Hell’s Kitchen, the area west of 8th Avenue and between 42nd Street and 59th Street, used to be one of the city’s most notorious slums. It was one of the roughest districts in the city and was one of the many battlegrounds for gang supremacy all the way into the 20th Century. In recent decades, the neighborhood has made great strides of improvement and 9th Avenue, especially, is now known as the ethnic foods capital of the city.
Today’s Hell’s Kitchen is one of the city’s oddest mixes, a residential neighborhood on the edge of some of the heaviest traffic in the Northeast, as a major bus terminal and New Jersey Tunnel dump traffic into it. Its position west of the Great White Way has left it with a showbiz community contained within a neighborhood full of picturesque 19th Century churches – some theater companies operate within church buildings. Hells Kitchen also has a longstanding restaurant row on 46th Street and also a new restaurant row anchored by an ancient tavern and a classic diner.
The tour, once gain in spectacular weather, took us from Penn Station in a generally northwest direction along 10th and 11th Avenues with plenty of side trips into side streets.
For tour information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @LIChistory.
Title card: ForgottenFans at Market Diner, 11th Avenue and West 43rd Street