Chelsea, the area around the Meat Packing District, was originally named in 1750 by Captain Thomas Clarke, as a name for his estate, which covers roughly the same area that 'Chelsea' does today. Clarke's grandson, Clement Clarke Moore grew up in the mansion, which was on 23rd Street, but divided the land into separate lots in 1830. (Side note: he also went on to write "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" which cemented the connection between Saint Nicholas and Christmas). The area continued to be a wealthy suburb until the opening of the Hudson River Railroad opened nearby in the 1850's, and the area became even less wealthy in the 1870's when the first elevated railroad was built running through the area. Eventually, the area became another hot spot for artists and bohemians and was an original capital of the moving picture world, until movie makers decided to move to Hollywood. Today, it is wealthy and trendy area with a lot of experimental architecture and many art galleries. 

Hotel Chelsea aka Chelsea Hotel 
Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe
in the Chelsea Hotel
The Hotel Chelsea is a famous historical fixture in Manhattan, mainly because of the people who stayed and lived there. In its earliest times, guests included Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, O. Henry, Arthur Miller, and Mark Twain. Later on, mid and late 20th century guests included Willem de Kooning, Frieda Kahlo, Jackson Pollack, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Jim Carroll, Iggy Pop, and Leonard Cohen. It is also the scene for the Andy Warhol movie, Chelsea Girls. It is often mentioned in these artists work, because it was such a strong point and a meeting place for young artists. A reason that it attracted so many artists was because the management allowed payment to be in guests' artwork, and they could stay for extended periods.  The hotel has since been renovated, major artwork was taken off the walls, and it is now apartments.