York City. Wolfe's...

     series of novels and short stories by Rex Stout
    Rex Stout
    Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. Stout is best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe, described by reviewer Will Cuppy as "that Falstaff of detectives." Wolfe's assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the...

    .

  • Run for your life
    Run For Your Life (novel)
    Run for Your Life, published in 2009, is the second novel in the Michael Bennett series by the American authors James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. The novel debuted on the New York Times Best-Seller list at number 2 on February 20, 2009....

    by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

  • Deadly Shamrocks (2010) by J.B. Reed

  • The Spy (2010) by Clive Cussler
    Clive Cussler
    Clive Eric Cussler is an American adventure novelist and marine archaeologist. His thriller novels, many featuring the character Dirk Pitt, have reached The New York Times fiction best-seller list more than seventeen times...


  • "The City of Dreams" (2010) by William Martin

Notable current and former residents


Notable current and former residents of Hell's Kitchen include:
  • Benjamin Appel
    Benjamin Appel
    Benjamin Appel , was an American novelist specializing in detective and crime fiction, sometimes from a radical perspective....

     (1907–1977), crime novelist.
  • George Cain
    George Cain
    George Cain was an African American author who is renowned for writing Blueschild Baby, a semi-autobiographical novel published in 1970. The basis of the book is about the life of a drug user who finally overcomes his addiction...

     (1943–2010), author of Blueschild baby.
  • Vanessa Carlton
    Vanessa Carlton
    Vanessa Lee Carlton is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Upon completion of her education at the School of American Ballet, Carlton chose to pursue singing instead, performing in New York bars and clubs while attending university. Three months after recording a demo with producer Peter...

     (born 1980), singer / songwriter.
  • Larry David
    Larry David
    Lawrence Gene "Larry" David is an American actor, writer, comedian and producer. He is best known as the co-creator , head writer, and executive producer of the television series Seinfeld from 1989 to 1996, and for creating the 1999 HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, a partially improvised sitcom in...

     (born 1947), actor / producer of Seinfeld
    Seinfeld
    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

    and Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Curb Your Enthusiasm is an American comedy television series produced and broadcast by HBO, which premiered on October 15, 2000. As of 2011, it has completed 80 episodes over eight seasons. The series was created by Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, who stars as a fictionalized version of himself...

    .
  • Alicia Keys
    Alicia Keys
    Alicia Augello Cook , better known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and occasional actress. She was raised by a single mother in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City. At age seven, Keys began playing the piano...

     (born 1981), singer and pianist.
  • Kenny Kramer
    Kenny Kramer
    Kenny Kramer is an American stand-up comedian and is the real-life inspiration for the character of Cosmo Kramer from the television sitcom Seinfeld.-Pre-Seinfeld:...

     (born 1943), lived in a Hell's Kitchen apartment across the hall from Larry David
    Larry David
    Lawrence Gene "Larry" David is an American actor, writer, comedian and producer. He is best known as the co-creator , head writer, and executive producer of the television series Seinfeld from 1989 to 1996, and for creating the 1999 HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, a partially improvised sitcom in...

     and became the inspiration for the Cosmo Kramer
    Cosmo Kramer
    Cosmo Kramer, usually referred to as simply "Kramer", is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Seinfeld , played by Michael Richards...

     character on Seinfeld
    Seinfeld
    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

    .
  • Brian Mullen
    Brian Mullen
    Brian Patrick Mullen is a former professional ice hockey player who spent eleven seasons in the NHL playing for the Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, and New York Islanders...

     (born 1962), played in the NHL
    National Hockey League
    The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

     for the Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers
    New York Rangers
    The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in the borough of Manhattan in New York, New York, USA. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers are one of the...

    , San Jose Sharks
    San Jose Sharks
    The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California, United States. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

     and New York Islanders
    New York Islanders
    The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Uniondale, New York. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

    .
  • Joe Mullen
    Joe Mullen
    Joseph Patrick Mullen is a retired American professional ice hockey player who played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League with the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins from 1980–1997. He won three Stanley Cups in 1989 with Calgary, and in 1991 and 1992 with...

