Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Meatpacking District/High Line Park

In the fabulous Meatpacking district today for a business lunch... Ah, how it has changed from the days of curious smells, warehouses—for carcasses, not loft living—and a certain seedy element that made it unique...Remarkably, Hogs and Heifers, the down-and-dirty bar that inspired "Coyote Ugly," remains intact.For the most part, these days it's a West Side destination for high-end boutiques, fine dining and million-dollar living... clean and beautiful, if not a little lacking in novel charm.Lunch at the stylish Standard Grill, with the enormous, boxy Standard Hotel towering above it—and actually positioned on the High Line Park train trestle.Meanwhile, High Line Park opened earlier this year to great fanfare—an old train trestle that originally spanned from Spring Street in Soho to Penn Station at 34th Street, some 30 feet in the air. It was constructed in the 1930s because cars and trains kept colliding on 10th Avenue, giving the area the nickname Death Avenue. Fun!

In the 1950s, interstates took over replaced the railway to move goods, and in 1980, part of the track was demolished and the rest permanently shut down—until construction began in 2002 to convert it into a beautiful, serene, park in the sky. The part leg opened in June, with an extension due to launch next year. I took a lovely walk before lunch. Well done! The entrance...Up, over and onward...