StoryCorps Door-to-Door travels all over the country recording the stories of everyday Americans; however, sometimes we prefer to stay right here in New York City. After all, this is the city of a million stories. Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of recording some native New York stories with the 300 West Block Association of Chelsea. Mrs. Eleanor Horowitz, a long-time Chelsea resident, opened her home to other residents and StoryCorps for this recording day.
Although today Chelsea is thought of as a well-off part of Manhattan, this wasn’t always the case. When Eleanor and her husband moved into the neighborhood in the 1970s, her mother was horrified that the young couple would be living in a place that had garbage cans on the street. Eleanor’s interview partner, Marina, remembered that when she was growing up during that time, Chelsea was often the place people came to for illegal activity. Marina remembers how she and her friends knew which blocks to avoid when they went out. Despite the unsavory characters of the neighborhood, Chelsea was a place where neighbors knew one another and kids played outside. However, the neighborhood is changing.