In Chelsea, checking in with the long-surviving mom-and-pop block of 9th Avenue about to be completely destroyed by its landlord, the Stonehenge Group, we hear that the New China take-out joint has been shuttered.
Brad sends in photos with the sad news: "It's been closed since last Friday, which was June 1. I had a wonton soup from Chelsea Golden Wok on 8th Ave and 21st today and the proprietor told me New China closed due to rent increase."
New China wasn't glamorous and it wasn't special. It was a typical Chinese take-out joint with color photos of the dishes glowing above the register, a few booths for dining, and greasy meals served in Styrofoam containers. But it was family-owned and had been there for a long time--and it was always busy, always packed with neighborhood people, especially teenagers from the nearby schools.
And the prices were cheap. As one Yelper put it, "considering the cheapo prices, it's actually damn good! I go here for lunch sometimes because the prices are about half as expensive as anything I can get at the nearby Chelsea Market."
2 weeks ago
But family-owned and "inexpensive" is not permitted anywhere near the High Line, not in Chelsea, and not in much of New York. All that is allowed is luxury and national chains. The rest must be slaughtered. It's an unspoken edict in Bloomberg's zombie city.
In 2008, this block's death warrant was signed and sealed. The killing came slowly at first--one business, then another.
Of 8 long-term businesses that existed 4 years ago, only 4 remain today (Sweet Banana Candy is not in the photo), and these 4 have only weeks left to live.
Death of a Block
Death of a Block II