When we talk about Chelsea and Meatpacking District in New York, a lot of people think about two famous spots: Highline Park and Chelsea Market. The truth is that this charming area of the city deserves more attention from you: there are several possibilities of interesting and not obvious things to do, which I will list in today’s post. But, let’s start with a curiosity: do you know the origin of the name Meatpacking? In 1900, the area had more than 250 slaughterhouses. It is so interesting to see the transformation of the neighborhoods into a city, right?
Before we begin our journey let’s talk about Chelsea: the neighborhood encompasses the area from 14th Street to 34th Street, between 6th and 11th Avenues. The Meatpacking District is smaller: it is the area between Gansevoort St and 14th St, and Hudson St and 10th Avenue. Let’s check out the tips?
Highline Park – Highline is probably the most famous attraction in this area. It is a park built on an old elevated train line, which was inaugurated in 1934. The use of the railway was decreasing until the ’60s and, as early as the early ’80s, it was no longer used. In 1999, the movements to prevent the demolition of the railroad began. In 2009, the park finally opened for the first visitors – and in 2018, they finished the last phase. Something that was supposed to be abandoned and demolished, has become a space used by locals and tourists. Honestly, I find the park more interesting during the spring/summer season, but there’s no denying that it’s a cool spot and it brings new perspectives to the city. It starts at 14th Street and goes to 34th Street, intersecting with the brand new Hudson Yards.
- Check the calendar on the official website, there are always interesting and free activities – including tours on Tuesdays and Saturdays!
Little Island – it is a “floating” park – an artificial island, right next to the beloved Hudson River Park – and provides the visitors with a unique green space unlike any other in New York City with serene spaces to explore, new venues for live performances and cultural events, and unique vantage points to view the surrounding area. Designed by Heatherwick Studio, Little Island’s distinct exterior is supported by a structure that is made up of 280 concrete piles, which emerge from in between the leftover wood piles of Pier 54 that were largely preserved to maintain habitats for aquatic life.
Chelsea Market – a classic of this area, Chelsea Market was Nabisco’s old factory. And it was in this factory that Nabisco created the Oreo in 1912! In 1959, the company moved. An investor bought the property in 1990 and the Chelsea market was born in 1997! But, the Nabisco plate is still there, just past the main entrance. Today, Chelsea Market houses 58 shops and restaurants. It is a delight to stroll and explore what the market has to offer, but it is usually very busy between noon and 3 pm, so take that into account. Within Chelsea Market, I have a few recommendations: the Anthropologie store, with an incredible array of clothing, decor, and beauty, and the Artists & Fleas area, which is at the end of the market, with independent vendors and used-goods trade. To eat, my recommendations are Friedman’s Lunch (their falafel burger is just perfect), Beyond Sushi (specializing in vegan sushi, a delight!), LOS TACOS No.1 (for Mexican food – tacos) and The Lobster Place (a favorite of lobster lovers). Be sure to stop at Spices and Tease to buy spices.
Google – perhaps a lot of people do not know, but Google bought the Chelsea Market building this year in a billion-dollar deal. A lot of people ask me about visiting corporate offices like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest here in New York – and I’m sorry to inform you: unless you have a BFF that works in one of these companies to invite you, these places are not tourist spots. But this year Google launched a new project: Grow with Google. Here in New York, they rely on the NYC Learning Center, which offers free classes in digital marketing, productivity, and more. All in English. You can check the calendar and register on the website.
Google Store – this is the Google’s first ever physical retail store, a space where customers can experience Google’s hardware and services in a helpful way. At the store, customers can browse and buy an extensive selection of products made by Google, ranging from Pixel phones to Nest products, Fitbit devices to Pixelbooks and more.
- As a matter of curiosity, the Youtube office and studios are at Chelsea Market. Content creators with a certain number of subscribers can use the studios. There are also courses, events, and workshops.
Gansevoort Market – Chelsea Market is not the only “market” in the neighborhood. Gansevoort Market is located nearby. It has a much smaller structure and its focus is on food, with options for snacks and meals, like pizzas, ceviche, salads and more.
Gansevoort Market is now at The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center – 101 Liberty Street.
Starbucks Reserve – under normal circumstances, I would tell you not to waste so much time at Starbucks here in New York. I think it is not news that there are hundreds of locations in the city, right? But if you’re passionate about coffee, you’ll want to stop by at Starbucks Reserve, which is in the area. Starbucks Reserve units are very different from conventional cafes – and this unit in New York is the fourth of six Starbucks Reserve locations planned around the world. The place is huge, featuring coffees and cocktails bar and pastries. In addition, there are lots of products for people who love coffee, such as French Press, mugs, and strainers.
Samsung 837 – it’s not a store. Samsung 837, as it is called, is classified as a “digital playground.” There, you can experience all of the latest brand launches, hold meetings at the desks, having coffee with the famous Smorgasburg curator and even enjoy some music while one of the resident DJs commands the live playlist. The most incredible? There is no product for sale. That’s not the point. Don’t expect a boring salesman walking around you asking if you need help at any time. Samsung wants – and hopes – that those who visit get to know and experience the brand a little more. They also promote some events.
Restoration Hardware – The stairs from Restoration Hardware are a dream! RH is a curator of design, taste and style in the luxury lifestyle market, offering furniture, lighting, textiles, rugs, bathware, décor and outdoor, as well as baby & child and teen products. You should definitely stop by once you are in Meatpacking/Chelsea. If you love decor and design, you will certainly love the place. There is a coffee shop on the third floor.
RH Restaurant – RH Restaurant is located on the rooftop of Restoration Hardware. With decor as incredible as the shop’s decor, the place has a charming vibe and opens for lunch and dinner. For lunch, the price of the main courses is between $20 and $33. For dinner, between $24 and $58. The food is tasty and well prepared, we tried the truffled grilled cheese and the burger, and everything was delicious. We also enjoyed the service! You can check the menu details and make your reservation by clicking here. There is also outside area, with free tables for those who want to sit (you can have a drink, for example, and enjoy it). This area is first-come-first-serve.
Whitney Museum – with nine floors, the museum is dedicated to contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and displaying American art, and its collection is arguably the best exploration of the art of that country in the twentieth century in the world. The place also has a rooftop with breathtaking views. Pay as you wish on Fridays, from 7pm to 10pm. Other days and times: $25.
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City Winery – this place is amazing! It is a music venue, urban winery, restaurant and bar! There are a lot of rooms and they promote events like comedy shows and concerts. So fun! Check the calendar!
Le Bain – it is a fun and cool penthouse that is in The Standard Hotel on the High Line in the Meatpacking District. In addition to the area with live music, Le Bain has a rooftop with breathtaking views of New York. It is possible to transit between the two locations by means of a ladder that gives access to the rooftop. In addition to the nightly visit, it’s worth going up for a drink at sunset, and if it’s summer, sip one of the crepes on the lawn of the rooftop or even be part of one of the Sunset Parties that usually happen on Saturdays. There is a (small) pool during the summer Do not forget your ID!
Which other places do you recommend in Chelsea & Meatpacking?
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!