Hell's Kitchen is on the island of Manhattan. It is between Thirty-Fourth and Fifty-Ninth Streets west of Eighth Avenue all the way to the Hudson River. Dutch immigrants settled in the area in the late sixteen hundreds. Back then, it had green fields and small rivers. The Dutch called the area Vale of Flowers. How did the area get the name Hell's Kitchen? There are several possible answers. Some people say it was the traditional name of a building in the area. The building was in bad condition and the people who lived there were very poor. By the eighteen hundreds the area had become a dangerous place to live. Many poor Irish immigrants lived there. Fights and other crimes were common. People lived in dirty, crowded buildings that the owners did not take care of. The area had many factories, including slaughterhouses, where animals were killed and sold at food markets.? In the eighteen sixties there were riots in Hell's Kitchen to protest the government's order forcing people to serve in the military during the Civil War. White people attacked black people, whom they blamed for the war. Many people were killed during the riots. Some people think the area was named Hell's Kitchen around that time. It could have come from Americans who knew of a poor and dangerous neighborhood in London, England called Hell's Kitchen. There is also the story of a police officer named Fred who worked the area in the eighteen seventies. Fred and his partner were watching a fight among people in the neighborhood. The partner said, "The place is hell itself." Fred answered, "Hell's a mild climate. This is Hell's kitchen." In the nineteen thirties, the Great Depression made the poverty in Hell's Kitchen even worse. Many factories in the area dismissed employees. Port companies and slaughterhouses closed. Many people were forced to live on the streets because they could not pay for housing. Many others left the area. But new immigrant groups continued to arrive in New York, seeking a better life. Many Puerto Rican immigrants settled in Hell's Kitchen. The nineteen fifty-nine Broadway musical "West Side Story" was set in the area. It told about two young lovers torn by ethnic conflict between their Puerto Rican and white groups. The area has experienced a renewal over the years. It has many art galleries and restaurants. And it is close to Broadway Theaters. Hell's Kitchen has in fact been home to many young actors. There are also several broadcasting operations for television and radio in the area. There have been efforts to change the neighborhood's name to Clinton, after a former New York governor. But efforts to keep the name Hell's Kitchen are equal in strength.