About 20 years ago, I was reading a Daredevil comic book story and it mentioned the neighborhood where most of the story takes place. It was called Hell’s Kitchen, and it translates to “Cozinha do Inferno” in Brazilian Portuguese (the language of the comic I was reading it in). I thought that was a funny name and had no idea what it was, so I asked my dad, my local New York expert, about it. I think he told me it was like the old downtown area of my native city of São Paulo, and that was enough for me to understand the place where the story took place, more or less.
Little did I know that two decades later, I’d be working at this neighborhood myself – no hero costume required – since that’s where Firstborn offices were when I started working here in 2009.
Today is the last day we’ll be in Hell’s Kitchen, though. Firstborn is now moving to a new office in Tribeca, and that’s where the NYC subway will be taking me to starting next week.
We’ll all very excited for it, but there’s a bittersweet sentiment going around as we count the things we’ll miss from this area.
Our awesome doorman, the T. Rudy’s bar, doorman or no doorman. Lenny’s sandwiches (how come those are not all over town?). Rio & You‘s friendly service and grandma-like owner. Kodama‘s curry and the takeout attendant’s looks of bewilderment when we invaded the small shop in 6 or more people. Eating outside at Motherburger. Standing in line for Shake shack. Pretending you’re Sean Connery when you say Schnippers. Picking a random option at Island burgers. Ordering late Five Napkin. Heck, even stuffing your face with some Chipotle.
(And as far as I know, no super hero lives in Tribeca.)
There’s certainly a lot we’ll come to love in the new neighborhood. But, for a long time, there’s a lot we’ll be missing.
Thanks, Hell’s Kitchen. You’re half of New York for me, and it has been a pleasure.