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Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan: Where Is It?

Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan: Where Is It?

New York City is like a small nation. Among its many distinct neighborhoods and communities, Hell’s Kitchen stands out as one of the Big Apple’s most famous., Known for its nightlife, history, and recent improvements, Hell’s Kitchen is a tourist destination teeming with local and global charm. That said, if you’re a newcomer to New York City and want to tour this historic area yourself, you might wonder where Hell’s Kitchen is in Manhattan.

Truth be told, Hell’s Kitchen has defined yet fluctuating borders that can confuse even longtime New York City natives. Let’s break down where Hell’s Kitchen is and everything it has to offer. For information about Schwartzapfel Lawyers legal services, contact us online or at 1-516-342-2200 for a free case evaluation. 

Hell’s Kitchen Explained

Hell’s Kitchen is one of the most iconic and memorable neighborhoods in all of Manhattan and New York City. It’s located on the west side of Midtown Manhattan, so it borders the Hudson River. In fact, Hell’s Kitchen is one of New York City’s neighborhoods that has its own set of docks for commercial activities.

Up until the 1970s, Hell’s Kitchen was one of the most common places to find working-class Americans to live, especially Irish Americans. However, over the next few decades, new developments throughout the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood led to improving working and living conditions. On the downside, Hell’s Kitchen has been known for recent gentrification, causing rent prices to rise astronomically.

While this has priced out many poorer Americans, Hell’s Kitchen is also known as one of the homes of the theater population in all of NYC. That’s partially because it is adjacent to the Broadway theaters, making it a perfect place for up-and-coming actors or aspiring artists of all stripes.

On a technical level, Hell’s Kitchen is part of Manhattan Community District 4. This means it’s policed by both the 10th and Midtown North Precincts of the NYPD. Aside from serving as a cultural bastion in New York, Hell’s Kitchen is known for its medical, warehouse, transportation, and other infrastructural support to Manhattan’s business district.

All in all,  Hell’s Kitchen is known for much more than just a single feature. As such, there’s no shortage of sights to see and things to do when you visit..

Where Is Hell’s Kitchen?

Things get a little tricky when you consider the boundaries or borders of Hell’s Kitchen, however. Generally, when people talk about Hell’s Kitchen, meaning the area between 34th St. toward the south of Manhattan and 59th St. toward the north of Manhattan.

Other common borders include a start point at Eighth Avenue up to the north side of 43rd St. because of regulations in this area of Manhattan, most of Hell’s Kitchen’s buildings are only six stories tall. This also means that the majority of buildings are older compared to buildings found in some other neighborhoods and districts in NYC.

As far as neighborhood districts and icons go, Hell’s Kitchen is typically considered to encompass the north part of Hudson Yards. However, it excludes the common transition area known as Columbus Circle. 

The northern edge of Hell’s Kitchen is right on the border of the Upper West Side’s southern edge. It’s no surprise that both of these historic neighborhoods have long been seen as local homes for working-class Americans or, in previous decades, the lower-income aspiring professionals who came to NYC in search of a better future.

Hell’s Kitchen’s southern border is a slightly different story. It’s just before Chelsea, and the above-mentioned Hudson Yards neighborhood overlaps with Hell’s Kitchen. Because of this, both Hell’s Kitchen and Hudson Yards are lumped together as a broader neighborhood called West Midtown. That’s due to their proximity to the Midtown Manhattan business neighborhood or district.

But what about how New Yorkers feel? If you ask anyone on the street, you’re likely to get a slightly different answer. In general, though, you can accurately say that Hell’s Kitchen is located on the middle west side of Manhattan, and people will know what you’re talking about.

The History of Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen has an extensive and interesting history which has informed its development over time. The neighborhood’s history became most notable in the 1930s, when the iconic McGraw-Hill Building was first constructed. The surrounding area near this building was mostly taken up by tenements.

By the end of the 1950s and Hell’s Kitchen, containerized shipping led to the decline of many of the piers and docks along the West Side. Because of this, many of the workers in Hell’s Kitchen found themselves in dire employment straits. This coincided with the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Lincoln Tunnel Access Roads, which ended up destroying much of 41st St. in Hell’s Kitchen.

Gentrification began in earnest in the 1960s and ‘70s. This is notable because, even though Hell’s Kitchen is right next to the main business district in New York, large-scale development or redevelopment was not allowed for over 40 years because of very strict zoning rules.

