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Chelsea Market

October 6, 2010

  • 75 9th Avenue
  • New York, NY 10011
  • (212) 652-2117
  • Website

After getting gelato, we still had some time to kill.  I’m not exactly sure why, but the first thing I thought of was checking out Chelsea Market.

There was no particular reason for wanting to check out the Market other than I knew the Food Network Headquarters are there.  I thought maybe we’d get lucky and they’d be taping Next Food Network Star or something…or maybe we’d run in to Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay.

Chelsea Market is on 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.  Again, it’s very close to a subway stop, so we jumped back on the F and connected to one of the trains that would get us to within a block and a half of the market.

Chelsea Market actually started life in the late 1800’s as the National Biscuit Company.  The company actually had a series of buildings in the area and the Chelsea Market building was just one of them.  At one time, Oreo cookies were made in the building.  Now, there’s no chance in hell you would find such a foodstuff in one of it’s retail shops.

The only area of the six story building open to the public is the ground the floor.  I was expecting a farmer’s market type atmosphere, but it’s actually an shopping area with high end retail, boutique restaurants, bakeries, and deli’s.

The building is gorgeous.  It has a real industrial feel to with exposed brick walls, exposed duct work, and a hardwood floor that has to be original to the building.

We didn’t really go in a lot of the stores because we weren’t hungry although we did a lot of window shopping and wanted to eat everything we came across.  I know I’ve seen on some of the Food Network shows that chefs do shopping downstairs and I didn’t see as much grocery as I thought I would.  There was one boutique grocery store that was pretty large and did have all the high end ingredients you see on those shows, but again, I was expecting a more farmer’s market set up.

For us, Chelsea Market was a good time killer.  We found public restrooms and were able to find a place to sit for a while and just people watch.  We didn’t run into any famous people like we’d hoped and we didn’t really look around a whole lot.  Both Morimoto and Mario Batali have restaurants near or in Chelsea Market and we didn’t hunt down either.  Of course, I would have liked to have seen the Food Network part of the building, but there are no public tours that I’m aware of.

I’m happy we made the stop.  Chelsea Market is a great concept in this very urban area.  If I could afford to live in one of the million dollar condos in the old Nabisco factory, I would be down there everyday.  It’s another one of those place I’m glad we checked out even if it was a fairly quick walk through without purchasing much.

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