• Posted:Friday, November 6, 2009
  • Comments: 0

Posted in: Travel
Embrace the past in New York's Hell's Kitchen
I first became interested in Hell's Kitchen after reading Lorenzo Carcaterra's novel Sleepers. Not a particularly pleasant story - detailing the abuse that he and his friends suffered while serving sentences at a juvenile facility - but the descriptions of the district, admittedly set in the 60s, was so appealing that I knew I would have to visit it one day. Once there, I felt as if I really knew the place and thoroughly enjoyed my time spent checking out the various Irish diners and historical buildings. I would highly recommend a trip there if you're staying in a New York hostel at the moment.

What put me in mind to suggest Hell's Kitchen to you was an article I came across on Time Out's website, which detailed a few of the places that I'd been to when I was there. Make sure you go to see the New Yorker Hotel, which was once able to claim the title of largest hotel in the city - back when it was built in 1929 anyway. It used to have a subterranean nightclub that came complete with its own tiny ice rink.

You'll also regret it if you don't go and have a quick look at St Michael's, a Catholic church that was built in 1906. Apparently, the statue that stands in front of it got stolen last year and then reappeared a few hours later in a nearby parking lot.

And Druids Bar was a favourite drinking hole of mine (and Irish gangsters the Westies). As legend goes, an unfortunate man called Paddy Dugan ran into trouble there and found himself castrated, with his merchandise displayed behind the bar!

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