Thirty years ago, when I lived in the far West Village, the only people on the street late at night were the guys working in the meat markets and the transvestite hookers whose cat fights were more entertaining than TV. I always felt very safe. What would a transvestite want with me? And the beefy armed men in their bloody smocks were as good protection as a young girl could ask for. It was a great neighborhood back then, even if it did smell something awful in the slow aired days of August.
Today most of the meat market is gone. Its derelict cobblestone streets overflow with tourists, or hip dentists from New Jersey, who come to eat at the trendy restaurants or shop at the twee little pet boutiques and minimalist furniture stores. When I went out with my camera, I was afraid I would be mistaken for one of them. As if. I’m not rich enough or thin enough or young enough. As far as this neighborhood goes, I might as well be put out to pasture.
But I don’t eat meat anymore, either.