New York City is ever changing.  Years ago the Meat Packing Area (MEPA) was a location filled with transvestites and butchers.  Little did anyone know, or at least it wasn't publically written about, a man named William Gottlieb slowly bought up many of the buildings in the meat packing area.  He had a vision.  The vision started with Pastis.  Then he died. 

What has happened since then has been a mixed bag.  The area has changed dramatically as there are maybe one or two butchers left but the community board has not done a great job (IMHO) of not letting the area become a shop of chain stores.  Perhaps the owners of many of the buildings are happy to get the most they can for the rent and those type of chains are the only ones that can afford those rents.  Even the restaurants are all mediocre.  It is beginning to remind me of Columbus Avenue in the 80's.  What happened there is eventually the store fronts ended up going empty because there was nothing unique about the area anymore and the big stores could care less about pulling out and leaving the leases.

Certainly there are a few special stores that you can't find anywhere else in MEPA but I just saw a huge sign that Patagonia is opening on 14th Street.  Regardless, currently next to the Standard there is an open air marketplace with attached kiosks of food and retail.  They did a great job.  It isn't claustrophobic.  There is open spaces to sit and walk. They did a nice job. 

Supposedly there will eventually become a two story farmers market on Gansevoort.  Fingers crossed. Happy to see something good happening in the area…

Comments (Archived):

  1. ivanpope

    Had my NY office (NetNames) right there in the nineties – W14th. The area was dodgy with the transvestive hookers at night and meat wagons in the day (I once came across a huge kidney just sitting in the middle of the pavement). The smell of bins of bones in the summer could be pretty nauseating. However, the place was just on the edge of a turn – there were a few interesting places around and a couple of clubs. Mind you, Hogs and Heffers was still the most interesting place on the strip! Lovely days – I haven’t been back in years. I hear they even did something with that elevated railroad that ran overhead …

    1. Gotham Gal

      hogs and heffers still exists and is always packed.

      1. falicon

        That was always a fun place…Red Rock West used to be just up the street on 17th I think and was also a really fun place (now it’s a really good pizza shop).The best part of that area right now is the elevated park…worth the trek over to that part of town alone…Chelsea Market is a close 2nd (and they are working on expanding from what I hear). Those are both unique/awesome things you can only get down in that part of town right now…