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Eyewitness News reporter Derick Waller may have moved to Lower Manhattan but he’s still drawn back to “the center of everything” — Hell’s Kitchen and its many tempting restaurants and small businesses. This is Derick’s West Side Story.
So, what’s your New York story? Born here, or just arrived?
I’ve lived in NYC for six years, now in Lower Manhattan but previously in Hell’s Kitchen.
What was your first job? What do you do now?
My first job was at McDonald’s (20+ years ago). I’m now a reporter at ABC7.
What’s your favorite New York minute (or moment) so far?
Getting cheap Hamilton tickets in the orchestra at the last minute a couple of months ago. Nothing better than scoring great seats a half hour before the curtain rises.
Share with us why you love Hell’s Kitchen
It’s gay. It’s fun. So many great places to eat (reservation-free!). It’s in the center of everything. What’s not to love?
What’s your superpower or hidden talent?
Convincing strangers on the street to do an on-camera interview
What else should we know about you?
My partner and I stuck out the early days of the pandemic in a tiny one bedroom in a walk-up off 9th Avenue. We have a small dog, so we weren’t totally locked down. He had to go for walks. That first Friday in March of the curfew, you could throw a bowling ball down the avenue. I’ll never forget it and I definitely never want to see it again.
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Derick’s Favorite West Side Places
Arriba Arriba —762 9th Avenue (between W51/52nd St)
The chimichanga with a La Mamma margarita is the ultimate cheat meal.
9th Avenue Saloon — 656 9th Avenue (between W45/46th St)
Old school, unassuming and just perfect.
Art of Fades Barbershop — 699 10th Avenue (between W47/48th St)
I’ve been getting my hair cut from Nick at Art of Fades for nearly six years, ever since he was at the old Three Aces.
Obao —647 9th Avenue (between W45/46th St)
Mmmmm, the basil fried rice!
Steak Frites —496 9th Avenue (between W37/38th St)
It just opened, but I’m already in love.
Hellcat Annie’s — 637 10th Avenue (between W45th/46th St)
Those wings are quite possibly the best in the city.
You can follow Derick on Instagram @wallernyc or Twitter @wallerABC7. If you know someone who would make a great West Side Story (or you would like to nominate yourself) please fill in this form —w42st.info/WSSnominations
You can check out more West Side Stories and reader recommendations on W42ST’s Hell’s Kitchen Local App.