Located within a natural depression, Manhattan Valley is characterized by steep cliffs, pre-war buildings and impressive new developments. Formerly identified by its concentration of old folks homes, the neighborhood has undergone much change over the years. Demographic patterns have shifted from Irish to German to Hispanic majorities. Manhattan Valley hasn’t been immune to the general trends that have affected Manhattan and the Upper West Side. The neighborhood was plagued with crime in the mid 20th century, but after the Wall Street boom, it has seen much recovery. Most importantly, growth in real estate development and the establishment of the Manhattan Valley Development Corporation has been helping the nabe grow. Still, much of the gentrification is owed to the rising number of Columbia University and Barnard College students. With ample green spaces, the area is appealing to locals and visitors alike. Subway lines A, B, C run through the valley.