Sarah Laskow looks at nightlife as industry:
Academics have a word for what the neighborhood has become: a nightscape. Bars and restaurants were once peripheral to the main drag's primary economic drivers: supermarkets, coffeehouses, boutique shops, record stores. But in post-industrial cities, nightlife has grown into an industry in its own right. As in any industry, shop owners tend to cluster. A century ago, that meant the creation of a Garment District. Now it means the creation of a Party District.
There are a few of them of course. You'll hear similar complaints about the Meatpacking District, about areas of Fifth Avenue or Smith Street in Brooklyn, or the side streets of the Flatiron District. But the Party District below 14th street east of Third Avenue is the largest, the densest, and still growing. To hear the people who live further up near the Stuyvesant Town end of the East Village talk, the Party is spreading largely north, and somewhere around the summer of 2009, it wholly enveloped the stretch of Avenue A between the northwest corner of Tompkins Square Park and 14th Street.
(Photo by Christopher Shoenbohm. His caption: "A typical local market in New York City. I liked this one because of their use of flourescent lights. This particular site is on 9th St and 2nd Avenue in the East Village. One of the great things about living in nyc is that you can walk to your local stores at any time of the day or night.)