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Just like the surrounding area, we found the Chelsea Hotel had been considerably smartened up since we last saw it, and it now looks a bit like the tourist attraction it has become, as well as (I imagine) a rather nice place to stay.
This late nineteenth century building has been a hotel since 1905 and the list of famous past residents reads like a roll-call of some of the most risqué celebrities of the twentieth century: Eugene O’Neil, Thomas Wolfe, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, William Burroughs, Jasper Johns, Patti Smith, Arthur Miller, Dylan Thomas (who died here after drinking at the White Horse Tavern – see my Off the Beaten Path tip). Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey while in residence, and Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols is thought by many to have stabbed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to death here in 1978. Many of these are commemorated on bronze plaques either side of the door, although we spotted that Sid Vicious was a noticeable absentee!
We popped inside to the hotel lobby, where several striking paintings and other modern art are displayed. Comfortable sofas and easy chairs create a relaxed atmosphere which seemed a little at odds with the hotel’s reputation, as did the abundance of Apple Macs in use by today’s guests.
Out of curiosity I checked out the prices of a stay here, which range from $159 for a room with a shared bathroom in winter, to close to $500 for a suite or two bedroom apartment in summer. Something to consider for a future visit to the city perhaps?
"I don't want to go to ..."
Possibly one of the city’s most famous (and at times notorious) districts, we found that Chelsea had been smartened up a bit since our last visit in 1982 but still retained something of its original air of decadence, even mid Friday morning!
Chelsea lies roughly from 39th to 15th Streets, between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue. It has long been home to some of the city’s less conventional residents, and was considered gay-friendly long before such attitudes could be taken for granted in even the most cosmopolitan of cities. Past famous inhabitants of course include guests, some of them notorious, at the legendary Chelsea Hotel (see separate tip) but these days, following “gentrification”, the area attracts a wide range of inhabitants, from artists and young professionals. It’s a great place for lovers of contemporary art as there are numerous small galleries dotting its streets. It’s also a great place for photographers as there are still enough quirky sights to catch the eye, and the lens. I loved the window displays in this vintage clothes shop on 23rd Street, for instance. We also spotted a small “Park for a Day” event which seemed a great idea (see my Local Customs tip for more about this) and had a coffee in a lovely café, the Madeleine Patisserie, also on 23rd.
The Chelsea section of Manhattan is full of amazing galleries. When I was in college I had a class that consisted of nothing but gallery hopping excursions and I spent a lot of time here. Walking the blocks in a snakelike pattern starting maybe at 29th and going down that street between 10th and 11th and then around the block and up 28th then down 27th ect...there are a few galleries on just about every street.
It's also a very beautiful place to live. I know someone with a gorgeous 3 story apartment on 23rd, lovely building, great views, just spectacular.
Chelsea also has a lot of wonderful places to eat (check out my restaurant tips!)
- Arts and Culture
Afternoon Tea at Wild Lily Tearoom
I passed this teahouse once, but didn't have time to stop in. It looked inviting and I will go back. They serve tea at any time and also have a lunch and dinner menu. Take a look at their website for location, teas, and menus.
Fodor's suggests making a reservation.
For another description and customer reviews, go here:
Subway stop: C, E to 23rd St.
- Women's Travel
Ofcourse you must go and see a few museums for contemporary art, if you are into art. Let's say you see Withney, Guggenheim and MoMA. If you have more than a few days, then don't leave out the many art galleries NYC has to offer. It is amazing how many there are, and it is so much fun to hop in and out of them.
If you don't have much time to go from one place to the other, go to Chelsea. It is art-gallery-paradise! There are even some buildings where you go from one floor to the next, and almost each floor in the building has an art-space. You can find a good map of all the Chelsea-galleries in almost any gallery.
