With classes back in session, there will be a ton of events to plan -- fundraisers, student showcases, conferences, and socials. HELEN MILLS is here to help!
As a HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater event host or attendee, you may be wondering what else the Chelsea neighborhood has to offer before or after your event with us?
Whether you are a local or visiting from out of town, we’ve compiled a list to help you make the most of your time while visiting our venue. All recommendations are located within a three-block radius, so you’ll be sure to find a little bit of anything and everything. Whether you’re looking for a scenic walk, a place to dine out, grab a drink, or check off your culture quota, this is the place to find it. The team at the HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater warmly welcomes you to your event and into our neighborhood!
THE FOOD AND DRINK CONNOISSEUR:
Whether you’ve come to HELEN MILLS for an event in the theater or event space, the vast variety of restaurants around HELEN MILLS is sure to fulfill any craving.
1. Our/ New York Vodka (151 W 26th Street)
Our/New York Vodka is Manhattan's first distillery since prohibition. Conveniently located only a few doors down from HELEN MILLS, you can easily extend your evening of networking with specialty vodka tastings and behind-the-scenes tour. Insider tip: mention that you are a guest of HELEN MILLS and receive their Happy Hour pricing on all drinks (any time of day/night)!
Image courtesy of ournewyorkvodka.com
2. The Smith (1150 Broadway, at 27th Street)
Located just 1 avenue over from HELEN MILLS, The Smith takes the local, the natural and the sustainable into high consideration with their menus. As makers of great food, great cocktails, and a great atmosphere, the Smith is the perfect place to wine and dine after a daytime event at HELEN MILLS.
Image courtesy of thesmithrestaurant.com
3. The NoMad Restaurant (1170 Broadway)
Located in the lobby of the NoMad Hotel, the NoMad Restaurant is the perfect locale to impress your clients after your media or press event at HELEN MILLS. Our personal recommendation? Be sure to request a table in the library or lantern-lit parlor for the most unique and sophisticated dining atmosphere!
Image courtesy of ny.eater.com
THE OUTDOOR SEEKER:
Don’t let a great night of socializing at HELEN MILLS keep you off your feet before arriving. Those looking to stretch their legs and take in Chelsea's natural sights before a HELEN MILLS event are sure to find something on our list. All located within easy walking distance of HELEN MILLS, you’ll enter your event feeling refreshed by the outdoors and ready for an evening of fun.
1. Madison Square Park (Flatiron District)
Located between the intersection of 5th Ave and Broadway at 23rd street, Madison Square Park is home to stunning art installations, quiet reflection and breathtaking gardens. Whether you wish to lounge on one of several benches lining the park, grab a burger from Shack Shake or entertain yourself by scoping out the city’s most adorable dogs before your event at HELEN MILLS, this is the local spot for some much-appreciated fresh air.
Image courtesy of madisonsquarepark.org
2. Flatiron Building (Flatiron District)
After taking in the beauty of Madison Square Park, be sure to stop and bask in the unique architecture of the nearby Flatiron Building. This groundbreaking skyscraper is a triangular 22-story steel-framed landmark that currently houses Macmillan Publishing and has been featured in numerous motion pictures.
Image courtesy of crystalgalerie.com
3. Gilsey House (E 29th & Broadway)
Continuing the historic tour of Chelsea, and before heading over to HELEN MILLS, be sure not to overlook the lesser-known Gilsey House. A New York City landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former 8-story 300-room hotel was a personal favorite of Diamond Jim Brady, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Clemens.
Image courtesy of newyorkarchitecture.com
THE CULTURE SEEKER:
Perhaps of interest to those hosting and attending a film festival or theater event at HELEN MILLS, you can start your culture-filled day surrounded by some of world’s most acclaimed artists and artworks only a few blocks away.
1. The Museum at FIT (227 W 27th Street)
For the fashion forward member of the party, The Museum at FIT is located in the Fashion Institute of Technology. It is home to rotating exhibitions along with permanent garment and accessory collections. After taking a walk through the museum, you’ll be sure to find an outfit inspiration fitting for your next event invite at HELEN MILLS.
