When Joel Peterson moved to Inwood in 2011 after ending a relationship, he was single and ready to mingle. He downloaded two location-based dating apps for men hoping to find some local guys to meet. He was disappointed with what he found.
“I remember thinking: Wow, there’re not many gay men up here,” said Peterson, 43, the director of human resources at an architecture firm.
These days, however, that’s all changing. The number of local gay men showing up on his apps has risen sharply, he said. “And if you walk on the streets in Inwood, “ he added, “you’re like, “Wow, more and more gay couples or gay men are here and they’re out and visible.”
Peterson is not alone in his observations. Many other Inwood residents have also noticed a visible increase in the local gay population in recent years. As prominent gay enclaves like Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen become more and more expensive, Inwood has become a popular ‘gayborhood,’ with many gay men who wish to reside in Manhattan heading there for its affordable prices and wide expanse of parkland.