Wednesday, 5 January 2011

A New York Sunday in the Chelsea Neighbourhood

Carrying on with the story of our New York trip of last November and it was the day after our very long but fun and hungover walk around Central Park. We woke up mid Sunday morning and headed out to explore and take in what the Chelsea neighbourhood had to offer. In our few hours we visited Chelsea Market, had eaten and drank brunch, took a walk along a section of the Highline followed by a walk along the promenade passing the Chelsea piers walking on up towards the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

NYC Highline

I'd never seen these streets (beyond a quick peek on Goggle street view) and so it was again a chance to do some more urban exploring. First we headed toward the market. The streets were traditional New York scenes on 8th and 9th Avenue.

NYC street scene on 8th Avenue

In between the more stereotypical views were some innovative designs being incorporated into some make overs for some of the area's buildings, such as the Dream Downtown Hotel that has apparently been labelled as the 'Cheesegrater', I think I'd call it the 'Cheese Liner' though as it's kinda nautical too.

Dream Downtown Hotel Chelsea NYC

It didn't take long before we arrived at Chelsea Market. It wasn't what I expected but it was a pleasant surprise. The market is indoors but unlike your regular UK indoor market, it is more like a small quaint shopping mall or a shopping arcade like Queens Arcade in Belfast. There were lots of preserves and sweets, lots of books and groceries, lots of cup cakes and breads, all in a small indoor walkway with some themed d├ęcor such as mining themed wishing well water fountain and some metal/stone sculptures.

Some of the cupcakes were quite awesome and looked more like works of art as opposed to a consumable nom. My favourite looking were the Turtles ones!

Chelsea Market Cupcakes

Once we'd had enough of resisting the temptation of buying something to eat, we gave in and headed to a restaurant called Zemi for some brunch. I'd never had a proper brunch let alone having it combined with cocktails before so this was a first and it was very nice... largely helped by those cocktails and the fact the staff had live football (soccer) on TV.

Fuel stop complete, we went looking for a way onto the Highline. The Highline is an old abandoned rail-line that has been turned into a park. We found our way onto it via a few flights of stairs. The Highline has some decent enough views but really its no Central Park especially I suspect at the time of year we were there.

NYC Highline

The plants all just looked like dead or dried out grass and the amount of the Highline which has so far been opened after its regeneration isn't really enough to add much variety to the views you have chance to see from it.

NYC Highline and Empire State Building

If you lived in an apartment nearby then it might be a nice place to take a walk, to get a breath of fresh air or to just watch the world go by, however right now it isn't really a place you could go to do much else.

NYC Highline

It's really just a glorified overpass in the state it was when we visited but from the looks of the sections to be opened in 2011 there is more to come and during the spring and summer months there would be more to see.

We came down from the Highline and made our way west to the Chelsea piers. On the way we came across some more architecture that made us look twice such as the InterActiveCorp Headquarters.

InterActiveCorp Building NYC

However the thing that most caught our eye and made us laugh was the advertisements on the side of the storage containers which New Yorkers must use to facilitate their hoarding with space at such a minimum. They said things like, “Bonfires are a bit final”.

There is a cycle path, running path and at a lot of the points, some promenade to walk down. From the path there was plenty to see, as with pretty much everywhere in NYC the Empire State Building kept popping up:

Empire State Building

Park and Empire State Building

As well as grassy banks to take it easy on like many New Yorkers (probably some of those shattered from cycling, roller-blading and jogging) were doing that day. Easy to see why under the sun with the views across the Hudson River:

River Hudson and Pier

We didn't go onto any of the piers which stretch out into the Hudson River but we did walk as far as the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum where we saw the impressive Intrepid Aircraft Carrier though we didn't go into the museum either.

USS Intrepid

We didn't visit because we were scheduled to do something else that day which was Norngirls drool moment as we were partaking in what we had labelled as 'Camp Day', heading on the Sex and the City tour followed by Italian food and spending the best part of the night in a piano bar in West Greenwich Village.

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