The High Line Effect

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Image courtesy of Claudia Berger.

A recent article in the Gotham Gazette documents the perks of a good park, far beyond its immediate function as a facility for recreation and rest. According to “The Central Park Effect”, Central Park attracts more than 25 million visitors a year, about one fifth of whom come from outside the city. Spending by these visitors directly and indirectly accounted for $395 million in economic activity. This activity, as well as increases in property values near the park, generated $656 million in revenues for the city in 2007.

In its first week, the High Line attracted more than 70,000 visitors. According to the New York Times, City officials have predicted that development sparked by the High Line as a public park will bring $4 billion in private investment and $900 million in revenues to the city over the next 30 years.

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High Line Renegade Cabaret in the NYT

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From the New York Times

Yesterday’s New York Times article about the High Line Renegade Cabaret shed some light on our new favorite neighbor, who’s been serenading park users since opening day.  Patty Heffley, a former punk rock photographer, enlisted her jazz singer friend Elizabeth Soychak to help transform her fire escape from a laundry dryer into a bona fide stage. Heffley described the change succinctly in her first introduction:

“This is in response to 31 years of obscurity,” Ms. Heffley announced from the fire escape. “Now, every day there are thousands of people looking in my window. We’re not here to celebrate, we’re here to exploit. Welcome to the Renegade Cabaret.”

Despite running into some problems regarding the issue of where to hang her unmentionables up to dry, the High Line has helped lift Ms. Heffley into the spotlight, quite literally. The encouragement Ms. Heffley has recieved has led her to consider other possibilities. “I’ll be putting other kinds of stuff out there, too” she says. “I have lots of ideas.

You can join the High Line Renegade Cabaret tonight from 9:00 – 10:00 PM at 20th Street.

Find out about showtimes and more at the High Line Renegade Cabaret Facebook group.

Read the full article here, and don’t miss the slideshow!

Name That Plant!

Visitors at the Chelsea Grasslands

Visitors at the Chelsea Grasslands

Today’s blog post was guest written by one of our Greeters, Claudia Berger.

One thing is for sure, rain certainly helps the garden grow. The last few weeks of rain has really allowed the Chelsea Grasslands section to flourish. Flowers and other plants of all colors, shapes and sizes have been blooming attracting not only visitors but a variety of butterflies, bees, and birds.

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Update on Park Entrances

If you visited the park in our first couple of weeks, you may have been told to enter using the Gansevoort access point. This early limited access was part of our strategy to handle the anticipated heavy crowds on the park initially.

You can now enter and exit the park at all access points (Gansevoort stairs, 14th Street stairs, 16th street stairs and elevator, 18th street stairs, and 20th street stairs).

However, in the event that we reach capacity, we will once again limit entrance to the Gansevoort access point (or 16th Street if you require an elevator). This is most likely to happen on the weekends, during peak hours of 1:00 to 4:00. So far, this has only occurred on two occasions on the weekends, and has resulted in lines of 10 to 30 minutes.

Most visitors who encountered the lines still had a wonderful experience in the park, and recognized that the brief wait was necessary in order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors and to prevent damage to the park’s delicate landscape.

We hope that you will take the opportunity to visit the High Line, as more than 100,000 visitors have already!

Wallpaper.com Video

Here’s a video from UK-based Wallpaper, featuring Co-Founder Joshua David and lead designer James Corner. It was shot back in April, a couple months before the park opened, and it’s amazing how different the landscape looks.

As is to be expected for Wallpaper, this video has STYLE. We love it.

Our New Flickr Pool Wants Your Photos

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We’ve created a brand-new Flickr Group, and it’s looking a little lonely. We need YOU to cheer up our Pool by adding photos of your High Line visit!

If you have a Flickr account, go to www.flickr.com/groups/friendsofthehighline/ and click “Join this Group” at the top. Once you’re a member, it’s easy to add photos. Just click on “Group Pool” and “Add Photos or Video”.

If you don’t have a Flickr account, it’s easy and free to set one up.

See you in the Pool!

The Curse of Ezekiel Marcus

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Some of you may have noticed an increase in precipitation over the past month or so. Meteorologists have put it down to the high-altitude jet stream that normally guides the movement of weather across the country being slightly south of its normal position- an explanation that may suffice for those of us willing to settle for a simple, evidently logical answer, but for those looking for a more challenging account of what’s going on, the folks over at trainjotting have uncovered a much more sinister explanation.

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