Sometimes when I look around at the city I can hardly recognize it. Really, this city has seen more facelifts than Zsa Zsa Gabor. One upgrade in particular that still makes me shake my head in amazement is the Meatpacking District.
When I was a girl the Meatpacking District was known for large slaughterhouses, tranny hookers, the Mafia, drugs and sex clubs. The vices in the meatpacking district almost overshadowed the meat and was one of the best places to find sin in New York City, outside Times Square of course.
Now Gansevoort Market is a far cry from the days when transsexual prostitute skulked around corners and the mafia ruled the slaughterhouses with an iron, Black Hand. The Meatpacking District is one of the chicest areas in the city with restaurants, bars and clubs that play host to the fierce and fabulous as well as some of the best designer boutiques. Some feel that the Meatpacking District has become too chic for real New Yorkers and is nothing more than a tourist haven like Times Square. Maybe they are right, but something I learned from the tragedy of 911 is that you don’t take any part of this city for granted. So without further adieu, here are my choices for the best that the Meatpacking District has to offer.
409 W. 13th Street New York, NY 10014
After stepping down a dimly lit stairway, you arrive in a sexy subterranean chill zone. RdV takes elegance underground with its plush Baroque style furniture and potted banana trees that add a tropical feel. The candlelit private dining room is a hideaway within a hideaway and provides its diners with an intimate experience. The cuisine definitely lives up to the opulent French setting. I recommend Foie Gras Terrine for an appetizer and Truffled Chicken or Pan Seared Wild Stripped Bass for a main course. RdV holds 150 guests and is the perfect lounge to drink and dine when planning a grown and sexy gathering with friends.
409 W 13th St, New York 10014
Above ground designer David Graziano, designer of RDV, created a posh French bistro. Bagatelle has been dubbed the place to eat for the rich and trendy and is also known for their brunch. I recommend Dimanche – Poule-au-Pot and the Potato Puree. And if you are going to the Caribbean check out Bagatelle’s sister restaurant in Turks and Caicos. Great food + great atmosphere = a complete dining experience.
18 Little West 12th Street New York, NY 10014
Besides the great décor, which resembles a log cabin, the sunken dance floor, and outdoor back yard that has heated lamps in the winter, this club plays host to some of the legends of dance music. Francois K., Marques Wyatt, Jojo Flores, Junior Vasquez, and Roger Sanchez have all spinned in their DJ booth. Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge hold their Roots party every week on Wednesday. Cielo is an absolute must for anyone who seriously loves dance music.
Kiss & Fly
409 W. 13th Street New York, NY 10014
With the opening of Kiss and Fly lavishness has been brought back to NYC nightlife. This club caters to the sophisticated and fabulous. Kiss & Fly is Dom Perignon’s flagship club in the United States. Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld designed a mural for the club that is the backdrop to the $18,000 bottles of Dom Perignon that are on display and on the wine list. Kiss & Fly also boasts 28 VIP areas with their own “private” dance floor that is raised behind the table. Fire acts, aerial shows, stilted performances, fire throwers turn this nightclub experience into an extravaganza.
18 9th Avenue New York, NY 10014
Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you have to stay at home, the Hotel Gansevoort offers awe-inspiring 360 degree panoramic views of New York City and is the only luxury, full service resort in the Meatpacking District. Hotel Gansevoort offers an elegant get away to its patrons. The hotel has 187 guestrooms and 23 suites. The rooms are lavish, but with a minimalist aesthetic. The duplex penthouse houses a Jacuzzi and fireplace. Hotel Gansevoort also has 45-foot heated outdoor rooftop pool with underwater lights and music everyday as well as a swanky rooftop loft and spa. Designer David Graziano also places his stamp on the Hotel Gansevoort making the hotel the fourth business in the Meatpacking District that has been touched by his chic style. Upon walking out of the Hotel Gansevoort, be prepared to take on the cobbled-stone splendor of the new Meatpacking District.