Friday, July 11, 2008
PODCAST: Meatpacking District
High fashion dangles from hangars where slabs of meat once hung from hooks. Could the world of New York real estate provide a less obvious analogy?
How did the land surrounding an old 19th century fortress develop into the city's mainline distributor for produce and meat? And how did that once bustling place transform itself from the dilapidated home of leather bars and transsexual prostitutes to a hot spot of high fashion stores and boutique hotels? Welcome to the Meatpacking District, one of Manhattan's strangest neighborhoods.
Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE
Fort Gansevoort, built between 1808 and 1812, was the first significant structure building in the area that would become known as the Meatpacking District
The West Washington Market, circa 1936, although they had been opened since the late 1800s. There were actually ten of these buildings in a row, filled with thousands of pounds of meat, stored with the latest renovations in refrigeration. This particular shed specialized in poultry. The Gansevoort producer market would be directly behind the camerawoman (in this case, Berniece Abbott).
The absolute chaos is nicely depicted in this shot, with the West Washington Markets to the back.
Al Pacino in the film 'Cruisin', a rather dated but provocative thriller set in the Meatpacking District and using a few of its sex clubs and leather bars as backdrops
Jackie 60 was one of New York's most creative club nights, drawing an assortment of people brave enough to venture into the Meatpacking at night. Here, Jackie regular Deborah Harry hams it up with the Dueling Bankheads
Hogs and Heifers
An archetypical building of the neighborhood, this two-story warehouse was created by ripping down floors from taller five-story tenements in 1940
A few buildings still remain in the area that harken back to its days as rowhouses. Miraculously, this one still stands, as charming as ever.
The R&L Restaurant, after years as the beloved restauarant Florent, is back to its old self. Florent closed just last month.
The building to the left stands on the exact spot of Fort Gansevoort and the original location of the Gansevoort Market
Popular bistro Pastis, God love 'em, makes it home in a former stables and was also reduced in floors, from three to two
The neighborhood will be changed forever once the unique, crazy, foolish, beautiful High Line Building dangling over the former elevated train is completed later this year. Below the High Line itself is being transformed into a 'floating park'.