I recently read a post on Medium about falling in and out of love with NYC-living. While the writer has lived here many more years than I have thus far, it was still a very eyeopening read—mainly because every point resonated in a bold way.
One of the points recommended readers to flock to the hidden gems of the city, you know, the things that likely aren't on the tourist lists. She mainly highlighted all of the free museums and exhibits throughout the NYC boroughs to showcase this point further.
It's funny because I've been wanting to hit all of these spots, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I didn't have the motivation. But this article's charge really hit home. And with winter winding down, I was running out of excuses to stay uptown on weekends.
That next weekend after reading the post, I went with three friends to Chelsea in efforts to start tackling these spots—for some firsthand exploration. It was pretty clear day with a slight briskness in the air, a pretty rad day to be out and about.
And once the afternoon's fun concluded, we left with a greater appreciation of food, friends, art forms, and city adventure. Below, you'll find my thoughts on how to replicate this fun Saturday in and around the Chelsea art galleries.
There are tons of great spots along the nearby streets, but we chose to start our adventure at Chelsea Market. Here, one can find many yummy food posts, grocery options, and fun gift shops. It can sometimes be quite the tourist trap, but I still recommend it for the experience. (We mainly went here because I'd never actually eaten during my past visits.)
While there are many spots as mentioned before, I recommend the burger options at Creamline. It's what they call "farm to tray," it's really tasty. They also have quite the selection of milkshakes. The one that particularly caught my eye was "PB&J."
Here are some other great lunch options separate from Chelsea Market: The Grey Dog, Cookshop, Westville, and The Commons Chelsea.
Even if you don't consider yourself to be an art lover, this stretch of galleries will prove to be quite the experience. The best way to see it is to "weave through the streets" as a coworker put it. Basically, all you have to do is start at the David Zwirner gallery at 19th between 10th and 11th and weave throughout the streets until you get to 26th St.
There are tons of galleries, and to my knowledge, they're all free. Most, if not all, of them are also open on the weekends, so you'll surely get your fix after a few hours of bobbing and weaving. (We spent about three hours going through one after the other.)
This is also an activity that can happen more than once, for many of the galleries change out exhibits ever so often, usually on a quarterly basis. Some are even interactive to keep you on your toes. (We saw a bird cage/book installation that was like a life-size bird cage, treehouse thing. Visitors could walk inside and hang with the birds.)
Depending on when you start and finish, I'd recommend one of two things: coffee and a stroll OR dinner and dessert.
If you're down for coffee, I highly suggest Intelligentsia, which is inside The Highline Hotel. Bring a book if you're alone, or grab your coffee and friends to head for a stroll along The Highline. (Get ready to take fun pictures of people, city scenes, and/or the sunset.)
And if you're more in the mood for some dinner/dessert action, there are tons of great spots to peruse. Many of the lunch options listed above also serve dinner, but I want to list some dinner specific places too. (You can never have too many food options, right?)
Here are some dinner spots: Haymaker Kitchen, The Heath, Foragers Table, and Momofuku Nishi. And of course, dinner isn't complete without a little sweet thing. (If you know me, you know I have a major sweet tooth—thanks, Mom!)
Here are some great dessert specific spots nearby: City Cakes, Blossom Bakery, Billy's Bakery, and 16 Handles. (Surely, you'll find something for anyone and everyone.)
As always, I'd love to hear if you've experienced these places and spaces for yourself already. To compare stories/notes and offer future suggestions, feel free to comment below or send me a line via email.