OLD NEW YORK, NEW NEW YORK: AT LEAST IT’S NEW YORK!
October 29, 2015
I am a fall intern for the Meatpacking Business Improvement District. As a native New Yorker, I admit that I haven’t spent much time getting to know the neighborhood. Up until recently I only saw Meatpacking as a place to go out until the wee hours of the morning. But what I’ve discovered coming to work and immersing myself in its day-to-day life, is that Meatpacking is home to top restaurants, corporate headquarters, and fashion forward thinkers and has become a thriving community.
I also came to realize that the area caters to EVERYONE from the high heel wearing and the suited up to casual tourists and school age kids with backpacks, and even some of the “ladies who lunch”. I also learned that the district has quite a storied history.
There are so many unique places that have been serving the area for years, like Hector’s Place, an old school diner that opened in 1949, and Gansevoort market, first opened in 1884. Today Gansevoort Market in a wonderfully hectic and airy food-hall, but when it was first opened, it started was a farmers market for buying and selling produce. Today’s version is a great example of adaptive reuse and a modern twist on its original purpose, and its something that makes this neighborhood feel so specifically New York. But the greatest thing about this neighborhood is that even though it’s kept that old New York feel, the Meatpacking District has opened up its doors to new and innovative ideas that bring a constant and diverse stream of people to the area.
Upon making this observation my boss gave me the opportunity and challenge to participate Neighborhood Night Out (NNO), organized by us for one of the most notable office tenants of the area, Google so that I could deepen my understanding of the area’s depth of businesses. The catch, was that I had to share it with all of you by writing an article about the experience. NNO is essentially, Google’s employees night out, and the team at the BID leverages relationships with all the local businesses to create pathways for Googlers to experience the district.
The tour started out on Hudson St. at Flow, a very unique space located in what’s known to locals as the Little Flatiron building. Flow is both a venue, and a company that creates moving technology which allows for the creative division and use of any space! It’s a bit hard to describe but it was cool to discover this business based here, and also I was floored by how this concept is so forward and bold, much like the Meatpacking District.
Next up was a stop at Bubby’s, on Gansevoort and Washington St. At this restaurant serving new twists on classic American fare, the group learned how to make the signature homemade spiked old-fashioned cider and got to try Barbacoa brisket with Swiss cheese, pickled onion and mayonnaise on a butter bun. It was delectable to say the least, basically what food dreams are made of. This place emanates that “homey” and family friendly feel, two descriptors this New Yorkers never thought she’d use to describe a Meatpacking-based businesses.
The next stop on the tour was Lululemon on West 14th St. This experience was all about visioning and goal setting. I learned that Lululemon, a darling of the recent athleisure revolution, truly pride themselves on helping their customers, and people in general really, reach their full potential in mind, body and soul. This store is not just about apparel. They hold events such as self-defense classes and workshops for setting fitness and health goals. It was so refreshing to discover I could get my Zen on in the heart of Meatpacking.
Finally, we ended the night with sunset views and drinks at Ph-D at the Dream Hotel! Its good to see that while the Meatpacking District has evolved to incorporate a host of different types of businesses it still knows how to do evening cocktails, right.
…the greatest thing about this neighborhood is that even though it’s kept that old New York feel, the Meatpacking District has opened up its doors to new and innovative ideas that bring a constant and diverse stream of people to the area.
I got the chance to explore and play in a way that provided a bit of a “behind the curtain” look at a classic New York neighborhood that I’d all but written off for one thing. What I found was that old cliché – don’t judge a book by its cover, or in this case, but an old reputation.
This neighborhood’s got a lot more to offer than just nightclubs. It has a charm and luxury like you can’t imagine but also is super accessible. This neighborhood will continue to evolve in fashion, technology, art, and food while still keeping its unique, old New York feel and that, is the dynamic that I know you will feel when you give it a second look.