Chelsea vs. Lower East Side
It so happened I have visited Lower East Side a lot this year (especially the vicinity of Clinton, Rivington, Stanton, Orchard and Ludlow Streets) and I have to say I have genuine affection for the neighborhood. I keep meeting artists, journalists, architects and actors there – people who have already achieved something but remain creative and interested in others. Every time I come here, I feel right at home, since everyone seems to be relaxed, no one is uptight, and it is normal to wear casual clothes, hats, and sunglasses. You can breathe, think and simply wander the dirty streets.
Throughout the last year, I also went a lot to Chelsea. The district, once defined by Chelsea Hotel, now mostly by the High Line (the elevated park I already described at Just Like NY) and multiple galleries, will not get such a positive review from me. People who live here are mostly rich (and born into money). They are usually white Americans who think that dollars open any door. They think they are entitled to everything and when they don’t get what they want, they behave like spoiled kids. I did meet several interesting people here, but most folks here I simply couldn’t become friends with. They are not curious of others in the slightest, and the word “please” is not in use much. Streets are clean, clothes are tidy, hair is parted just the right way. People living here keep saying it isn’t what it used to be. I can well believe it.
This is only one example of how varied Manhattan is. In order to get to know each district, you would have to spend a few days each week for at least a few months. A single visit every once in a while won’t give you the full picture.