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Things to do and see in the Meatpacking District and Chelsea

When we talk about Chelsea and Meatpacking District in New York, a lot of people relate the region to two famous spots: Highline Park and Chelsea Market. The truth is that this charming area of the city deserves more attention from, you: there are several possibilities of interesting and not obvious programs, which I will list in today’s post. But, starting with a curiosity: do you know the origin of the name Meatpacking? In 1900, the area had more than 250 slaughterhouses. It is so interesting to see the transformation of the neighborhoods into a city, right? Today, it is a place full of famous brands. For location terms, Chelsea encompasses the area from 14th Street to 34th Street, between 6th and 11th Avenues. The Meatpacking District is a small area, which encompasses the area between Gansevoort St and 14th St, and Hudson St and 10th Avenue. Let’s check out the tips?

Highline Park – Highline is probably the most famous attraction in this area. It is a park built on an old elevated train line, which was inaugurated in 1934. The use of the railway was decreasing until the ’60s and, as early as the early ’80s, it was no longer used. In 1999, the movements to prevent the demolition of the railroad began. In 2009, the park began to receive its first visitors – and this year of 2018, is presenting its last phase. What was to be abandoned and demolished, has become a space used by locals and tourists. Honestly, I find the park more interesting during the spring/summer season, but there’s no denying that it’s a cool spot and it brings new perspectives to the city. It starts at 14th Street and goes to 34th Street, intersecting with the brand new Hudson Yards.

Chelsea Market – a classic of this area, Chelsea Market was Nabisco old factory. And it was in this factory that Nabisco created the Oreo in 1912! In 1959, the company moved. An investor bought the property in 1990 and the Chelsea market was born in 1997! But, the Nabisco plate is still there, just past the main entrance. Today, Chelsea Market houses 58 shops and restaurants. It is a delight to stroll and explore what the market has to offer, but it is usually very busy between noon and 3 pm, so take that into account. Within Chelsea Market, I have a few recommendations: the Anthropologie store, with an incredible array of clothing, decor, and beauty, and the Artists & Fleas area, which is at the end of the market, with independent vendors and used-goods trade. To eat, my recommendations are Friedman’s Lunch (their falafel burger is just perfect), Beyond Sushi (specializing in vegan sushi, a delight!), LOS TACOS No.1 (for Mexican food – tacos), The Lobster Place (a favorite of lobster lovers). Be sure to stop at Spices and Tease to buy spices.

Google – perhaps a lot of people do not know, but Google bought the Chelsea Market building this year in a billion dollar deal. A lot of people ask me about visiting corporate offices like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest here in New York – and I’m sorry to inform you: unless you have a super friend that works in one of these companies to invite you, these places are not tourist spots. But that year, Google launched a new project: Grow with Google. Here in New York, they rely on the NYC Learning Center, which offers free classes in digital marketing, productivity, and more. All in English. You can check the calendar and register on the website.

  • As a matter of curiosity, the Youtube office and studios are at Chelsea Market. Content creators with a certain number of subscribers can use the studios. There are also courses, events, and workshops.

Gansevoort Market – Chelsea Market is not the only “market” in the region. Not far from it is located the Gansevoort Market. It has a much smaller structure and its focus is on food, with options for snacks or more complete meals. There are pizzas, ceviche, salads and more. One of the highlights is the Duchess Cookies, right at the entrance. The owner has worked long on the Chip NYC team (one of the best cookies, in my opinion) and now she has her own brand. The variety of cookies is amazing, the scent is irresistible – as is the taste.

Starbucks Reserve – under normal circumstances, I would tell you not to waste so much time at Starbucks here in New York. I think it is not news that there are hundreds of locations in the city, right? But if you’re passionate about coffee, you’ll want to stop by at Starbucks Reserve, which is in the area. Starbucks Reserve units are very different from conventional cafes – and this unit in New York was the fourth of six Starbucks Reserve locations planned around the world. The place is huge with bars for coffees, cocktails, and pastries. In addition, there are various products for people who enjoy coffee, such as French Press, mugs and strainers.

Samsung 837 – it’s not a store. Samsung 837, as it is called, is classified as a “digital playground.” There, you can experience all of the latest brand launches, hold meetings at your desks, have coffee with the famous Smorgasburg curator and even enjoy a sound while one of the resident DJs commands the live playlist. The most incredible? There is any product for sale. That’s not the point. Don’t expect a boring salesman asking you questions at any time. Samsung wants – and hopes – that those who visit get to know and experience the brand a little more. They also promote some events.

Restoration Hardware – The stairs from Restoration Hardware are a dream! RH is a curator of design, taste and style in the luxury lifestyle market, offering furniture, lighting, textiles, rugs, bathware, décor and outdoor, as well as baby & child and teen products. You should definitely stop by once you are in Meatpacking/Chelsea. If you love decor and design, you will certainly love the place. There is a coffee shop on the third floor.

RH Restaurant – on the rooftop of Restoration Hardware is located the RH Restaurant. With decor as incredible as the shop’s decor, the place has a charming vibe and opens for lunch and dinner. For lunch, the price of the main courses is between $20 and $33. For dinner, between $24 and $58. The food is tasty and well prepared, we tried the truffled grilled cheese and the burger and everything was delicious. We also enjoyed the service! You can check the menu details and make your reservation by clicking here. There is also outside area, with free tables for those who want to sit (you can have a drink, for example, and enjoy it). This area is first-come-first-serve.

Whitney Museum – with nine floors, the museum is dedicated to contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and displaying American art, and its collection is arguably the best exploration of the art of that country in the twentieth century in the world. The place also has a rooftop with breathtaking views. Pay what you want on Fridays, from 7pm to 10pm. Other days and times: $25.

Le Bain – it is a fun and cool penthouse that is in The Standard Hotel on the High Line in the Meatpacking District. In addition to the area with lively music, Le Bain has a rooftop with breathtaking views of New York. It is possible to transit between the two locations by means of a ladder that gives access to the rooftop. In addition to the nightly visit, it’s worth going up for a drink at sunset, and if it’s summer, sip one of the crepes on the lawn of the rooftop or even be part of one of the Sunset Parties that usually happen on Saturdays. Ah! In the summer there is a pool (small) in the middle of the party. Do not forget your ID!

  • You can check the places on the video (Portuguese only):

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