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Thread: The High Line: elevated railroad in Chelsea

  1. #586
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    ^ I hate when that happens....and the mother is often standing in front of the doors and not moving an inch.

    On the High Line, just ban them! Too bad if they make an uproar. Fold 'em and hold 'em. The space is too physically narrow to accommodate this foolishness.

    New strollers have huge wheels like a tractor and baggage compartments big enough to hold every toy the kid owns...with room left over for Mommy's shopping bags. When I was growing up, people would be ashamed to be seen with their kids in a stroller past a certain age. Now we have little emperors being wheeled around.

    I also suspect the explosion in double and even triple-seat strollers is due to an epidemic of 40+ women wanting babies at an age when nature didn't intend they take fertility drugs and end up producing multiple broods like a hamster.

  2. #587
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Double wide is inexcusable, ANYWHERE, but especially in the city. Tandem (front to back) is better, but still a rather large item.

    People have to realize that they do not need, and should not use, a jogging stroller on a walk in a highly traversed area. I think the only clear thnigs to do would be to put signs up forbiddingthe use of strollers on the line during peak hours.

    Just like bikes on the Boardwalk, you just do not do something that creates that much bother.

  3. #588
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    west village


    waitin ta git in

    under 'the spur'

    'the lot' at w39th st, which will have food trucks and beer

  4. #589


    'the lot' at w39th st, which will have food trucks and beer
    don't 'cha mean w30th?

  5. #590
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Manhattan still loves the high life

    New York's beloved sky park, the High Line, is about to double in size. The former railway has helped change the way a whole area sees itself.

    By Emily Kasriel

    The stereotypical New Yorker: assertive, fast, sceptical, focused on making money and determined to turn every moment into an achievement. This month, a linear sanctuary elevated above Manhattan is being doubled in length, challenging our ideas of these ultimate urban dwellers with lessons for those of us who live in cities everywhere.

    This June, the celebrated High Line, the park which runs along the West Side of Manhattan, will flow from the heart of the stylish Meatpacking district through fashionable Chelsea all the way up to 30th Street. Though the extension of this former raised railway has not yet been opened, you can glimpse its promise through still-locked gates.
    Section Two will include as much of a forest as you can cram into a narrow railway, "The Chelsea Thicket" of winterberry, redbud and large American hollies – and something rare and precious in Manhattan: an expanse of lawn. The Lawn "peels up" at 23rd Street to offer a vantage point of both sides of Manhattan Island.

    Since the original High Line opened two years ago, people have come to use this raised urban park in a unique and subtle way, almost as if they were wandering around an art gallery. You can't run with your dog, skate or cycle through the High Line on your way to somewhere else. Instead, the meandering stream of wooden paths, which you are forced to take to avoid stepping on the "wild" species, encourages you to take your time. The height of the park provides a new perspective on the skyscrapers, water towers and fire escapes around you.

    Instead of getting you to where you need to be quickly, the High Line celebrates attention to the very moment, echoing the thriving mindfulness movement led by Jon-Kabat Zinn. His meditation classes, books and CDs have become increasingly popular as a way to become aware of what he calls the nowscape.

    I saw visitors taking off their shoes and wiggling their toes as they dipped them into a stream of water, looking intently at a plant with red, comically wavy arms, or pointing out small architectural details of the surrounding warehouses. The idea of street as theatre, and the park visitors as an audience of the New York street, is formalised in the tiered wooden seating which invites you to sit down and view 10th Avenue through a large transparent sheet. When Section Two opens you'll have the opportunity to compare life here with the viewing spur at 26th Street, where you can look at a different section of 10th Avenue through a re-imagined billboard.

    This precious opportunity to step out of time has been carefully protected against an excess of commercial encroachment. While there is space to eat, on carefully scattered tables and chairs, there are no food or drink stalls. When Section Two opens, this purity will be challenged, but only by those who offer food that is "thoughtful and creative".

