As the release of The Godfather game approaches, EA has began releasing more information regarding the various landmark areas that the game will use. This week its Hell's Kitchen turn and we have a movie that showcases the area and a Q&A with EAs Sean Marr, Environment Artist on the game. His work on the game involved creating models, textures, concepts, and neighborhood assembly. To view the movie follow the download tab above.
Fat Clemenza, one of your mentors in the game, says Hell's Kitchen is a 'real sewer of a joint'. Why does he say that?
Hell's Kitchen is generally a run down yet colorful section of New York City, with a mix of residential and industrial elements. Industrial sections of cities are generally more dangerous than your average residential neighborhood, and Hell's Kitchen was no exception. Historically it was a densely populated and tenement area set among slaughterhouses, warehouses, and factories. During the Godfather time period the population predominantly consisted of Irish and Italian immigrants who worked in the various industries: docks, factories, rail-yards and slaughterhouses. This area also absorbed much of the seedier life from Times Square, with a great number of bars, massage parlors, etc., probably due to the lower rents and the abundance of crime.
There are in fact some sewers in Hell's Kitchen, but I think he's referring to the actual condition of the neighborhood.
Where does the name "Hell's Kitchen" come from?
There are different theories of how it got its name, one being it's proximity of the "Hell's Gate Bridge". There's another story about 2 Police Officers coining the phrase while discussing the condition of the neighborhood. An obvious correlation would be between its seedy/tough atmosphere and if Hell had a kitchen it'd be that much more hotter and miserable. Another connection could be made to the "kitchen" aspect of the name with the fact that it was a poor neighborhood that was in fact a melting pot of the various working class ethnicities of the time struggling to make a living in the post depression era.
What makes Hell's Kitchen unique in the world of The Godfather?
The many different types of architecture ranging from the industrial elements (railyard, waterfront, warehouses, factories), the residential areas (tenements, walk-ups, low-rise apartment buildings), and various landmarks.
Favorite area of Hell's Kitchen?
The Railyard and the Waterfront since they are unique to this neighborhood.