Alphabet City, formerly considered a slum, is now a trendy part of the East Village. The late 1990's saw a sharp rise in housing rents and has ushered in a new, distinctly less bohemian era for Alphabet City. Apartments have been renovated and formerly abandoned storefronts are now jamming with new restaurants, nightclubs and retail establishments. Crime has also decreased since the 1980s and 1990s at a greater rate than elsewhere in Manhattan. Many families, artists and small businesses can no longer afford to remain in the neighborhood. Avenue C is still a transitional area, but rents are rising quickly and many long-time residents and businesses are being priced out of the market. Avenue D, home to a number of large low-income housing projects, seems destined to remain affordable for the foreseeable future, although plans have been floated in City Hall which call for the eventual destruction of the housing projects and redevelopment of the waterfront along East River Park. As far as being on the 'fringe', I am not convinced that term is appropriate any longer, as the area is seeing a huge overall boost like the rest of Manhattan.