News & Politics

Despite 50 Years of Trying, Gentry Can’t Get People to Call Hell’s Kitchen “Clinton”


We’d always suspected commercial and real estate interests were behind the attempts to fancy up Hell’s Kitchen as “Clinton.” Today the New York Times tells us that while we were right, the gentrificational rechristening actually goes much further back than the go-go 1980s: A 1959 Times story shows the West Side Association of Commerce trying to get people to call it Clinton after a nearby park, and claiming the old name was “colorful but erroneous.”

But the Times thinks people did start calling it Clinton for a while, sometime in the 1990s. This leads us to observe, not for the first time, that the Times hangs out with a very different crowd than we do. We thought the Times itself settled this issue in 2002. What sensible person would want to lose a beautiful name like Hell’s Kitchen in favor of something so bland as Clinton? Now “Hellsea” we could see…


Archive Highlights