    Artists are permitted to talk about and sell their photographs, paintings and jewellery, as long as they have created their work themselves. Public art blossoms, like the current bell-sound installation by Stephen Vitello. Every minute his "bell tower" tolls with an everyday sound recorded from somewhere in the city, ranging from a child's toy phone to a boxing-ring bell. This presents you with a way to tune into sounds we often ignore.

    I came to know a less-salubrious side of this area in the course of my first job in New York many years ago. I was sent to the area around the Meatpacking district to convince young male and female prostitutes to leave their haunts around the vacant parking lots and venture up-town to Columbus Circle and the studios of public TV to join in a discussion on street children. I only later came to understand the dark fear that this part of town engendered in many New Yorkers.

    Today the area has been transformed. There are still cobbled streets and occasional signs for Milano's Italian Sausage and Weichsel Wholesale Beef & Lamb, but these are nestled between high-end boutiques from Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana. The hip Standard Hotel bestrides the High Line, with its roof-top night club equipped with a plunge pool. Yet Standard visitors aren't able to slip into this sanctuary directly from their five-star luxury. Like everyone else, they must ascend the metal staircase one block down.

    The democratic nature of the High Line is also reflected in the way the park is funded. It is owned by the city itself, while the non-profit Friends of the High Line, employs the gardeners. There are frequent notices to encourage you to become a friend but, rather than money giving you access to an exclusive society, these are public clubs which confer their privileges, plants or programmes, upon every member of the community.

    Some stretches of the park are sponsored, by Tiffany's or a generous individual, but this is only recorded in discrete metal plaques.

    The High Line also offers us a new way of engaging with nature in the city. With a touch of irony, it introduces an element of wildness which echoes its abandoned origins. When the freight trains stopped shunting milk and meat along the tracks in 1980, the disused line provided shelter for wayward seedlings which planted themselves in the decaying metallic structure. The landscape architects who created the park drew inspiration from what had grown wild and today the park shows off no exotic varieties of plants, largely nurturing those which are native to the North-east US. Section Two will feature a wildflower field full of perennial blooms, which naturally alter every few weeks. Despite the rich array of tulips and cat's tail grasses which are lovingly chosen and carefully tended, they sprout amid the railway tracks as if they were self planted. From street level, you can see hints of hidden green spilling over the metallic sides. Casper, a German High Line park gardener, told me that when the Sumac tree is open fully in summer, he revels in seeing its palm-tree profile visible from street level.

    Perhaps more than any other city, Manhattan has self-consciously unfolded on multiple levels. The shortage of space due to the limits imposed by the surrounding water has encouraged New Yorkers to gaze skywards and nurture their roof gardens. The High Line draws upon the ideas of the French architect Le Corbusier who tried to create garden cities in the air.

    But all cities, especially those with deep historical roots, are also multi-levelled, with past generations hiding their secrets beneath our feet.

    I feel renewed cycling alongside the canals of London, which flow like deep cuts through that city. I can fly free of traffic lights and 21st-century congestion and touch London's early industrial past. The High Line, in contrast, lies above the present-day ground level, hinting towards the future, with birch and magnolia trees challenging our very idea of what is ground. Perhaps because of the evolutionary advantage that a greater height gave us on the wild savannah, looking down on the world increases our sense of wellbeing and encourages us to think beyond our quotidian concerns.

    Though the High Line is only two-years old, it is already cherished by New Yorkers and tourists alike. Its value doesn't come from a deep historical tradition, but rather because it has been salvaged from destruction, as a record of renewal and restoration. While it is apart from the city, it is not remote; you literally vibrate with the buzz of the world below. There is no silence but a celebration of all that New York offers, but one step removed. You are encouraged to contemplate the city's past and your place within the New York narrative without being seduced by its glittering charms. In a city where you traditionally have had to spend money to have a real experience, the High Line is teaching New Yorkers how to reflect and enjoy being a little more austere without feeling deprived.

  6. #591
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Joel Sternfeld, A Railroad Artifact

    photo from Flickr

    A Railroad Artifact, 30th St, May 2000 is the first work in Landscape with Path, a series of photographs presented on a large 25-by-75-foot billboard immediately adjacent to the High Line at West 18th Street.

