Friday, June 20, 2014

A lovely afternoon in the Meatpacking District - NYC

Map of Meatpacking District
In the 1820's the Meatpacking District of New York was primarily a residential area mixed in with a few markets. People also moved into tenements in the Meatpacking District in the 1800s to escape epidemics in what was then the main part of New York. By the early 1900's, 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants filled the district; by the 1930s, those houses produced the nation's third-largest volume of dressed meats. During this time the trendiest thing worn in the meatpacking district was a blood-stained apron accessorized with a butchers knife. Although the meatpacking companies still operate in the district, the Meat Packing district (or Gansevoort Market as the district is officially known) has become one of New York City's most cutting edge and hip neighborhoods. Littered with chic restaurants, fashionable (not cheap) boutiques and exclusive clubs. I mean, Samantha Jones wouldn't just move into any old neighborhood right?! While I was in NYC I got to reconnect up with a wonderful friend and former Venetian (Venice Beach that is) named Jessey. Although he lives in Soho, he works and plays in the Meat Packing district and we spent the afternoon catching up while visiting some of his favorite spots! 

2:00 PM:  Soho House 

Truly an oasis in New NYC's urban jungle. 
No photos allowed! Snapped a pic before I knew the rules!

I met Jessey at his second office, the Soho House. Although I have visited a few of the other Soho House locations, I found the New York house to be particularly...cool. A funhouse for adults, the membership only Soho House offers a variety of activities. I could have spent hours exploring the library room, watching a film in the screening room, rummaging through the Pantry bar (a meat and cheese counter with self service candy bar), drinking an old fashioned at the club bar or could have just played some pool in the drawing room (not to mention taken a million photos in their retro photo booth!). However, I was happy to lay by the pool and sip my "green juice" (some sort of delicious healthy tonic concocted by the mixologists at the House), while Jessey indulged in a mouthwatering creation from the rooftop salad bar. Although I saw a few famous faces, no one was paying much attention to them and the general population was just happy doing their own thing. It was a very relaxing non-pretentious vibe and people were enjoying lunch, swimming in the pool and basking in the sun. 

4:00 PM: Coffee and stroll through The High Line
Bella Donovan - Heavy, comforting, deeply fruited
After the Soho House Jessey and I took a short stroll over to the High Line. Designed by Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfros, the High Line is a one-mile-long public park built on an elevated railway that hovers over the meatpacking district. Opened to the public in June 2009, just a few years ago the High Line's demolition seemed imminent. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the High Line's restoration is at the "core of the administration's plans to revitalize the Far West Side," forming "a necklace of dynamic waterfront communities, each with their own assets." Along the public park are many different gourmet food carts as well as ice cream vendors. I was excited to see one of my favorite coffee roasters, Oakland based Blue Bottle Coffee Co. I picked up a cup of joe as well as a bag of freshly ground beans and Jessey and I set off on our walk. 

A variety of Art along the skyline park! 
The 35-foot-high structure blends plant life with long, narrow planks, forming a smooth, linear, virtually seamless walking surface. It features viewing platforms, sun decks, restaurants, and gathering areas used for performances, art exhibitions, and educational programs.


Walk,  talk and breathe in the purple lavender! 
In the summer the High Line is open daily from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM and even hosts free evenings of music and dancing! 

A wonderful marriage of nature and urban life, a beautiful urbanscape!
Have your lunch and see what tales unfold at the High Line's urban theater!
High line also offers an "Urban theater" at 10th Avenue and 17th Street: a window over the avenue provides the viewer an unusual perspective of the neighborhood, its inhabitants and it's on goings. 


6:00 PM:  Oysters at  Chelsea Market 

In 1912 Nabisco sandwiched the Oreo here!
Originally the headquarters of the Nabisco corporation (and the birthplace of the Oreo cookie), the block-width Chelsea Market now houses the city’s biggest collection of gourmet-food retailers. An 800-foot-long concourse burrows through the heart of an old baking factory filled with fountains, sculptures, and a woozy array of shops. It also houses one of my new favorite sea food stops, the Lobster Place

Clams, Cockles and shrimp to name a few! A fabulous variety of the fruits from the sea!

Eat at the bar or grab some sushi to go!
Inside the Lobster Place is a fantastic sushi bar. They even deliver! ($150 minimum). 

I'll take one of each please! 
However, my favorite part of Lobster Place is the Oyster bar! A mixture of East Coast and West Coast Oysters, the no frills bar is a wonderful place to pop a squat and try a variety of fresh and delicious goodies. 

The perfect way to end a special and lovely afternoon in the Meat Packing district! 

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