Meatpacking District and Chelsea
For many it may be the bright lights of Times Square, perhaps the abundance of green forestry in Central Park, or maybe the steel skyscrapers perched high above Nuts4Nuts stands. Some travel to New York City seeking the experience of these popular sites, yet others are more content with an alternative view of "the big city". For many, the industrial building that houses dozens of diverse food venues, the one and a half mile converted railroad park, and the works of art at a modern museum are much more enticing. For adventure seekers, and anyone bored of the average Nuts4Nuts stand, I recommend heading over to the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, side by side neighborhoods in the west of Manhattan.
The greatest thing about living in suburban Connecticut is, after a relatively short trip, I can step out into the calm neighborhood of Chelsea, Manhattan. Getting there is cheap, a round trip train ticket from Union Station in New Haven to Grand Central is only $33.00, and a subway ride is only $3.00 when bought individually. My favorite time to visit is early Spring, when the buds are just starting to bloom and all I needed is a thin jacket. I brought a phone with a camera, and about $100, including the money for transportation.
I arrived in Grand Central around lunch time and took the subway to Chelsea Market for a delicious snack, although there are full on meals available. The block long former factory is old and industrial with worn red brick, and a large marquee style sign announcing "Chelsea Market". Inside I found more retro signs and details, as well as restaurants lining each brick wall. There are fairy lights and a beautiful old clock in the main hall. At the end of Chelsea Market there are various consignment shops selling cheap charm bracelets, used records, and high end furs. Inside Chelsea Market I discovered almost anything my stomach could ever desire from vegetarian sushi to decadent Nutella crepes. Prices vary from place to place, but with so much to nibble on a budget of $20-30 will give your stomach plenty of excitement.
After I indulged a little bit (or a lotta bit), I headed over to the High Line's 16th St. entrance. At the end of Chelsea Market, I enjoyed a sunny stroll to work off those donut holes and fresh noodles. The High Line is a recently refurbished railroad track that overlooks Chelsea Pier, and much of Manhattan. There are trees and flowers all along this 1.45 mile trail that made for a beautiful walk. I stopped to admire artisans, and listened to up and coming singers trying to make a buck. The High Line is open everyday beginning at 7 am, and closing at 10 pm for most of the year, with varying times during the winter and summer seasons. There's an abundance of fun events, such as meditation, garden tours, and even stargazing with professional telescopes every Tuesday, dusk to thirty minutes before closing. The free (!!) High Line is a refreshing piece of greenery in an otherwise silver and brick city.
Whitney Art Museum
After I walked the High Line, I was ready for a break from the outdoors. I headed over to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Completed in 2015, the museum is positioned grandly at the west end of the High Line. I took the elevator down and re-entered underneath. Exhibitions change fairly frequently, but there's always something new, such as lectures and tours. I also found activities for kids like sketching and crafts. Unfortunately the Whitney is closed on Tuesday's, but open every other day 10:30-6:00, or weekends 10:30-10:00. Admission is $22 for adults, $18 for seniors and students, and free for visitors under 18. Even if I wasn't a fan of 20th and 21st century art I would have love it for the top floor views. I walked to the top terrace and experienced amazing vistas above all of New York City, and snapped some once in a lifetime pictures.
Gwyn Reutenauer has been writing and traveling since she was born. She's a sophomore in high school and writes frequently for various outlets, including school, blogs, and her online journalism class. She was fully bit by the traveling bug this past summer when she spent four weeks in Chile on a service, leadership, and cultural exchange program. She's excited to spend this summer in France, The Berkshires, Cape Cod, and for her first Midwest experience, South Dakota. She loves to take pictures, and journal her way through each amazing trip!
Additional photos by MusikAminal and ZÃ© Carlos Barretta
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