Cafes and Bakeries

When one thinks of Chelsea and food it is nearly impossible to not have cafes and bakeries come to mind. With Chelsea having over thirty cafes and twenty bakeries in the area alone, most people are in the area for one or the other, if not both

The Cafes add to the tranquility and artsy tone of Chelsea. They are often places for people to unwind or get work done. When we stopped by the popular Café Grumpy we initially felt the tranquil/productive atmosphere of the place. We asked a local customer, Katie, why she was there and how often she came. Her response was “I come here every Tuesday and Thursday after work to either finish up a project my boss assigned me or to unwind after a busy days work. For both reasons this place works best.” We then asked her if she lived in the area and she responded, “I live Brooklyn, but in all honesty there aren’t very many nice cafes in Brooklyn as there are here [in Chelsea].” Katie is a direct example of the type of people Chelsea attracts. Tuan states that “when space feels thoroughly familiar to us, it has become a place” (Tuan 73). This notion of familiarity with a space which helps define a place is directly related to Katie. Through her continual encounter with the space of the café she was able to delineate the place itself. Also her actions correlate to how Franck and Stevens express how a loose space is that of one which allows “wide diversity of activities” (Franck & Stevens 5). Katie’s use of the Café as a place to either do work or relax exemplifies this notion of diverse activity and supports Jane Jacobs notion of a successful space having mixed uses.

In addition to Cafés, Chelsea is also known for its abundance in bakeries. These bakeries are home to some of the best pastries and bread in the area. A lot of them are family owned and started from past generations. With that information, the understanding of tradition and culture is expressed and is an attachment of Chelsea.

Work Cited

Tuan, Yi-fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1977. Print.

Franck, Karen A. ., and Quentin Stevens. Loose Space. London: Routledge, 2007. Print.