If you’ve been to New York in the past few years, then you’ve definitely witnessed the renaissance of the Meatpacking district and its transformation to a neighbourhood rich of culture, fun and hip. Chelsea, a stone’s throw away from Meatpacking is the real winner here as the art crowd has shifted focus from once cool SoHo to this area of Manhattan. Is it to remain as hip in the near future?
The Standard High Line hotel Chances are you already know The Standard Hotel High Line in Chelsea. And you probably have also heard about The Standard East and its more posh Narcissa restaurant (great brunch… I know!). What you may not know though is that it caters to all parts of your day. Whether you’re looking to get a quick egg sandwich in the morning, a beer in the Biergarten during lunch, sunny drinks at the roof terrace or a full-course dinner at the Grill on Friday night, The Standard’s got you covered. More details? Read our full review here!
The High Line park and The Whitney museum Owned by the City of New York, the High Line is a public park maintained, operated, and programmed by Friends of the High Line that were responsible for revitalizing the West Line of New York’s past. Running from 34th street all the way down to the Whitney museum on Gasenvoort street, the High Line is the perfect getaway from the busy streets of the city! I happened to walk there this winter and was amazed by the crisp colors of the flora! As we walked up the stairs on 34th street, we ascended to an elevated and more quiet version of New York. Chilly gusts of wind were hitting us every now and then but with all that sun on this New York autumn day the ambience was very comfortable indeed. “Getting off” at the Whitney, we emerged into the art scene and got a glimpse of the 2017 Biennial running till June 11th 2017.
Chelsea Market and Gansenvoort Market Walking further north and stopping for a quick bite at Chelsea Market, a closed arcade between 9th and 10th avenue, we got tempted to try the infamous Mexican burrito from the trolley service of Los Tacos No.1 even if it was 11am! What a treat! Washing it down with a quick caffeine fix from Ninth Street Espresso bar had us back out in the streets at no time. Things were already becoming more busy as tourists were flocking in so avoiding it during lunchtime was the best decision to make.
The Chelsea galleries Ready for some more art action, we started out on 18th street and made our way north in search of the perfect contemporary painting. The art galleries, that once transformed the SoHo neighbourhood before it became all too commercial, had started taking up former loading docks at the deserted cobblestone streets of Chelsea back in 2005. More than 10 years later, most of them are in search of new sites in TriBeCa, Lower East and Chinatown. Nonetheless, the high-end emporiums -Gagosian Gallery, Gladstone Gallery and David Zwirner- are still there. And then some. The outlets are numerous and quite diverse so chances are we wouldn’t be able to see everything. Hence, we hedged our bets and followed friend’s advice. Enjoy!
- The Whitney Museum – recently moved from its old Upper East location into this new building by Renzo Piano. Features a small cafeteria at the top floor. If you visit when the weather is good make your way to the top and descend round the building going through the outside spaces on each floor!
- Chelsea Market – covered arcade full of cute little shops and many options for a quick bite. Also, home to the YouTube and Food Network NY offices. if you wanna shop head to Artists & Fleas, for great coffee try the Ninth Street Espresso Bar (cash only!) and for the best burrito ever find Los Tacos No. 1!
- The High Line – the infamous West Side Line track that got transformed to a 1.5miles elevated park in 2014. Probably best only to visit when the weather is good to avoid the high winds!
- Art galleries – once the art scene moved away from SoHo, the Meatpacking became the place for art and culture. Make sure you do a planned (or better yet non-planned) tour of the below:
- 18th street – Hauser Wirth is new in town and hot! Great space also featuring a small espresso bar at the back. Also, Petzel is interesting!
- 20th street – David Zwierner is an old and important art space in Manhattan
- 21st street – Tanya Bonakdar gallery. Also opposite the street you can visit satellite gallery space of the Gagosian and Barbara Gladstone
- 22nd street – Lehmann Maupin
- 24th street – various galleries all bundled up together (inlc. Gagosian, Mary Boone Gallery, Andrea Rosen, Barbara Gladstone etc)
- The Standard High Line – nice rooms and in general ambience, in this trendy and colorful establishment. Great views to the Hudson river if you can get (i.e. afford) a corner room. Also, please note they only have double (not twin) rooms 😉
- Gansenvoort Hotel – high-end hotel in a perfect location around the meatpacking district; also features a nice rooftop pool bar
- Soho House New York – perfect hideaway if you can get a friend (and a Soho House member) to escort you in; their Sunday feast, served almost all day long, is basically a buffet brunch service so rich and plentiful that will definitely fill you up! Just make sure you get rid of your taking-photos-with-your-mobile habit when you come in
- The Standard Grill – housed at the lobby of the hotel; great breakfast, especially when its sunny in this cosy and pleasant environment. Make sure you reserve a table during the weekends. Also, offering nice dinner options when the trendy crowd flocks in
- Los Tacos No.1 – fast-paced taqueria offering yummy tacos and burritos to-go! If you’re there during the morning part, you’ll also get to see their breakfast burrito trolley outside Ninth Street Espresso Bar – so good!
- Ninth Street Espresso Bar – daily caffeine fix for the locals around Chelsea; great espresso from great people; just make sure you carry cash with you
- Rocket Pig – tasty suckling pig and other relevant sandwiches to go
- Buddakan – high-ceiling and very happening dinner space in Chelsea, offering Asian treats. Also good for drinks