Animal rights group PETA has managed to find another stupid way to attract attention: They've asked the city of San Francisco to rename the Tenderloin neighborhood something more in line with the city's perceived eating habits. The group's suggestion? The Tempeh District, because "the city deserves a neighborhood named after a delicious cruelty-free food instead of the flesh of an abused animal," PETA VP Tracy Reiman wrote in a letter to San Francisco's mayor. Oh god. Too bad PETA got it wrong, though. "Tenderloin" was the term used for bribes given to cops in the area back when the neighborhood was still "gritty."
Yes, there are going to be more lawns, bleachers, entrances, elevators, see-through decks, and a brand new garden space called the Chelsea Thicket when the stretch of track from 20th Street to 30th Street is opened to the public. You can see them in the representational drawings of the city's hippest public space at the end of the video. They even have animated people showing you what will happen in the park at night. Our favorite? A shadow man and woman who are approaching each other from different directions, they meet in the middle and the guy seems to say, "Hey, wanna get out of here?" and makes a hand motion. The lady agrees and they walk off together. Maybe he's taking her back to The Standard for a night of sex in the windows or cavort in their new topless bar Le Bain [NSFW]! Thanks, High Line for making all our dreams come true.
• David Burke's chauffeur is accusing the chef of "punching him in the face and slamming a car-trunk hood on his head" after he asked to take time off for his wife's birthday. Burke faces six months in prison if convicted. [NYP]
• Beatrice Inn's chances of reopening? Slim to none, it seems. [P6]
• It looks like it's the end of the line for Jeffrey Chodorow's Ono. [GS]
• A roundup of places that just opened, or will be open later this week. [Eater]
• A roundup of what will be new in the meatpacking district this fall. [GS]
• The Hamptons scene is a little less decadent this year. Surprise! [NYP]
• The ice cream of the future isn't cold and doesn't melt, apparently. [NYM]
• Coke is testing out a new carbonated milk drink called "Vio." [Fox News]
• Try to block this out when you go out to eat later, but an audit of restaurant inspections finds that 22% of city eateries weren't inspected last year. [NYDN]
Andre Balazs' shiny, new Standard NYC soft-launched this past weekend with rates as low as $195 a night. But if you think even that is too much to spend on a hotel that doesn't have a functioning restaurant, bar or gym, Curbed kindly points out that the Liberty Inn across the street is still open for business. And it may be the best bargain in town—$60 for two hours, although you'll have to pay $40 extra for a "romantic interlude room." Just consider the tranny hookers in the hallways and the used needles in the bathrooms a memorial to the meatpacking district of days past. [Curbed]
G Spa—the tiny, dank club in the basement of the Meatpacking District's Hotel Gansevoort—is closing on Saturday. It was a celeb-magnet and a dreadful place. It will not be missed. (We voted it the Worst of Nightlife back in 2006—"You'd just be drinking $15 cocktails in a sauna, crammed into an incredibly tiny space, and trying not to pass out from the smell of chlorine.") The entire Gansevoort Hotel is vulgar and gross, but G Spa actively insulted our intelligence, arrogantly testing clubgoers' patience by making them feel like they should want to party in a humid spa. As Down By the Hipster put it, the club "holds an important place in the history of the Meatpacking district, in that it proved that for a time, no matter what you opened there, people would come." Hopefully those days are waning. Check out the magic you missed out on:See you in hell.
Once, homey French bistro Florent was a beacon of light in a somewhat dangerous 1980s Meatpacking district, where transsexual prostitutes roamed for tricks and nightlife kids flipped out on drugs and weird sex. Those freaks were our people. (This type of old-timer moaning is as old as the district itself.) Gradually, the neighborhood was zombified to the point where Florent was the only good place to go—the rest of the neighborhood was infected by a plague of boutiques, lame restaurants, bridge-and-tunnel nightclubs, and the Hotel Gansevoort. Today, smug Brits drunk off the power of the pound sterling migrate to the membership-only Soho House, while women from Jersey get trapped by their stilettos in the cobblestoned streets. Lumbering SUVs threaten everyone, and the only weirdos are the ones hanging out at the W. 14th Street Apple Store at midnight. With Florent's recent closing, there's no reason to go the neighborhood at all. Protect yourself! Here is a Meatpacking District "no-go zone" of areas you should avoid after dark. It's time to seal it off, and do what we can to save the rest of the city. (Click for our special map!)
