Monday, February 22, 2010

I LOVE NY 22 of 28 Places to Visit

In 1900, Gansevoort Market was home to 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants, but by the 1980s, it had become known as a center for drug dealing and prostitution, particularly transsexuals. Concurrent with the rise in illicit sexual activity, the sparsely populated industrial area became the focus of the city's burgeoning gay BDSM subculture; loosely embracing the business model of disco impresario David Mancuso, over a dozen sex clubs — including such epochal lodestars as The Anvil, The Manhole, and the heterosexual-friendly Hellfire Club — flourished in the area. At the forefront of the scene was the members-only Mineshaft, situated on Little West 12th Street. Open around the clock from Wednesday evening to Monday morning, the club boasted a dance floor and several dungeons among its many amenities. A preponderance of these establishments were under the direct control of the Mafia or subjugated to NYPD protection rackets. In 1985, The Mineshaft was forcibly shuttered by the city at the height of AIDS preventionism.

Beginning in the late 1990s, the Meatpacking District went through a transformation. High-end boutiques such as Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Rubin Chapelle, Scoop, Theory, Ed Hardy, Puma Black Store, Moschino, ADAM by Adam Lippes, Jeffrey New York, the Apple Store, and CALYPSO by Christiane Celle, custom home furnishing boutiques such as Establishment, restaurants such as Pastis and Buddha Bar, and nightclubs such as Tenjune, One, G-Spa, Cielo, APT, Level V, and Kiss and Fly, all have recently opened in order to cater to young professionals and hipsters. In 2004, New York magazine called the Meatpacking District "New York’s most fashionable neighborhood".

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