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Hell's Kitchen, Clinton Street West 34th-57th (59) Streets and 8th Avenue - Central Park West to the Hudson River.
Hell's Kitchen NYC Manhattan, also known as Clinton and Midtown West is a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City between 34th Street and 59th Street, from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River.
The Hell's Kitchen NYC Manhattan neighborhood provides transportation, hospital, and warehouse infrastructure support to the Midtown Manhattan business district. Its gritty reputation depressed real estate prices in the area relative to much of the rest of Manhattan until the early 1990s.
The rough and tumble days on the West Side figure prominently in Damon Runyon's stories and the childhood home of Marvel Comics' Daredevil. Various Manhattan ethnic conflicts formed the basis of the musical and film West Side Story.
Once a bastion of poor and working-class Irish Americans, over the last three decades of the 20th century and into the new century, Hell's Kitchen has undergone tremendous gentrification as a result of its proximity to Midtown. The 1969 edition of the Plan for New York City book authored by the City Planning Commission stated that people of modest means were being driven from the area by development pressures due to the Midtown location. Today, a great number of actors reside in the neighborhood due to its proximity to the Broadway theaters and Actors Studio training school.
"Hell's Kitchen" generally refers to the area from 34th to 59th streets. Starting west of 8th Avenue, city zoning regulations limit buildings to 6 stories high (although exceptions are often made). As a result, most of the buildings are older, often walk-ups. For the most part the neighborhood encompasses the ZIP codes 10019 and 10036. The post office for 10019 is called Radio City Station, the original name for Rockefeller Center on Sixth Avenue.
* Northern boundary: The Hell's Kitchen NYC Manhattan neighborhood edges toward the southern boundary of the Upper West Side, and 57th Street is considered by some to be the traditional northern boundary. However the neighborhood often is considered to extend to 59th Street (the southern edge of Central Park starting at Eighth Avenue) where the avenue names change. Included in the 57th to 59th Street transition area are the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where John Lennon died in 1980 after being shot, and John Jay College.
* Southern boundary: Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea overlap and are often lumped together as the West Side since they support the Midtown Manhattan business district. The traditional dividing line is 34th Street. The transition area just north of Madison Square Garden and Pennsylvania Station includes the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
* Eastern boundary: The neighborhood overlaps the Times Square theater district to the east at Eighth Avenue. On its southeast border, it overlaps the Garment District also on Eighth Avenue. Here, two landmarks reside - the New Yorker Hotel and the dynamic Manhattan Center building (at the northwest corner of 34th Street and Eighth Avenue). Included in the transition area on Eighth Avenue are the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street, the Pride of Manhattan Fire Station (from which 15 firefighters died at the World Trade Center), several theaters including Studio 54, the original soup stand of Seinfeld's Soup Nazi, and the Hearst Tower.
* Western boundary: The western boundary is the Hudson River.
West Side Story:
During the 1950s, immigrants, Puerto Ricans, had moved into the neighborhood. The conflict between the Irish, Italians, and the Puerto Ricans is highlighted in West Side Story. The movie was filmed from 65th Street and 69th Street between Amsterdam and West End Avenue, north of Hell's Kitchen. Part of the sites seen are old P. S. 94 on the corner of 68th Street and Amsterdam Avenue and St. Michael's Church. The movie was filmed during the demolition of this area that was to become Lincoln Center.
In 1959, an aborted rumble between rival Irish and Puerto Rican gangs led to the notorious "Capeman" murders in which two innocent teenagers were killed.
By 1965, Hell's Kitchen was the home base of the Westies, a deeply violent Irish American crew aligned with the Gambino crime family. It was not until the early 1980s that widespread gentrification began to alter the demographics of the longtime working-class Irish American neighborhood. The 1980s also saw an end to the Westies' reign of terror, when the gang lost all of its power after the RICO convictions of most of its principals in 1986.
Today Hell's Kitchen is an increasingly upscale neighborhood of actors and affluent young professionals, as well as residents from the 'old days'. It has also acquired a large diverse community as residents have moved north from Chelsea.