You may have heard that Florent Morellet's eponymous meatpacking district restaurant, which has been serving up drunks and tranny hookers for decades, is closing down on June 29th. But you don't have to say goodbye without taking a piece of the resto with you. Morellet has been kind enough to put the eatery's decorations on Ebay, the proceeds from which will go to Florent's newly-unemployed staff. Or so Morellet says. Act quick: The map of Mexico City that once graced Florent's walls is now up to $200! No word yet on what will happen to the site after Florent bids adieu to the hood. Rent on the space is expected to jump from $6,000 a month to $50,000. Needless to say, whatever replaces it will probably involve fewer people from France and more people from Fairfield and Freehold.
We learn alternate uses for ordinary household products practically every day, it seems. More words of wisdom from Rob the Bouncer, author of Clublife: Preparation H, the hemorrhoid treatment, is making the rounds as the hot new product to rub on your chest. (It makes dudes look "ripped.") Amazingly, the dudes doing this are straight. Less amazingly, they come from Jersey and thereabouts and party in the Meatpacking District. Says a manager of a Long Island CVS drugstore about the trend, "I don't give a shit what these slapdicks are using it for. I wish they'd stay out of my fucking life."
[Clublife blog, image via Club It Up]
Much-beloved neighborhood-y French bistro (and after-hours tranny hangout) Florent is on the market, after months of rumors. The rent on the last relic of the old Meatpacking District has been raised from $6,000 to 'bout $58,000. Per month. "No steak frites joint in the city could afford that kind of rent in today's Meatpacking District. Come May, if a buyer is found at all, it's going to be retail, and it's going to be high end," Eater predicts.
The obituary of the old Meatpacking District has been written before. Now it's really time! The last vestige of the neighborhood, no-nonsense French bistro Florent, may be going the way of defunct club Mother and the transsexual prostitutes that used to ply their trade on its cobblestone sidestreets. A neighborhood fixture long before it was, you know, the Meatpacking District—Eater reports that Florent's days are numbered. The restaurant's vibe is best remembered in the words of Past, Over: "writers and actors and artists and drag-queens and whomever the hell else [they] see fit enough to serve up the right food with the right 'tude." Owner Florent Morellet says he's optimistic, however, because "I believe the world economy will collapse and so might the real estate prices in the neighborhood." Uh-oh. What's going on?
Christmas Eve for Jews is depressing! Especially for me, in part because I hate Chinese food. Also, it's the birthday of Christ (who my people killed) so that makes me feel bad. But, one way I could see feeling better about myself is going to The Ball, an event where "4,000 Jewish Singles take over 5 Chelsea/Meatpacking Nightclubs (Hiro, The Park, The Cabanas, Highline Ballroom and Earth)." A) My mom would be pleased as punch! B) I don't know, I always get this frisson of excitement when I find out not all Jews are bookish. Some are actually complete losers. C) Jewish girls totally put out at Christmas.
In Touch Weekly's fifth anniversary party and obligatory afterparty went down last night at Tenjune in the Meatpacking. We hear a bunch of folks didn't even make it in the door. A publicist of our acquaintance says: "A bunch of us—from television, film, lifestyle brands, hotels, personal reps—were in line for 2+ hours and never let in while the bouncer 'Alex' at Tenjune let his friends (AKA emaciated underage girls) in. They turned away a reporter from The New York Times but let in Ben Widdicomb from the New York Daily News.... I mean, Tenjune is over, they are lucky the party was there and it looked like a hot spot for the night. And we all collectively agreed that we will not buy the magazine ever again or give our projects or celebs to them. We'd rather go to Life & Style! Seriously." Well, that'll be easy, since they have the same editor!
More news on that whole Meatpacking District vs. Hotel Gansevoort billboard story! Someone on the inside says a number of local businesses will join Keith McNally in the boycott of reservations coming from the Hotel Gansevoort because of the hotel's hideous billboard. Last week, a meeting of local business owners convened, hosted by McNally, that included David Rabin of Lotus, folks from The Waverly Inn and 5 Ninth, and most likely The Spotted Pig's Ken Friedman, to compare notes and mock the owner of the Gansevoort.
Being the fiends for misery that we are, an event called "Icons of the Meatpacking District" suggested too much loathing for us to resist. Imagining a grotesque orgy of models, bottles, striped shirts, pointy cowboy boots, doormen and cocaine, BWE's Alex Blagg and his camera-wielding pal Nina Westervelt steeled their souls and ventured deep into the dark waters of Theory hoping to capture this spectacle and claim it for science. Unfortunately, all they managed to find was a who's who of who cares. Take a gander through our gallery and enjoy the meatiness of it all.