My mother, Sandra Rodriguez, moved to 602 West 132nd Street in 1986. A friend of mine told her about the apartment opposite the Alexander Doll Company at the time. Her rent was $ 311 a month. She worked in a garment factory and was pregnant with her eldest daughter. She thought two bedrooms and one bathroom were a good place to grow her family.
Over the years, she raised three children in the small apartment. Christmas, birthdays, graduations, holy hours, all came and went for my family in our cramped and loving home. When my mother’s extended family arrived from the Dominican Republic, they were all taking turns with us until they stood up enough to walk further on their own. Children often shared bunk beds with one of their guests.
Still learning to fly in the city and facing the language barrier, my aunt and uncle realized how a small apartment was a raft. And we had another family. Our neighbors, like us, welcomed families from abroad.
If you’re lucky to find the right building, a 600-square-foot apartment is a lifelong residence, a place to grow, entertain, and reduce the weight of long commute. The apartment will be a home base for generations.
Before Celia Aguilera was born, her parents, seamstress Brisida Aguilera, and Franklin Mint’s bookbinding company Juan Aguilera collided and fell in love while working in the Columbus Circle. It was a coincidence, Aguilera said, because the couples knew each other when they lived in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York in 1960.
About five years later, Aguilera heard of a vacant apartment on 363 West 17th Street in Chelsea. The apartment was in poor condition, but it was reasonably priced at $ 56.32 a month. They moved to a two-bedroom apartment on the railroad in the winter of 1965. Two months after I moved, Aguilera, who is currently working in psychiatry, was born. “When her mother died, I got an apartment,” Aguilera said. Her mother died in 2010 after spending her life in Chelsea. Her father died of renal failure in 1986. “Some of us stay for tradition. We’re here all the time. I feel my apartment is like the runway of my family.” Chelsea every 10 years Due to the change, Aguileras was a fixture. Aguileras celebrated each other at her home, crying, hugging and regaining health.