RuPaul

History, Meatpacking District, Video

We know all about the Meatpacking District’s beginnings as the Gansevoort Market and the epicenter of meat marketers, as well as its current status as a burgeoning office tower district, but in the 1980s, this neighborhood was one to which most people didn’t pay much mind. It was fairly run down, with its industrial tenants having moved out, and became notorious for prostitution, sex clubs, and drug dealing. But there was much more to the area, including an accepting LGBT community and a downtown music and entertainment scene.

In this video we found from 1986, a young RuPaul takes us into his penthouse suite at the Jane Hotel, then known as the Jane West Hotel and far seedier than it is today, as well as walks around the gritty streets of the Meatpacking District and into his friend’s 9th Avenue rowhouse, which will undoubtedly look familiar to anyone who’s walked these cobblestone streets.

Watch the video here

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