Monday, November 23, 2009

Chelsea Guitars

After 20 years on the street level of the Chelsea Hotel, Dan's Chelsea Guitars is moving. Luckily, they're only going 52 1/2 feet away.

They are moving into the much smaller sliver of a room that once belonged to the Balabanis tailor shop. The Balabanis moved out last year. The tailor shop has sat empty and gated since then.

As you can see from the (below) photo I took in 2007, it's a tight space. And while I'm happy to hear that Chelsea Guitars is remaining in the Chelsea--something of a miracle--I worry about how owner Dan Courtenay is going to cram all of his gorgeous guitars, taxidermied animals, rubber sharks, paintings, and assorted music memorabilia into the new space, and what losing those big display windows will do to business--not to mention where the sign will go, with its iconic painting of God Himself handing a guitar down from the clouds.

I guess, if this goes like every other recent Chelsea Hotel eviction, after the move, the old guitar shop will sit empty and gated, maybe hosting a temporary art installation now and then, until a bank decides to move in. Or a cupcake bakery.

Or a frozen yogurt joint.
Or a Duane Reade.
Or a high-end burger joint.
Or a Subway.
Or an Artichoke gastropizzeria.
Or an artisanal chocolatier.


EV Grieve said...

Or Keith McNally's high-end frozen artisanal gastropizzeria joint.

Bowery Boogie said...

or a high end denim boutique.
or a trendy hair salon.
or an empty art gallery with 1 small picture on the wall...

juangsky said...

yeah man, subway fucking sucks.

The only video store in my neighborhood that wasn't exclusively pakistani closed this year and became a subway.

I guess they would have closed sooner or later anyway 'cause of netflix, but apparently business was still good.

Unknown said...

Walkers in the City has a new post up and you are going to love it!

Jeremiah Moss said...

you're right, parakeeta, i do love it. thanks for the alert.

Anonymous said...

or a bank, or a nail salon.....

Anonymous said...

There was not quite as much to lose in West Chelsea in terms of mystique (as say the EV) but this is one of those places. That space is uber small that they are moving int.

Its just amazing how much things have changed even in my own short timer stay in the neighborhood.. been about 9 years and the place is completely transformed.

We lose Brite and Kitchen Market and get a Qdoba, lose Red Rocks (as fraty as it sometimes was) and now we are getting an Artichoke.. Empire Diner, becoming a Coffee Shop, Chelsea Market once had actual wholesale operations running out of it, not its a crowded mess.

Been some good too with the completion of Hudson River Park and despite the crowds, the Highline, but man I kind of miss the desolate openness even if I had to walk a lot farther to get things.

Grand St. said...

I still miss the comic book shop that was a tenant in the 80s/90s. The proprietor was an weird dude who would have merited a VNY profile.