I spent some time in New York last week before heading home. I usually go between my aunts' houses or go shopping downtown but this time I wanted to do something "touristy". I contacted a friend from school to see if she had time to meet up. She did and she suggested that we go to Chelsea Market and then walk to the High Line. She read my mind! I had heard about Chelsea Market and knew it was a place people recommended that others visit in New York, and I knew about the High Line from some discussions about green spaces in cities in my Urban Studies class. I'm glad she suggested it because I probably wouldn't have gone on my own.

Here's my trip to:


Let me just say that Google Maps was the real MVP. I'm usually skeptical of public transportation because I don't have much experience with it but I got to 9th Avenue and West 15th Street with minor hiccups. I did walk in the opposite direction when I got off the subway but I whipped out my phone, turned on my GPS, spun around, and made sure I looked like I had important places to go and important people to see. I'm still not used to the amount of people in New York City. It's so simple to get caught up in a wave of people and if you stop moving, at least three people could bump into you. I've realized that the trick is to look like you know what you're doing even if you are hopelessly lost.

My friend was still on her way when I got to Chelsea Market so I took the opportunity to walk around. Chelsea Market takes up an entire block and used to be a factory for the Natural Biscuit Company. (The website tells more about the history and the shops.) There are mostly restaurants and food places in the market along with other random things like clothes, books, or a flea market of sorts. I window shopped because I don't like spending money and I didn't really need anything. I also took photos.




Once my friend came, we bought lunch at a Thai restaurant in Chelsea Market. There was no room to eat so we carried our food to the High Line! The High Line is an old rail line that was turned into a park. (You can read more about it on the website.) I was pleasantly surprised with all that bush right in New York City! There were so many juxtapositions of concrete and steel with bark and leaves that made me happy. It also stirred up thoughts about what it means for a space to be urban and how to balance development with the living landscape.









One word I'll use to describe both places is hipster. [Definition: a person who follows the latest trends and fashions.] There was such an artsy/creative/I'm-down-with-the-times vibe. There were times when I felt like a poser with my camera and cropped pants but I soon embraced the full extent of my touristy-ness. I was looking through one of my notebooks and found something I wrote last year about feeling like a tourist: If I take out my camera in the Bronx, I look like a tourist. If I write in a sketchbook on the subway, I look like a tourist. If I walk into oncoming traffic, I die. And my tombstone will say: Here lies a hopeless tourist. At least I can take comfort that my morbid sense of humour did not just spring up because of college. I've changed my view on being a tourist. It is fun and I look forward to many more touristy moments in my life.

The song is "Manhattan" sung by Ella Fitzgerald. Not very subtle. I know. [=

Thanks for reading,
Keren


2 Comments

  1. This place looks cool. I had never heard of it before.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is. If you get the chance, you should visit.

    ReplyDelete

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