At the End of the Hudson: a Chelsea Slog
I have returned from three glorious days in the Big Apple, visiting a dear friend of mine who is one of the lucky ones who retired and lives out her dream life with her husband in Chelsea, NYC.
Besides being nearby to so many wonderful places, Chelsea is a happening scene. A quick walk brought us to the High Line walk, and Chelsea Market.
We strolled along the High Line,which is a lovely park in the process of being developed on the old elevated train tracks built in the 30's. It is in the old meat packing center of the city, 30'in the air, and though still under construction, you can enjoy a lengthy stretch of lovely flora and fauna, sit on stone benches, some in the shape of chaise lounges for some city sunning.
Chelsea Market is another fun jaunt, resurrected from the ruins of the National Biscuit Co. and features amazing food shops like Elani's cookies (at a mere 75.00 a box on the high end..) a great kitchen supply store, various specialty food shops, art, music and lots of good atmosphere. Oh, and it is where the Food Channel does its filming.
You never know who you run into in the Big Apple, and we literally hovered over greens next to Willem Dafoe. What happened during those few moments will be treasured and laughed over by Frannie and I, and perhaps shared with a few friends. What we will always wonder is...did he do it on purpose?
We spent time perusing some of the galleries in Chelsea, and got to see the show: The Female Gaze: Women Look At Women at Cheim and Read We visited several others on the same block, and it is always good to look at what is going happening in the NYC art scene, where you see what and who is hot. The gallery scene can be a bit haughty and foreboding for the timid, though Timothy at Axelle Fine Arts Gallery actually came over to me and handed me a card while I jotting down notes for my art blog. He was handsome, kind, and told me to email him if I had any questions. Far different from some of the once overs you get from those who are sizing you up as to whether or not you are a potential customer and deserve notice.
Of course there was lunch, martinis at Moran's where we had the BEST EVER grilled calamari, bagels for breakfast came from the Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee company, where their everything bagels have everything on BOTH SIDES.
In the garment district we ran through Jack's .99 Store, one of the best .99 cents stores in the world, and we were in scarf heaven in New Company where you can buy 6 Pashmina scarves for 3.00 each! (uh, beats 10-20.00 which is what I have found them up here for, and is only marginally more money than what I paid for them in Spain) and other things. I found a beautiful rayon crochet shawl/sweater for 25.00, though in hindsight I realized it was made in China....as was probably most of the things there...
The highlight was a visit to the top of the Empire State Building (thanks Frannie!!) where the clear sky enabled us to see so much and so far.
I have tons of great memories, photos, and am inspired by the art, food, culture, and Mayor Bloomberg's revitalization work...from new bike lanes, to areas of street closed off for public sitting areas. Oh, and the laughter and joy that only a close friend can bring.
I'll be back soon!
Patti O New Yorker