Image courtesy of businessfashion.com
2. Casey Kaplan Gallery (121 W 27th Street)
Started in 1995 in a single room in an upper floor loft in SoHo, this contemporary art gallery found its home in Chelsea exactly ten years later. Just around the block from our venue, on the street known as Gallery Row, you’ll find yourself surrounded by geometric abstractions, performance art, photography and drawing; all done by artists just emerging on the scene.
Image courtesy of Casey Kaplan Gallery
THE “KEEP THE PARTY GOING” SEEKER:
For those looking to keep the party going after the bar closes at HELEN MILLS, our neighborhood is home to a unique and prevalent bar scene. Bring your friends or colleagues out for one more round of drinks at these distinctive bars that help give Chelsea its one-of-a-kind feel.
1. Rare View Rooftop (152 W 26th Street)
As one of New York City’s only year-round rooftop bars, this is the perfect place to grab a bite with coworkers after your all-day meeting at HELEN MILLS. You’ll dine against a backdrop of lush landscaping, overhanging lights and vintage photographs - and best of all, it's located right across the street from the HELEN MILLS venue! Insider tip: mention that you are a guest of HELEN MILLS and receive 10% off their Bar & Grill downstairs for lunch or dinner!
Image courtesy of eventup.com
2. Barcade (148 W 24th Street)
Looking to let out your inner child after a formal press event, perhaps? Then Barcade is the place to go! Known as “the original arcade” bar, grab a beer on tap and let that competitive streak loose with arcade games such as Asteroids, Frogger and Super Mario Brothers (and those are just to name a few).
Image courtesy of Gothamist.com
3. Sid’s Gold Request (165 W 26th Street)
What better way to extend the HELEN MILLS party than to let loose at this contemporary piano bar? Divided into two rooms, patrons can enjoy the marble topped bar up front surrounded by cocktail memorabilia or sing along at the Baldwin piano bar in the back. With music leaning more toward pop, rock, soul and even punk, your evening at HELEN MILLS is sure to end on a “spirited” note upon entering this fine establishment just a few doors away.
Image courtesy of sidgolds.com
HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater is proud to be apart of the beautiful Chelsea neighborhood since opening our venue doors in 2005. From the beautiful architecture, scenic walks, and endless dining options - we assure you there is never a dull moment!
Want even more recommendations for our neighborhood? See links below for more pre- and post-event inspiration:
Written and researched by Katie Hands and Jessica Stucke
We are excited to host NYC Black Pride's upcoming SONGS FOR MARSHA TOO: A MUSICAL CELEBRATION at HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018.
Read our exclusive Q&A with NYC Black Pride's director, Lee Soulja, below and mark your calendars so you can come show your support!
What is NYC Black Pride?
NYC Black Pride is a five day festival of multicultural events targeting LGBT people of color. These events are executed in collaboration with other community based organization such as Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and Gay Men of African Decent (GMAD).
What prompted the creation of Black Pride in NYC?
The rise of Black Pride in NYC and other major cities around the country began in the late 1990s. It served primarily as a way to give voice to and culturally celebrate Gay Pride. In NYC, Black Pride resonates deeper than any other city across the country because the overall movement of Prides and Stonewall originated here. It was LGBT people of color that were at the forefront of that movement. In particular Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Storme Delarverie were the key figures. That true history has literally been whitewashed and/or forgotten. So the need for Black Pride became increasingly more important. On June 28, 1997, the first Black Pride event took place in NYC.
Who are you in the community?
Under the direction of Lee Soulja, NYC Black Pride is no longer solely just a once a year celebratory event. It has over the last decade grown to become a voice of visibility and a source of support for the LGBT community of color all year round.
Why is it so important?
Black Pride is so vitally important because we are the only ones acknowledging, celebrating and historically archiving the contributions of LGBT people of color. In order to breakdown stigma and end discrimination against the LGBT community, we have got to tell and document those stories of our major contributions to the world.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far?
NYC Black Pride was not the first Black Pride in the country, BUT we are surely the ones leading the change of the movement for the next generation. We have changed the narrative that Prides are nothing more than a bunch of parties. I am proud to say that we are advocating for the needs of the community to the Local and State government.
