Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On the Street….West Side Meatpacking District Then and Now, New York

Yesterday I bought the great book West Side Rendezvous by Katsu Naito at the Book Marc store here in L.A.


The book documents New York’s Meatpacking District in the early 90′s when it was still an outlaw area.  Actually the shot above (on Washington Street) would be just to the right of the photo below.  The change in just 15 to 20 years is so dramatic.   

This “young lady(?)” is standing right about where I was standing when I took the photo of the young lady above while she works at The Standard.   Yes, there was a time when transgender prostitutes walked the streets in New York in broad daylight.


If you love New York you have to get this book.  Not only is the sub-culture covered fascinating but the actual real drama  of the images are heartbreaking.


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  1. Kamila

    August 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

  2. Vanya

    August 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Interesting, New York through the eyes of not a New Yorker! wow !

  3. Jessica

    August 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Amazing how quickly a city can change.

  4. Simbarashe

    August 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

    The Meatpacking District is such a peculiar place, even today. It’s glossy restaurants, clubs and hotels sort of do a job of disguising but not completely masking the seediness that still exists. It’s equally stylish and … rough on the edges.

  5. Ulrike Steinhauser

    August 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Love the pictures – now and then!

  6. L.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

    really offended by use of quotations referring to the person in the black and white photo, while you felt comfortable assuming the gender of the person in the photo you took above it.

    additionally, sex workers “walk the streets in new york in broad daylight” all the time. so do doctors, lawyers, nannies, teachers, sanitation workers and, yes, even photographers.

    it’s a problematic practice to feel comfortable assigning genders to strangers who’ve not disclosed their preferred pronouns or gender identities–cisgender, transgender, agender and otherwise.

    and it is stigmatizing to refer to sex workers as persons who shouldn’t “walk the streets” in “broad daylight,” and problematic to assign one person trans* status when you haven’t assigned someone else cis status.’s hoping for more careful consideration in the way we all see people and the traits and expectations we assign to them.

    • nina

      August 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      L. – I really disagree with you. Whatever yours and the sartorialist’s personal opinion of transgenders, sex workers and all of the people that you listed, the fact that a transgender prostitute is out of the social norm is undeniable. He was merely saying that what is now out of the ordinary was once more commonplace (I assume, I have never been to new york), and that it is a little difficult to picture nowadays. Besides, unless I am mistaken that particular photo is from a book, he hasn’t just taken a picture of someone and then gone and assumed their gender without asking or whatever.

    • C

      August 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Seconding this.
      Really insensitive, and I would hope that such a high-profile blog would do a better job in the future when addressing/referring to both sex workers and trans* people.

    • Caroline

      August 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm


    • *diana

      August 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      I was pretty horrified by the quote/question marks, thanks for mentioning it.

    • TGirl

      August 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Base on this website(pls see link below), the photographer took pictures of transgender.

    • christa

      August 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Speak truth, L.! Thanks for bringing this up and breaking it down.

      Fashion and style have played with the concept of gender since the beginning of time. I would think a style photographer of all people should be particularly sensitive to the fact that gender and appearance can be mixed, matched, and played with in the most beautiful of ways. Then again, I am not too surprised to see this mistake in a blog where “Women” and “Men” are literally separate tags (categories) under every photo. So while I am happy for the sharing of these images, I too could have lived without the quotations and question mark(?), and the assumption that we know all people’s identities just from looking.

      Truth be told, I love the style of both people represented in this post: unique and unafraid. :)

      • dcinDC

        August 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

        Oh, Christa, Christa… Still bothered by gender designators that are simply making the distinction for a perfectly reasonable purpose. You really should move on. I know you dress your boy in pink and your little girl (Oh, is it okay to say boy and girl?) got a tool set last Christmas (Shit, did I mess up again – do I need to say Hannukkah for you?) and, believe me, I’m all for that! But, please, stop trying to be provocative with such lame material. Kthxbai!

        PS: “(You) would think a style photographer of all people should be particularly sensitive to the fact that gender and appearance can be mixed, matched, and played with in the most beautiful of ways.” I would say there is no doubt that Scott is sensitive in this regard. There have been quite a few pictures of people mixing and matching. Sorry if he hasn’t yet come up with a category that suits everybody – you’ll just have to hit “men” or “women” and hope for the best.