    Joel Sternfeld was invited by Friends of the High Line to kick off the series with one of his now-iconic images of the High Line, A Railroad Artifact, 30th St, May 2000. He was also invited to select the other two artists to follow his project. As guest curator for the series, he selected with the theme of the Landscape with Path, and invited Robert Adams and Darren Almond to exhibit their work following his own.

    Joel Sternfeld photographed the High Line over the course of a year in 2000 - 2001. The images he shot of the space before its conversion into a public park show it as it was for many years: overgrown with wild plants; an untamed meadow-like space cutting through Manhattan's West Side. These images were important catalysts in conveying the potential for the space as a public green space, and helped convert many people into supporters of the movement to save it from demolition.

    Landscape with Path celebrates the High Line's dual nature as an urban walkway and garden promenade, and brings the work of three celebrated photographers to park visitors on a grand scale. Each billboard will remain on view for one month, in June, August, and October, 2011.

  7. #592
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    The High Line Isn’t Just a Sight to See; It’s Also an Economic Dynamo


    A decade ago, so many moneyed interests were united against saving the elevated freight tracks that cut through the West Side of Manhattan that the idea appeared to be doomed. Owners of land and buildings throughout Chelsea wanted the decaying High Line viaduct razed, and the administration of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani supported their feelings.

    But on Friday afternoon, there was Mr. Giuliani’s successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, proclaiming that preserving the High Line as a public park revitalized a swath of the city and generated $2 billion in private investment surrounding the park.

    The mayor pointed to the deluxe apartment buildings whose glass walls press up against the High Line and the hundreds of art galleries, restaurants and boutiques it overlooks. All of that commerce more than makes up for the $115 million the city has spent on the park and the deals it has made to encourage developers to build along the High Line without blocking out the sun, Mr. Bloomberg said. On top of the 8,000 construction jobs those projects required, the redevelopment has added about 12,000 jobs in the area, the mayor said.

    Indeed, what started out as a community-based campaign to convert an eyesore into an asset evolved into one of the most successful economic-development projects of the mayor’s nine years in office. The co-founders of Friends of the High Line, a group that operates the city-owned park, said the mayor and his staff deserved credit for having embraced the park and rezoned the neighborhoods it passes through to help it flourish.

    Robert Hammond, one of the founders, said the organization commissioned a study of the potential economic benefits of the project in 2002. “We talked about a High Line district and that it would be good for the local economy,” Mr. Hammond recalled. But, he added, “we had no idea that it would happen this fast. If you had said then that 10th Avenue would be a location for some of the world’s best chefs, it would just be ludicrous.”

    Amanda Burden, the city’s planning director, emphasized the boost to property values, saying that in one building that abuts the lower section of the High Line, the price of apartments had doubled since the park opened, to about $2,000 a square foot. Ms. Burden called the area “Architects Row” as she ticked off the roster of designers of nearby buildings, including Jean Nouvel, Annabelle Selldorf and Neil Denari.

    Yet those exclusive accommodations are wedged in within a block of huge brick complexes of public housing, where sheets serve as curtains and dented air-conditioners list toward the earth. A seating area on the second half-mile segment of the High Line, which is to open this week, offers visitors a pigeon’s-eye view of a Firestone auto-repair shop on 26th Street.

    The second segment bisects the blocks between 10th and 11th Avenues from 20th Street to 30th Street. If the third section is completed, it will end near the terminus of the extended No. 7 subway line, said Robert K. Steel, the deputy mayor for economic development. People could ride the subway from Queens, then walk the High Line through Chelsea to the meatpacking district, said Mr. Steel, who recently became a resident of Chelsea, just a block from the High Line.

    In a way, the High Line has done for those neighborhoods what new subway lines have done in other parts of the city, Mr. Hammond said. “Normally, the farther you get from the subway the less expensive the housing is,” said Mr. Hammond, who confessed that he rents an apartment in the West Village. “But the closer you are to the High Line, the farther you are from the subway, and still, the closer the apartments are to the High Line, the more expensive they get.”

  8. #593


    they had a soft opening today so....

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