Chelsea, located from Sixth Avenue (the Avenue of the Americas) to the Hudson River, between West 14th Street and West 34th Street, has undergone a marked revival in recent years. It began its life in 1750, as a farm, purchased by British Major Thomas Clarke. Clark dubbed it “Chelsea,” after the Chelsea Royal Hospital and Old Soldiers’ Home in London. Known as the founding father of Chelsea, Clement Clarke Moore, Clark’s grandson and author of “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” developed the area as a suburb, surrounding it with gardens. His legacy can still be found in a few building regulations that still endure.
Long home to the famous "flower district" (between 27th and 30th Streets) and the landmark Chelsea Hotel - a haven for leading artists, musicians and literary figures like Mark Twain (and of course, the late Sex Pistol, Sid Vicious) – other Chelsea landmarks include Madison Square Garden, the world-famous sports arena complex, Chelsea Market, an upscale food court and mall located in what used to be Nabisco Factories, where the Oreo Cookie was invented, and International Toy Center, a complex of buildings that is a hub for US toy manufacturers and distributors.
A sort of chic, northern cousin to the similarly low-rise West Village, Chelsea attracts many young professionals with its proximity to Midtown, all public transportation, movie theaters, bistros and family entertainment. The world-famous Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex offers basketball courts, a golf driving range, live music, a microbrewery and even riding stables within its renovated waterfront stretch between 17th and 23rd Streets (where the Titanic was headed on its ill-fated voyage). Blocks away, the newly hip Meatpacking District, while not always "family friendly,” with its velvet rope club scene and notorious bars, like the original Hogs ‘n’ Heiffer (the inspiration for the movie, "Coyote Ugly") draws scores to its cobble-stoned streets each night.
Chelsea boasts some of the city's most fashionable nightlife, including famous clubs such as The Avalon, Spirit, and Marquee, and bars such as The Lotus Bar, Flatiron Lounge, and Chelsea Brewing Company (located at Chelsea Piers). It is also home to famous off-Broadway theaters such as the Atlantic Theater Company, and Manhattan Class Company (MCC), as well as dance performances at Dance Theater Workshop and Joyce Theater, and movie theatres such as Chelsea Cinemas.
Chelsea also hosts a number of annual festivals, such as Chelsea Market After Dark (the New York City wine and food festival), the Cask Ale Festival, the Coffee and Tea Festival, and the Hudson River Park Oyster Festival.
Known for being an area in which art thrives, Chelsea is home to more than 350 cutting-edge art galleries and exhibition spaces, as well as the Chelsea Art Museum, Yeshiva University Museum, and the Rubin Museum of Art, which focuses on Himalayan art. In addition, Chelsea is full of great artist's lofts. Condo conversions are all the rage, and in general, Chelsea has fewer high-rises than many other parts of Manhattan; this often translates to unique, large floor plans, original details, high ceilings and windows, and stunning façades. As a trendy neighborhood of art and culture, Chelsea also attracts a large, thriving gay community.
Chelsea’s borders encompass three public school districts—William T. Harris (PS 11), O’Henry (IS 70), and The Liberty High School for Newcomers—and a number of private high schools and institutions of higher learning, including The High School of Fashion Industries (Corlears School), The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), The School of Visual Arts, Touro College, The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, The Center for Jewish History, New York City Guitar School, College of Technology, and Apex Technical School.
The Hotel Chelsea, the Chelsea Savoy, Affinia Manhattan, Chelsea International Hostel, Maritime and Gansevoort Hotels help to accommodate the influx of trendy visitors to the area, and add to neighborhood’s ongoing facelift.
Transportation in and out of the neighborhood is available in a number of forms. Chelsea is serviced by MTA subway lines A, C, E, B, D, F, V, 1, 2, and 3, as well as numerous bus routes. To get in and out of the city, Penn Station also provides service via the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), New Jersey Bus Transit, and Amtrak Trains.
Top condos include The Porter House, The O’Neill Building, The Chelsea Mercantile, Chelsea Atelier, 100 Eleventh Avenue, The Dance Building, 245 Tenth Avenue, The Steiner Building, and 360 Tenth Avenue.
Some museums and schools in Chelsea:
Chelsea Art Museum: http://www.chelseaartmuseum.org
Yeshiva University Museum: http://www.yumuseum.org/
Rubin Museum of Art: http://www.rmanyc.org/
Corlears School: http://www.corlearsschool.org
Fashion High School: http://fashionhighschool.net/
New York City Guitar School: http://www.nycguitarschool.com/
College of Technology: http://www.tcicollege.edu/
Apex Technical School: http://www.apextechnical.com/main.htm