Chelsea has come on strong of late as a hip address
A low-rise composite of town houses, tenements, lofts, and factories, the neighborhood comprises roughly the area west of Sixth Avenue from 14th to 30th streets. (Sixth Ave. itself below 23rd St. is actually considered part of the Flatiron District; see below.) Its main arteries are Seventh and Eighth avenues, and its primarily served by the C, E and 1, 9 subway lines.
The Chelsea Piers sports complex to the far west and a host of shops (both unique boutiques and big names like Williams-Sonoma), well-priced bistros, and thriving bars along the main drags have contributed to the areas rebirth.
Even the Hotel Chelsea - the neighborhoods most famous architectural and literary landmark, where Thomas Wolfe and Arthur Miller wrote, Bob Dylan composed Sad-Eyed Lady of the Low Land, Viva and Edie Sedgwick of Andy Warhol fame lived, and Sid Vicious killed girlfriend Nancy Spungeon--has undergone a renovation. Youll find a number of very popular flea markets set up in parking lots along Sixth Avenue, between 24th and 27th streets, on the weekends.
One of the most influential trends in Chelsea has been the establishment of far West Chelsea (from Ninth Ave. west) and the adjacent Meat-Packing District (south of West Chelsea, roughly from 17th St. to Little West 12th St.) as the style-setting neighborhoods for the 21st century. What SoHo was in the 60s, this industrial west world (dubbed the Lower West Side by New York magazine) is today.
New restaurants, cutting-edge shopping, and super-hot nightspots pop up daily in the still-beefy Meat-Packing District, while the area from West 22nd to West 29th streets between Tenth and Eleventh avenues is home to the cutting edge of todays New York art scene, with West 26th serving as the unofficial gallery row.
The power of art can also be found at the Joyce Theater, New Yorks principal modern dance venue.
This area is still seriously industrial and in the early stages of transition, however, and not for everyone. With galleries and bars tucked away in converted warehouses and former meat lockers, browsing can be frustrating, and the sometimes desolate streets a tad intimidating. Your best bet is to have a specific destination (and an exact address) in mind, be it a restaurant, gallery, boutique, or nightclub, before you come.