      • Name*

        August 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm

        How is it a mistake? Anyone can delegate gender into any categories they want to. It may not match up to your personal ideas, but that OK too. Its not wrong to not know if someone is a lady or a man and to point this out.

    • Jimmymac

      August 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Does everything have to be a complete political correct bullshit fest? Jesus christ, Any street walker type prostitute openly selling themselves in NYC these days is way out of place especially in the old meatpacking district. And nobody said sex workers were monsters you overly sensitive reactionary, it is simply a fact that it is an illegal practice so doing it in broad daylight can be comsidered very risky and uncommon being that you might be arrested unlike other professionals in our society. You people offended by the the author trying to figure out what gender the “guy/gal” is are so NOT the folks that made up the NYC i grew up in where my father used to point out the working girls under the BQE and laugh on 3rd ave as we drove home to south brooklyn from the city. People didnt spend their days getting offended by the crazy ABNORMAL shit that went on, it was just New York. The real cops, the junkies, the trannies, the mobbed up guys, the yuppies, the wall streeters, and the street walkers. Its so tiring to hear people so righteous so often these days.

      • Scal

        August 16, 2012 at 1:00 am

        It may be a but hypersensitive to complain about the reference to sex workers in borad daylight, but the use of scare quotes and question marks draws attention to the issue of this person’s gender in a bit of an insensitive way.

      • dcinDC

        August 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm

        Jimmymac – Dude! If you’re not a dude, forgive me ;o). Anyway, a big THANK YOU for adding some much-needed perspective here. Sheesh, people – calm the f*ck down! Yeah, wonder what these holier-than-thou types are really doing to make the world a better place – well, other than having hissy fits on a fashion blog…

      • Panther

        September 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Thank you. Jeeze.

  7. cas

    August 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    grew up in west village use to walk to high school in Chelsea walked through the “meatpacking” every day and saw it change in front of my eyes. Gentrification and fashion industry ruined another neighborhood in New York. Do we need another intermix or trendy restaurant for stuck up house wives from new jersey to read about in a magazine and come into the city. It shouldn’t even be called the meatpacking anymore. People want to live in soho because “that’s where the artist live” But the they can’t live there anymore, and just like soho there is no meatpacking left. People ruin the charm they came to find….

  8. Kate

    August 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Sounds like a brilliant book :) And I love your post…ah to be young and free again in the time of transgendered prostitutes in the broad daylight of the Meatpacking District!


  9. irene

    August 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    love the first one! cool story!!

  10. Jen

    August 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Wow, that really is a dramatic change in such a short time! But maybe that’s what I love about New York- it feels like a living creature, always evolving. And the first, recent photo is lovely! Her hair, expression, lipstick, and blouse are all perfect. Love the colours!


  11. azra torun

    August 15, 2012 at 11:27 am

    what a fantastic photo!!! OMG

  12. Nadia Cohen

    August 15, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Absolutely love the hair of the young lady in the first picture.

  13. adele

    August 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

    the girl in the first photo is so cool! love her top and hair!

  14. Farah

    August 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Beautiful !! All of them…

  15. Serdane

    August 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

  16. hadhka

    August 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Love her colour combinations so flattering

  17. ttea

    August 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

    What a world of difference only a couple of decades can make. It is almost the same thing that happened in Toronto. When my parents had me they lived on Ossington, an area now associated with art galleries. In the 90′s, however, it was notorious for the mental hospital around the corner and the frequent murders. My parents had completely renovated an industrial building into a loft style space, but they got so scared when they had me, that they moved out only 9 months after my being born. The loft is now probably worth upwards of 850 thousand dollars. Interesting photos, especially the last one.

  18. Two Thirty~Five Designs

    August 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

    It’s on my list, can’t wait to look at it ;)

  19. Phire

    August 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

    The write-up of the last photo is rather troubling. There’s no need to put “young lady” in quotes and add a “(?)” behind it. If someone identifies as trans-, do them the basic courtesy of accepting their preferred gender identification, instead of appending an unnecessary judgment about that identity. If they don’t identify as such, speculating about it is frankly rude and uncalled for.

