We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My urbanologist friend tells me that we can thank the gays of NYC for being frequent pioneers of gentrification. He says they have plenty of spare cash and like to spend it, they like interesting restaurants, and they like to make things look pleasant.
A generation ago, the gays moved into the West Village. Recently, moving into Chelsea, which was once a neighborhood which many conflated with Hell's Kitchen. Today, it is known as a semi-gay neighborhood (nothing in your face, though), but with plenty of young families with kids (strollers and moms everywhere), and lots of young straight professionals too (including a BD pupette, which is why I have become so familiar with the area. She is in a new Chelsea high-rise, with doorman, a business center, a gym and a cool roof-top garden overlooking the Hudson for parties - all you have to do is sign up for the roof-top).
Chelsea is full of old brownstones, and peppered with new high-rises. It's a short walk to Chelsea Piers, the Intrepid Museum, and the 12-mile Westside Greenway (for biking, running, and hiking) which runs along the Hudson River from the Staten Island Ferry to the George Washington Bridge. Now there is the High Line "park" too, which will run all the way to the Meat Packing District.
(The Upper West Side, where I dwelled for a while, has come a long way too in the baby stroller department, but it never quite needed gentrification. It was always a mixed area with all of its grand pre-war buildings and brownstones. Its SROs are gone now, though, along with the street crime.)
One could spend a lifetime studying the changing neighborhoods of NYC. Curtis Sliwa knows it all.
Brownstones like these in Chelsea now go for 2-4 million:
Talk about urban pioneers, I rented a floor in the old Romanoff Caviar Co. building on Greenwich below Canal St. Just a great big cavernous space. Good times... According to GoogleEarth it's all gentrified now as well.
My real estate fairy godmother told me to avoid a certain neighborhood: The lesbians are moving there, she explained, and they drive down property values. Go where the gay men are - they improve the neighborhood.