     (born 1957), played in the NHL for the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames
    Calgary Flames
    The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the...

    , Pittsburgh Penguins
    Pittsburgh Penguins
    The Pittsburgh Penguins are a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original...

     and Boston Bruins
    Boston Bruins
    The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The team has been in existence since 1924, and is the league's third-oldest team and its oldest in the...

     from 1980–1997, winning three Stanley Cup
    Stanley Cup
    The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

    s.
  • Jerry Orbach
    Jerry Orbach
    Jerome Bernard "Jerry" Orbach was an American actor and singer. He was well known for his starring role as Detective Lennie Briscoe in the Law & Order television series and as the voice of Lumière in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As well, Orbach was a noted musical theatre star...

     (1935–2004), actor.
  • Ilka Tanya Payán
    Ilka Tanya Payan
    Ilka Tanya Payán was a Dominican actress and attorney who later became a prominent AIDS/HIV activist in the United States.-Life and career:...

     (1943–1996), Dominican-American actress and AIDS activist
  • Mario Puzo
    Mario Puzo
    Mario Gianluigi Puzo was an American author and screenwriter, known for his novels about the Mafia, including The Godfather , which he later co-adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola...

     (1920–1999), author of The Godfather
    The Godfather (novel)
    The Godfather is a crime novel written by Italian American author Mario Puzo, originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It details the story of a fictitious Sicilian Mafia family based in New York City and headed by Don Vito Corleone, who became synonymous with the Italian Mafia...

    .
  • George Raft
    George Raft
    George Raft was an American film actor and dancer identified with portrayals of gangsters in crime melodramas of the 1930s and 1940s...

     (1895–1980), actor best known for his portrayal of tough guys and gangsters.
  • Mickey Rourke
    Mickey Rourke
    Philip Andre "Mickey" Rourke, Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter and retired boxer, who has appeared primarily as a leading man in action, drama, and thriller films....

     (born 1953), actor.
  • Political figure Boss Tweed - West 51st Street.
  • Boxer James J. Braddock
    James J. Braddock
    James Walter "The Cinderella Man" Braddock was an American boxer who was the world heavyweight champion from 1935 to 1937....

     ("Cinderella Man
    Cinderella Man
    Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock and inspired by his life story. The film was produced by Howard, Penny Marshall, and Brian Grazer.-Plot:James J...

    ") - West 48th, just a few blocks from the Madison Square Garden
    Madison Square Garden
    Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

     venue where he fought.
  • Actor and comedian Chevy Chase
    Chevy Chase
    Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase is an American comedian, writer, and television and film actor, born into a prominent entertainment industry family. Chase worked a plethora of odd jobs before moving into comedy acting with National Lampoon...

  • Actress Alice Faye
    Alice Faye
    Alice Faye was an American actress and singer, called by The New York Times "one of the few movie stars to walk away from stardom at the peak of her career." She is remembered first for her stardom at 20th Century Fox and, later, as the radio comedy partner of her husband, bandleader and comedian...

  • Singer Tony Orlando
    Tony Orlando
    Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis , better known as Tony Orlando, is an American show business professional, best known as the lead singer of the group Tony Orlando and Dawn in the early 1970s. Discovered by producer Don Kirshner, Orlando had songs on the charts in 1961 when he was 16, "Halfway to...

  • Musician Robert Fripp
    Robert Fripp
    Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 on Gibson.com’s "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique...

  • Actor Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

  • Actor Stephen Blackehart
    Stephen Blackehart
    Stephen Blackehart is an American actor and producer from Hell's Kitchen, New York. It has been reported that Blackehart was born Stefano Brando and is the son of actor Marlon Brando...

  • Basketball player Joakim Noah
    Joakim Noah
    Joakim Simon Noah is a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association . Born in New York City to a Swedish mother and French father, he holds American, Swedish and French citizenship...

  • Actor Sylvester Stallone
    Sylvester Stallone
    Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

  • Actor Andrew Rannells
    Andrew Rannells
    Andrew Scott Rannells is an American actor and singer. He performs the role of Elder Kevin Price in the 2011 Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon.-Career:...