Click on this link to see the latest openings and exhibitions: www.newyorkartworld.com
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Chelsea Peirs experience
chelsea piers is a sport center we have here in New York. Here is roller skating, ice skating, gym, the lighthouse restaurant and my two favorites, driving range and wall climb. The special thing about chelsea peirs driving range, is #1 you hit balls out onto a plank that extends into the water, as you look at the jersey city skyline. It is just such a beautiful view. It is also the only driving range in new york. As is the climbing wall the only one that I know of. Its fun for adults and children.
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
Not sure if I should put this under restaurant or under things to do. Well it is a thing to do to visit the Chelsea Market. There is a lot to see and especially to eat here. Check out Hale and Hearty soups. the Green Market organic food cafe and apparently you will find the best Thai food over here too. Definitely worth checking out!!
- Food and Dining
When you are racing around NYC like a mad thing, trying to pack as much as you can into your visit, take the time to stop and go to the Chelsea Market, this gem is an amazing, peaceful, awe-inspiring foodie haven. Cupcakes to die for and real gelato to kill for!
- Luxury Travel
- Food and Dining
Gallery hopping in Chelsea...
The district of Chelsea is littered with art galleries of all sorts...as well as meat packing plants and auto mechanic garages...it's a strange mix but from fine art and photography to conceptual art and architecture, you'll be sure to find lots to look at...
Some streets in Chelsea are lined with galleries! You should check some of them out since there are some nice pieces of art to be found. There are over 200 galleries here, so there should be couple with stuff that you like aswell. Galleries are usually open between 10am and 6pm Tuesday till Staurday. You can go into pretty much every door at this side of the city, unless the door is marked with 'this is not a gallery'. Most of them are on ground floor so you should be able to see what is a gallery and what not. Most galleries are located between Tenth Ave and West End Ave on 21st till 26th Sts. My favourite gallery was DJT Fine Art on 231 Tenth Ave (between 23rd & 24th Sts). They have work here by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and others. My favourite piece here was called Cabeza by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Check out some of my pictures to see what you can expect in the Chealsea Galleries. Have fun!
- Arts and Culture
an area full of fantastic restaurants!
We were staying right around the corner from here so had a wander around. This is a nice area with some fantastic restaurants - whatever type of food you wanted to eat you could probably find it here.
The place has a nice feel to it and felt totally safe wandering around here even at night.
There were some unusual shops round here and a fabulous flower shop...should you happen to need one!
Art Gallery Hopping in Chelsea
When my husband, Bill and I both retired we promised our self a trip to the "Big Apple." We spent days shopping in SoHo, posing in Times Square, strolling through Central Park...it was incredible. The tourist booth recommended that we check out a new park that was just built on the Western waterfront, called "the Highline." Due to the unbearable muggy August day, Bill and I thought it best to duck into some of the world famous Chelsea art galleries.
Now I dont remember the name of all of the galleries, there were a lot! But, we came across the most gorgeous painting in Agora Gallery, I only know the name, because the postcard from the gallery is still hanging on our fridge. :) A constant reminder that we should travel as often as possible. I would highly recommend exploring the galleries of Chelsea as this was the highlight of our trip.
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Chelsea is a great spot for Art shows. You can find the weirdest stuff. Either its good art, or bad art. You decide. I found out one of my favorite artists was coming to town, so of course i had to go, and share it with you of course! Miss Van, a grafiti artist.
Completed in 2007, the IAC Building was one of the first buildings in New York City to challenge the tired old straight and perpendicular lines in architecture that have long been the city's norm. It was designed by the renowned architect, Frank Gehry, whose incredible creations have been revolutionary around the world. This was his first work in NYC, but is said to be one of his most tame creations! Since its construction, New York has seen a growing number of new constructions that dare to challenge the harsh lines of NYC. The IAC Building is located on the West Side Highway in Chelsea, by the Hudson River, and houses the headquarters of the media company IAC.
Shopping for Wine at Chelsea...
Shopping for Wine at Chelsea Wine Vault
Since you have to buy liquor at a 'package' store in NY there are many, many stores to buy wine but I have found both the selection and prices at Chelsea Wine Vault to be very attractive.
Many California wines as well as French, Spainish and Italian.
- Wine Tasting
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