Last night another infamous New York bar shut it’s doors. After 23 years in the Meatpacking District Hogs & Heifers is gone. I only went there a handful of times because when I moved to NYC 9 years ago the Meatpacking District was already a shit show of rich douchebags and tourists hitting bottle service clubs but when Hogs & Heifers opened it’s doors the neighborhood looked a lot different. Hogs was a rowdy bar where the half naked bartenders would dance on the bar, steal bras and scream at people on a megaphone for any and all reasons.
The bar was home to bikers and cops and firemen and drunks and union construction workers who were building the west side of NYC into the horror show of luxury development it is now. Eventually it became a tourist attraction after it was surrounded by hotels and art galleries and nightclubs. Tourists could walk in there any night of the week and slum it with scumbags and have a wild time while the bartenders fleeced them for whatever they could take.
While I wasn’t a huge fan of the bar I was honored to be there for their last night. The security kept the douche bags out and the evening was surprisingly low key considering the shit show it usually is. That’s not to say things didn’t get wild last night, but there was as much crying and hugging as there was puking and fucking. There aren’t a lot of bars that last over 20 years in NYC and it’s closing it was another reminder that this city is not the city that everyone dreams of before they move here.
But last night was one of those real New York moments where you get a glimpse of what New York was once upon a time. There were people of nearly every age and race and background there and they were all singing along to Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. I met old drunks and Jersey bikers and twenty something hipsters and dozens of those real New York characters you see in old Law & Order episodes. It was a fairly magical night.
Oh, and there were a lot of hot half naked women dancing on bars. With all my waxing poetic I forgot why you came to my website for a second… Don’t worry – there are boobs to be seen.
RIP Hogs & Heifers and fuck all the real estate developers who are cashing in on the culture they are destroying. (Except, of course, for Stephen Ross because he owns my favorite football team.)