New York City’s famous Meatpacking District is a 24-hour destination known for its fashion, culture, design and food. This neighborhood, located on the west side of Manhattan, spans approximately 20 square blocks and is popular for its nightlife and even its historical side.
The market-filled industrial center was once solely home to meatpacking plants, lumber yards and scores of open-air meat markets, and after an unseemly period during the 1980s when the area was a hotbed for scandal, a new transformation began. In the late 1990s, high-end boutiques and restaurants began opening, and the completion of the High Line Park in 2009 really set the Meatpacking District apart. And in May 2015, one of New York’s most well-respected art institutes, the Whitney Museum, opens its doors in the neighborhood.
Although the Meatpacking District has changed significantly over time, its historical past is still evident today. You can wander the cobblestone streets and find facades from former meat lockers, and there are even a few meatpackers still operating in the area. On the modern end of the spectrum, the swanky Gansevoort Hotel is a Meatpacking icon with its beautifully landscaped rooftop garden and expansive loft. Late-night restaurants and clubs also dominate, and spots like Cielo, with its reputation as one of the toughest clubs to enter in New York City, keep the hype alive.