I love Fridays. They symbolize not only the end of the week for me, but also the beginning of a list long family adventures to come. On this Friday afternoon, after meeting up with my husband, we all decided to take a walk over to Chelsea Market. The last time I had taken the time to visit the market the area was still raw in its design. The transformation of the Meatpacking District or Gansevoort Market, was only but beginning with most of the meat-packing plants (if not empty and abandoned) still active and smelling of cold beef and processing plants. The area, having experienced a “rough patch” with the invasion of drugs and prostitution was now being taken over by trendy boutiques, clubs, and restaurants. The Chelsea Market itself was going through some transformations and remodeling, but even then it was such a cool building to visit.
Today, it is difficult to recognize the exterior of the Chelsea Market from what it was back then. The area has completely changed. It is now overrun by all that is chic and trendy, hip and cool. To a New Yorker like me these changes are bittersweet. On one hand, I love having access to such great food, eateries, shops and bars, but on the other hand these also tend to change the raw coolness of the place, sometimes making it more artificial and superficial (and expensive and exclusive).
The inside of the market hasn’t changed too much, it still has some of my old favorites shops, like the Chelsea Market Basket, Bowery Kitchen Supply, Fat Witch Bakery, and Imports from Marrakesh. The factory style decor has remained and all the new businesses have managed to find functionality and their own style around it because it is, after all, what makes the Market so cool, and it remains a signature of the area.
The Market has no shortage of bakeries. We stopped into Ruthy’s Bakery to check out their cool cupcakes and cookies. Their Louis Vuitton cakes are a sight and the boys were in awe of their Spongebob one.
Another great stop is Amy’s Bread for some treats. The boys got a kick out of watching the bakers through the windows as they tossed the dough and mixed all the ingredients to be backed right there, on the premises, to be sold in the shop right next door.
We browsed at the tasty seafood selection at the Lobster Place and picked up some wine at the Chelsea Wine Vault.
There is definitely a nice selection of things to do, buy, eat, and drink at the Chelsea Market, and it makes for a great shopping destination.