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Gay Chelsea Is Dead, Long Live Gay Hell's Kitchen

With the closing of Big Cup (and the continued residential direction of the neighborhood), Steve Weinstein pens an ode to the Gay Chelsea that once was, and may be no more:

It's an old story that's been repeated many times in many places: gay businesses move into a marginal neighborhood. They attract gay residents. These charming businesses and well-appointed apartments change the nature of the neighborhood. Before you can say "Cafeteria," the neighborhood becomes fancy. Bold-faced names start moving in. Straight bars and restaurants replace older gay ones. Landlords cash in by charging high rents, which drive out the funky gay businesses that made the neighborhood fashionable for higher rents in the first place.?And now we've lost Big Cup. Somehow, this one seems different. This time, people are saying, it?s personal.

Where next for the gays? Weinstein has a hunch: "I predict that a successor will emerge ? most likely in Hell's Kitchen, which is rapidly supplanting Chelsea as the city?s 'gay ghetto' in the popular imagination. When that too succumbs to the inevitability of high rents, we'll bemoan its passing. We'll reminisce about the days when Hell's Kitchen was a way station for newly arrived gay youth. We?ll ask ourselves what happened to the neighborhood. And then we'll find someplace else."
· Tempest in a Big Cup [NYBlade via BlogChelsea]
· Pour One Out for Chelsea's Big Cup [Curbed] UPDATE: In gay-related news, check out new gay blog Queerty.