Chelsea is located on the West Side of Manhattan, New York City. It is located to the south of the Garment District, and north of the Meatpacking District; it runs west from Broadway to the Hudson River. The neighborhood is primarily residential, and its many businesses reflect that: restaurants and clothing stores are plentiful. Chelsea has a large gay population. Chelsea is an increasingly significant art gallery district.

Chelsea was briefly at the center of a media circus when Sid Vicious (a member of the rock group the Sex Pistols) was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen on October 12, 1978, while staying in the Chelsea Hotel. The hotel also owes some of its fame to Leonard Cohen who wrote a song of the same name in 1967. Also, Jon Bon Jovi shot the video for his song "Midnight in Chelsea", from his 1997 solo project Destination Anywhere, in the hotel.