Meat

Meatpacking district, NYC, 2008

Walking through the Meatpacking district at lunchtime today; it’s just a few minutes from the office. There’s such a circularity to life in New York. Every day on the L train I slide underground with my back to the apartment I lived in on 6th Avenue, the sloping floor of the kitchen only fifty yards away. And when I lived there – sixteen years ago – I’d look down on the tunnel I slip through from the window - it was being encased in a sarcophagus of concrete for the second time; the first time the concrete was an inferior quality supplied by the mafia (so it’s said) and they had to dig it up and replace it with the real stuff.

It’s exhausting and aging to remark on the change in the district itself. From Meat to Fashion. There’s still a bit of meat left though, the smell of death at lunchtime even though the sidewalks are washed down diligently, just as they were then. It’s strange to have a strong nostalgia for that smell, but what can I say? It takes me back to sitting on the fire escape at 3 in the morning at the Gansevoort Studio, going down to Florent for breakfast with the meatpackers at 5 or 6. Florent is gone, of course, eaten by its own creation.

Even taking twenty minutes at lunch, stalking the old streets with my camera, I feel the old city feeling. It’s like a vicarious visit to...myself? There’s something sad in saying that. 

I have an agenda in photographing this neighborhood again: I saw it rise, and as the market swerves and dodges I have this vision of seeing it sink again. Now why would I want to miss that?