When I moved to New York the only time anyone went to the Flatiron District was to go to ABC Carpet (which at the time only sold rugs and carpets). Chelsea was a fringe neighborhood you passed through in a taxi on the way uptown from the Financial District. It’s amazing how quickly things change! Both areas are among the most popular places to live and visit in the city. A few of my top choices of things to do in these two neighborhoods are:
|Photo of Eataly via The New York Times|
Eataly – (Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street) Since this is one of my favorite places in NYC, I am planning on dedicating an entire post to Eataly at some point. I will give you the short version for now. Created by Mario Batali and Lydia Bastianich, Eataly encompasses over 50,000 square feet making it the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world. You can eat at one of the five restaurants ranging from the more formal, Manzo, to the rooftop restaurant and brewery, Birreria. Or, grab a quick panini or gelato at one of the several take-away places. Make sure you take home a few or the Italian delicacies from the incredible market (I like to park nearby so I can pick up several bags of goodies). Also at Eataly is La Scuola di Eataly offering classes on topics from seasonal regional dishes to wine pairings. Taking a class at La Scuola is at the very top of my NYC “to do” list.
ABC Carpet and Home – (Broadway and 19th Street) Don’t miss this iconic six floor home goods emporium. Their three in house restaurants include ABC Kitchen, featuring organic cuisine by Jean Georges Vongerichten, Pipa offering Spanish tapas, and a branch of Le Pain Quotidien.
|Photo via The High Line|
The High Line – (between 10th and 11th Avenues from Gansevoort to West 30th Street) This mile long elevated park above the streets of the West Side was created by converting the old West Side rail line into a public space. Enjoy the walkway lined with wildflowers and other plantings while taking in the skyline views. There are multiple access points throughout the park.
Chelsea Art Galleries – The New York art gallery scene has moved from Soho to Chelsea. From 16th Street to 27th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, there are now more than 350 art galleries. If you want to attend an exhibit opening at one of the galleries, check out ArtCat – a calendar listing all the upcoming openings.
|Photo of Chelsea Market by JPellgen via Fotopedia
Chelsea Market – (Between 9th and 10th Avenues and 15th and 16th Streets) Located under The High Line, the old National Biscuit Company factory (where the Oreo cookie was invented) has been repurposed as a retail shopping and dining facility. Many of the original aspects of the factory have been retained, making this a fascinating area to shop and dine. A couple of my favorite stores in Chelsea market are Bowery Kitchen Supply (anything you could want for a kitchen at half the prices of Williams Sonoma), Sarabeth’s Bakery (delicious baked goods), Eleni’s Cookies (gorgeous decorated cookies) and Ronnybrook Dairy (fresh dairy goods). If you are looking for a restaurant try Buddakan, Bar Suzette Creperie or Morimoto (home of Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto). Offices upstairs are home to companies ranging from the Food Network to Google.
These two neighborhoods are probably home to more top restaurants per capita than almost any other place in the world. In addition to the ones I already described, check out Craftbar, 11 Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern in the Flatiron district; and Cookshop, Del Posto and The Tipsy Parson in Chelsea.
If you are interested in staying nearby, The Standard High Line in the Meatpacking District sits right on top of The High Line, with stunning views of the skyline and the Hudson River.
I have only touched the surface of two very dynamic neighborhoods in New York. Does anyone have any other recommendations in Chelsea or the Flatiron district?