  • Singer Lisa Velez of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
    Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
    Lisa Lisa and her band Cult Jam were an urban contemporary band and one of first freestyle music groups to emerge from New York City in the 1980s. Cult Jam consisted of guitarist/bassist Alex "Spanador" Moseley, and drummer/keyboardist Mike Hughes...

  • Actor James Cagney
    James Cagney
    James Francis Cagney, Jr. was an American actor, first on stage, then in film, where he had his greatest impact. Although he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of performances, he is best remembered for playing "tough guys." In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him eighth...

     was raised in Hell's Kitchen but was born in Yorkville
    Yorkville, Manhattan
    Yorkville is a neighborhood in the greater Upper East Side, in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. Yorkville's boundaries include: the East River on the east, 96th Street on the north, Third Avenue on the west and 72nd Street to the south. However, its southern boundary is a subject of...

    , on the other side of Manhattan.
  • Illusionist and endurance artist David Blaine
    David Blaine
    David Blaine is an American illusionist and endurance artist. He is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, and has made his name as a performer of street and close-up magic. He has set and broken several world records...

     lived in Hell's Kitchen for several years.
  • Author and filmmaker James Gunn lived in Hell's Kitchen.
  • Writer and comic book artist Frank Miller
    Frank Miller (comics)
    Frank Miller is an American comic book artist, writer and film director best known for his dark, film noir-style comic book stories and graphic novels Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300...

  • Comic Lewis Black
    Lewis Black
    Lewis Niles Black is an American stand-up comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor. He is known for his comedy style, which often includes simulating a mental breakdown, or an increasingly angry rant, ridiculing history, politics, religion, trends and cultural phenomena...

  • Actor Zach Galligan
    Zach Galligan
    Zachary Wolfe "Zach" Galligan is an American actor.-Biography:Galligan was born in New York City, the son of Carol Jean , a psychologist, and Arthur John Galligan, a lawyer who was a founding partner of the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro. He has a sister, Jessica, and attended Columbia University...

  • Actor Jake T. Austin
    Jake T. Austin
    Jake T. Austin is an American actor and voice actor. Beginning a career as a child actor at the age of seven, Austin is a five-time Young Artist Award nominee, best known for his role as Max Russo, the youngest of three wizards on the Disney Channel original series Wizards of Waverly Place, and as...

  • Actor Josh Peck
    Josh Peck
    Joshua Michael "Josh" Peck is an American actor, comedian, director, and voice actor best known for playing Josh Nichols in the Nickelodeon live-action sitcom Drake & Josh. He began his career as a child actor in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and became known to young audiences after his role on...

     was born in Hell's Kitchen. He grew up there but moved to Los Angeles
    Los Ángeles
    Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

     when he was 14 to pursue his acting career after being offered a role by Nickelodeon
    Nickelodeon (TV channel)
    Nickelodeon, often simply called Nick and originally named Pinwheel, is an American children's channel owned by MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom International. The channel is primarily aimed at children ages 7–17, with the exception of their weekday morning program block aimed at preschoolers...

    .
  • Actor Paul Cavonis
    Paul Cavonis
    Paul Cavonis is an American actor who has appeared in over 30 movies and television series. Cavonis is known for playing mafia and Greek characters.-Early life:...

     was born and raised in Hell's Kitchen; his mother still resides there.
  • Actor George Maharis
    George Maharis
    George Maharis is an American actor who portrayed Buz Murdock in the first three seasons of the TV series Route 66...

     lived in the West 40s.
  • Musician Stephan Jenkins
    Stephan Jenkins
    Stephan Douglas Jenkins , is an American musician best known as the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Third Eye Blind. Under Jenkins's leadership, Third Eye Blind has sold over eight million copies of four albums: Third Eye Blind , Blue , Out of the Vein , and Ursa Major...

     of Third Eye Blind
    Third Eye Blind
    Third Eye Blind is an American alternative rock band formed in the early 1990s in San Francisco. The songwriting duo of Kevin Cadogan and Stephan Jenkins signed the band's first major label recording contract with Elektra records in 1996 resulting in two multi platinum albums. The band's lineup...

