YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
Illegal Construction, Unsafe Conditions on W. 25th St. BY EILEEN STUKANE Four months ago, families were living normally, as they had for years, in their rent-regulated apartments at 264 and 266 W. 25th St. Today, the five-story, 17-apartment building at 264 has been transformed into a demolition and construction site, with 10 of those apartments gutted and under renovation. At 266, the five-story building next door, residents are also vacating. Continued on page 2
Our Audience With City Planning BY YANNIC RACK Affordable housing is a topic of intense interest for many residents of Chelsea, Hudson Yards, and Hell’s Kitchen. At the same time, zoning — or making changes to it — is highly contentious as well. No one would envy the Department of City Planning (DCP), then, which this summer unveiled its proposals to both launch a new affordable housing program, and change the city’s zoning regulations. Continued on page 5
THE HORROR, THE HORROR!
Turn to page 17 if you dare, where our downright scary amount of Halloween covers begins.
Photo by Zach Williams
One piece of classic tech deserves another: Justin Schweitzer on a landline, at the thriving Gramercy Typewriter Company.
A Return for Typewriters, and a Future for Repairmen BY ZACH WILLIAMS Business is booming at the 83-year-old Gramercy Typewriter Company, as a new generation discovers the staccato pace and simultaneous printing of a 19th-century innovation. This new clientele joins longtime customers who never gave up on the personal touch only a manual typewriter can provide. The father-son business is one of the last of its kind in Manhattan — just ask the “new guy” in the shop, located at 174 Fifth Ave. (btw. E. 22nd & E. 23rd Sts.). They are busier than ever with the tasks of fixing and selling manual typewriters, said Justin Schweitzer, 47, who began working with his father Paul, 76, more than 20 years ago. “Due to this wave of new technology that we have nowadays, people just want to get away from the screen and go back to basics,” Justin said. “Certainly it is a way to get away from all of the distractions that you find sitting
© CHELSEA NOW 2015 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
in front of the computer.” Justin started in the business as a kid, just like his father. There were the early childhood memories watching dad tinker with the machines, and then a gradual apprenticeship at his side. In this line of work, winding ribbons and buffing the body of a fine typing machine are the entry-level tasks until the correct habits become second nature. Summer vacations during elementary school were for work rather than lounging around the house watching cartoons, his father told Justin as a kid. Forgetting the whereabouts of little bolts and springs or inadvertently damaging the carriage instilled a sense of organization necessary to hack it as a reliable professional beginning in his early 20s, he said.
Continued on page 7 VOLUME VOLUME 07, ISSUE 07, ISSUE 34 | 22 OCTOBER | JULY 22 16 - 28, 22, 2015