Following up on Time Out’s recently released ranking of the Best Cities in the World in 2021, we’re narrowing our focus a bit this week to announce the Coolest Neighborhoods in the World. Wondering which local nabe took home the top prize not only in NYC but also landed in the top 10 on the global list? Chelsea!
It’s the first time in four years that Time Out has picked a Manhattan neighborhood as its “coolest” neighborhood in the city and it comes at a time when the middle section of that borough has been especially hard hit by the twinned economic challenges of losing both office workers and tourists. Responding to those absences, the area’s shown a burst of creativity and innovation over the last year—from massive new developments to community and arts initiatives.
Time Out’s list of the world’s coolest cities is based on an annual survey of over 27,000 city dwellers all over the globe. Local editors then vet those local picks against what we’re seeing on the ground to choose which part of the city has seen the most exciting changes over the last year. Finally, a global team vets all local picks to rank the definitive worldwide list.
When we saw that Chelsea landed among the top of this year’s responses in New York, it was clear there was a larger sentiment that matched what we’ve been noticing while reporting on the city—a lot of exciting things have been happening in that part of town.
For this year’s list, a special focus was placed on efforts around sustainability and resilience. Chelsea is bookended by two of NYC’s most high-profile new investments in public green space and sustainable public transit: Little Island, bursting with free community arts programs, and Moynihan Train Hall.
In addition to the area’s world-famous gallery scene, newer additions like Dia Chelsea and ARTECHOUSE have been staging exciting new shows and works. Meanwhile, the area’s bars and restaurants have enthusiastically embraced the new world of outdoor dining with Eighth Avenue and its side street feeling more alive than ever. (Not to mention, the addition of cool new indoor spots like the hidden Coby Club tucked under Elmo or the new bar La Noxe which is tucked away inside of a subway station.)
If you haven’t been to Chelsea in a while and want to plan a trip for yourself, check out our full guide to what to do, where to eat and fun events that are happening in the neighborhood now. (Want a quick tip? Do yourself a favor and book a night at Speakeasy Magick at the McKittrick. Want another? Go zen out at the just-opened new Mandala Lab at the Rubin Museum? Want some more? Just keep reading!)