Originally a busy outdoor food market called the Gansevoort Market, the Meatpacking District eventually grew to become the center of meat distribution for the city. While its traditional borders run from West 14th Street South to Gansevoort Street and from Hudson River East to Hudson Street, the neighborhood has been gradually expanding since the late 1990s, when a place that used to be considered rather shady, began to experience a revitalization.
In the last decade, most of the warehouses have been converted into world class galleries, showrooms, boutiques, clubs and high-end restaurants. The once entirely industrial area offers large, loft spaces perfect for hosting NYC's world-class style, which has flamboyantly arrived to a seemingly unlikely destination.
By day you can visit the numerous salons, galleries and restaurants and by night you can feast on designer vittles if you are lucky enough to get a reservation, and dance and drink with the NYC trendsetters. The Meatpacking District went from an undesirable location to being named “New York’s Most Fashionable Neighborhood” by New York Magazine in 2004.
Attractions and important buildings are the Gansevoort Hotel, the restaurant Pastis, Spice Market, the Soho House Members only club, Jeffery's Department Store, the Condominium Superior Ink.
The high-end stores one can now find in the Meatpacking District include Stella McCartney, Jeffrey New York, CALYPSO by Christiane Celle, Ed Hardy, Theory, Puma Black Store, Scoop, Rubin Chapelle, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenberg, the Apple Store, the Establishment. Restaurants, bars, and clubs include Buddha Bar, Pastis, 5 Ninth, APT, Kiss and Fly, Ara Wine Bar, Bijoux, Brass Monkey, Cielo, Comix, a famous comedy club, El Faro, the oldest Spanish restaurant in New York, Gaslight, Griffin, Highline Restaurant, known for being 3 stories tall and having a waterfall, G-Spa, Hogs & Heiffers, the inspiration for the film, “Coyote Ugly,” Tenjune, Spice Market, SoHo House Members Only, and Level V.
Famous Meatpacking District landmarks include the Hotel Gansevoort and High Line Park. High Line Park itself has a very interesting story, as it a 1.45-mile section of what used to be an elevated railroad for freight trains, the West Side Line, constructed in the 1930s in order to reduce fatal accidents on the street, as well as to offer protection to the Nabisco and Bell Laboratories buildings from theft, that has since been turned into a greenway.
Local museums and art galleries include ARIUM, Heller Gallery, a contemporary sculpture gallery that centers on glass and woodwork, and has been the focal point for glass art since the early 1970s, Bohen Foundation, Go Fish Gallery, Ground Zero Museum Workshop, Leo Kesting Gallery, Milk Sutdios and Gallery, and White Columns, one of the oldest spaces for alternative art in New York. One of the most famous local festivals is the Food Network NYC Wine and Food Festival.
Tourists interested in staying in the area have a number of hotels to choose from, including the aforementioned Hotel Gansevoort, as well as SoHo House, The Standard, and Maritime Hotel, whose rooms are designed to look like ships’ cabins, complete with porthole windows which look out on the Hudson River.
For transportation, people have the options of taking the blue line (A, C, and E trains) or the orange line (B, D, F, and V trains).