As the pandemic worsened in April 2020, Emily Bracken, 45, moved from her apartment in Harlem to her sister’s home in Westchester County. Ms. Bracken enjoyed reconnecting with family. But after a few months, she started to miss the little things in New York City, like interactions at the bodega or hearing conversations from strangers.
Mrs Bracken had always wanted to buy accommodation in the city and had found a one bedroom in Chelsea, which attracted her due to the ease with which it was to get to Brooklyn or Greenwich Village, NoMad and other areas than she loved. She declined to give the exact price, but said the apartment was in its price range of $ 500,000 to $ 1 million. The deal closed in September and she moved in around Thanksgiving.
âI liked the idea of ââovertaking New York,â she said.
Yousif Alrasheed, 25, a distance-learning graduate student at Pace University, moved in May to a one-bedroom apartment in Chelsea from Boston, where he lived near his family. Mr. Alrasheed grew up in Kuwait and had visited New York City several times in the past. He never considered living elsewhere.
âComing to the city was amazing compared to Boston,â he said. “It was so alive here.”
Mr Alrasheed said he liked Chelsea’s central location and the concentration of bars and restaurants nearby. Among the biggest draws of the apartment, which costs around $ 3,600 per month: a washer and dryer and a walk-in closet. And he’s noticed more and more people in the neighborhood recently.
âEspecially when the fall started and the summer ended, everyone came back here,â he said.
Justin Silver, who lived in Chelsea for 25 years, moved to Los Angeles last winter, where he was able to stay with friends for free. Mr. Silver, who plays stand-up comedy, appreciated the time and ease of social distancing.
However, as vaccines became more available, Mr. Silver, 45, returned to his rent-regulated unit in the neighborhood – an affordable place to stay in an expensive Manhattan neighborhood.
âThe ease of just being on this island makes it so much easier to get around,â he said.
Nate schweber contributed reports.