Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ruminations On My Domain

Hell's Kitchen....aka Clinton, aka Midtown West, once considered the "underworld," the stomping grounds of Irish-American organized crime. It's ethnic conflicts formed the basis of musicals like West Side Story. Once the bastion of poor and working class Irish-Americans, is now undergoing... gentrification.

For virgin New Yorkers it's referred to as Clinton, while for us native New Yorkers it will always be Hell's Kitchen. It is now largely, the home of theatre actors and musicians and also anyone wishing to live close to midtown Manhattan.

I'm taking this opportunity to give props to our local merchants, who without fail have contributed to the betterment of this neighborhood, before and during the rehabilitation process.

Lopez hardware store: small but efficient, very helpful and friendly staff. Get your keys copied there too.

The Amish Market on 9th Ave: always good, reliable produce, nice variety of cakes and pies for the holidays, well stocked and helpful staff.

Perdition: Quiet and unassuming during the day. Great vibe at night, good local crowd, clean, well stocked bar.

Rice n' Beans: Delicious Brazillian fare. Tiny space but good, hot food and the deliveries are just as good. Try their bobo de camarau (shrimp in sweet sauce)

Laundromat Cafe: Not just your local laundromat, it also features local artist works on their walls and a small section in the front offers hot coffee for patrons. Good drop off service too.

Food Emporium: Reliable supermarket downstairs with just about everything you need, recently revamped their upstairs quarters with ready, to go foods including a deli, pizza, fresh baked bread and assorted soups and sauces.

St. Malachy's Church: along with their Encore Community Program uses their contributions well and gives back to the community by providing low cost housing for seniors. Along with their lively priests and lay people they organize fun broadway trips and really go all out with their fantastic singing choir to bring in the holiday spirit.

Goucho Steak: A new establishment that offers yummy steaks and other meaty portions for reasonably priced local eats. Friendly staff and owner.

Sushi Jun: Opened about 2 years ago. So small, if you're not looking for it you'll walk righ tby it. The corner of 8th and 50th St. Reasonably priced sushi, good and interesting combinations. Mild experimentation with their appetizers and salads. Nice family owned place. Good for friday and saturday night eats.

Tofuyaki: there's no name on the front so it's easy to find! Serves up great japanese desserts, custards, cookies etc and offers a variety of teas, saki's and other beverages to accompany the desserts. Great reviews from Zagat and writes up in the New York Times.

Beer and Cheese: yes, that's what it's called! It's right next door to the wine store and connected to it as well. They pair various beers with the approriate cheese, they offer cheese and meat platters for party orders, some catering and they also host great wine and cheese tasting events.

Dewitt Clinton Park: The forgotten park, somewhat. Houses a great dog park, elevated grounds that overlook the harbor and 12th avenue. Also has a small ballpark where local tri borough baseball teams play. Also the namesake of Hell's Kitchen's renewal.