History of Chelsea
Nestled on the west side of Manhattan, Chelsea spans from Gansevoort to 34th Street and offers unparalleled access to restaurants, shopping, and the arts.
Named in 1750 after Chelsea, London, this neighborhood is the only one in NYC to keep its original name. In the 1800s, Chelsea boasted the world’s first elevated train, paving the way for a booming industrial hub of warehouses, factories, and meatpacking houses.
Chelsea’s industry cleared during the 1900s, welcoming luxury residences and an art scene that still flourishes a century later.
Today’s Chelsea has seen an upscale transformation with high-profile construction developments and the installment of the High Line, an elevated train track repurposed into a public park.
The Vibe of Chelsea
Within the tree-lined streets of preserved townhouses and renovated rowhouses, the neighborhood is speckled with architectural gems. You’ll pass by works from world-renowned architects like Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Neil M. Denari.
Embracing the neighborhood’s industrial past, old factories serve as home to Food Network’s HQ, Google’s NY office, and one of New York’s most visited food emporiums, Chelsea Market.
The pulse slows just west of the High Line, where you find a sprawling Hudson River Park with relaxing, unobstructed views of the Hudson.
Unique Features of Chelsea
Perhaps the most noticeable feature is the High Line, a defunct elevated train track turned public park, where tourists and locals enjoy public art displays and the eclectic architecture of the neighborhood.
Chelsea is home to the most coveted pre-war apartment block in the city, London Terrace Gardens. It is the most sought-after place to live in the city for those wanting easy access to art galleries and upscale living without the midtown buzz.
Home to over 200 art galleries, including the Whitney Museum, Rubin Museum, and the Gagosian Gallery, the area is a treasure not just for aesthetics. Chelsea offers easy access to amenities with grocery stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Westside Market, and Fairway nearby.
Prices can be steep in Chelsea, and the cobblestoned streets can ruin your heels, but the vibrant art scene and upscale charm are worth it.
Things To Do in Chelsea
- High Line: Suspended above city streets, this elevated train line is now a public park. It is thoughtfully repurposed to engage today’s visitors with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.
- Art Museums: People worldwide visit Chelsea for its concentration of art galleries and museums. From contemporary installations to ancient art exhibits, these institutions will delight you with pieces by Warhol, Basquiat and Jeff Koons.
- Nightlife: At dusk when Chelsea’s art galleries and the High Line are closed, the nightlife takes over. PH-D Lounge at the Dream Hotel, Le Bain at The Standard, TAO Downtown, and Gilded Lily are popular spots for a fun night in Chelsea.
Top Food Choices in Chelsea
- Chelsea Market: This food hall hosts a collection of diverse food vendors crafting delights sought by foodies worldwide. Its stripped-down brick architecture acknowledges its storied past. Expect to be impressed by the authentic Tijuana-style tacos, melt-in-your-mouth brownies, unusual but tasty chocolate ravioli, and freshly baked bread.
- Cull & Pistol: Nodding to its meatpacking past, Cull and Pistol offers fresh seafood from all over the world. “During the weekdays, they have oyster happy hour with delicious oysters for $1 and discounted drinks,” says Rosana Vidal, Marketing Director at Triplemint.
- Frying Pan: From May to October, this Coast Guard vessel docks on Pier 66, extending Chelsea’s bar scene onto the Hudson. Savor refreshing margaritas at one of the best outdoor bars in NYC and enjoy the view of a sunset over the Manhattan skyline.
Top Three Things We Love About Chelsea
1. Food Halls: We cannot get enough of Chelsea’s wide selection of fresh, diverse dishes at Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market.
2. Art Galleries: With over 200 galleries, you can spend hours immersed in art from around the world. Whether you’re a casual gallery-goer and committed art lover, Chelsea’s galleries will satisfy any palate.
3. High Line: You can’t say you’ve visited Chelsea without walking along the High Line. This unique, well-loved space connects pedestrians with the neighborhood. The High Line is quintessentially Chelsea.