I authored the Meatpacking District chapter in the Guide to New York’s Neighborhoods, which is available for print and e-book purchase via Amazon.
About the Guide: it’s written for people contemplating a move to the City or who have recently moved there. The guide includes profiles of neighborhoods throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Each neighborhood profile is written by a writer who either lives or has a close connection to the neighborhood they are writing about. The authors attempt to provide an accurate profile of both the good and the bad each neighborhood offers. The neighborhoods profiled include: Alphabet City, Astoria, Bay Ridge, Carroll Gardens, Chinatown, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, East Village, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, Hamilton Heights, Harlem, Hudson Heights/Fort Tryon, Little Italy, Meatpacking District, Midtown West, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Upper West Side, Washington Heights, and Williamsburg.
A snippet from my chapter on the Meatpacking District (aka “MPD”):
Compared to the West Village, a neighborhood with a genuinely residential vibe, Meatpacking remains faithful to its traditional commercial roots despite many dramatic shifts. A century ago, Meatpacking housed some 250 packing plants and slaughterhouses, the gradual departure of which left many large warehouses vacant yet intact. Criminals, scoundrels and party people seized on the abandoned area where they could behave near-anonymously. Business and pleasure were conducted in clubs and darkened alleyways.
Its grimy past has all but vanished, but MPD is still funky, even if its street graffiti and businesses are owned by big corporations. Like Google and Apple, two of the powerful additions to the neighborhood, MPD is navigating a precarious balance between its underground past and a stable, albeit corporate, future. Although MPD lacks the charm and camaraderie of other New York neighborhoods, it is best viewed as a complement to the West Village and Chelsea, places where residents can better find balance and connection within their community.