hells kitchen

fri 18 jan

i was only at home for about 30 minutes when i realized that i’m in the most exciting city in the world, how can i stay at home on a thursday?

when i lived here, Hell’s Kitchen was sorta ugly, and dirty and dangerous. and mostly SRO hotels. there were a bunch of bars on 9th ave that i went to. Rudy’s, Mercruy, Collins Bar, Vintage(?), uh… an irish-sounding place that served kick-ass burgers! Fitzgerald’s? O’Shaughnessy’s?. can’t remember. some of those places are still there. but there are lotsa new places all around 9th ave around 43rd-52nd streets. so i had to check em out.

it’s still totally raining at this point, but whatever. i’m determined to see what these places are all about. i went to Therapy. it’s super-schmancy. 2 levels. seems kinda LA to me. then i peeked into Bamboo 52 next door. dead. more restaurant-like. then i went to Posh. the front patio was crowded with smokers. i pushed past them to find a casual kinda dive. DJ playing in back. small place. not so posh. i guess the name is trying to be ironic. looked like an after-work crowd. surprising, since it was about midnight.

then i walked on and around 9th ave, and stopped at several bars along the way. I can’t remember all of them. i didn’t have drinks in any of them. i just stood around, getting a feel for the places. the place called Ritz seemed kinda tropical in décor. what’s that cheesy menswear brand? Panama jake’s? that’s what it felt like. older people. like mid 40s businessmen. old disco. bleah. i walked past Vlada. crowded. shiny glass. didn’t go in.

i think i walked by Barrage. it was orange. too many aging hipsters trying to be young.

in my travels, i noticed that all the places i used to hang out were all on 9th ave. these new places are on the side streets offa 9th ave. this new world of schmancy bars/lounges is co-existing amongst all the dive bars. interesting.

Hells Kitchen reminds me a lot of the Tendernob. lotsa bars, old weird gay guys, younger hip 30 somethings, a cool restaurant thrown in here and there, a random crazy thrown in for good measure.

i heart NY. and i heart SF too.

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