To take in the whole neighborhood, start by walking south on one of the city’s most famous architectural landmarks, The High Line, where visitors can drink in the aesthetics of architecture’s biggest names like Frank Gehry with his stark white, hive-like IAC building, or Foster + Partners’ 551 West 21st Street with its pre-cast concrete and luminous metal window surrounds, which give the building a sense of permanence and history.
Some of the most beautiful residences in the city are in West Chelsea, and the neighborhood has become a destination for architecturally significant new developments from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, Peter Marino, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and, most recently, Heatherwick Studio.
Then, after your impromptu architecture tour along the elevated urban park, hop off at The High Line’s south end, where the famous Chelsea Market is just steps away.
While taking the byways back north for a quieter stroll, it’s easy to spot the gastronomical gems around every corner. For “exceptional tapas,” says Boisson Aries, “you would do well to try Tía Pol on 10th Avenue and 22nd Street.”
For somewhere a bit livelier after dinner there’s The Club Car in The McKittrick Hotel, which offers cabaret and performance, spanning illusion, burlesque, live music, and storytelling, in a low-lit space. Finish the evening at Chelsea’s latest addition to the speakeasy scene: The 18th Room, which is cleverly named after the amendment that led to Prohibition. And if the Art Deco interior weren’t inviting enough, the bartenders will concoct personalized cocktails.
New York Fashion Week comes through twice a year, taking up various venues for shows and afterparties, and attracting fashion fans to designer boutiques like the Comme des Garçons New York flagship, a true one-off space that is both immersive art installation and high-end shopping destination—which is how you could describe West Chelsea itself.