There’s yet to be an exact agreed-upon theory as to where the name Hell’s Kitchen came from, but most historians agree that it had something to do with the poor tenement conditions and general filth of the neighborhood in the 19th century. Its reputation didn’t get any better in the 20th century, though. After the repeal of prohibition, the area became overrun with organized crime, and until the 1980s it was known as a home base for several gangs. Today, Hell’s Kitchen is no longer the “Wild West,” but rather a rapidly gentrifying community ripe for new development.
A neighborhood profile today in the Times looks at the transformation of the neighborhood, also called Clinton or Midtown West, which is generally defined as the area from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River between 34th to 59th Streets. Summed up, “New buildings are going up, and older ones are being converted to high-end residences. The development of Hudson Yards and the High Line just to its south and the addition of the Time Warner Center on its northeast border have spurred growth. Prices have gone up but are still generally lower than in surrounding neighborhoods.”
Find out more ahead
Inside the apartment. Image via Airbnb
If you were questioning how truly serious the city is about its beef against Airbnb, look no further than this landmark ruling to evict a rent-stabilized tenant from his ultra-luxe 450 West 42nd Street building. The Post reports that Henry Ikezi was just given the boot by a Manhattan Housing Court judge for posting his 46th-floor Hell’s Kitchen apartment on the site for $649 per night, about triple what he was paying at $6,670 per month. The home’s market value is upwards of $9,000.
More on the landmark case here
We dare you to look at this home and not want to make a cup of hot cocoa, sit down in front of the gas-burning fireplace, wrap yourself up in a blanket and lose yourself in a good book. This 1,209-square-foot Thorndale pad charms with ski lodge appeal, making the cold winter months an experience–and it’s available for rent, asking $8,500 per month.
Hold on while we grab some cocoa, then let’s take a look inside
Who can deny the cool factor of living in a space oozing with history? New Yorkers find themselves living in former schools, churches, banks, fire stations, and even insane asylums. Now coming to Hell’s Kitchen are 44 condominiums dubbed Radio City Lofts, which will bring our space-deprived denizens a new form of living: life atop a functioning post office.
More on the new lofts here
Scott with his father
Tucked away on the second floor of a building on 11th Avenue and 48th street is City Knickerbocker, Inc., a small lighting business with a long history. Founded in 1906 founded by Adolph Liroff, a Russian immigrant whose trade was converting gasoliers and sconces to electric lamps, this business has lasted for four generations. Today, Scott Liroff, Adolph’s great-grandson, proudly carries on the family tradition serving as City Knickerbocker’s Vice President.
To appreciate Scott’s role in both his family and the business, one needs to go back over one hundred years to Brooklyn in the early 20th century. When Adolph’s Brooklyn-based business took off, he headed to the city and rented a space on 42nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. After the Metropolitan Opera rented his light fixtures, Broadway started calling to rent lights too. As early as 1912-1913 City Knickerbocker’s primary source of business was rentals. When Adolph’s son, Seymour, took over the business in the 1950s, the store provided lighting for shows including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Milton Berle Show.
6sqft recently spoke with Scott to learn about City Knickerbocker and what it means to carry on a legacy in New York.
Read the en-light-ening interview here
, Sun, September 21, 2014
The third and final section of the High Line will officially open to the public today at 11 A.M., marking the final chapter of a 15-year journey to transform a once abandoned rail road track into an elevated park for the city. The new section has been christened ‘High Line at the Railyards‘ and follows the original train tracks from 30th to 34th Streets to the north and south, and from 10th to 12th Avenues east and west, exposing High Line-goers to expansive and unobstructed views of the Hudson River and New Jersey. Unlike the two sections that preceded it, the path that makes up The Railyards is far less manicured. With its organized but “wild” greenery, the design of this final leg instead asks visitors to contemplate the railway’s past and the surrounding landscape as it stands and as it will change with the introduction of Hudson Yards.
More of the new section and the ribbon cutting here
Photo: Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint by Premshree Pillai cc
From “coffices” to lab-like minimalist gourmet coffee meccas to cozy neighborhood hangouts, neighborhood cafes are a fine example of the essential “third place” mentioned in discussions of community dynamics: that place, neither work nor home, where regulars gather and everyone’s welcome.
Along with yoga studios, art galleries, community gardens, vintage clothing shops, restaurants with pedigreed owners and adventurous menus and, some say, a change in the offerings on local grocery shelves, cafes are often the earliest sign of neighborhood change. The neighborhood cafe serves as a testing ground for community cohesiveness while adventurous entrepreneurs test the still-unfamiliar waters around them. Beyond the literal gesture of offering sustenance, cafes provide a place where you can actually see who your neighbors are and appreciate the fact that at least some of them are willing to make an investment locally.
Get a fleeting glimpse of old New York City cafe culture in the West Village, meet the future of coffee distribution in Red Hook.
American diners are neon-lit time capsules of architecture and design. They are the ’57 Ford Thunderbird of restaurants, shaping post-war optimism and far too much metal into something beautiful and quintessentially American. Best of all, you can still find plenty of little diners doing what they have always done, among the rising skylines and property values of New York City.
See our diner photos here
Take two Art Deco commercial buildings designed by Robert Walker in the roaring twenties and mix in a little 21st century residential conversion magic by JDS Development Group, Property Markets Group, and Starwood Capital Group, and what do you get?
Apparently two highly successful projects that now have even more in common – owners who have purchased units in both buildings.
Why did owners double up on their investments?
Imagine sitting in this living room. This would be only one of the perks of living at 454 West 46th Street #PH-6BS. The stunning penthouse rests at the top of the Piano Factory, and it’s currently on the market for $3.995 million with Town Residential’s Glenn Connolly.
If this penthouse is the crowning jewel of the historic loft conversion complex, then that living room is the crowning jewel of the penthouse. No, you’re not going blind. The living room is really that light-flooded, thanks to a vaulted glass ceiling above. And it doesn’t stop there. The radiant room leads to a gorgeous terrace – just one of the unit’s two, to be exact. The other one is off of the spacious, eat-in chef’s kitchen, which rests in a corner of the apartment, offering top-of-the-line appliances and exposures from windows on two walls. But if the stunning southern views from the kitchen’s terrace, or the main terrace’s skyline views that stretch from Hell’s Kitchen to the edge of Central Park aren’t enough, you can always build another deck on the roof with board approval because you have roof rights. Is there anything these people haven’t thought of?
Take a look inside here