I was selling portfolio cases in 1994 at Sam Flax on like 20th Street in the Flatiron District. I worked for like $6 an hour, union wages. I hated it. But I was there to witness the rejuvenation of the Flatiron District and the subsequent emergence of the "Chelsea" scene.
Chelsea was more than just a new "art" neighborhood, it represented a succession in attitudes about art, artists and presentation. Chelsea of course is synonymous with "gay" culture. But not the "downtown" and "downscale" scene of Stonewall or Al Pacino's "Cruising". It is a high toned, buffed, professional gayness, and perfect for the new art world and new art attitude.
Gone is the Basquiat, de Kooning paradigm of "look what the cat dragged in"..art now is made and sold by professionals in a professional adult atmosphere..to be cont'd.