Meatpacking District

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From Shulman's Eat the City: “The High Line, an elevated freight line, had to be constructed from Thirty-Fourth Street down to Spring Street, cutting right inside of warehouses to make second-story meat deliveries.” In this image, the High Line runs through the former Cudahy Meatpacking plant. Photographer unknown.

Journalist Robin Shulman, author of  Eat the City, will lead a unique walking tour of the High Line’s fascinating food history on Wednesday, June 5. To whet your appetite for Robin’s tour, we’ve included an excerpt from her book below. Learn more about ‘Eat the City’ High Line Meat Tour and purchase tickets today.

In the 1870s, the Chicago clearinghouses shipping beef and pork to East Coast cities realized it would be cheaper to send dead meat than live steers. They built massive stockyards and slaughterhouses where they could “disassemble” cows and pack the carcasses to travel efficiently. In a leap of technology, they harvested ice from the Great Lakes and stored it in stations along the train routes to cool the meat they sent in rail cars all the way to eastern cities. Prices went down, and Harper’s Weekly heralded a new “era of cheap beef.”

Kate Lindquist
Ice SkatingThe Standard Ice Rink is now open below the High Line at West 13th Street. Photo by Chris Mosier

There is a new ice-skating venue below the High Line. The Standard Ice Rink is now open!


When people hear I am from San Antonio they often ask if I hope the High Line becomes like the River Walk. The answer is no. The River Walk is designed for tourists, and my dream is that the High Line is first and foremost a well-loved park for New Yorkers that visitors may also enjoy.


But San Antonio now has the opportunity to be known for a wholly different kind of public space that's designed for residents, not tourists, and it makes an inspiring story.

The last, large tract of undeveloped land just a few miles from downtown's River Walk was the 311-acre Voelcker Dairy Farm. Most of the property had not been cultivated and looked like the land settlers saw when they first came to the area. Some of the trees there were standing at the time of the Battle of the Alamo -- all within the bounds of the tenth largest city in the country.  Plans were in the works to sell the property for housing developments.  Instead the City, at the Mayor's initiative, bought all 311 acres and set about to preserve the landscape and turn it into Voelcker Park, which will be the city's largest park.


And it keeps getting better. Them they hired the team of Steven Stimson Associates and D.I.R.T Studio to oversee the development of a master plan. D.I.R.T is led by one of my favorite landscape designers, Julie Bargmann.
Their winning competition entry is after the jump.

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