Shopping at Chelsea Market

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 | All Things, Eats, NYC History

After staying up until 3AM the night before, trying to puzzle through the Russian homework, I missed class yet again. Endlessly frustrating…. I seriously consider whether I should continue on.

It was late by the time I left the office, and I stopped in at Chelsea Market, just before closing time, on the way home.

For more than 50 years, beginning in the 1890’s, the complex that now houses the Market was part of a large factory run by Nabisco’s predecessor, the National Biscuit Company. The very first Oreo cookie was produced here in 1912, and Nabisco ran the bakery for decades before leaving New York City in 1958. Lawyer turned developer Irwin Cohen bought the old industrial building in the mid 1990s; at that time, the streets west of Ninth Avenue comprised a desolate, windy stretch with little pedestrian traffic and no cachet. With the late 1990s gentrification, the area became increasingly desirable, and today the Market is situated conveniently between the trendy shops and restaurants of the Meatpacking District and the art galleries and clubs of west Chelsea.

Above Chelsea Market, passing through the building on the 10th Avenue side, the High Line elevated railroad track will be converted into an urban oasis or greenway (and serve perhaps as the future site of a Whitney Museum of American Art expansion, now that the Dia Art Foundation has called off its plans for the space.)

The ground-level retail concourse (completed in April 1997) boasts a bustling collection of businesses, most involving food — artisanal, raw, fresh, prepared; above, office space for tenants, including media and broadcasting companies such as Oxygen Network, Food Network and the local New York City cable news station NY1.

The brick walls, wood floors and exposed pipes serve as reminders of the building’s industrial past.

Chelsea Market

At BuonItalia, a shop specializing in imported Italian foods.



The store will be hosting a Fresh White Truffle Festival on November 13 and 14 between 6:00 and 9:00PM, serving white truffle dishes and tastings of Italian wine. What a delight this market is: stacked crates packed with olive oils, vinegars, biscuits, tinned fish, sauces, jams and pastas — fresh, frozen and dried in an endless variety of shapes. Also walls of impressively well-stocked dairy and meat cases. I had trouble deciding on my purchases, and finally settled upon some pumpkin ravioli, a hunk of pancetta and a bottle of orange-flower water (from France, not Italy.)

MFE Pumpkins

There are 6 Comments ... Shopping at Chelsea Market

November 1, 2006

So NABISCO is a conflation of the National Biscuit Company. Maybe I’ll pick up some ravioli for the Christmas bash.

November 1, 2006

Yes. A portmanteau, if you will.

Raffetto’s has 18 varieties of ravioli.  And I read good things about The Ravioli Store (yes, that’s the name) on Sullivan.

November 2, 2006

You guys are already planning for Christmas? What about Thanksgiving? “Turkham”, anyone? Pumpkin ravioli and orange flower water sound yummy, healthy and refreshing. Any Chinese copyright violations here? JK.

November 4, 2006

I’ve gotten fresh and hard pasta from Rafetto’s and it’s fantastic. Shapes you never see, parpadelle cut to order and a super friendly staff that chat it up with the regulars. I was surprised I only fell upon it recently as the place is not too far from our abode.

November 9, 2006

“Artisanal cuisine comes alive in front of your very eyes…” why is everybody so obsessed.

November 9, 2006

Blame the media.

Note: Chelsea Wine Vault (pictured in the entry above) is celebrating its 9th anniversary on Saturday, November 11 from 1-6pm with a “wine and food extravaganza with over 35 different wines from around the world, unusual assorted cheeses from Whole Foods, and many more delights.”

Go for it ...