Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chelsea Market: 9th and 10th Aves between 15th and 16th Streets

I suppose the Chelsea Market is not a "unique" shopping/dining mall (unless one over-uses the word "unique" the way people are negligently apt to do now). 

However, it is a great place to do some eclectic shopping:  There is a dairy, a separate artisanal cheese shop called Lucy's Whey, gorgeous chocolates at Jacques Torres, and distinctive clothes at Anthropologie, just to name a few.  Then there is great food, including a super gluten-free-friendly place called Friedman's Lunch, a fantastic flavorful Thai place, and what I consider the best gelateria in NYC -- L'Arte del Gelato. 

Finally, it is great to spend an afternoon taking in temporary art installations (see the "Dog Show" photography exhibit by Lucille Fornasieri Gold at right and currently on view through March 31, 2012), and (best of all) you can pass hours just watching New Yorkers in their element.

The market was originally the National Biscuit Company in the late 1800s.  Yes, this was the original home of the Oreo!  In 1913 this main building was built on landfill - the timbers, chain and anchor of a two-masted schooner were found during excavation in later restorations.  If you look closely around the mall, you will see evidence of the history and archeology.

If you are in the neighborhood, take a step in and you are bound to be surprised to be face to face with history and perhaps find things that you never knew you needed (ok, wanted).  It is very accessible, friendly, and quirky in the best way. 

You might also see a celebrity or two (Food Network films Iron Chef here), and Genevieve Gorder of HGTV also frequents the shops here.


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