  • Actor Tom Hanks
    Tom Hanks
    Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

     had an apartment in Hell's Kitchen in the late 1970s/early 80s.
  • Actor Charlton Heston
    Charlton Heston
    Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

     worked as a model in Hell's Kitchen from 1944 to 1947.
  • Author Lorenzo Carcaterra
    Lorenzo Carcaterra
    Lorenzo Carcaterra is an American writer. Hell's Kitchen is the setting for his most famous book, Sleepers, which was adapted into the Sleepers...

     was born and raised in Hell's Kitchen. The neighborhood is featured in his autobiographical story "A Safe Place" as well as the novel and later film Sleepers
    Sleepers (film)
    Sleepers is a 1996 legal drama film written, produced, and directed by Barry Levinson, and based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's 1995 novel of the same name.-Plot:...

    .
  • The southern opening of the Amtrak
    Amtrak
    The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

     tunnel known as the Freedom Tunnel
    Freedom Tunnel
    The Freedom Tunnel is the name given to the Amtrak tunnel under Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City. It got its name because the graffiti artist Chris "Freedom" Pape used the tunnel walls to create some of his most notable artwork...

     is in Hell's Kitchen. The former "shantytowns" constructed by homeless people, now cleared, gave rise to the urban legend of Mole People, as seen in the documentary Dark Days
    Dark Days (documentary)
    Dark Days is a documentary made by Marc Singer, a British filmmaker. The film follows a group of people living in an abandoned section of the New York City underground railway system, more precisely the area of the so called Freedom Tunnel.-Background:...

    and in Jennifer Toth
    Jennifer Toth
    -Biography:Born in 1967 in London, she studied history, political science and philosophy in London, New York and St. Louis. After a 1987-8 internship at Gateway Heritage , the periodical of the Missouri Historical Society, she graduated with a MA in journalism from Columbia University...

    's book The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York.
  • Musician Tim Rose
    Tim Rose
    Timothy Alan Patrick Rose , best known professionally as Tim Rose, was an American singer-songwriter, who spent much of his life in London, England and had more success in Europe than in his native country...

     lived on West 46th street, Restaurant Row, in Hell's Kitchen for a decade or more in the 1980s and 90s, and later referred to it as "skid row" in a song called "Because You're Rich."
  • "Typhoid Mary" (Mary Mallon
    Mary Mallon
    Mary Mallon , also known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected some 53 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook...

    ) shared an apartment in Hell's Kitchen with her boyfriend between jobs as a cook during the 1900s.
  • Author John Reed
    John Reed (novelist)
    John Reed is an American novelist. He is the author of four novels: A Still Small Voice , Snowball's Chance with a preface by Alexander Cockburn, The Whole , and All the World's a Grave: A New Play by William Shakespeare...

  • Professional wrestler Matt Wiese
    Matt Wiese
    Matthew R. "Matt" Wiese is an American actor and former professional wrestler. He is best known for his tenure in World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Luther Reigns, where he performed on its SmackDown brand....

    , known as Horshu or Luther Reigns
  • Professional wrestler Mark LoMonaco, known as Bully Ray, formerly Bubba Ray Dudley
    Dudley Boyz
    Team 3D was a professional wrestling tag team, consisting of Brother Ray and Brother Devon, formerly sporadically joined into a stable by Brother Runt on several intervals...

  • Actor John Goodman
    John Goodman
    John Stephen Goodman is an American film, television, and stage actor. He is best known for his role as Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne for which he won a Best Actor Golden Globe Award in 1993, and for appearances in the films of the Coen brothers, with prominent roles in Raising...

     lived on Ninth Avenue
  • Comedian Graham Norton
    Graham Norton
    Graham William Walker, known by his stage name Graham Norton , is an Irish actor, comedian, television presenter and columnist...

     owns property on Tenth Avenue
  • Actor Bruce Willis
    Bruce Willis
    Walter Bruce Willis , better known as Bruce Willis, is an American actor, producer, and musician. His career began in television in the 1980s and has continued both in television and film since, including comedic, dramatic, and action roles...

     lived in the West 40's between Ninth and Tenth Avenues
  • NHL player and New York Rangers
    New York Rangers
    The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in the borough of Manhattan in New York, New York, USA. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers are one of the...

     Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
    Henrik Lundqvist
    Henrik Lundqvist is a Swedish professional ice hockey goaltender for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League . He was nominated for the Vezina Trophy in his first three seasons in the NHL, finishing third all three times, and is the only goaltender in NHL history to record 30 wins in...

  • Comedian, radio personality, and musician Richard Christy
    Richard Christy
    Thomas Richard Christy is an American musician and radio personality who currently works on The Howard Stern Show. Christy began to work on the show after winning the "Get John's Job" contest on July 1, 2004. He is known for his prank calls, song parodies, personality, and stunts performed on the...

  • Actor Donald Faison
    Donald Faison
    Donald Adeosun Faison is an American actor, comedian, and voice actor best known for his role as Dr. Chris Turk in the ABC comedy-drama Scrubs and as Murray in the film Clueless and the subsequent television series of the same name.Faison has also co-starred in the films Remember the Titans ,...

  • Church of Satan
    Church of Satan
    The Church of Satan is an organization dedicated to the acceptance of the carnal self, as articulated in The Satanic Bible, written in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey.- History :...

     head, High Priest Peter H. Gilmore
    Peter H. Gilmore
    Peter Howard Gilmore is an American author and administrator of the Church of Satan. He was appointed High Priest of the Church in 2001 by Magistra Blanche Barton. Within the church, he is known as Magus Peter H...

    .
  • Basketball Player Carmelo Anthony
    Carmelo Anthony
    Carmelo Kiyan Anthony , nicknamed "Melo", is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association...

  • Robb Nunzio (born 1963) - Founding member & guitarist of famed NYHC band Antidote
  • Chef and Author Anthony Bourdain
    Anthony Bourdain
    Anthony Michael "Tony" Bourdain is an American chef, author and television personality. He is well known for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and is the host of Travel Channel's culinary and cultural adventure program Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.A...


Hell's Kitchen mobsters

  • Bill Dwyer
    Bill Dwyer (mobster)
    William Vincent Dwyer , known as "Big Bill" Dwyer, was an early Prohibition gangster and bootlegger in New York during the 1920s. He used his profits to purchase sports properties, including the New York Americans and Pittsburgh Pirates of the National Hockey League , as well as the Brooklyn...

  • Owney Madden
    Owney Madden
    Owney "The Killer" Madden was a leading underworld figure in Manhattan, most notable for his involvement in organized crime during Prohibition. He also ran the famous Cotton Club and was a leading boxing promoter in the 1930s.-Early life:Owen Vincent Madden was born at 25 Somerset Street, in...

  • Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll
    Mad Dog Coll
    Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll was an Irish mob hitman in 1920s New York City. Coll gained notoriety for the accidental killing of a young child during a mob kidnap attempt.-Early years:...

  • Eddie McGrath
    Eddie McGrath
    Eddie McGrath was an Irish-American gangster from New York City, who controlled the Hell's Kitchen Irish Mob and the lucrative waterfront throughout the 1940s...

  • Mickey Spillane
  • Edward Cummiskey
    Edward Cummiskey
    Edward "Eddie The Butcher" Cummiskey was a New York mobster who served as a mentor to Jimmy Coonan, leader of the Westies...

  • Tom Devaney
    Tom Devaney
    Tom Devaney was a New York mobster and an enforcer to Mickey Spillane during the 1960s and 70s. As Spillane's chief lieutenant, Devaney played a leading role in the growing animosity between Spillane and the Genovese crime family as well as the gang war against James Coonan.Sullivan observed...

  • James Coonan
    James Coonan
    James "Jimmy C" Coonan is an Irish-American mobster and racketeer from Manhattan, New York who is currently serving a 75-year prison term.-Biography:...

  • Mickey Featherstone
    Mickey Featherstone
    Francis T. "Mickey" Featherstone is a former Irish American mobster and member of the Westies, an organized crime syndicate from Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan in New York City, led by Jimmy Coonan. Featherstone committed several mob killings before he was convicted in 1986 of a murder he had not...


External links