|Area||21,052,374 sq. ft.|
|Rental listings||200 no-fee, 160 fee ads|
A fashionable, artsy, and, at least in the popular lore, characteristically "gay-leaning" area, Chelsea has had its share of ups and downs. In retrospect, it has always had an artistic edge to it, though it wasn't always as cool and safe as it is presently.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the (in)famous Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street attracted rock stars, writers, and other creative minds of the era. By 1990, club kids started flocking here for legendary parties at Limelight, Twilo, and later, The Tunnel. This gave an extra push to the already-ongoing process of "artsy" gentrification, which was duly completed with the help of hundreds of art galleries which moved into the area between 1990 and 2010 – mostly from SoHo. Though the galleries largely congregated on the western side of the neighborhood – the area spanning from around 30th to 15th Streets – the influx brought enough new money to transform the entire district. By the mid-2000s, newly gentrified Chelsea became your typical upscale neighborhood with bistros, designer boutiques, art galleries (duh!), and, of course, luxury apartments. The creation of the High Line Park was but the icing on this multi-layered gentrification cake, but it succeded in not only making the neighborhood famous the world over, but also adding throngs of tourists to the lively mix.
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Chelsea is somewhat "uneven" architecturally - there is probably no single block that can be called typical. At least three of NYC's buildings types (the brownstone, the housing project, and the industrial/loft building) are present, in what seems to be roughly equal proportions. In addition, since the early 2000s, new doorman high-rises have been springing up along major avenues. In their shadows, rows of historic brownstones add to a quaint, "neighborhoody" feel which, despite all the commotion, is still lingering along Chelsea's side streets.