Midtown West

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CLINTON (also known as Hell’s Kitchen) LOCATION: The West Side of Manhattan. 34th to 59th Street, between Eighth Avenue and the Hudson River. SUBWAYS: The A, C, E line services the eastern edge of Hell's Kitchen, while the 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, N, Q, R, S, and W trains all stop at Times Square. HISTORY: Hell's Kitchen, also known these days as Clinton, was filled with slaughterhouses, breweries, factories and persons of ill-repute in the 19th and 20th centuries. No one can pin down the exact origin of the label, but whatever the origin of the name, it fit. Hell's Kitchen was troubled by violence and general disorder from an early point in its history. In 1863 thousands died here in the violent draft riots of the Civil War. The 1930s brought the destruction of some of the worst tenements. Soon enough, actors began to move into Hell’s Kitchen due to its proximity to the Theater District. By the end of the 1950s developers wanted a more respectable identity for the neighborhood. They finally rejected the infamous Hell's Kitchen designation in favor of a name resurrected from the past: Clinton, after former mayor and governor DeWitt Clinton. CHARACTER: Traditionally a blue-collar neighborhood, Hell's Kitchen is fast becoming a trendy upscale one where more and more white-collar professionals and successful actors call home. There is a significant gay community here, but nowhere near as visible as in the West Village or Chelsea. Hell's Kitchen is a tight community where people know their neighbors. They know their local bartenders, their local waiters at their restaurants, the guy at the newsstand and their grocers. Often times, residents pull together to sponsor small neighborhood events. Chichi boutiques, trendy bars and restaurants are popping up all over this neighborhood, especially on bustling Ninth Avenue. The new Theater Row on 42nd Street, between Ninth and Tenth, is packed with Off-Broadway houses. The only thing lacking in this neighborhood are the parks or green space. The only one worth mention is the DeWitt Clinton Park between 52nd and 54th Street, and Eleventh to Twelfth Avenues. FOOD/NIGHTLIFE: The heart of this area is "Restaurant Row" (West 46th street). Here you will find restaurants offering every type of cuisine in all price ranges. It’s not hard to find places to hang out after dark around here, whether you prefer a divey bar or a cabaret/comedy club, you have your pick. Float, a dance club on West 52nd Street, and the Hudson Library Bar on 58th cater to a more upscale clientele. SYNOPSIS: Hell's Kitchen retains much of its unpolished charm, but the proximity of Times Square, Lincoln Tunnel, Port Authority Bus Terminal and Broadway all make it a busy commercial neighborhood.