The hangout of the Fashionistas and the birthplace of the Oreo Cookie seemed like an interesting place to visit in the Chelsea neighbourhood of downtown Manhattan.
Over 6 million tourists visit the Chelsea Market undercover food halls each year, which is quite a flabbergasting number when you think of it. I had my second ever taxi ride to here, and I soon realised that due to the cost of these yellow cabs, it would soon be my LAST ride! Anyway, away from the hustle and bustle of Times Square, and away from the luxury brands of Fifth Avenue, Chelsea Market may very well be the alternative retail and food & beverage destination in the city.
I hadn’t really planned to visit Chelsea Market in New York, as there are so many other things to do here that you simply cannot spend too much time shopping! However, I was tipped off by a friend that I might enjoy the kitschy, laid-back nature of the area just off Ninth Avenue, so I spent a good half hour taking a look myself. Chelsea Market reminded me of Covent Garden in London; it just looks and feels the same, although here in NYC it is all undercover.
Aside from modern art and surprisingly good quality clothing (not that I’m a fashionista by any means!), there is also the chance to enjoy some nice deli and bakery items in the market. Chelsea Market opens really early and closes very late (I think 7am-8pm) so there’s always a big breakfast rush for the tourists and the sellers who have tenancies here. I discovered a delightful New York dish called Manhattan Clam Chowder, after which I had some dessert called Key Lime Pie. I am interested in American pies, and Key Lime Pie is one the more famous ones. Originating from Florida, and using the famous Key West limes, the Key Lime Pie is AMAZINGLY SWEET, and is a perfect accompaniment to any main dish. The chowder was fantastic, though the highlight of my Chelsea Market munching was obviously the pie!
Close by to Chelsea Market is an elevated garden known as The High Line, which is a converted railway line that now is a public park. New York doesn’t have too many green spaces (well, apart from Central Park – duh!) so it’s nice to see architects using space like that to make the city a little greener and cleaner. It is rather small, but it is well located, and it looks down upon the area surrounding Chelsea Market. You should try to get up here after your little undercover escapade!
Overall, Chelsea Market may not be for everyone, just like Covent Garden may not be for everyone when in London. However, even if you’re not a fan of the arts, nor a fan of fashion, then try to check out some of the amazing little snacks foods here – it really is a treasure trove of American food!