I love a good indoor market, don't you? We have a great one here in Winnipeg called The Forks Market which is housed in several retrofitted railway buildings. While in Vancouver we strolled through a big one in a similar building on Granville Island. Here in Manhattan, we found Chelsea Market, conveniently located adjacent to one end of the Highline Park. After our morning walk down the line, we stopped for lunch and a look at the market. How could I not pull us in there? Doesn't the entryway look promising?
Some areas of the market were pretty laid back and easy to browse, like Artists & Fleas. I liked the colourful array of crafty jewelry and trinkets. Our favourite souvenir was the hand printed bike maps of Manhattan. I passed up on a vintage NYC Parks & Rec maple leaf pin. Darn it. Always have to leave something behind. There was also some vintage apparel available but the prices will make your jaw drop. As a long time vintage dealer myself I realize that prices are set by supply and demand, but yikes! Don't count on the market to offer up any vintage scores.
We also came across a booth selling Highline Park souvenirs, including a great picture book called The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, which is inspired by the story of how the Highline came to be. My mom bought it for the kids, adding to our tradition of buying books to remember our travels.
We had to try out whatever was described as "Japanese Inspired Mexican". Yummy but maybe I wasn't adventurous enough because my burrito tasted basically Mexican. I found that Chelsea Market has a lot of offer in the food department, but almost everything is take out. There aren't a lot of places to sit and with the crowd we found there mid week, I'm guessing it's a regular situation. Visitors were even eating takeout lobster tails while leaning against an open wall space. Quite a feat! Prices are higher than average too. After accidentally buying a $10 smoothie in a moment of distraction, we hightailed it outta there.
In my opinion, Chelsea Market is worth visiting if you already plan on checking out the Highline and are in the area anyway. The ambiance of the building is really fantastic, with curtains of twinkle lights, sand blasted brick walls, distressed wood floors and creative signage everywhere. Good luck pushing anything bigger than an umbrella stroller through the maze of people though. It's kind of a frustrating place to navigate with a younger child. Those who feel uncomfortable in crowds will likely find the experience to be claustrophobic. The food options are creative, but like I said, prices are high and you'll likely have to eat standing. That said, we enjoyed the stop for what it was and with the weather being so nice, had our fill of indoor activities for the day. With so much to see, and so little time to see it, we couldn't stay in one spot for too long . . .