Saturday, April 10, 2010

NYC Random Bites: Spring Break

meat packing

Where did you go for spring break? Daytona Beach? Ft. Lauderdale? or maybe South Padre Island? Where do kids go these days for that right of passage called Spring Break?

We went to our favorite city, New York.

So much to do, so much to see, so much to eat, so little time.

The last trip, we did the Lower East Side, this time we chose the Meat Packing District.

The Meat Packing District, a chic area in Manhattan, runs roughly from West 14th Street south to Gansevoort Street, and from the Hudson River east to Hudson Street, although it has extended to the north to West 16th Street and east beyond Hudson Street in recent years.

At the turn of the century there were 250 slaughter houses and meat packing plants.
As a kid, I remember it being a dangerous neighborhood, bloody aproned butchers by day, and transvestite prostitutes by night. We were not allowed to visit this neighborhood, even driving thru the cobblestone streets could scare a kid.

Today, like most NYC neighborhoods, the place has been totally gentrified.
It is now the highest rent district in the city. Most of the meat packing houses are gone, except a few, and it is now home to expensive chic hotels, trendy restaurants and a 24 hour pulse.

One of the nice things about the change of the neighborhood is that the original buildings that once housed the meat plants are still there, but they have been turned into high end fashion boutiques, an Apple store and trendy restaurants. The cobble stone streets still remain, so wear high heels with caution.

The Old Homestead Steakhouse still hangs its original sign proudly, but most of the old original equipment is long gone. Hogs and Heifers, which used to be a rough bar, original to the neighborhood, still remains, but is now a tourist attraction.

The Highline is the old "L" train (elevated subway train), that has been transformed into a public park.

Plants have been planted on the old abandoned tracks, and public spaces are open for people to eat, sun bathe and walk for blocks overlooking the city on one side, the Hudson River on the other.

There is a hotel and restaurant built right under the L. It's called The Standard.
Food is great, and there is a Biergarten outside for the 20 set with ping pong tables and loud music.

You can hear the buzz from across Washington Street.
This neighborhood is always packed with tourists speaking Italian, Spanish and French, along with the usual models and fashionistas.

We had a delicious Pat LaFrieda NY strip with duck fat potatoes, it was like butta!

Don't miss the BEST ice cream in NYC. It is from the Van Leeuwen Artisan ice cream truck. It is usually parked along Washington Street and in the summer months the line can be very long. We tried the ginger, cinnamon and chocolate flavors, all amazing!

The End.


Ciao Chow Linda said...

Great post Stacey. I love the new high line park and how it's become a wonderful place to stroll instead of an eyesore. It's a really interesting neighborhood and those two fashionistas (the handsome one in the grey and white shirt and the cute one with the boots) in the photos fit right in.

doggybloggy said...

nice post!

Shirley said...

Thanks for the tour!! Love the chaises for sunning. And the plants growing in and around the tracks. The models aren't bad either. Bare knees yet!! As usual great photos.

Lori Lynn said...

Nothing like being a tourist in your own town. That sounds like a great way to spend a Spring day, Appreciate the tour, I gotta check it out next time I'm back there!

kat said...

Looks like so much fun. We keep saying we need to plan a trip to NYC. Our spring break this year will be in New Orleans next month

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I love arm chair touring with you around NYC. I can't imagine our not visiting the East Coast again, with a local who knows about all these hot spots. Those potatoes...SWOON. Duck fat? OMG!! That's total food porn.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Duck fat? and you look like that! You two are the cutest couple... Can you bottle your metabolism!!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Great tour! Sometimes the best "getaways" are right nearby!

The Italian Dish said...

Wow, great neighborhood tips! Great post.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Looks a fun trip. All the food looks good too!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Great tour Stacey. I love those gorgeous chaise lounges. The are just what I would need for a nap after those lovely potatoes in duck fat and that gorgeous NY strip.

Eileen said...

I would so like to bring my girls to NYC this fall. My eldest daughter was born out there and has been back several times, but my youngest daughter has never been to NYC (poor kid only gets to go to Paris). I think the 3 of us would have a blast. When we lived there, the Meat Packing District was not a destination yet.