Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New China


In Chelsea, checking in with the long-surviving mom-and-pop block of 9th Avenue about to be completely revamped 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, vanished.


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


maximum bob said...

If it's not "sustainable", if the
food is not "curated" or "locavore"
it has no business existing in the
"new" New York Shitty.

Anonymous said...

Horrible to loose to Goliath.

JAZ said...

It's not only 'family owned' and 'inexpensive' that makes a business unwelcome anywhere near the luxury High Line; "been there forever" seems to be just as unwanted a trait. Basically anything with roots seems to be a target at this point.

Ben U. said...

I have read this blog for years and appreciate the proprietor's zeal for a lost version of Manhattan. But I'm growing tired of the endless lamenting of closing of businesses. Some of it seems warranted, and some, like this, really does not -- there are literally hundreds of these "hole in the wall Chinese" places in NYC, all over.

Yes, Manhattan has been changing drastically for the past 15 years, and it sucks. It's not going to stop changing. That very same force of change is what created this blogger's idea of what it was in the first place. Manhattan is now a place for the ultra-rich, and I feel like this blogger needs to accept that, stop complaining, and move on. I realized this years ago and it's why I love in Brooklyn now -- it reminds me of the Manhattan of my youth. I accept Manhattan as a lost battle -- the Johnny-Come-Lately Suburbanites can have it, for all I care.

Bart said...

That Chinese food place seemed like a generic take-out place that they'd have in the suburbs. Far cry from something like Grand Sichuan on 9th and 24th. And in general that block seemed like the same nasty places that are on all the big cross-town streets like 14th and 23rd.

What about the places you haven't mentioned here? I love the Vietnamese place on that block, Co Ba. I asked the waitress if she knew if they were closing and she said she hasn't heard anything about that, that the restaurant was still pretty new.

Ed said...

Sorry, this is off topic, but the article was written on April 5th and I wanted to call attention to it when it was still timely. I don't know when this blog will feature Hell's Kitchen again.

The article looks at the hypergentrification of Hell's Kitchen. It is remarkably fair and comprehensive. The photo appears to be from the vanished bar Bellevue:

Gojira said...

"...I feel like this blogger needs to accept that, stop complaining, and move on" - Ben U., please stop being such a self-congratulatory and downright stupid dolt and realize that the very thing you chastise "this blogger" Jeremiah for IS PRECISELY WHAT HIS BLOG HAS BEEN ABOUT SINCE HE STARTED IT. It is obviously not for people like you who have accepted the wholesale destruction of what was once a varied, fascinating city, but instead for those of us who see the ever-increasing vapidity as something to be mourned. If you don't like what you read here, go elsewhere. Until then, keep a civil tongue in your snotty head.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, folks, look at that strip of shops. Look at it. I live in the area, walk along that strip daily and it barely registers. The area is loaded with Chinese joints and all the other popular Asian varieties, and many of them look and serve food far, far better than what this place offered. Seriously, man up! Things evolve. The universe is changing. You can't keep dipping your tow in the stream hoping to catch the same bit of water. Yes, things mostly suck here in da apple, but this constant hand-wringing often sounds. . .unseemly.

laura said...

truthfully thats one hell of an ugly block. ugly housing project (or just ugly institutional building). & those all look little chain stores. as for the chinese place, yes there are hunreds of those in new york. ive seen them come & go. yes i understand that ONLY catering to the rich is not right. (the blogger who said brooklyn is yesterdays manhattan, is correct-depending upon the area). but what the hell is that building that these business are in, on the ground floor? maybe its pre war & i cant see it very well. any answers?

laura said...

forgot to say.......BEN U: jeremiah is NOT complaining. hes documenting. why should he "move on"? we need historians. he does a great job. hes also writing a novel about it. what are you doing thats so creative & interesting.