Spanning the area from 14th St to 30th St on the West Side from 6th Avenue to the Hudson River. Chelsea is a mostly residential area but is also the center of the New York gallery and art world with multiple venues showcasing both structured and performance pieces in both new buildings and renovated warehouses. There are over 350 galleries in Chelsea alone. Historically Chelsea was a neighborhood with many rowhouses which were occupied by middle income families working in the many factories and refineries as well as along the docks and lumberyards along the Hudson River. As industrialization shifted outside the city in the mid 1930s the area changed to accommodate some of the largest apartment blocks in the world which still stand today .
The Art Deco Verizon and the London Terrace both built during the 1930s are fine examples of this architectural trend. The Chelsea area is well known as one of the largest centers of the Gay and Lesbian Community in the country with many shops cafes nightclubs and shops as well as the world famous Gay Mens Health Crisis center which offers community education and support. One of the most beautiful locations in Chelsea has to be the Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Its gardens and grounds are used for the shooting of many TV shows and its grounds are very popular with locals and tourists for a quiet place to sit and reflect.
Another addition to the Chelsea scene is the HIGH LINE. Once a railway used to transport goods to the many warehouses in the area this elevated line was created to respond to the many fatalities and accidents occurring on the West Side. The original line ran from 34th Street to Spring Street and the trains could go right into the warehouses which was fantastic till the rise in trucks and automobiles in the late 1950s to transport goods rendered the line obsolete. A large portion of the line was destroyed in the 1960s and a group of developers tried to have what remained destroyed in the 1980s but a man named Peter Obletz,who lived in the area and was a train fanatic took the case to court and managed to save the line after which it sat in a state of disrepair and was often the site of some unsavory activities until 1999 when the community established the Friends of the High Line to restore and reuse the space.
As it stands today the HIGH LINE is a beautiful urban garden which runs from Ganesvoort Street to West 30th St. Its views are magnificent and it houses many different species of plants and flowers growing between the original tracks which run the length of the line itself. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists to take in the river watch the sunset and listen to music. There are performances and book readings as well as Tai Chi classes and lectures all free to the public making this an unforgettable destination on any trip to the city and deeply enhancing the experience of anyone who visits to see what urban architecture can do with derelict spaces and a bit of creativity !! Reviewing Chelsea would not be complete without mentioning the Chelsea Market which is by far one of the greatest food experiences to be had in Manhattan.
Located in what used to be the National Biscuit Company factory (where the great OREO COOKIE was born) this massive indoor foodies paradise is also home to the TV studios of the Oxygen Network.The Food Network, EMI Music and Google . It is anchored by the restaurants Morimoto on one side and Del Posto on the other. Inside the market is an unreal collection of the worlds best cheeses, coffees, breads, fruits and vegetables along with meats and seafoods,wines and prepared foods chocolates and even a store devoted to salts !!
There is a chefs supply store with some fabulous knives and a huge stock of cast iron pots and pans as well as anything else you might need for your personal or industrial kitchen. In short if you like food do not miss this market which can be accessed from the High line or the street. Chelsea is one of those areas with a bit of something for everyone. It is artsy,Industrial,quiet,playful and amazingly historic. We recommend you take a bit of time to explore it while on your way to or from the West Village or Midtown on foot or make a day or night of it and do some gallery hopping. Look for the Big Yellow ice Cream Truck which stocks home made rootbeer floats and all natural cinnamon ice cream to name just a few of the surprises that await you if you are lucky enough to spot it.
PLACES TO CHECK OUT
THE RUBIN MUSEUM
PRINTED MATTER BOOKS