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Penn South

94-Year-Old Man Critically Hurt in Mugging Outside Penn South, Police Say

The man and his girlfriend were unloading groceries when the attack happened, police said.

EMT Revives Man Who Overdosed on Heroin at Penn South, NYPD Says

The 24-year-old man’s girlfriend discovered him lying on the bathroom floor unconscious, police said.

Cabbie Threatens Rider With Tire Iron After Being Bitten by Him, NYPD Says

The two were driving near West 36th Street and 10th Avenue when they got into an argument, police said.

Taxi Passenger Attacked Vehicle That Got Into Accident With His Cab: Police

The passenger hit the woman’s window and kicked the front of her car, police said.

Artist’s Stealth Sketches of Fellow Straphangers Coming to Chelsea Gallery

“Between Stops: An Exhibition of Subway Portrait Sketches,” will be on display in Chelsea until June 4.

Chelsea Woman Beaten in Possible Fight Over Lover, Police Say

The 35-year-old was leaving her building at 425 W. 25th St. when the women attacked her, police said.

Up to 50,000 People Applied for Cheap Chelsea Apartments, Officials Say

The Penn South co-op will select 1,200 lottery winners who will be able to buy affordable units.

What Happened in New York This Week: 9 Stories You Need to Read

Taxi inspectors confiscated thousands of cars, mysterious white flags appeared and a micro pig moved in.

Buy a Chelsea Apartment for Just $64K by Hitting Penn South Lottery

The Penn South co-op is opening up its waiting lists for affordable studios, 1-beds and 2-beds.

Albany Passes 50-Year Tax Break for Penn South Complex

The law will give the co-op a tax break as long as it continues offering below-market apartments.

20 Pounds of Coffee Stolen From Ninth Avenue Dunkin’ Donuts, Police Say

The 20 bags of coffee were worth about $180, police said.

Farmers Market Proposed for West 23rd Street

The market is planned for the corner of West 23rd Street and Ninth Avenue.

Penn South Management Reverses Claims That Hoarders Caused Cost Overruns

After the co-op blamed hoarders for tacking on $40M to their HVAC project, they backtracked.

Aging Hoarders Add $40M to Penn South Renovation Costs, Officials Say

The co-op had to hire a “hoarding consultant” and extra workers to cope with pack rat tenants.

A Guide to Housing Options for an Aging City

Housing lotteries and “aging improvement districts” serve the city’s growing population of older adults.

Top Stories

Mayor Bill de Blasio said terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov should be spared the death penalty.

The actress spotted the suspect outside her third-floor balcony, sources said.

A shortage of bilingual therapists has made the problem especially difficult in some districts.

The victim suffered a fractured skull base, multiple spinal fractures, bruised lungs and other injuries.

The break happened just after 4 a.m. on Pacific Street near Albany Avenue.

Officer Ryan Nash shot Sayfullo Saipov who killed eight people with a rented truck, officials said.

The new owners have no plans to change the properties, according to a realtor who brokered the deal.

The deadly attack left eight people dead and a dozen injured, officials said.

Five men from Argentina, a woman from Belgium, a West Village resident and a man from N.J. were killed.

The vote paves the way for developers to build a complex with retail space and 1,146 apartments.

The Queens County Bird Club is hoping to install two bird feeders in the park by the end of November.

Sayfullo Saipov was charged by federal prosecutors on Wednesday with aiding ISIS in a terror attack.

A new art gallery features the work of recovering addicts in East Harlem.

Catwalks, balconies, a secret staircase and elaborate ceiling panels were uncovered at the theater.

Preservation groups are writing letters — in crayon — to the library, which owns the home.

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Alicia Grullon

Artist Alicia Grullon has seen New York City change, shift, and gentrify, and seen people organize, resist, and create. Her work as an artist presses into these issues.

By coming into Chelsea, Grullon talked to long-time residents of the neighborhood who have experienced all of its changes.

Working with the Hudson Guild and senior programs at Penn South, she found a willing group of residents, all within a three block radius.

Artist Alicia Grullon has seen New York City change, shift, and gentrify, and seen people organize, resist, and create. Her work as an artist presses into these issues.

By coming into Chelsea, Grullon talked to long-time residents of the neighborhood who have experienced all of its changes.

Working with the Hudson Guild and senior programs at Penn South, she found a willing group of residents, all within a three block radius.

In 1962 Evelyn Andújar encouraged her mom to get on the list for Penn South, a new affordable housing complex going up nearby. But her mom didn’t want to move. “No mija,” she said. She preferred to stay in the Elliott Houses, which later became the Elliott-Chelsea Houses—a public housing development that occupies a full city block in the middle of Chelsea.

Here they had friends, family, community, and people to watch out for their kids. It was a place where people kept their doors open. “We only went from Apartment 1C to 1D,” Evelyn remembers.

Evelyn Andújar on growing up in the Elliott Houses in the 60s

Darlene Waters also grew up in the Elliott Houses and lives there to this day. The above gallery features snapshots from her life.

