Photos: A peek beneath Manhattan's storied Chelsea neighborhood

On Thursday, September 8, 60 keen history buffs and photographers gathered in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood for a camera-ready adventure. They wandered the former theater district and center of contemporary art, learning about its history and how to capture it with their phones, led by Big Onion Walking Tours' Ted and Caroline and hosted by xAd.

Photo by @izapaez

Photo by @izapaez

Renzo Grande (@aliveinnyc) joined the tour, sharing tips and tricks for the most Instagram-friendly shots. To offer structure and keep photos interesting, participants were encouraged to experiment and capture images fitting the themes "Listening," "Freedom," and "My New York."

Photo by @aizeda_c

Photo by @aizeda_c

Photo by @cyberslate

Photo by @cyberslate

Photo by @e_inkwell

Photo by @e_inkwell

Tour-goers also learned all about the storied neighborhood. Did you know...

  • In the basement of the former YMCA located at 7th Avenue and W 23rd Street, Charles E. Merrill met Edmund C. Lynch, and later formed Merrill Lynch?

  • There are fewer than 10 wood-framed houses in Manhattan, and three of them are on the block between 9th Avenue and W 21st Street?

  • The General Theological Seminary at 440 W 21st Street contains the oldest college quad in the city?

Photo by @paulinealcera

Photo by @paulinealcera

To cap off the tour, the photographers gathered at a local bar for drinks, photo-sharing, and more conversations about photography and NYC history with new friends.

Renzo and the TEDxNewYork team chose winning photos from the impressive selection of shots the night yielded.

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Photo by @andreskishimoto

Photo by @andreskishimoto