My five favourite things: Chelsea

It isn’t quite as long or influential as Oprah’s list but these are my favourite things about Chelsea, where I’m currently staying with a generous friend.

  1. The High Line: This 1.45 mile/2.3 km long urban garden path built on a disused freight railway, is a lesson to cities of the world in making use of space. A great walk with big views, modern gardens, and a spot of food, music and art, in summer the High Line is open from 7am to 11pm which is perfect as it is just as interesting at night as it is in the day (You can see an album of High Line photos in the photography section here).
  2. Foragers: This store is the best of David Jones Food Hall (for Australia), or Waitrose (for UK); in a much smaller space. Foragers has everything from locally made ice-cream and Ottolenghi cookbooks, to eco-cleaning product refill stations and take-away meals served by the chefs (the roast chicken has been recommended; I suggest the edamame bean salad). In my experience, it is very easy to lose track of time in Foragers as you inspect every item on offer, or at least admire the beautiful packaging on items like blood-orange caramel chocolate or rosewater lemonade. Foragers has a cafe, and restaurant by night, attached, and wine shop too (with discount if you shop in the grocery section first).
  3. Leafy streets: New York certainly has the most impressive park of any city of visited in the world (only beating Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens on sheer size of course…) but there aren’t many trees around the streets; at least it doesn’t feel that way. However, Chelsea has many tree-lined streets. My friend informs me that thanks to the urban-planning foresight of the original land owner of the area, the land was sold for residential housing on condition that trees were planted and maintained on the streets.
  4. Tipsy Parson: I admit this was probably only discovered because it looked lovely and had a great name — but it was also ‘busy’ enough to look popular, but no so busy as to look unfriendly. Just around the corner from where I am staying, this gem which promises ‘belly filling goodness‘ has a cosy atmosphere, great service, fine cocktail list — that we enjoyed with fried green tomatoes.
  5. Chelsea Market: This ‘food concourse’ is located on the site of an old biscuit factory that once made America’s world-famous Oreos, and across the street from the east coast office of that other famous American company: Google Inc. A bakery, cheese, Thai, lobster, grocers, wine and spice shops deck the halls but it isn’t just about food — bookstores, Moroccan goods, pop-up clothing shops and a mini flea market inhabit this icon. This one address actually includes lots of my favourite things about Chelsea including Ninth Street Espresso and Anthropologie.

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