25th street and 8th avenue in Chelsea

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While browsing through the Internet, I came across the digital photo collection in the New York City Library and found an amazing catalog of images from the past.

Having worked at the NYPL, I thank them for creating this and propose that if you have photos from New York City that provide a historical view of the character, lifestyle, and areas, that you share them with the library.

Growing up on this street, these pictures brought back many memories and I share them with you here.  Although these two pictures are from an earlier date than I was born, some minor differences are depicted from the time that I roamed these streets.

The first picture displays the corner of 25th street and 8th avenue north east corner and the Greek culture of the area.

There is a sign in the Greek language that reads "Spartakos" on the building promoting training for factory workers, and the name of the owner of the pharmacy "V. Protopappas" below.

On the right side of the pharmacy is a newsstand where I began my work experience at the age of nine (9) while attending grammar school.  To the rear of the newsstand on the side of the pharmacy was a Greek restaurant.  Further up the street are brown stone buildings of the period and heading up to 7th avenue were factory buildings.

If one ventured toward 28th street during this time period they found night clubs that were owned and operated by Greeks.  They had belly dancers and bouzouki music playing into the night.  My father was one of their patrons.


Although the influence of the Greeks was visible, the people living in the chelsea area where of different backgrounds including Irish, Germans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Italians, and Black Americans, and Scandinavians.

It was a nice community that also included the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Jewish faith.

The next picture is of 25th street and 8th avenue viewing the south east corner.

It displays a bar on the right side of the street where many veterans of the time used to frequent socially.  I wandered into this bar one time to deliver a message to one of them and found a beautiful painting of Iowa Jima on the wall.

Going further up the street toward 7th avenue is the Midtown Lumber Mart where I learned something about lumber as a hobby.

Further up the street are brown stones, one of which was where I grew up.  Beyond that is the High School of Fashion Industries and the government Veterans Administration building on 7th avenue.

The College of Fashion was built later towards the 70's on 28th street.


I hope if you lived in this area that this brings fond memories to you and for those of you who now live in the area a little history.

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