    • marian

      August 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm


    • Name*

      August 16, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with speculating about someone’s gender. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making judgements about other peoples life styles either. Its not basic courtesy to pretend that someone looking like that isn’t curious. Its hypocrisy.
      I suggest that if someone is sensitive about their gender being a point of curiosity, they might want to draw less attention to it then this young”lady”.

  20. Laura K.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:38 am

    The beautiful Cipriana from in the teal blouse and colossal bun! Sigh. I love her. My hair crush.

  21. Summer

    August 15, 2012 at 11:43 am

    That’s crazy how such a drastic change has occurred to the area. Not just because of the black and white print which do give it a dark feel, but the before photos do look more daunting structure-wise.

    I immediately recognized the lady in the first photo, its Cipriana. She works a blog shedding light to the natural hair movement. The movement started about a couple years ago when more and more african american women decided to stop straightening, chemically relaxing, and wearing synthetic hair and instead began to wear their natural hair. It’s a great blog. Here a link:

    I say that you do a post about that–natural hair within the black culture–I think it would bring more diversity to your blog, not saying that you don’t have enough now, but I see how you always delve into city cultures, so I think it’d be interesting for you to delve into a racial culture.

  22. Laura

    August 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

    This book seems great!
    I love the hairtstyle of the women of the first photo, so amazing!

  23. Doni Brown

    August 15, 2012 at 11:52 am

    WOW! It is truly amazing to see how much that area has evolved! I love the photos!

  24. be

    August 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

    It’s CIPRIANNAAA!!!! what a babe

  25. Caribbelle

    August 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Hey its Cipriana of Urban Bush Babes. Love her hair and her style!

  26. Monsieur Marcel

    August 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

    A classic New York double entendre if ever there was one. It was actually quite a peaceful neighborhood to bike thru, unlike now.
    Going back a few decades in the “romantic” lore of the MPD, a pivotal scene from the movie LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER, featuring Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood, took place beneath the awning on the left side of the frame, the southwest corner of Washington and 14th streets.

  27. mmmmmissy

    August 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Yessssss! Cipriana!

    It won’t be long before the other Urban Bush Babe is photographed if she hasn’t been already!

    Love both of their styles!

  28. Thom

    August 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Ahh! Whatever the era, the Meatpacking District is so much fun!


    August 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    cool pictures!!!

  30. Haruko-chan

    August 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I recently discovered this blog and became a fan. It even inspired me to write ‘a sartorial blogpost’ of my own. A few months ago I saw a very smartly dressed man on the Japanese subway. You can see the photograph on

  31. M

    August 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    What I believe Scott means by the question mark is that he doesn’t know what gender to label the person above. I wouldn’t know if I should address this person as sir or ma’am. And the broad day light comment meant that transgendered folk had more confidence to freely stroll the streets than they do now. He meant no harm.

    • *diana

      August 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Then why not say ‘young person’ or ‘he or she’, that’s what most writers do when a subject’s gender or preferred address is unknown. Without the use of quotation marks or question marks to highlight how scarily different the person is.

    • une chatte grise

      August 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      That’s a very generous reading… but it overlooks the fact that the (?) is accompanied by quotation marks. Frankly, I was surprised by those quotation marks–they come across as snarky and mean-spirited, qualities I don’t usually associate with Mr Schuman and his work.

      • Monsieur Marcel

        August 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

        Talk about walking on egg shells: it ‘s a no-win situation. Thus, I believe Scott deserves a little sensitivity leeway, because without the (?) and the quotation marks, he’d sound clueless and naive. Really, without the punctuation, some commenter would be bound to say, “Scott, that’s a man”.

      • M

        August 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

        I am more than certain it wasn’t meant to be malicious. But then again, it is his blog. He can write what he feels, it is your choice to visit the blog or not.

        • CJ

          August 15, 2012 at 9:02 pm

          I wonder whether Mr. Schulman would care to comment what he meant? Only he knows.

  32. Anthony

    August 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Hair as hat. The woman on top is so, so beautiful.

