tarantino might film here. image: http://amny.com


FALL HAS ARRIVED… so is the new season. CUE UP:  ROBIN ZAKOURA, Midwest friend (30 plus), Bumble & bumble Vet, wine enthusiast, herbal food chick + author of the brilliant lifestyle blog entitled; lateblooms.

Hell’s Kitchen in 1997…some seedy bars on 8th, a few decent restaurants on 9th, smelly delis on 10th and the hookers on 11th. In the midst of the scantily clad neighborhood, one found their favorite haunts, as one always does. The Little Pie Company on 43rd, the Amish Market on 9th and Mr Biggs on 10th, were all familiar and lovable spots. Living three avenues from the subway in a semi-desolate neighborhood didn’t feel remote or isolating; it felt like home. Conversely, the build up (or rather explosion) of Hell’s Kitchen has made it feel foreign and slightly uncomfortable.

A few years ago, I noticed that the neighborhood of Chelsea seem to have extended into Hell’s Kitchen. Shocked, I called my former Hell’s Kitchen roommate to vent. “There’s a Starbucks, tons of new restaurants and boys everywhere!”

“Yep, it’s Hell’s Kitchenette,” she declared.


Several weeks ago, I met a friend for dinner in “Hell’s Kitchenette” and was utterly amazed by the number of restaurants on 9th avenue and the crowds of people swarming the streets. Nizza, Five Napkin Burger, – what the? I used to flip a coin between the Film Center Cafe and Don Giovanni’s, and now you can barely walk two feet without passing a new trendy restaurant.  After a slight panic attack, we decided to eat at the oldie but goodie, Joe Allen. The food was mediocre at best. Perhaps 5 Napkin Burger was the best pick after all?

Like all neighborhoods, new places sprout, leaving the perennials confused and slightly miffed. To coexist among the new blooms, the best solution may just be to embrace the new, and appreciate the old. If the hookers have fled the streets for a quieter life, maybe I can cozy down at that new tapas joint on 45th.

After all, a little sangria and manchego never hurt anyone.

image: http://amny.com