Irish Hell's Kitchen at Joyce Gold History Tours of NY
212-242-5762 www.joycegoldhistorytours.com Ages: $18 per person, $15 seniors
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Fleeing starvation during the Famine, Irish immigrants poured into New York City in the mid 19th century in search of a better life. One of the few jobs open to Irish men was back-breaking work on the docks. Hell's Kitchen faced the westside waterfront, a squalid, crime-ridden and overcrowded slum. Here the Irish families struggled to survive poverty and overcome discrimination. The area's name still evokes images of: • gang fights along Tenth Avenue • Irish killers with names like Happy Jack Mulraney, Goo Goo Knox, Stumpy Malarkey, and One-Lung Curran • Cattle pens and slaughterhouses on West 39th St. The music, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, and the musical West Side Story, portray the tough life and the dangers well known to Hell's Kitchen residents in the 20th century. Today, the abattoirs, prostitution, gang fights and sweaty old Madison Square Garden are gone, but this tour shows how that past influences the neighborhood today.