there are plenty of reasons to be hanging out in chelsea, but i definitely like the interview series at the rubin museum of art for starters. and if you are here, it is not like there aren’t plenty of generic food and shopping options. this area (mostly from 23rd to 17th, along 5th and 6th avenues) is chock-a-block with all the major chains (banana republic, j. crew. abercrombie, the gap, container store….), with a few independent shops and if you hunt a little harder a few great ones pop up. i also am a fan of some of those medium “new york chains” that i like to check out every now and then including sacco for shoes, searle (great coats and good sales) and intermix (though the latter is way too young for me!). for food, you really do need to venture afield either east or west, and then there’s plenty of choice. see below for my mini map of all these spots as well!
malin+goetz, excellent lotions, and shampoos and things though it is on the pricey side. 117 7th avenue between 20th and 21st streets, 212.727.377.
journelle: very very nice lingerie. super accessible too so it’s easy to go in even if you have no idea what you want or need. 3 east 17th street between 5th avenue and broadway, 212.255.7800.
books of wonder: a real standby for children’s books. while i wish the staff were a little better versed in their stock like at bank street books, it is still a great bookstore. 18 west 18th street between 5th and 6th avenues, 212.989.3270.
billy’s bakery: if you really must have a classic cupcake, this is totally the place to go (and stay far away from magnolia). same stuff, sooooo much better service and attitude. 184 9th avenue at 21st street, 212.647.9956.
city bakery: i will always be a fan of this place even though i have probably eaten here hundreds of times. great quality, and i must be addicted to those little peanut butter cookies. 3 west 18th street between 5th and 6th avenues, 212.366.1414.
tia pol: i have been wanting to go back to this excellent, super crowded, still a little too trendy tapas bar, since i last went last summer. really delicious and fresh though not cheap. 205 10th avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets, 212.675.8805.
ennju: my standby japanese fast food snack shop, especially for the rice dishes. satisfying, quick, healthy and cheapish. 20 east 17th street between 5th avenue and broadway, 646.336.7004.