Spot Check: MePa Alive and Well at 10 p.m.

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From left, Spice Market, Bagatelle, Pastis Photo: Joshua David Stein

Armed with a Canon G10, we headed into the sweltering/crisp Meatpacking district to assess the pulsing lifebeat of New York City nightlife. Oh, it pulses. It pulses real good.

10:15 p.m., Bagatelle: Two pink-shirted outfit twins occupy the window seats, each presiding over competing harems of dyed-blonde women. All tables taken; bar area crowded with men, who outnumber women three to one.

10:17 p.m., Spice Market: Inside tables mostly empty, save for a few groupings of older men. Outside tables are taken by couples on platonic dates.

10:24 p.m., Pastis: Crowd spilling out onto the street, inside and outside packed with European families and good-looking tan people smoking.