“Look at us! Running around, always rushed, always late. This is why they call it the human race.” (The Switch) But if you want to win the real marathon, move to New York: the place where everything happens to everyone, the winning ticket for a better life.
With New York City rushing around us, we can miss the value of what we’re walking past. It’s the history itself, fragments of New York preserved in its stories, told on park benches and bar stools, in its buildings and streetscapes and especially, in its people.
Hell’s Kitchen is part of the history that made New York, New York. Though the neighborhood now has a reputation for restaurants rather than riots, many of the locals can recall the dark past of it.
The name Hell’s Kitchen generally refers to the area from 34th to 59th Streets, the place where Irish immigrants running from The Great Famine (19th century) started their first businesses, such as tanneries. But at the beginning of the 20th century, the neighborhood was controlled by gangs and soon it became known as the “most dangerous area in the American Continent.”
Over the years the Irish and German population has welcomed Italians, Greeks, Puerto Ricans, Eastern Europeans or Peruvians. This diversity is reflected in the local businesses, particularly in the numerous restaurants.
Streets of Hell’s Kitchen | El Original
A century ago vendors sold food from pushcarts along the streets and today the tradition continues by the abundance in variety of food offered in the neighborhood. The area is known for its ethnic cuisine and attracts hungry theater-goers. In fact, Hell’s Kitchen is hotter all the time because of its lively character and old neighborhood feel. Some New Yorker’s may call the area Clinton and see it as an up-and-coming neighborhood, safer and more attractive than ever. But, many locals take pride in the rough past remaining loyal to the neighborhood and the name Hell’s Kitchen.
Italian Vibe on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen: Il Baretto