New York’s meatpacking district is home to the grimey looking New York that we know from films like The Gangs of New York. You expect Starsky & Hutch to explode through a bunch of cardboard boxes in their Ford Torino due to the chic aged neighbourhood buildings. During the summer the street cobbles still smell from the years of blood deposited between them.
Now the area is being reinvented as a tourist and cultural centre. The iconic elevated railway that weaved through the area has become an elevated park called The High Line. The High Line is overlooked by The Standard hotel, which is a new addition to the area bringing boutique glamour and signalling The Meatpacking District as as a destination in its own right.
Pastis is a popular restaurant in the neighbourhood. It is an American take on the traditional French bistro with ‘home fries’ rather than sauteed potatoes. The signwriting on the building squeals old school Europe with traditional coachwork. It has a mix of indoor and outdoor seating and a buzzy atmosphere. The prices are a bit steep, but then that might be my London perspective. The food is good, I enjoyed an excellent brunch there: the only issue I would have is that the service politely tries to get you out of your table as fast as they reasonably can – as they struggle to be a neighbourhood restaurant and a high-footfall quality food provider.