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Meatpacking District

meat-packing-district-nyWhile it used to be an area full of Butchers and factories. The Meatpacking district as locals call the area from West 14th St to Ganesvoort and from the Hudson River to East Hudson Street is now is full of the hottest bars, clubs, shops and restaurants in the city. On the weekends its the place to be for brunch and in the evenings regardless of the day of the week you are sure to find a party !


For seeing and being seen it is beyond compare...Just grab a table at Pastis and watch the parade of fashionistas ,chef, tourists ,moms with strollers and celebrities wandering through the renovated meat shop and factory buildings now converted into fabulous glass industrial design style architecture.  It has far surpassed 5th Avenue for shopping with the hottest designers and new boutiques vying for the wallets of both tourists and locals alike and for Foodies it is the place to be with the Chelsea Market and chef from all over the world firing up any possible kind of cuisine you could imagine. The larger restaurants can do upwards of 700 tables a night and  the smaller are so exclusive you have to book months in advance just to get a seat at the bar !


Historically the Meatpacking District began its life as a vacation area for people living on Wall Street when 14th St was still the highest point of development on the island. It also was the home of Fort Ganesvoort imagine. The larger restaurants can do upwards of 700 tables a night and  the smaller are so exclusive you have to book months in advance just to get a seat at the bar !


Historically the Meatpacking District began its life as a vacation area for people living on Wall Street when 14th St was still the highest point of development on the island. It also was the home of Fort Ganesvoort. While there were a few row houses and tenements, the area began to really develop in the mid 1850s with the advent of industrialisation came factories and mills producing and processing Iron,Terracotta,Paper,Lumber and Turpentine


Once the civil war ended the Meatpacking district became an unsavory place where the elevated trains once they were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s ran through acting as a transport line connecting the cities factories to the larger freight yards outside of town. Beneath these el lines the citys meat and poultry markets were held along with cigar factories and other import businesses which took over tin the place of the early heavy industry that was occupying the area. As the country began to shift its markets from local and regional green markets held outdoors to smaller and more widespread supermarkets and shops the neighborhood fell into a decline. This trend continued into the late 1970s when a new industry drawn by cheap rents political troubles and the need for a discreet area to create a much needed haven found its niche and the Meatpacking districts gay scene began to flourish.


There was no worry about the neighbors since it was only meat factories so sex clubs and S&m bars began to spring up everywhere with the New York City Police force and the Mafia joining together taking cuts of the profits.


This time period solidified the areas reputation as somewhere you would not want to walk around to put it lightly with a huge amount of drug dealing and prostitution. Then as the AIDS epidemic became a great concern in the city government crackdowns began shuttering clubs and bars as well as sweeping the streets and arresting both corrupt cops,pimps and dealers along with patrons.


What was left when this ended was a huge amount of beautiful old factories with no business daring to even consider opening in an area known for being one of the worst in the city.


Enter the fashion community who decided that the amazing interiors plus the proximity to both Chelsea and the West Village made this location perfect for a base of young new designers to open shop in. That set the ball rolling and today the Meatpacking district is the hottest area in town. With the restoration and creation of the high line park. Hotels like the DREAM Ganesvoort and Standard opened incredible locations with stunning rooftop bars and pools. Chef like Morimoto Ramsey and Collichlio have huge restaurants that seat hundreds at a time and there are many small places that are secret gems. Bars like the Boom Boom Room atop the Standard and TenJune give new meaning to the nightlife scene.


Chelsea Market with its massive selection of international foods,baked goods and teas along with the incredible selection of fruits and veggies at the Manhattan fruit company rounds out the food experience and the Wine vault is sure to have a bottle or 5 to enjoy.


As for shopping you can take your pick from high end designers like Diane Von Furstenburg ,or Alexander McQueen(Forever missed!), All Saints, The Ernest Sewn for the best jeans you will ever wear because they will CUSTOM MAKE THEM FOR YOU !!!, Ports 1961 or hit Scoop for smaller one off designers. For home furnishings try Vitra,Hudson Furniture or DWR(Design Within Reach).


Places to eat: 5ninth, Brassiere Beaumarchais (BEST BRUNCH PLACE EVER !), Abe and Arthur’s, Sea Thai, Spice, Pastis, Catch, Fig and Olive,  TOY, Morimoto, The Standard Grill, Hog and Pit.


 

 

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