Please enjoy this evening view from our NYC hotel where we’re staying for this year’s family vacation, on a one-lane street a few blocks southwest of Times Square, a few blocks north of the Port Authority, and inside the boundaries of Hell’s Kitchen, the neighborhood famous for having a Gordon Ramsey show named after it and for going down the tubes every time Matt Murdock is too busy recuperating from fatal wounds or being Elektra’s lapdog to come save the day. A coworker back in Indiana who once worked on Broadway for years recommended this hotel, and when we get home I have questions for him.
What we’ve seen so far here in Hell’s Kitchen:
* A Lawful Evil cabby with amazing reflexes, who taught me a few things about what maniac driving really looks like
* The mountains of trash left behind after a street festival
* A pizza joint with clever pop-culture names for its sparse, burnt pizza
* An independent food court with limited, spartan, wooden seating, plus an additional, tucked-away, more posh area where you’d expect characters from The CW to hold all their most personal conversations in haute couture
* A Subway franchise, because of course Subway is everywhere I don’t want it to be
* A dead ringer for Michael Clarke Duncan’s Kingpin
* A guy in a veritable Pee-Wee Herman suit, sans bow tie
* An old man standing outside an upscale bar with his face to the window and his hands cupping his eyes, watching baseball on their big-screen TV while the customers seated next to said window kept their eyes on the same TV and their backs to him
* The largest Big Bang Theory ad I’ve ever seen, which made me regret both TV and eyesight
* An amazingly friendly hotel staff who, like us, clearly aren’t from around here
The above photo was taken through a permanently shut window and obviously isn’t the best ever, but its fuzzy brown nineteenth-century veneer perfectly contrasts what we’ve seen so far of this town, from its carefully sculpted and funded skyscrapers to the smaller, older, darker, plainer cartons pasted together with the minimum materials required to qualify as inhabitable for a Western capitalist society. It’s not hard to imagine Batman Bat-grapneling from the spire of the brightest skyscraper toward the dismal, shadowy, lower flat roofs beneath him to have a rough-‘n’-tumble crossover with Daredevil. It’s certainly got, uh, character. We understand parts of it have been gentrified in recent times, but we apparently haven’t walked far enough west to witness those results yet.
More updates as they occur, should we survive the week without the Hand holding any deadly, fancy tracking-shot melees on our floor.
[Special housekeeping note: MCC email subscribers may have seen two versions of this post because upgrading our laptop from Windows 7 to 10 has not made it better. Sincere apologies for wasting your seconds with the first notification.]