A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“The F in communism stands for food” (3/27)
“Why do your kids go to school in gun-free zones, but Congress goes to work with armed guards?” (3/27)
“Why does Congress goes to work with armed security, but your kids go to school in gun-free zones?” (3/27)
“What do you do for a living?"/"My best. I do my best.” (3/27)
Entry in progress—BP (3/27)
More new entries...

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Entry from April 14, 2008
Hell’s Bedroom

"Hell’s Bedroom” is a 1970s variant of Hell’s Kitchen. In the 1970s, Eighth Avenue in Manhattan was filled with prostitutes and called the Minnesota Strip. Gail Sheehy wrote two pieces about the prostitution business for New York magazine:

“Cleaning Up Hell’s Bedroom,” New York magazine, Nov. 13, 1972, pp.50-66
“The Landlords of Hell’s Bedroom,” New York magazine, Nov. 20, 1972, pp.67-80

The name “Hell’s Bedroom” was seldom used outside of these two articles and is largely historical today.

Wikipedia: Gail Sheehy
Gail Sheehy (b. November 27, 1937) is an American writer and lecturer, most notable for her books on life and the life cycle. She is also a contributor to Vanity Fair (magazine).

18 June 1933, New York (NY) Times, “Fighting Tammany: Parkhurst’s Story” by Charles H. Parkhurst, pg. SM7:
It hurt my feelings—yes, and it made me good and mad, too—when newspapers printed nasty insinuations regarding my inspection of hell’s kitchen, hell’s dining-room and hell’s bedroom.

10 August 1973, New York (NY) Times, “A Report on Prositution” book review by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, pg. 29:
HUSTLING: Prostitution in Our Wide Open Society. By Gail Sheehy. 273 pages. Delacorte. $7.95.
And sufficient to inflame the social consciousness of us all is the tinder she has scraped together by identifying “The Landlords of Hell’s Bedroom” (those remote real estate interest that must be held ultimately responsible for the present state of Manhattan’s midtown area) and the sparks she has struck by exposing their indifference.

New York (NY) Times
A Seedy Strip Slowly Gives Way To Assaults of the Squeaky Clean
Published: June 20, 1997
To some, it was the Wild Side, to others, Hell’s Bedroom. At a particularly low point in the 1970’s, it became the Minnesota Strip, a bleak reference to Midwestern girls who had hoped for careers on the Broadway stage, only to become Eighth Avenue street walkers.

Now, the notorious strip of the avenue running 10 blocks north of Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Depot is coming out of the shadows. As the unprecedented transformation of Times Square spreads, Eighth Avenue has become its front line.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Monday, April 14, 2008 • Permalink