Whoopsy, Daisy. I meant the High Line! I have been itching to get my feet on one of the best examples of urban upcycling for a while. Now that I’ve had the chance to walk the park myself, I hope that other cities follow New York’s lead, ASAP!
I’m head long into the process of choosing a school and a concentration for a Master’s degree, and urban design and planning is one of my areas of interest. Public spaces change the way a city or neighborhood is utilized and enjoyed. Take a look at Millennium Park, in Chicago. I can tell you from harrowing personal experience that the park has transformed the way that residents and visitors function in the area. It used to be haven for addicts, dealers, and hookers, but now it’s full of music, gardens, and art. The investment, design, and thought put into creating the park is a highlight in a city full of shining stars.
High Line Park is built on an unused section of an elevated freight tracks. It currently begins at W. 30th Street and 10th Avenue, then terminates on Gansevoort, in the Meat Packing District. (Hello, Pastis and Nobu!) There are plans for expansion to the north, it is the area on the map that is in red, if the rest of the property can be acquired from private owners. A random total recall of it’s appearance in a Oscar™nominated film: An Unmarried Woman, starring Jill Clayburgh circa 1978. I’m going to miss her. Anywho…
SO YOU CAN GET YOUR BEARINGS,
LEFT TO RIGHT: HOBOKEN, THE HUDSON, AND THE HIGH LINE
(THE BLUE TAGS MARK POINTS OF ENTRY)
On this trip, my hotel was in North Chelsea, at W. 30th and 6th, so my point of entry was only a hop, skip, and a jump away. I was heading down to Ground Zero, and decided to take the scenic route. “Scenic” really isn’t a big enough word for an art and architecture addict to use when describing the High Line. Because of the gems along the way, it IS art and architecture combined with the best of conservation, preservation, recreation and community.
Walk with me:
|W 30TH STREET ENTRANCE|
|THE VIEW FROM BELOW AT W. 22ND STREET|
|STROLL AMONG THE LUSH LANDSCAPE BESIDE NEIL DENARI’S HL23|
|THIS IS 245 10TH AVENUE: IF YOU LIVED HERE, YOU’D BE HOME BY NOW!|
|ARCHITECTURE FOR THE PEOPLE BY DELLA VALLE BERNHEIMER|
|ART-CHITECTURE FOR THE BIRDS BY SARAH SZE|
|AN INGENIOUS DESIGN FOR PRIVACY SCREENING|
|A GLIMPSE OF A NEWLY CORPORATE GEHRY, ACROSS FROM CHELSEA PIERS|
|FRANK’S SUBDUED DESIGN OF BARRY DILLER’S 18TH STREET
HEADQUARTERS, IAC, PLAYS NICE WITH IT’S NEIGHBORS
|THE CHELSEA MODERN, A RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
DESIGNED BY AUBREY MATLOCK
|WHAT IS THAT? I HAD TO DO SOME RESEARCH TO FIND OUT!|
|IT’S THE NEW DREAM DOWNTOWN HOTEL, BY HANDEL ARCHITECTURE
YOU MUST SEE THE INTERIORS, AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
|THE STANDARD HOTEL STRADDLES THE HIGH LINE.
IT HAS ALSO BEEN KNOWN TO PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF PROPRIETY.
NOTE CARDS PLACED IN EACH ROOM REQUEST
THAT GUESTS MAKE GOOD USE OF THE CURTAINS!
|THE ORIGINAL RAILS MAKE AN APPEARANCE|
|AND INTEGRATE BEAUTIFULLY INTO THE WALKWAY|
|THERE ARE LOTS OF UNIQUELY DESIGNED PLACES TO RELAX|
|INCLUDING A BEAUTIFUL, CURVING, LITERAL BLOCK OF WOOD|
|THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL OLD CONNECTIONS|
|AND LOTS OF MODERN ONES, TOO.|
|YOU CAN FIND CONSERVATION MEASURES ALL THROUGHOUT THE PARK,|
|AND LOTS OF PRESERVATION MEASURES, AS WELL.|
|I KEPT COMING ACROSS THE MISSONI FOR TARGET POP-UP SHOPS,|
|AND SPOTTED A FEW DREAMS SHOPS ALONG THE WAY.|
|I ALSO GOT A FRONT ROW
|THE PARK IS MUCH LOVED AND WELL USED,|
|FOSTERING A SENSE OF COMMUNITY FOR GROWN-UPS,|
|A BIT OF FUN FOR THE KIDS,|
|AND A PLACE TO REJUVENATE FOR SOME!|
|THERE IS A EURO-STYLE SPOT FOR WATCHING THE BOATS ON THE HUDSON,|
|AND A COUPLE OF DINING SPOTS WITH GREAT VIEWS AT THE END OF THE LINE.|
|THEY EVEN MADE SPACE FOR THE ONE THING MOST
NEW YORKERS DON’T HAVE, A BIG LAWN!
|AT THE END OF THE HIGH LINE, I CHOSE TO GRAB AN OUTSTANDING
BRUNCH OF BELINIS AND A FRITATTA AT TINY, CHIC MEME,
A RESTAURANT ON HUDSON STREET, ACROSS FROM ABINGTON
SQUARE PARK IN THE VIBRANT WEST VILLAGE. IT WAS SO GOOD,
AND THE DAY WAS SO PERFECT, I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE!
All Photos © Fine Life, 2011
This sojourn only helped to increase my desire to live in a walkable community. There is an aliveness that can’t be recaptured in my sidewalk free suburb. Cities like New York and Chicago prove time and again, that if people are given the means and access, they will utilize every inch of public space.
I have no doubt that investments in infrastructure reuse projects like the High Line are a good thing, and a great example of how public and private parties can come together to create something that benefits everyone!
Tell me about your favorite public space.