    • Caroline

      August 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      I agree. Love her lipstick.

  33. monkeyshines

    August 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    beautiful captures!


  34. Michelle S

    August 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    this is so amazing. and is what makes NYC the best place in the world. strangely, so much has changed yet you can see that the buildings are pretty much the same now just inhabited by stella and DVF and the like. totally fascinating.

  35. Fazal

    August 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    How I miss those days!
    So much more fun & exiciting

  36. carola

    August 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    the first photo number one !
    love her hair!

  37. ANDREA

    August 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm


  38. Name*

    August 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    the girl at the top is sooo pretty, love the photo xxx

  39. Caroline

    August 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Wow. Quel difference, so interesting.

  40. Caroline

    August 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Additionally, I hate walking through the meatpacking district in heels. It’s just asking for a broken ankle :)

    • AngS

      August 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Amen, Broken ankle and messed up Choos!!

  41. theminniemaven

    August 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Cipriana is indeed beautiful–those are some beautiful pics, as well. :-)

  42. Patricia

    August 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Two beautiful ladies in their own way!

    • une chatte grise

      August 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm


  43. Alessandra

    August 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

  44. Daisy Nguyen

    August 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    What fun pics!
    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:

  45. Eva

    August 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Cool story and great photos!

  46. Cheryl

    August 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve lived in NY since 1985 and remember the Meatpacking area in the heyday of Cafe Florent…one of my favorite memories is running into my then-boyfriend/now -husband on our bikes on St Mark’s place after our respective Sunday restaurant shifts and heading off for a late afternoon drink at Florent. The streets smelled of raw meat and blood and always seemed wet, even in the daytime, such was the active commerce there. (It’s hard to remember, but Tribeca used to smell like cinnamon and vanilla due to active spice warehouses! ) When my friend had a loft in the Meatpacking district in the early 90′s, you could hear the sex-workers fight and holler in the streets below. It was an intimidating sound of a hard-knock existence.
    On a recent afternoon Sunday, my husband (same guy) and I were walking along Gansevoort and Washington when we happened upon a gaggle of girls, none older than 15 it seemed, tottering on the cobblestones in their bondage shoes and bootie dresses, grabbing each others’ arms for dear life, chatting on cells, tugging on their creeping hemlines. Needless to describe for your fashion savvy readers how closely they resembled the look of the streetwalker in the vintage photo. But as they all climbed into the idling SUV to take them from the party they’s been attending ( Sweet 16, Bat Mitzvah?) back home, you had to wonder when things were more strange and unsettling, now or then?

    • LA now

      August 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you, Cheryl for sharing the very same happy memories that I have of Florent and of the Meatpacking District when I lived there with my husband in the 90s. I will never forget the cinematic sight of the prostitutes in the early morning hours before sunrise congregating on the steps of one of the nearby churchs. And I definitely remember the heated arguments at night….Thank you, Sartorialist for bringing this book to our attention, as many are unaware of the incredible history of this neighborhood.

  47. Sevan

    August 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Since I don’t know anything about the MPD, I can only admire the photos and I must say, on the first one, I would love to see the young lady’s hair down, it must be stricking !
    This story about changes within a city reminds me of what happened to “les Halles” in Paris.

  48. kazz

    August 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Superb pictures, brings back so many memories.

  49. Qas

    August 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Not much has changed :)

  50. Beatrice

    August 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I love so much the first photo! All that mix of colors!

  51. Grooves

    August 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I remember those days, back when there was a club called The Paradise Garage. I used to party there when Larry Levan was the DJ, great club, many memories. But yes, during the day, the tranny prostitutes would ply their trade right in the open in parking lots, early in the morning, broad daylight, even as people were going to work. smh, I was as disgusted back then, as I am now, especially in reminisce.

  52. isabel

    August 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    that hair of the girl on the first picture must be so heavy :)))

    • Rou

      August 16, 2012 at 1:07 am

      It looks heavy, but it is not! I promise you! :)

  53. Johnny

    August 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    As a Newyorker I have to say that I did prefer NYC when it was darker and less gentrified. It was much more interesting and stimulating…

    • Susan

      July 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Me too. It’s become just too Disney-fied.

