West Village & Ground Zero

November 9, 2009

The West Village is the western portion of Greenwich Village in NYC
Formerly the Meat Packing District

After seeing the USS New York, we took a taxi over to the West Village for lunch. The neighborhood is primarily residential, with a multitude of small restaurants, shops and services.

The Meatpacking District is also known as the, "Gansevoort Historic District," and is filled with trendy boutiques, restaurants, night clubs and living spaces.

Very artsy seating area in front of the apartment building in the next picture. You can also see some of the greenway by the tops of the lamp posts. Wish I'd gone up there. Maybe next time!

Eileen has a friend that lives in this building, but he was out of town at this time.

The above apartment building runs all the way back to the waters of the Hudson River. The lighter building is part of the original now. These are also apartments on the right side of street.

This building houses art galleries and offices.

In 1900, Gansevoort Market was home to 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants. But by the 1980s, it had become known as a center for drug dealing and prostitution.

We saw a photo shoot taking place. Cute little dog on the steps, too.

Strangest looking building! Must be just a couple feet wide at this end of it. Notice the cobblestone streets. They were everywhere.

This is actually the door to a Bar/Restaurant called 5 Ninth
(which is also it's address)

We had a delicious lunch here at Gansevoort 69 which is also it's address.

Beginning in the late 1990s, the Meatpacking District went through a transformation. High-end boutiques, custom home furnishing boutiques all have opened in order to cater to young professionals and hipsters.
I had to write on the paper tablecloth - just because I could! :)

In 2004, New York Magazine called the Meatpacking District "New York’s most fashionable neighborhood"!

The sunny day turned dark and cloudy while we were here!

The neighborhood is distinguished by streets that are "off the grid" — set at an angle to the other streets in Manhattan. These roads were laid out in an 18th century grid plan, approximately parallel or vertical to the Hudson, unlike the main street grid plan for later parts of the city.

Two separate pics on each side of a door in a building.
They are by artist named Banksy. He is perhaps the most famous, or infamous, artist alive for his street art. To some he is a genius, to others a vandal as he uses his trademark stencil-style art in public spaces.

If interested, you can read more about him at

Some of the old meat packing garages and loading dock seen here under the greenway.

The elevated train tracks running parallel to 10th Avenue have been converted to an open greenway. The tracks once served the businesses in the area, but have been long abandoned. Instead of demolishing the structure, the unique features have been used to benefit the entire city.
How neat is that!?

Some 18th century streets here do not meet later standards of width.

The Meatpacking District runs roughly from West 14 Street south to Gansevoort Street, and from the Hudson River east to Hudson Street.

By 2003, only 35 of the 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants present a century earlier remained in the area.

In 2007, NY State Parks Commissioner, Carol Ash approved adding the entire Meatpacking District, not just the city-designated Gansevoort Market Historic District, to the NY State and National Registers of Historic Places. It was listed on May 30, 2007, with 140 buildings, two structures, and one other site included.

Interesting bench in West Village made out of snowboards.

We are walking down 14th Street into the Chelsea area to get the subway.

In 1963 the NY Savings Bank merged with the Bank for Savings, producing the NY Bank for Savings. That summer the successor to the merged bank, moved out of the building, leaving it vacant.

It was most recently home to Balducci's Grocery, a food lovers specialty store but closed down this past April 26, 2009!

Across from the Savings Bank is the Banker's Trust Company Building, designed in 1930 by William Whitehill for Vincent Astor's investment bank. The upper floors were largely occupied by Meatpacking District-related offices.

It is now home to the Greenwich Village Chamber of Commerce as well as the offices of the
International Cinematographers Guild. On the top floor is New Directions, a publishing house.

At 8th Avenue and 14 Street we took the subway down to Ground Zero.

Waiting on the subway platforms for the train.




In the 1980s, the World Trade Center had a total of 7 buildings. The most notable were the 2 main towers, each 110 stories tall and occupying one acre each of the total 16 acres of land. (OL)

When completed they became the tallest buildings in the world for 2 years, surpassing the Empire State Building after a 40-year reign. The towers held the height record only briefly: Chicago's Sears Tower, finished in May 1973, reached 1,450 ft at the rooftop.


Today it is still a gaping hole in the landscape (OL Pic)

At Ground Zero, we found that fencing had been moved out to the road and all views were blocked from the street. We had to walk all the way around to the other side of the area to a viewing hall with windows in order to see over the fence.

This memorial plaque was on the wall next to Firehouse 10 across from Ground Zero featuring men from that company who lost their lives in the attack.

Further along we came across another memorial.

The Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street has been undergoing deconstruction since March 2007. It was damaged by the collapse of the South Tower. The collapse tore a 24-story gash into the facade and destroyed the entire interior of the building. It was decided that the ruin was to be taken down.

I don't know what the building under construction behind it is.

The "bathtub" (left) being used to remove debris as bank building is dismantled.
And "Burn Calories" I sure did!

The stairway up the scaffolding inside the netting on the bank building. See the workmen in top right corner? What a walk that is!

Picture taken on 9/11/09 - 8th Anniversary of the attacks. See the size comparison of the cars on the street in the lower right corner compared to the size of the site itself. (OL Pic)

The bank building under deconstruction is seen above on the right with the blue netting. The PATH trains and subways are 7 levels below the street level

seen here.

More views at Ground Zero

View down the block towards the Verizon Building and new 7 WTC building to the right of it.

Ground Zero through the windows of the viewing walkway

Five smaller buildings stood around the 16 acre block of the Twin Towers. Many of these were damaged, some beyond repair.

The tall building in the background is the Verizon Building located at 140 West St. It's a 32-story Art Deco building built in 1926 is named for Verizon Communications, for which it is the headquarters.

The building experienced major damage in the 9/11 attacks. Restoration of the building after the attacks took 3 yrs at a cost of $1.4 billion.

Tall building on the right is the new 7 WTC Building which opened May 2006. It is 52 stories high. The building's design placed emphasis on safety, with a reinforced concrete core, wider stairways, & thicker fireproofing of steel columns, & incorporates many environmentally friendly features. It's next to the Verizon Building. (Eileen's Pic)

The original building at 7 WTC was severely damaged when the towers fell and it too collapsed later the same day.

After years of redesigns, blown deadlines, bureaucratic snafus and political infighting, and in the midst of a recession when almost no new skyscrapers are planned anywhere — Freedom Tower's frame is finally visible above the blue construction fences around the 16-acre site that was once Ground Zero.

But it won't be the world's tallest building as originally planned, and it won't be ready for another 4-5 years. And it won't be known, officially, as the Freedom Tower.
November 18, 2009: Construction of this building reached the fourth floor.

Eileen on the left - taking pictures at Ground Zero

It was late, getting dark, and rush hour was starting.

Across from Ground Zero

Looking down the block housing Century 21 Dept. Store on the corner.

Directly across from Ground Zero was the subway we took back to Penn Station to go home.

NOTE: Hundreds of volunteer firefighters, construction workers, health professionals, clergy, and other individuals descended upon the scene in the days immediately following the attacks. These individuals volunteered directly at the Ground Zero site or cared for traumatized responders. Many have since died or are dying and suffering illnesses linked to effects from breathing the toxic air at Ground Zero. So the death toll related to this attack on the WTC Towers continues to rise to this day. Also, 2 years ago, two fire fighters also died fighting a fire in the Deutsche Bank Building being deconstructed!

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