A Walk Through Chelsea

Things to Do — By Alisha Miranda on March 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm

New York City’s west side is a mixture of quiet scenery, lively artistic events, and spring in your step activities that fuel the city that never sleeps. On the flip side, when you’re looking for some downtime,  Chelsea boasts a bit of old and new including fine art, food, and attractions.

With old landmark hotels, bars, and restaurants that tell of stories past and boutique establishments popping up, Chelsea makes for a wonderful tour of what once was and what is in now. Here are some essential places to visit on your day out:

1. The High Line

The High Line and environs by Salim

Spawned from an urban design project back in 2008, The High Line is one of the most popular attractions in New York today. And for good reasons, too! Reconstructed from old railroad tracks, the High Line runs above 10th Avenue from Gansevoort St. to 20th Street serving up prime views of the Hudson River and New Jersey across the West Side Highway, as well as brick architecture, abandoned industrial factories of the Meatpacking District and 19th century neighborhood rooftops. The structure itself is any city lover’s dream: freshly planted plants including pastel-colored flowers and shrubbery, modernized steel benches and secluded seating for warm weather lounging, and a giant glass window overlooking the street set in front of movie theatre-style rows of seats that make for optimal photo opps.

Best time to visit? Spring. But beware of the crowds as no matter what time of year you go, the High Line is full of enthusiasts showing off the park to friends and family.

2. Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market by sodapop81

Where else to go for good meals than where chefs themselves pick up the best ingredients? Head to Chelsea Market to find your inner foodie. This place is a wonderland for food lovers of all palettes. Cheese shops, bakeries, bread shops, wineries, seafood markets, gelato stands, organic groceries, you name it. An afternoon out calls for new tastings and there’s no better place to get your fill than here at Chelsea Market. The main floor is built from an old Nabisco factory so be sure to look around you and take in a bit of historical New York City as you pass by the numerous stores overwhelming your senses. Fan favorites include Friedman’s, Luke’s Lobster, Amy’s bread, and Fatwitch Bakery.

New York tip: do a little research before your visit to take advantage of any deals going on such as free wine tastings as an added bonus.

3. Doughnut Plant

Coconut Cream on the inside; coconut glaze by izzi

Riding off its popularity with a media frenzy and devoted donut connoisseurs, the Doughnut Plant just opened a second location in the Chelsea Hotel recently and have seen sold out sales ever since. With seasonal toppings and somewhat healthy baking ingredients, the Doughnut Plant is the place to indulge in guilty pleasure eating habits. Choices include vahlrona chocolate, vanilla bean, orange and sunflower, cake doughnuts in “tres leches” or “blackout” flavors and blackberry jelly doughnuts with vanilla bean glaze so don’t plan on lots of activity after!

Make sure you beat rush hour lines and go during the week on off times to score fresh donuts and a nice cup of coffee.

4. Rubin Museum

Statues by InfoMofo

As one of the few museums committed to preserving and promoting art from the Himalayas and surrounding regions, the RMA is beloved by all. Not only is the Rubin Museum a place to brush up on art history, but it’s also a place to participate in unique events such as their first ever Adult Sleepover. For those of us looking for a bit of solitude, this museum feeds just the right amount of visual stimulus to get our brains running. Plus, the setting is beautiful and tranquil putting you immediately at ease.

This is a cozy spot to get your arts and culture fix at an affordable price. Students – don’t forget to show your ID at the ticketbooth to save big bucks.

5. BLT Burger

BLT Burger by adamjackson

Though its neighborhood line could be debated, there are no arguments about the quality of this burger joint. With a high brow-affiliated chef that loves the simplicity of a good burger and diner setting, New Yorkers come here to take a load off and enjoy a simple American meal: the cheeseburger. If you’re in need of a pick me up, I highly recommend popping into BLT Burger for a burger, fries, and shake combination that will immediately lift your spirits but won’t hurt your wallet. Each burger is made to juicy and tender perfection with fries extra crispy and the shakes good and creamy – it’s the best afternoon snack you can buy.

Use Foursquare to get around the city? Check in to BLT Burger and get a free draft beer with your order.

With spring approaching, now’s the time to take advantage and peek through this New York City neighborhood for serious dining, arts, and people watching. Enjoy the best of Chelsea!

Images by salim, sodapop81, izzi, InfoMoFo, and adamjackson

Tags: arts and culture, BLT Burger, chelsea, Chelsea Market, Doughnut Plant, history, manhattan, new york, new york city, nyc, outdoors, restaurants, Rubin Museum of Art, sight-seeing, The High Line, walking tour