  54. Carmen

    August 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I love these photos. You always have fantastic content.


  55. TGirl

    August 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Great photos, but I would of love too see a street shot of the new and compare to the old.

  56. littlelulu

    August 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    It really fascinates me to see the “before and after” contrast and point out the evolution that it is made through time.. even when things seem to go back, it still counts as an evolution!

  57. RJT

    August 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    You’re in LA but doing a post about a book you found about NYC ?
    What gives ? How about some shots of LA people ?

    I loved the MP District in the Florent days
    Its just….too mainstream ‘hip’ now for my taste now.
    Corporate ‘hip’

  58. Jennifer

    August 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    That woman has amazing hair!

    xo Jennifer

  59. CBC

    August 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    looking at these photo I prefer it before….it was decadent… it was a backdrop for so many great films…. now is just another trendy neighborhood….

  60. Kim

    August 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    and there’s the High Line. Another great share. Thank you.

  61. Lana

    August 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    This is the NYC i grew up in. I remember being equally fascinated by the city and terrified of being alone in it. There are time’s when i walk past the meatpacking district or alphabet city, and even soho and get completely taken back to the time i was a child and these places looked like they belong in a war zone. To some degree, i love the new NYC. I dont always think twice about walking alone at 2 am. But there are days when i miss the old one. There was this feeling of artistic freedom. It felt like anything can go, and be seen as art and be considered beautiful.

  62. Antoinette

    August 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    That’s Cipriana from UBB!! I love her hair, it’s beautiful

  63. SH

    August 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Yes, all of NYC has changed. Gone are the days of shocking things seen in the Meatpacking district or in Hell’s Kitchen. On another note….shout out to Cipriana from Urban Bush Babes! She looks fantastic in that teal blouse.

  64. Alice

    August 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    The hostess has a beautiful face and tight hair! The green really did complement her skin tone!

  65. Blaise

    August 16, 2012 at 1:18 am

    The last picture has a creepy feel to it, it reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock and Fatal Attraction. Nice story.

  66. Linden

    August 16, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I’d be willing to bet today is still a time when transgendered prostitutes openly walk the streets.

  67. Jokey

    August 16, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Надо же! и кто бы мог подумать, что спустя такой промежуток времени на этом месте будет ресторан или другое культурное место…

  68. Caleb s

    August 16, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Where do we buy the book?

  69. yun

    August 16, 2012 at 3:12 am

    love the green shirt!

  70. Stills

    August 16, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Love the first photo!

  71. B

    August 16, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Bookmarc has such cool books !
    Love the comparison
    new outfit post

  72. Martha

    August 16, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Personally…I like a little grit in my glitter.
    I am seeing the changes in Miami Beach…when I arrived, there was this underlying seedy world which wasn’t bad…it was just part of what made Miami Beach unique…now we have Banana Republics and Starbucks on every corner, which is not bad either but in the process of growth, we lost where we came from.

  73. kayla

    August 16, 2012 at 9:36 am

    It was like this up until the late 90′s. I remember having to frequent the area a lot because my printing house was there, in a decrepit, old grimy building. At night, every one was out cruising for ‘ clients’ but even during the day, the flamboyance was still there. Where did it all go?

  74. Shug Avery

    August 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I like these type of articles a lot. Comparing present and past, using one of your photo and then a photo a book. You don’t know how much I learnt thanks to your insights about books and photographers. You make me think about places not only on a fashion point of view but socially also (not that fashion is not social), you make me curious about the US culture that I don’t know well (I’m French) and lastly you just make me want to go to the places you photograph :).
    Thanks a lot

    Shug’A'Very from Incognito

  75. Elizabeth

    August 16, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I too am amazed at how much this district has changed since I moved to NYC in the early 90′s. All of NYC has transformed! But this area was so fun to haunt in the 90′s…Jackie 60s, The Cooler…really great underground clubs. I remember we would feel the adrenaline pumping to go to such a risky area at night…usually like 3 or 4 a.m. after Tunnel or Limelight. Never heard such great DJ’s in my life as at these clubs, especially Jackie’s. Times have changed and the area is VERY beautiful now but sometimes there’s a little nostalgia for old NYC, the gritty-ness and the blatant messy-ness.

