Stretching from the bright lights of Times Square up to Central Park South and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson, this broad swath of New York City contains some of the most well known real estate in the world with Broadway theatres, tourist attractions and skyscrapers in abundance. Breathtaking in its diversity with the vibrant Theatre District, the shining Diamond District, hip Hell’s Kitchen, Port Authority’s transportation hub, the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, Radio City Music Hall, MoMA, and Carnegie Hall, this area has something for everyone. The neighborhood is not just home to giant wrap-around news tickers and tourists, however. Despite being the largest commercial center in the US, it is also home to the calm oases of DeWitt Clinton Park and the popular Bryant Park, adjacent to the New York Public Library and its famous marble lions.
The area to the west of Times Square, known as Clinton to the city but more familiarly as Hell’s Kitchen, was formerly a bastion of poor immigrants, gangs and organized crime. Populated in the mid-19th century by the Irish fleeing the Great Famine, the area once was filled with shantytowns along the Hudson River. During Prohibition, the many warehouses in the area were used for storing and brewing the illicit alcohol. After the repeal, the crime syndicates moved into gambling and racketeering along the waterfront. During the ‘50s and ‘60s, the clashes between the newer immigrants and the more established Irish immigrants became fodder for the musical West Side Story. In the ‘80s, with the convictions of the many of the heads of the local crime families, gentrification started to take hold in the area.
Thanks to the general clean up of the neighborhood over the past two decades; the residential portions of the area have undergone a transformation, with many new developments and renovations. Walk-ups and brownstones can still be found among the high-rises and condos, making this locality popular for families, singles, artists, older couples and every demographic. Once known as a gritty place to live, it still retains its distinctive character while having lost the seedier elements.
Transportation in area is plentiful, with the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, B, D, F, N, Q, R, S, and 7 trains as well as Port Authority.