When someone comes to New York City, the usual destination is Manhattan. Manhattan is one of 5 Boroughs that make up the City: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Manhattan is home to most of the icons: Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Station, St Patrick’s Cathedral…..All the stuff you’ve heard about all your life. The Statue of Liberty is off the southern coast line of Manhattan and is actually in New Jersey.
Manhattan is divided into numerous “neighborhoods” with blurred and vague boundaries. You may have heard of: Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Soho, Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Spanish Harlem, Harlem, Theater District, and the best name of all…..Hell’s Kitchen.
We live in Hell’s Kitchen.
How the Kitchen got its name is not clear. The Irish settled here when they came into the country and were not accepted anywhere. They settled here in tenements. It was a rough area that had frequent gang wars. Some stories say the name came from Davy Crockett, sharing his feelings toward the people who lived here. Some say an Irish cop was patrolling the neighborhood with his rookie partner. The rookie referred to the area as hell. The old patrolman said, Hell’s climate is mild. This is Hell’s Kitchen. There are other stories…who knows where it came from, but it is a name of character.
Basically from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River on the West and from 34th St to 59th on the North.
Bordering neighborhoods are the Theater District, home of the Broadway Theaters, to the East and Chelsea, one of the first LBGT areas, to the south. But these neighborhoods are not that distinctive from each other, Just rows and blocks of bodegas and cafes. That is until you get to Broadway and Times Square. There you find yourself in the middle of Freak City!!
Hell’s Kitchen is home to several actors, comedians and theater people and the area has developed itself to make the artistic residents comfortable. There are studios tucked away in the area where several TV shows are filmed, recording studios where some of our favorited songs were written and recorded.
Today we got winded in. No snow or anything, it was really sunny, but the temperature dropped to 32 and the wind was blowing 30-40 mph. The wind chill was around 11 all day. We didn’t venture out and I didn’t have anything else to report about so I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell you about our friendly little neighborhood.