Hell’s Kitchen (Clinton) in New York
Hell’s Kitchen in New York used to be a bad area, but stands out nowadays because of its abundance of nice little bars and restaurants. No New Yorker knows the real story behind the name, but there are many interesting theories about it. The neighbourhood is also known now as ‘Clinton’ or ‘Midtown West’. The latter actually describes the precise location of the area: Midtown Manhattan, between the Hudson River, 59th Street, Eighth Avenue and 34th Street. Its very location makes it a great place to stay when you’re here, with Central Park and the Broadway theatres in your backyard. If you’re using Hell’s Kitchen as a place to stay only, you won’t do this rough neighbourhood any justice – or yourself for that matter. This place is a melting pot as melting pots are meant to be: a neighbourhood where elderly, families, yuppies, creatives, homo- and heterosexuals all happily live together.
Sounds of Hell’s Kitchen
This part of the city is developing rapidly and has not been discovered by the masses yet, which leaves plenty to explore. Hell’s Kitchen used to be a poor, rough, dangerous area, inhabited by the Irish-Americans. Nowadays, property prices are among the highest in Manhattan and the neighbourhood is bursting with energy and full of good vibrations. You already feel the good vibes by just listening to the neighbourhood’s sounds. The stables of the carriage-ride horses are located here, bringing forth the click clock click clock sound of horses hooves. You can even hear the sounds of ship horns made by the cruise ships docking in a nearby port.
A Delicious Neighbourhood
Despite – or maybe even due to – the high cost of living, there are plenty of affordable restaurants and bars. Particularly 9th Avenue, which is great for having dinner and a couple of drinks. The cuisines and the prices are as exotic and varied as the people living in this area: ranging from Irish to Afghan, from truly expensive Wagyu steak to one-dollar pizza slices (at Port Authority Bus Terminal!) and from Memphis to Marseille. You can taste Memphis in Justin Timberlake’s barbecue restaurant Southern Hospitality. They serve some real macho food here, such as spareribs, hot wings and nachos. In the aptly named Marseille, you can taste the real Marseille in dishes such as Bouillabaisse and fresh pastas. Their 5 Napkin Burger became such a tremendous success, it got its own restaurant and even its own chain. You can find its very first branch on 9th Avenue, at the corner with 46th Street. You’ll definitely see some large queues here, which is quite common. Or go to John’s Pizza, one of the very best pizzerias in town. You can find it on 44th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenue. If you would rather get to know the area on a guided tour and combine it with some local delicacies, check this Hell’s Kitchen Food tour
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is located on West 46th Street. This place is home to the space shuttle Enterprise and Intrepid, the legendary aircraft carrier. A unique chance to see them up close and personal. After walking around in this ‘spacey’ museum, you can easily walk to the piers on the museum’s south side. From here, you can board the Circle Line or the New York Water Taxi. If you like to keep your feet on solid ground, you can also rent bikes!
The Area’s Exciting Nightlife
Hell’s Kitchen is also known as ‘gaybourhood’, with its exuberant nightlife and high number of gay people. You’ll find the vast majority of New York gay bars here, plus the world’s very first ‘straight-friendly’ hotel. A homotel so to speak, although ‘heterosexuals are welcome as well’: The OUT NYC. It might have something to do with the abundance of actors living here so close to Broadway, but of one thing we’re sure: it’s the thriving gay scene that makes this a unique and vibrant part of town. As a matter of fact, Hell’s Kitchen does also have its own Theatre Row on 42nd Street, six historical theatres in total.