One of the benefits of living in our neighborhood is, well…. it is Hell’s Kitchen! Once named Hell’s Kitchen because of its gritty and violent history, today the area is better known as the foster home for culinary diversity. The neighborhood west of 8th Avenue between 34th and 57th is home to many small, privately owned restaurants of all cuisines.
This weekend we celebrated the plethora of dining delights in our neighborhood. Ninth Avenue, from 57th to 34th Streets, was closed to traffic for two days for the annual celebration of The 9th Avenue International Food Festival. Twenty-three blocks, over a mile, was dedicated to pop-up tents urging congested foot traffic to try their latest and best creations. Local restaurants were the headliners for this event, followed by food distributors who offered samples of ice cream, crackers, and chips. Filling in to close any vacancies were crafts, tee shirts, clothing, bags, and a variety of neighborhood support teams such as local parishes, garden clubs, and support groups.
Folks here look forward to this event, a time for trying new restaurants at sampling prices, and for gathering to celebrate the renewal of this colorful neighborhood.