Neighborhood Joint

A Diner Where Worlds Collide

(The New York Times) Beginning most days at 3 a.m. on a tiny stretch of Washington Street, men in bloodstained aprons muscle open the gates of their meatpacking storefronts and unload dripping carcasses onto waiting trucks. The routine is much the same as it has been for generations, although the meatpackers are now surrounded by designer boutiques and chic lounges.

Another spot, however, has remained as staunchly unchanged as they have: Hector’s Cafe & Diner, at the corner of Little West 12th Street and Washington.

A Spot to Start, or End, the Day: Hector’s Cafe & Diner has remained relatively unchanged since it opened in 1949. Credit: Bryan Thomas for The New York Times