This all changed with the implication of the Plan for New York City in 1969 and 1970. It included very specific details about how to redevelop Hell’s Kitchen, calling for up to 3,000 new hotel rooms, more than 25,000 new apartments, and over 2,000,300 m² of office space.

A new convention center, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, was originally approved to replace the previous New York Coliseum in Hell’s Kitchen. However, these plans never came to fruition. Instead, Hell’s Kitchen continued to develop more business and theater areas in addition to office space for its growing population.

Hell’s Kitchen’s New Name

Hell’s Kitchen certainly has one of the most iconic names of all the neighborhoods in New York City. One story, which is potentially apocryphal, is attributed to the U.S. Senator and frontiersman Davy Crockett. Supposedly, Crockett made an insulting comment about an Irish neighborhood in Manhattan near Five Points, calling it Hell’s Kitchen.”

According to other sources, tenements on 54th St. referred to the area as Hell’s Kitchen. The nickname picked up steam and was reported in print for the first time on October 22nd, 1881, in the New York Times. Afterwards, the genie could not be put back in the bottle; Hell’s Kitchen, the name, was here to stay.

This fact, however, hasn’t stopped a number of New Yorkers from trying to rename the neighborhood in an effort to attract new people. Clinton” is the most common alternative name used for the Hell’s Kitchen area. Moreover, it is technically used by the municipality of New York City, where it originated in 1959 in an attempt to link the Hell’s Kitchen area to DeWitt Clinton Park, located at 52nd and Eleventh Avenue.

Things To Do in Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen has stuck around with such character for so long because it has its own community and feel compared to other districts in New York City. Here’s a brief overview of what you should do in Hell’s Kitchen should you visit this neighborhood.

Entertainment Options

There are entertainment options abound for visitors who check out Hell’s Kitchen. Because of its gritty reputation, Hell’s Kitchen housing prices are lower than anywhere else on Manhattan Island. Because of this, and because of the proximity to the Broadway theaters, aspiring actors commonly rent apartments here.

Those theaters, of course, host shows throughout the year, making it a prime place to enjoy the New York City nightlife. Additionally, Hell’s Kitchen is home to various music recording and broadcast studios, like the CBS Broadcast Center and the former Sony Music Studios.

Also worth noting, partly due to the focus on the entertainment and theater industries, Hell’s Kitchen is known as a haven for members of the LGBTQ community.

Eateries and Nightlife

There are also a lot of great diners and restaurants to check out the next time you stop by Hell’s Kitchen. In particular, you can find many ethnic, authentic restaurants in this neighborhood. Hell’s Kitchen is so well-known for this aspect that the Ninth Avenue Association’s International Food Festival goes from 42nd to 57th Streets each May. That’s one of the oldest street fairs in the city and it’s totally free to check out.

If you’re a foodie, be sure to check out Restaurant Row, where a huge abundance of delicious restaurants can be found in Hell’s Kitchen. If you want even more places to eat, check out Tenth Avenue between 43rd and 47th Streets. There, you’ll find not just some more great restaurants, but also a variety of rotating food carts and trucks that serve some of the best street eats you can find in all of New York City.

Parks and Recreation

Most of the side streets in Hell’s Kitchen are lined with trees. Unfortunately, the neighborhood doesn’t have very many traditional parks or recreational spaces, but some smaller plots do offer green places to sit and enjoy a snack.

For this reason, when visiting, you should take time to check out DeWitt Clinton Park. Or, if you prefer, you can visit Hell’s Kitchen Park, which was built in the 1970s on a former parking lot. As a third option, you might try Hudson Park, where the air is fresh and the space green, with plenty of room for walking and sightseeing.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

Hell’s Kitchen is sure to remain a staple neighborhood of Manhattan for years to come. As it becomes more popular and continues to pursue a better reputation of security and community, it may even expand into neighboring districts.

In the meantime, you can tour Hell’s Kitchen for yourself and check out all of its major sights and experiences. If you encounter legal troubles during your visit to Manhattan, Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help. We’re knowledgeable, local personal injury and auto accident attorneys who will provide you with skilled legal assistance no matter your situation or needs.

Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 1-516-342-2200 or visiting us online. It will be our honor and privilege to fight – and win – for you!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!


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