What are you hoping to accomplish next?
We are working toward opening a Center for Black Pride. This would be a cultural and educational center that would house and archive LGBT people of color history. It would also be a safe space for the youth to gather, learn and empower themselves.
How can we get involved and/or show our support?
If you are interested in attending one of our events or supporting the organization, please contact us through our website: http://www.nycblackpride.com or on any of our social media pages!
4 Essential Event Planning Tips
Whether you’re looking to host your corporate launch party or throw the Bar/Bat Mitzvah party of your child's wildest dreams... your event isn’t just going to come together all by itself! We’ve compiled a list of our 4 top event planning tips (plus our own insider tips) to help make sure your event is a complete success!
1. Plan Ahead
The success of your event is determined long before the event day arrives. To put on a successful event, you need to plan it out well in advance. If you’re holding a large event with a lot of attendees, you’ll want to start brainstorming months beforehand. Depending on what kind of event you’re putting on, you’ll most importantly want to book your venue ahead of time to give you enough breathing room to put everything else together.
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: We are busiest in the spring and fall months - grab your ideal dates as early as possible or consider switching to either an afternoon event (for more availability) or a summertime event (for more affordability)!
You’re going to need a way to let everyone know about your event - or else you might be the only one enjoying your own party! A great way to invite guests, keep track of RSVPs, and provide your guests with all the necessary information and updates about the event is registering it with an online event management tool. This allows you to keep everything nicely organized online and easily share your information via email and social media.
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: Make sure you set a clear RSVP date for your guests. We recommend 2 weeks before your event since final headcounts are typically due 1 week before the event - this gives you an extra week of wiggle room to hunt down anyone who is being lazy about RSVPing!
3. Food, Drink, and Supplies
When you book your venue, make sure there’s someone accessible who can help you plan out your event in the months leading up. You’ll want a reliable contact making sure all food, drinks, and supplies are taken care of. Some events will provide catering packages and some will require you to coordinate out your own food and drink situation. You’ll also want to know what’s included with your booking in terms of supplies like tablecloths, plates, silverware, balloons, and other decorations. Make sure you take all of these things into consideration from the very beginning since they can quickly add up to a surprising additional cost!
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: We have a supportive venue team that you can reach out to anytime during your planning process with questions! If you choose to utilize our in-house services, we even include all our food/beverage menus & pricing in the initial contract so there are no surprises later. Oh, and did we mention that our in-house AV specs and furniture are included too?
It might just be co-worker karaoke (believe me, that’s very entertaining), but odds are you’ll want to have some kind of entertainment at your event. Whether it’s a guest speaker, musician, or private film screening, there’s going to be a fair amount of preparation required. If you’re having a speaker come in, you’ll need to coordinate details such as if there’s a stage or where they’ll be speaking from, the microphone, sound system, and lighting. Even if you are just having a little office karaoke party, you’ll still need to ensure your venue has the appropriate accommodations or at least has the option to add them later.
HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: Is the entertainment a main focus of your event? Consider renting our intimate theater, located right downstairs from our main event space, for an easy transition from cocktails to showtime.
Don’t underestimate it - there’s a lot that goes into putting on an event! Who’s invited, how they’re being invited, if you’re having food and drinks, where you’re having the event in the first place… the list goes on! Make sure you’re as prepared as possible by having a strong reliable connection with someone who works at the venue you’re booking (like us!), and doing so plenty of time in advance to be ready for whatever hiccups you may or may not encounter.
Cheers to planning your next great event and many more! - The Helen Mills Team
Friends, let us tell you about this bat mitzvah. Our venue is known for hosting great parties, and this celebration was no exception. From the pops of hot pink to the Chanel logos, Cha Cha and her team of vendors worked tirelessly to transform our event space into a chic and glamorous night club fit for a diva.
Scroll down for more photos captured by the fabulous Jennifer Weisbord.
The evening kicked off with an intimate ceremony in our theater. Hot pink uplighting and twinkle lights gave guests a taste of the glamour to come in the reception.
Certé kept hungry guests happy and fed all night long.
EK Productions kept the energy alive all night with dancing, singing, and plenty of fist pumping.