Like all great NYC neighborhoods, Chelsea, on the west side of Manhattan has it’s own tale of rural beginnings and large farms superseded by lots of row housing after the grid plan for Manhattan went into to place in 1811. And then the further development of factories and warehouses took place especially along the Hudson river. Those factories and warehouses in turn became lofts and studios for creative artists working in many different mediums. So today Chelsea is a varied and interesting mixture of historic housing, refurbished lofts and brand spanking new towering apartment buildings that glisten in the sun against the stunning background of the neighborhood’s defining museum and park, the Highline.
Now home to over 350 private art galleries it also contains two important artistic institutions, the brand new Whitney Museum of American Art at 99 Gainsvoort Street and The Fashion Institute of Technology and it’s Museum at 227 W 27th Street. Given all the private art galleries as well this puts Chelsea in the artistic forefront of NYC.
The neighborhood is defined by 14th Street to the south, 40th Street to the south, 6th Avenue to the east and the Hudson River and West street to the west. It’s river frontage adds an extra dimension to what available in Chelsea with the large entertainment and sports complex Chelsea Piers proviing plenty of choices and the Hudson River Park being the perfect place for walking, cycling or just enjoying being near the water.
But it is also a shoppers and foodies wonderland. It’s chock a block with fashion outlets; if you are into women’s fashion then you can shop at Anthropology nLilla P among others. And if you want men’s fashions there’s Behaviour, Comme Des Garcons and the fabulous consignment shop Buffalo Exchange. If food is your thing apart from heaps of small cafes and terrific restaurants there’s Chelsea Market located in the old loading dock of the Nabisco Factory with loads of fabulous food to eat.
With many gay residents it also has numerous bars and clubs that cater not just to New York’s LGBT scene but to everyone who just enjoys a good time. Gallow Green, The Heath and La Piscine are three great rooftop bars in Chelsea and if you want a bar that’s down on the ground check out Flatiron Lounge, Porchlight and the Tippler, which does great cocktails.