November 10, 2009

Along the High Line and the Streets Below

A little further north on Manhattan Island are two other neighborhoods I enjoy exploring – the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.

First the Meatpacking District...

Since my last visit to New York, there has been a dramatic change to this area – the opening of the much anticipated High Line. Formally an old elevated railway, the High Line is now a beautiful meandering garden that extends south along 10th Avenue from 20th Street to Gansevoort Street. The park is beautiful – lush beds of grasses and wildflowers weaving along with the path above the city streets and between the buildings. It is a wonderful way to walk through the city, a great place to relax elevated above the clamor of streets.

On the days I walked the High Line my husband we stopped by the Chelsea Market Public Art for lunch. We purchased our food from the tbsp rickshaw cart parked at this point along the path and enjoyed our meal at a table nearby. I had a sharp cheddar sandwich – a delicious handheld meal of great cheese on multigrain bread with tomatoes and watercress. Jonathan enjoyed some warm homemade soup. Perfect picnic lunch on a crisp fall day!

After lunch we continued walking south along the High Line – past more flowers and under the impressive Standard Hotel, then descending to street level at the end of the tracks. The Meatpacking District is different than the other neighborhoods of Manhattan with large low wear-houses and broad streets. Walking through the streets we snaked back and forth exploring the neighborhood and shopping.

Eventually we reached 9th Avenue and 15th Street – home to Chelsea Market. This is a food mecca – filled with shops, cafes, bakeries, and tempting smells. A recent addition to the market is Jacques Torres Chocolates. This shop's spicy wicked hot chocolate is often listed as one of the best hot chocolates in New York City (New York Magazine, Food Network). My husband and I each ordered a small wicked hot chocolate and sat down to enjoy it. The hot chocolate is one of the richest concoctions I have ever enjoyed. It is delicious – creamy and chocolaty with a hint of spice. It is also one of the most luxurious hot chocolates I have ever had – thick and rich like molten chocolate.

After our wonderful snack we continued into the Chelsea neighborhood and spent the remainder of the afternoon browsing shops along 9th Avenue.

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