CHELSEA has bloomed within the past twenty years or so into the Art epicenter of Manhattan. Before then it was associated with taut male darlings who looked as though they’d stepped right out of a Jean Genet novel.

It seems natural then that so much queer art has worked its way into the new galleries. Only this community lovingly lingered and found use for an area that, past Ninth Avenue, was a wasteland.  Painfully, over years those austere warehouses and dingy streets were transformed.

Small galleries took root in low rentals beginning on Twenty-Second Street off Tenth Avenue. Now the area is bustling with Galleries: Gagosian Gallery, Mary Boone Gallery, Metro Pictures and Barbara Gladstone Gallery are a few examples. Yet the area is about more than Art, Eighth Avenue is lined from 14th – 28th streets with interesting stores, adventurous restaurants, exotic bars, cafes and bistros.

Which brings me to Mare the restaurant featured on this shirt. The décor is rustic-aquatic calling the ocean to Eighth Avenue. The colors are vibrant without being gaudy. It is an excellent example of a CHELSEA restaurant. Eighth Avenue’s main drag is lined with many brightly adorned commercial fronts giving it a distinct ‘rainbow’ affect that is – oh so – gay!