A key intersection for exploring Chelsea, especially in recent years as the surrounding blocks have undergone an almost hyper gentrification, 9th Avenue and West 14th Street is a good spot to begin a tour of the area. Catch a bus or cab here, and you're near many interesting things: the two or three blocks to the south make up the once-rough but now fashionable Meatpacking District
. Walk a block east to reach the city's distinctive, elevated High Line park
. Heading north, though it takes you directly into Chelsea, is less interesting for visitors - 9th Avenue is fringed by mostly prosaic businesses as well as several blocks of housing projects. However, just a block north is one of the neighborhood's key attractions, the rambling gourmet food concourses of Chelsea Market
(pictured here, they occupy the nine-story building on the left, with the American flag waving atop it).
You'll find more to see and do if you walk east one long block along West 14th Street, turning either south down 8th Avenue into the West Village or north up 8th Avenue along a bustling stretch of gay-frequented businesses that includes restaurants, bars, porn shops, and workaday businesses. Note that the intersection of 8th and West 14th is also the nearest subway stop to the Meatpacking District - you can grab the L Train here, which runs across 14th and eventually into Brooklyn, or pick up the A, C, or E, which connect the neighborhood to Brooklyn via Greenwich Village and the Financial District, and to the Bronx and Queens via Midtown and the Upper West Side.