Ready for DAY #3 of Design Walk NYC with the  the New York Metro Chapter of ASID?  We are off and walking through the Meatpacking District.  I have to make a confession

this was my favorite day…a girl’s allowed to have favorites, right?  It was highlighted  with places I had never been to before and ran the gamut from the classic 1860’s manufacturing techniques to today’s edgy and wow design concepts, and that is a pretty wide range to wrap your brain around in one day.

The High Line

Okay, I had to give in to the comfortable shoes because today’s event started out with a tour of the Meat Packing District given by Joyce Gold of History Tours of New York, LLC. Trust me, as a New Yorker, you rarely take these kind of tours.  I mean, this is strictly tourist stuff. But I have to tell you this tour was terrific, informative and plain out wonderful!  I highly recommend it for one and all.  Joyce knows every little itty-bitty detail about the Meatpacking District there is to know, including those little known pieces of gossip that always add a bit of spice to the tour.

Me and Pam Durante, President of the New York Metro Chapter of ASID, in front of Eriwn Wurm’s sculpture.

Some of the highlights of the tour were :

Seeing the beginnings of the new Whitney Museum (being designed by Renzo Piano) going up right behind  the High Line  (see post).

Learning about how the old High Line operated. Did you know the last delivery on the old railroad system known as the High Line was in 1980 and it was a delivery of frozen turkeys?

Learning about the history of the The Jane hotel…Did you know you it was orignaly built for sailors on leave in NYC…hence the small rooms…and you can stay there for $99 – $125 a night?

The Jane Hotel

Seeing the Edwin Wurm’s  “Big Kastenmann” sculpture outside  The Standard Hotel...pretty cool!

Seeing the last vestiges of the meat packing industry scattered here and there.

Passing by the R & L restaurant, where the once infamous Florent restaurant  resided,  and  where the owner, François Morellet, dressed up like Marie Antoinette every Bastille Day.

The overall gentrification and beautification of this area is fascinating to learn about and listening to Joyce was indeed mesmerizing.

On to the next stop , P.E. Guerin Hardware on Jane Street. This was like going into a time warp, but a really extraordinary one.

Me and Martin Grubman of P.E. Guerin

P.E. Guerin is the oldest decorative hardware firm in the country and this location is where the company has been since 1892!  This step back in history included a top to bottom tour of the operations, including a demonstration of “pour casting,”  the old school technique only used by them to produce  hardware.Their hardware has been installed in all of the best hotels and buildings around the world and according the the owner, Arthur C. Ward, their “commitment to old-world quality and craftsmanship will never falter.”

The “treasure room” at P.E. Guerin where all of models for the hardware they made in the past is stored.

Watching the workers painstakingly work with each individual piece of hardware was an education in itself.  There is definitely a reason they are  considered top notch in this business.


Looking for my last stop of the day took me some time as the door entrance to FLOW, the showroom for TrakKit,  is sort of hidden in the middle of a building with the numbers scribbled quickly on it. However, the search was well worth it as I felt like Alice in Wonderland stepping into tech design heaven once I entered the showroom.

TrakKit is the brain child of highly creative architect, Farshad “Shadi” Shahrokhi, who obviously has a passion for things that move, hide and glow.   His ingenuity is the secret behind the TrakKit  systems which deal with  audio video mobile architecture, as well as other highly innovative techie additions to a room.

TrakKit factory

They are primarily famous for their creative mechanical system that permits you to move a television around a room for versatility in viewing.  The system also permits you to rotate the TV so it becomes invisible and hang art on the other side.

I also saw door panels that had hidden speakers in them, and art on the wall that was actually a speaker. AND a bed that was hidden into the ceiling and allowed you to have a seating area beneath it and then at the push of a button would come down when you needed your beauty rest!

Techie Bathrom at FLOW

There were also super tech bathrooms filled with great Toto products, including a toilet that costs $10,000!

I was completely and totally smitten with everything  and think I need to do a separate post on FLOW so that I can give you more details and info because there is most certainly something great going on here.


Want to show you a little bit of me traipsing around the TrakKit showroom down in the Meatpacking District upping my info level on the latest and greatest in high tech living environments:


Well my trekking around New York City days with DesignWalk 2012 have come to a close.  It was a wonderful event and I strongly urge you to watch out for the announcements about it next year and sign up and have a ball!