Thursday, April 10, 2014

MEAT MARKET (Meat Packing District) 1990's - FINAL UPDATE - the very last images - REPOST


The Meat Packing District is today one of the hippest neighborhoods of Manhattan and the Highline is now attracting crowds from all around the world.
In the mid-nineties, this area was dark and desolate with the semi-abandoned warehouses of meat purveyors. In the early morning, the butchers going to work were crossing night creatures finishing their shifts. There were a few clubs, hidden on the meat market's dark corners. Jackie 60 and of course the infamous Vault and Manhole in the Triangle Building. After going to the clubs like Nell's on 14th street, Florent on Gansevoort was a real treat. A fun coffee shop with crazy drag waitresses and other strangers of the night. And also great burgers and breakfast for hungry nightclubbers crashing in the morning light. 
Here are some day time shots of this area with its great cinematic quality.
Cameras: Nikon FM2 - Nikor 35mm/f2  / Canon AF35

Please also see: "The Last days of 42nd street" 



28 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for these fantastic photos. It really brings back a flood of memories.

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  2. Thank you for this nice comment ! The kind that makes me want to keep going with this blog !
    Happy New Year !
    GA

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  3. These photos are terrific. Man, I really miss those days. Thanks so much for posting these.

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  4. I remember walking these streets as a six-year-old with my dad every Sunday & I can't believe that my kids will see a COMPLETELY different side of New York that I experienced. Thank you so much for bringing these memories back. Pictures really are worth a thousand words. In this case, millions!

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    1. Thanks...a million for your nice comment ! I am delighted to know these images are being apreciated by New Yorkers.

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  5. Are you a cinematographer? Nice eye. Compose in B&W and you can do anything. I messed a lot of the '90's in the city because I was off playing Navy. I was in some of the same areas in the '80's when I was at the Navy Yard and other parts of town. I miss the grit. As a photographer it is that sort of subject matter that is more interesting than the scrubbed and clean city we are dealing with now.

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  6. I moved out in the late 80s at age 17, and the very first apartment I had on my own was in the Meatpacking District. It was all I could afford- and so seedy nobody understood how or why I could live there. My old building is long gone now, and I no longer recognize the neighborhood at all.
    Thank you for taking me back to a simpler, wonderful time.

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  7. Thank you for these wonderful photos. A lot of West St. memories are there. Unfortunately, you can barely recognize the area now. Bring back the old days of the Anvil, Alex's, Mineshaft,J's, etc and the fun times that were then.

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    1. Thanks Richard ! I am glad these images bring all these memories to my blog readers ! I miss these times too ! I will continue updating my other posts. Please come back for more images of NY in the 90's. GA.

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    2. I too greatly miss the gay clubs in the area. At that time one had to actually talk or have physical contact with a human being. Today, young gays use Grindr and the internet and texting to hook up. Sad.

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  8. Gad, I can remember those days, and in my mind, that is still how the district is (haven't been down there in a decade). Thanks for the photos

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  9. I am a new New Yorker (6yrs) and I am always fascinated by seeng how much the city has changed in a relatively short period of time. I wish had witnessed all these changes. Please keep posting pics of a long gone NYC. I feel nostalgic even if I was not here back then!

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  10. Wow, I can smell the 'hood through these photos. I lived in Chelsea and then the West Village from 1990-2005. What memories.

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  11. I live down here and I've watched in (almost) horror as the whole area, not just the meat market, was changed into a slicker more commercialized version of the upper eastside. Seeing these terrific pictures of your's makes me sad, knowing what was lost, in spite of it being made a bit less dangerous. Too bad you don't have any shots of The Superior Ink Company.. what a gorgeous building... it should have been saved. Do you have a pictures of Florent?

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    1. Thanks to all of you for all of these kind messages ! Unfortunately, I do not have images of The Superior Ink Company. There are so many pictures I regret I didn't not shoot...but at the time I had no idea of how much the city will change. I used to go out a lot to clubs and hang out a little bit everywhere at night in Manhattan and that's a big part of NY experience in the 90's that I also neglected to photograph at the time...
      Regarding Florent, one of my favorite places at the time, I only found in my old negatives and slides a very mediocre shot of the front that I decided not to post...It could have been added to my post about the "lost diners"....

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  12. I agree with Anonymous just above me. Love the photos, totally depressed that during the 30 years I've lived here the neighborhood's been destroyed with only the facades left.

    As a local, I went to Florent for breakfast occasionally, or lunch. Completely different feel from the mid-night/early morning Florent, which was smoky (when smoking was still allowed in restaurants). I live a block away from Gansvoort and rarely bother even going down the block there any more. Nothing worth seeing/doing for anyone but tourists.

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  13. Thank you for these photos. I grew up here just below Gansevort for a few years as a kid just before it turned to hell with new construction and the new generation.

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  14. Awesome - thank you so much for posting these. I tell people all the time about going to clubs like the Cooler (for music) in the 90s and being scared out of my mind walking there. No one can believe me any more :)

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  15. Thank you. I've worked and lived in the Meat Packing District since 1990. I have a 2 year old now growing up here
    and I'm so glad to see you capturing what is was like. So easy to forget what was here or there....

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  16. Wonderful photographs here. Thank you, Mr. Alessandrini. To look again at the Rio Mar restaurant made me hungry, and also made me wonder how an area could go from so vibrant to so vapid in what now seems like the blink of an eye.

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    1. Thank you Baby Dave !!! Oh yeah ! The Paella from Rio Mar was the best ! I remember going there often with my good friend Stella, the owner of cafe de la Pace on 7th street.

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  17. We used to go there all the time in the 90's for Rio Mar and Florent, and I never noticed the neighborhood being as seedy as the pics portray it to be. I suppose that's because NYC has been so spit-polished that graffiti and an industrial look seem much more jarring now than they actually were.

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  18. These photos are fantastic. I miss this New York.

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  19. thank-you...great pictures of a not so great but intriguing area of nyc.. very well done..

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  20. wish I could relive the 90's, forever

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  21. Thank you so much for these wonderful pictures. A real treat. I used to go there a lot 1990-until the the very late 90s. Of course I still go there occasionally. But since Pastis joined the sublime desolation in1999 (and apparently closing March 2014) that whole area started to dramatically change. Like many of us I am not happy about the transformation of this enclave of our beloved NYC.

    You know, by 1990 already, it felt like "the end of days" over there. I'm referring to days of Gay liberation, this area being the focal point of "extreme" gay lifstyles and all the stretch which started on Christopher and West Streets, with "Badlands" bar at the corner, "The Ramrod" next to it before W10th, "Keller's" one block south.
    As one went up West Street, Industrial facades to the right, lots of two story garages/car repair shops, more warehouses, the unexpected Gym, Massive old buildings such as The Westbeth (Still frozen in history in 2014), The Hudson to one's left, the abandoned Elevated Highway's shadow obstructed the River view, the warehouses falling apart right over the river, and the Piers, most of the ones beween Chrsitopher all the way up to the Gansevoort and the trucks under the elevated highway...then one reached the old meatpacking district...by the early 90's of course this whole world disappeared but the remnants were still there. The meatpacking district looked sad by day, but it still looked beautifully eerie and almost romantic from dusk til dawn.
    It looked like in the "Good Old Days". Just like Isao Tomita's "Footprints in the Snow". One of the Mineshaft's landmark early morning music. This music defines the essence of the area at night.You know, the Mineshaft at 835 Washington. I went to "Sea" the other day. The restaurant that now occupies the former site of the Mineshaft. If walls could talk...

    They Did.

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