    Love the photos. Thanks! Love your blog.

    • LA now

      August 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Yes, I remember Jackie 60s – couldn’t agree more! The best music and best crowd.

  76. Anonymous

    August 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Since when is it rude or politically incorrect to show that you do not know a person’s gender? People are way too sensitive about this. I’m positive no harm was meant in the writing, and yet people have the audacity to come out completely nasty trying to correct it. It doesn’t make sense.

  77. Haylee

    August 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Loooooove her hair in the top photo. Beautiful shot!


    August 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I loved the meatpacking area at that time, NY for that matter,
    the only place that has a similiar feeling to that period is Bruxelles.

  79. Jonny

    August 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I sincerely doubt there was any malice intended with the quotations and question mark— The creator of this website has demonstrated on COUNTLESS occasions his appreciation for those who don’t fit the “norm”, and who skew gender roles in their attire or appearance. The fact that he even showcases an article that sheds light on a marginalized group of people and is intrigued by how they have contributed to the intricate fabric that is New York City should speak for itself.

    FYI, Just because somebody dresses up in women’s clothing like the person in the bottom photo (if we are to ASSUME they were born biologically male) doesn’t necessarily mean they identify as female on a personal/day to day level. Truth is, we’ll never know.

    With that said, both photos/people are great to look at in their own respect.

  80. Jourdan

    August 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I appreciate the perspective and fresh topic. Thank you!

  81. Shoni

    August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Cipriana! A big name in the online world of Natural Hair

  82. Monsieur Marcel

    August 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    These nightclub flashbacks are making me want to dance!
    Who’s with me?

    • une chatte grise

      August 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      I’m in! *turns on iTunes*

    • AngS

      August 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I’m in…Loved those days!!

  83. dragon fruit

    August 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    this is awesome, i need to get this book, thanks for sharing! x

  84. Thomas

    August 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I’m afraid you’ve missed the point, especially those who are completely wigging out because you think that the real crime in these two “before” and “after” shots is that labels for gender were used, or misused, or misapplied, or misunderstood.

    The crime, the scandal, the tragedy is that in 15 short years yet another NYC neighborhood has become transformed into a playground for the rich and the rich only. The MPD in near record time has become a neighborhood of 5 million dollar apartments, $20 cocktails, $3ooo dresses, $500 dinners, etc.

    This impacts not just the sex workers who used to ply their trade on those cobblestone streets, but almost all of us whether we’re male or female by birth or by other means, whether we’re straight gay bi or queer or whatever. And if you think it has nothing to do with fashion–which lives and breathes on the streets, not in the shiny new shops–you’re sadly mistaken.

  85. Martine

    August 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    This book is certainly hard to find. Where do you suggest looking? I would not mind having it.

    • Steve

      August 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Hey there – Nepenthes 307 West 38th Street in New York have copies..

      • Mike

        August 22, 2012 at 3:51 am

        Steve, thanks for the tip! I contacted the store but they do not ship internationally. I can buy the book online but cannot receive it. Do you know a way I could get hold of my copy? Thanks a million!


  86. Martine

    August 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Its not stigmatizing to say that a transgender prostitute is not likely to walk around in broad daylight. The truth is that prostitution is illegal, and thus a hidden profession.
    Call me old fashioned, but I would prefer a Starbucks or McDonalds to a transgender( or any other) sex worker any day. When you have prostitution you have drugs and violence, and i don’t like either. Get mad all you want.

    • Boo

      August 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Though the corporate world would like us to believe so, I seriously do not believe it’s an either/or proposition between prostitution (and drugs and violence) and Starbucks and McDonalds.

      That either/or fallacy has been used to destroy a vital Manhattan and leave in its place little more than a vapid brand.

  87. Jefferson Lives

    August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

    No florent, no hellfire, no grime, no meat….the highline aside, NYC is less wonderful place because of the “transformation” of MEPA. This once wonderful place where interesting folks used to converge is now just a backdrop for mediocre hotels, clubs and shops and the very average people who frequent them.

    It actually makes me really sad to look at those photos.

