A longtime Chelsea resident, Joshua David took an active role in the future of the neighborhood — and the entire city — after meeting Robert Hammond at a community board meeting in 1999. The two would go on to co-found Friends of the High Line, embarking on a decade-long journey to turn the abandoned elevated train tracks snaking up the west side of Manhattan into one of the most successful urban reclamation projects the world has recently seen. The High Line, running from Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street (initial designs for the uncompleted third phase were recently released), attracts over two million visitors per year and has spurred $2 billion in local investment and development. Last year, David and Hammond released High Line: The Inside Story on New York City’s Park in the Sky, a beautiful book documenting the transformation of the train tracks into one of New York City’s signature public spaces.
I’ve been living in the neighborhood since: 1986
The best thing to happen to the neighborhood in that time: The High Line! And Chelsea Market.
And the worst: The closing of 18th and 8th, Big Cup, and Bright Food Shop (to be replaced by Qdoba!) were 8th Avenue tragedies — tragedies!
Where I go for my morning coffee: I grind beans (Vienna Roast) from Manhattan Fruit Exchange at Chelsea Market and brew my own.
Favorite restaurant: I can’t pick one. Colicchio & Sons, Cookshop, Omai, La Promenade des Anglais, Del Posto, Trestle on Tenth, Co., and Chelsea Square diner, among others.
Best brunch: I love Cookshop for brunch.
Favorite bar: There’s no place better for a shady rendezvous than the dark haunt of a bar at El Quixote in the Chelsea Hotel.