2011: Things to come
Chelsea Now 12/30/2010
BRC in Chelsea: Work with them
The Bowery Residents’ Committee expects to open their 127 W. 25th St. vertical campus facility by March 2011. While we encourage concerned residents to monitor and challenge the facility (monthly BRC-sponsored Community Advisory Committee meetings are held for that purpose), the time has come to accept that BRC staff and residents will soon be a visible presence in Chelsea. We urge those who still oppose that presence to acknowledge that the BRC is already helping to reduce our population of substance abusers and homeless people — through weekly outreach efforts during which they offer those in Madison Park, Chelsea Park and elsewhere the chance to get clean and get off the streets. This service is of particular value over the next few months, when the temperature becomes a lethal threat to those already at risk. Although 2010 saw months of vetting at often-uncivilized public forums, we feel the calls for transparency and assurances of safety have been met by the BRC — repeatedly, and to the satisfaction of any rational observer. We are confident our new neighbors will ultimately be welcomed by a community which has long prided itself on the notions of tolerance, diversity and goodwill towards mankind.
Do something smart with the Chelsea Hotel
Things were never the same at the Chelsea Hotel after its Board of Directors ousted longtime manager and lenient front desk presence Stanley Bard. A mere three years later, the place where Dylan Thomas, Virgil Thomson and Arthur C. Clarke produced works of lasting cultural significance is once again on the market. Here’s hoping someone with creative vision and deep pockets finds a way to preserve the hotel’s legacy rather than taking a cue from current management — who infamously took a sledgehammer to the room once occupied by Bob Dylan in full songwriting mode.
Support your local Mom & Pop shops
While we eagerly await the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce’s promise to roll out a Shop Local program, consumers can still help stave off the mallification of Manhattan by bypassing chain stores and supporting our remaining mom & pop shops (many of which offer prices that rival or beat those of retail behemoths). Anyone concerned with maintaining the personal touch and the character of Chelsea will contribute to that goal every time they patronize a small business, explore the side streets, or look upwards to discover shops and services operating on floors beyond the ground level.