Neigborhoods

Chelsea

Neighborhood Image

If there is one area of Manhattan that can be said to have it all, that area is Chelsea! Chelsea is renown for its nightlife, art, shopping and recreation. The neighborhood stretches from 15th Street to 34th Street between the Hudson River and Sixth Avenue and offers a mix of townhouses, pre-war co-ops and luxury doorman buildings. It borders Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West and The West Village. Chelsea was the city’s first theatre district, a fashionable shopping district and a thriving vice district in the 1920s and 1930s. It is the art capital of New York with more than 200 art galleries. They dot West Chelsea streets between 20th and 28th streets. Some of the more famous include the Gagosian Gallery on West 24th Street, the Matthew Marks galley on West 22nd Street and the Sonnabend on West 22nd Street. Explore Chelsea’s past by visiting the neighborhood’s historic district (20th to 22nd Streets between 8th and 10th Aves) where you will see architecture from the 1800s. Not to be missed is the Chelsea Hotel, a bohemian landmark and former home of writers and artists such as William S. Burroughs and Bob Dylan. In 1880 the Prince of Wales stayed at the 5th Avenue Hotel at 23rd Street, establishing the social credentials of what is today Chelsea. The carriage trade soon found the area to their liking, building brownstones and row houses by the hundreds. After the Civil War, emporium after emporium opened in lavish buildings with European window dressing to service the elite brownstone clientele. The townhouses and prewar co-ops of friendly Chelsea have been home to photographers and filmmakers for years. The famous character actor, Edwin Booth, opened a theatre on 23rd Street near 6th Ave in 1889. Famous personages were everywhere. Ethel Barrymore, Lillian Russell and Lillie Langtry, to name a few, called the neighborhood home. But the neighborhood is now seeing an increasing number of doctors, lawyers and business owners moving in. What you see little of are small children. Adding to the lure of Chelsea are the Chelsea Piers. In a way, the Chelsea Piers, which opened in 1910, have always been like no other place in New York. Even before the Piers officially opened, luxury liners were docking there. Designed by the same man who designed Grand Central terminal, Warren Wetmore, the Chelsea Piers replaced a hodgepodge of run-down waterfront structures with a magnificent row of grand buildings. For the next 50 years, the Chelsea Piers served the needs of New York. But they were to fall into disrepair and, in the mid 1980’s; plans were being made to raze the piers so that a new highway could be built along the Hudson. But that project fell through and finally in 1992 the historic waterfront began its climb back to fame and fortune. Today, Chelsea piers are the Mecca of activities. Among the luxury high-rise calling Chelsea home are The Tate, the Westminister and the Sierra, to name a few. There are also several recently constructed condo buildings where a one bedroom apartment can be purchased for between one and 3 million dollars. Chelsea offers several first class restaurants for one’s dining pleasure. For nightlife, the happening scene is places such as The Avalon, Barracuda, Bungalow 8, Carol Room, Crobar, Man Ray and Spirit, among others. Whether you call the neighborhood home or just looking for a hip place to hang with friends, Chelsea offers more than most other places in Manhattan.