  88. tam

    August 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

    you know, you could really say that about so much of the social/street culture now… the change in the last 15-20 years has been enormous.

  89. Confashionista

    August 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    that I love your photos is a fact mentioned before.
    but I love when you write. thank you for this post. will buy the book. NY is my eternal love.
    cheers from Barcelona.

  90. Monsieur Marcel

    August 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    There was a vinyl record of Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage put out in the early oo’s. If it’s on iTunes, beautiful. If not, you should find the compilation cd, DISCO, NOT DISCO, containing club hits from the early 80′s downtown club scene. The Delta 5 is on it (“mind your own business”)!

    • une chatte grise

      August 19, 2012 at 2:23 am

      Found D,ND… now I have Shriekback stuck in my head! I’d forgotten about them…

  91. Steve

    August 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Love this book! We got our copy at Nepenthes 307 West 38th Street in New York. Pretty site they still had a few left..

  92. Minola

    August 19, 2012 at 10:44 am

    What on earth is so offensive about “young lady(?)” All it shows is that Scott wasn’t sure if the subject would have preferred the label. It’s really overly sensitive to read it as anything else.

  93. Pokupky

    August 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Lady in a green blouse is gorgeous, such noble features, modest blouse elegant and chic lipstick ….

  94. J.Ro

    August 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I forgot how romantic ye olde neighborhood was before Soho House & Diane Von Furstenberg…

  95. Nora

    August 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    This book seems really interesting. Will definately look into it

  96. sideswipe

    August 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t think the individual in the second pic would really give a $hit about your sensitivities to their possible sensitivities to what he/she may be, and THAT was what was wonderful about NYC up until about 98. He/she don’t care what you think. She”ll be whatever you want as long you have the cash. Those two photos say it all. That area and NYC used to be an adventure, now it’s just a hairdo.

  97. Mike

    August 22, 2012 at 3:21 am

    For a truly brilliant piece of fiction on the place and the era, try “The Queen and I”, a short story by Jay McInerney. Wonderful!

  98. Kat

    August 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    * is heartbreaking

  99. Wendy

    August 25, 2012 at 11:53 am

    The las time I was there (I’m pretty sure it was just where the first b&w photo is), it was actually a meatpacking district. You had to watch for great sides of beef hanging from over-head tracks from trucks into the buildings. It’s one of my most vivid memories–walking through all that meat like a moving maze.. hadn’t realized the transformation at all. Where do they pack the meat now, I wonder?

  100. brizzyb

    August 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Big ups to folks bringing transphobia to the table! So interesting how the fashion world cops our style decade after decade and then tries to put us in neat little boxes for their own entertainment. Whoever the person in black & white is & however they choose to identify their gender (which is a basic human right that is so often ignored), is werkin it & looks fabulous. @L great post :)

  101. Michelle

    August 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t the photographer meant any harm or intended to be offensive. He just pointed out the fact he was not sure of the sex of the individual in the photograph and stated facts about what the meat packing district was and is now. It used to be a place where a streetwalker was commonplace, be it a transgender streetwalker, a lady streetwalker, or whatever. Now is not the case – don’t twist the subject; just enjoy the art.

  102. Mike

    September 4, 2012 at 2:23 am

    I got my copy of the book. A true gem! The pictures are quite stunning. Katsu Naito was right in choosing B&W for immortalizing the place and era.

  103. Zain

    September 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Typically those who buy the book weren’t in New York long enough to see this, or they are some of the people who gentrified NY into the place it is today and buy it to talk about how things used to be.

  104. Mike

    September 8, 2012 at 5:05 am

    True. There might be a risk of over-romanticizing.
    People who experienced a foreclosure are not interested in books on subprimes, or the financial crisis, either.

    If somebody told me that the meatpacking district is a textbook example of property development, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Nevertheless, thanks to Katsu Naito we have a great testimony of what is gone for ever.

  105. curlyjazz

    September 9, 2012 at 1:37 am

    I remember walking around this neighborhood when you could peek inside and still see slabs of pork and cow hanging on hooks.

    At night, everyone knew that Little W. 12th street was the place to pick up a date but usually folks from Jersey were just making U-turns.

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