Elmview began in the early decades of Hudson City, when settlers sought new lands to call their own.
There were several large elm trees in the area, so they called their new village Elmview.
For many decades it occupied virtually all of the eastern part of the Southside.
In the Fifties and Sixties, when the northern part of the area began to go downhill, Elmview leaders persuaded the city to declare that neighborhood “North Elmview” as a way of differentiating it a little.
Around the same time, as Hispanic immigration to Hudson City increased, Elmview south of Port Avenue became known as Latin City.
Today Elmview is a solid lower- to lower middle-class residential and industrial neighborhood.
Most people live in tall apartment buildings (or, in the worse parts of the neighborhood, refurbished tenements dating from the late nineteenth century); there’s little detached housing.
Though it’s unquestionably a rough neighborhood, it’s a lot nicer than the nearby slums and ghettoes of Latin City and Freetown.
The crime rate in Elmview is high — crime problems from North Elmview, Latin City, the Needle, and other surrounding areas often spill over into the neighborhood, and it has its share of native street gangs and similar problems.
- Janson Field
- Losey Square
- Our Lady of Divine Mercy
- Lardner’s Drugstore
- Michelle’s Stop ’n’ Shop
- Moe’s Junkyard
- Chez Chug-a-Lug
- Hog Heaven
- Southside Rhialto
Elmview’s single biggest employer, AmSteel has a steel factory on the coast. In recent years the company has struggled to keep the plant profitable, and the locals fear that its days are numbered.
Before they built the Herodome in 1991, the Hudson City Heroes played their games at Janson Field, an open-air stadium capable of seating about 45,000 people.
The heart of Elmview proper, Losey Square is a traffic nightmare. Between the four roads leading into it and all the pedestrian crosswalks, it turns into a snarl of slow-moving cars during every rush hour.
“OLDM” is the largest church in Elmview, and one of the largest Catholic churches in the city.
Built in the 1930s in a more or less gothic cathedral style, it’s not just a place of worship for Elmview’s Catholic residents. Over the years it’s become something of a community center for all Elmviewers regardless of faith.
With its full-service pharmacy as well as a lunch counter and a generous selection of other health, personal, and convenience items, Lardner’s has been the drugstore of choice for many Elmviewers since it opened in 1973.
Chain convenience stores like QuickCorner exist in Elmview, but they often take a back seat in popularity to similar local businesses. Michelle’s Stop ’n’ Shop is one such business.
Elmviewers looking for parts to repair an old car, a used appliance they can fix up, or some scrap wood for a building project come to Moe’s Junkyard, an Elmview institution for decades.
Opened in the mid-Seventies as a disco, Argosy was a popular dance club for years, then fell into bankruptcy and disrepair when disco died. New owners bought it in 1990, repaired and refurbished it, and opened it as a modern dance club.
If you’re looking for fine wine and food in pleasant surroundings, don’t come here.
The Chez Chug-a-Lug is a plain old neighborhood bar — a little run-down and seedy, and sometimes a bit rowdy maybe, but mostly just a place where Elmviewers go to toss down a beer or five after work.
A classic “biker bar,” Hog Heaven doesn’t attract much custom from the average Elmviewer.
Its patrons are bikers from elsewhere, including more than a few associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Built in a grand style in the 1950s, this five-screen movie theater still retains much of its “golden days of Hollywood” charm. In addition to screening first-run movies every day, it shows a classic movie on one screen every Thursday night.
Also see Northern Elmview.