NEW YORK — In what may prove to be the most exciting find in decades, archeologists from Columbia University confirmed today that they have discovered evidence that at one time, a “middle class” once made New York City’s trendy Meatpacking District its home.
While workers were readying the building at 9thAvenue & 13th Street for demolition in preparation for a luxury hi-rise condominium slated to begin construction later this year, the crews began finding evidence of a people who were not in the top 2% of incomes in the city, worked non-office jobs, and had strong – perhaps even multi-generational – ties to the local community.
“It’s eerie,” said construction worker Michael Collins. “On the storefront we found a sign that said ‘Schmidt & Sons Hardware’. And upstairs it looked like there had been a family living there for like decades. It was like outer-borough people like me once lived there.”
Chief archeologist Dr. Ian Crenshaw-Bones explained that the discovery opened up a new window into the area’s past – from the people who inhabited it, to the local economy, to the very name itself. “Since we started digging, we’ve made extraordinary strides in understanding the peoples who once roamed these streets. Many of them, it seems, did not grow up in the suburbs, move into the city for a few years, and then return to the suburbs to spawn. They were born, raised and died here. Fascinating.”
Among the other findings are that the term “Meatpacking District” came from the cattle slaughtering and processing that was the cornerstone of the local economy, and not a lewd reference to the hobby of the present-day bottle-serviced douchebag-eratti at clubs like Trend and Gentry. Moreover, the High Line was a vital transportation artery for cargo, and not a place for the idle to see and been seen and there was nary a Sephora to be found.
“This is so exciting,” said Shoshanna Brooke, a marketing consultant and resident of the area. “I’ve been living in MePa for a long, long time, over two years – and I had no idea we were on top of something so historic. Do you think my property value will go up because of this?”
Others, however, are seeing the discovery as a nuisance, citing the delays in the further transformation of the area. “That new building was supposed to have a hella rooftop bar and a Momufuku at its street level” said Tristan Globstein, a self-described “tastemaker.” “So what if someone found artifacts from a ‘middle class’ – if it ever even existed?”
The New York Historical Society has plans to soon get involved and set up an exhibit according to its curator, Jan Asteroth, “And it will be very educational for New Yorkers to see how people lived in the Pre-Artisanal/Real Estate Complex era.” She explained the exhibit would be erected on the site of a public housing playground and not on “any valuable land.”