As a teenager in the early 1960s Darlene went to dances put on by the Hudson Guild. The Hudson Guild was founded in 1897 to serve residents in the area.

Darlene worked for forty-one years as an early childhood educator at The Children’s Center, one of the programs run by the Hudson Guild. Darlene’s mother also worked at The Children’s Center as a cook.

The Penn South resident speaking in the accompanying video used to live in the Village in the 1970s and early 80s. The landlord ran a wholesale tobacco and candy business out of a space in Chelsea. While living in the Village she used to go running on the abandoned elevated West Side highway. Bands used to practice up there, and people would hang out.

“I would have still been in the Village,” she said, “except the landlord went broke,” she said. “Between 28th and 27th, on 10th or 11th. It’s a big brick building. It’s beautiful.”

Like many parts of the far West Side, “it was a space that was essentially vacant.”

Clubs

Marilyn Rivera didn’t live in Chelsea; she was from the Lower East Side. But she came to Chelsea to go out. “That’s where all the afterhours were. I was always at an after-hours,” she says.

The clubs were in old abandoned warehouses and you had to know someone to get in. One was called “Crisco.” Marilyn would dance all night and sometimes leave at noon the next day.

Most of the warehouses in far West Chelsea were vacant. “It was dirty, there were rats,” Marilyn says. But a few were still active meat markets, nestled next to these 24-hour nightclubs. Ninety years prior in 1900 there were more than 250 slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants. This is how the neighborhood got its name—“the meatpacking district.”

Vamos a chinchoriar

“Chinchorros, little restaurants and bars.”

Marilyn Rivera grew up spending the summers in Puerto Rico where her parents are from. “Vamos a chinchoriar” meant “let’s go bar-hopping.” The clubs in Chelsea, with their makeshift sound-systems and single light bulbs, were chinchorros to Marilyn. But did everyone call them that? “No, just me,” she says.

An anonymous resident of Penn South on what things used to look like in the neighborhood.

Marilyn Rivera talking about Chelsea in the 1980s and 1990s.

Why Chelsea?

Armisha Mitchell works at the Hudson Guild, which is tucked inside the Elliott-Chelsea Houses development between a residential building and a public elementary school. Hudson Guild runs an active program for seniors, and so does Penn South. Neither Penn South nor the Elliott-Chelsea Houses were built intentionally as housing for seniors but over time they became Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, or NORCs. Both developments were built in the mid-20th century as affordable housing for union workers and families. At Penn South, residents could buy apartments at below market rates. Once you were in, you were set. Marilyn Rivera, who won the lottery to move into Penn South, said her friend was on the waiting list to get an apartment for 17 years. Having an apartment at Penn South was considered lucky, something to hold on to.

The Elliott-Chelsea Houses had low rents that were guaranteed to stay low, great programs, and generations of families living there. People wanted to stay in those apartments. As people stayed, the percent of residents who were over 60 increased as well. It turned out Chelsea was a great place to age.

Darlene Waters and Florence Dent Hunter both raised their families in the Elliott-Chelsea Houses and have been friends since their children were young. Florence remembers when her daughter was two; she would stand in the yard of the Elliott buildings (which opened in 1947), and watch as the Chelsea buildings went up. Later her daughter would jump rope with the other kids in the courtyard. “They all grew up together and had a good time,” Florence remembers. Today, Florence and Darlene are both active at the Hudson Guild. Florence is involved with the theatre, and Darlene is president of the Elliott-Chelsea Houses Tenant Association.

Today

Cost of living is one of the biggest changes in Chelsea over the last 20 years. In 2000 you could rent a one bedroom apartment for between $2,000 and $2,500 a month. 1 In 2019, the average rent for a one bedroom in Chelsea is $4,100. 2

These Buildings Aren’t Coming Down

The Elliott-Chelsea Houses is a complex of six buildings, some as high as 21 stories with over 1,000 apartments. Penn South is even bigger with1022-story buildings. As our Penn South resident said, “you can’t really do much about this”—as in, these buildings aren’t coming down. Penn South also receives tax abatements from the City of New York, which allows their mortgages to stay low instead of increasing alongside the surging New York City housing market. In February 2017, the New York City Council voted to continue these tax abatements to Penn South until 2052.

Fine Fair on 104th Street and 3rd Avenue is located 80 blocks north and six avenues east in Evelyn’s home, in “El Barrio” or Spanish Harlem. But Evelyn says it only takes 20 minutes to get there by car. Her husband drives her there on Sundays. Evelyn’s mother got her used to going up there for groceries. “It has all the Spanish foods we like,” Evelyn says. And the prices are good. She can get a 20lb. bag of rice for $5.99 and a bunch of cilantro for $1. But really she goes for the meat, which she says, “is so fresh.”

In/With Chelsea uses art as a means for convening, collecting, preserving, and amplifying local stories within the North Chelsea neighborhood.