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2009 has been a remarkable year for the High Line. After spending the spring working on the final stages of construction, we opened the first section of the park in June. Since then, we estimate that nearly 2 million people have visited. We hope you were among these first visitors to the High Line, and that you return again and again in 2010.
The High Line’s first year as a public park has been truly amazing. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite pictures from this incredible, historic year. We hope you enjoy them!
We hope you’ll continue to support the High Line as we prepare for 2010.
Many thanks, and happy New Year,
Park visitors stroll and relax on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck between 14th and 15th Streets. The Sundeck is one of the High Line’s most popular gathering spots, especially for sunbathers on bright summer days, and as a place to watch the sunset. Photo by Iwan Baan
“…The High Line is a hit, and not just with tourists but with New Yorkers who are openly relishing a place where they can reflect and relax enough to get a new perspective on Manhattan.”
—Diane Cardwell, For High Line Visitors, Park is a Railway Out of Manhattan, New York Times
In addition to all the shoveling the High Line staff did to keep the park open this weekend, our temporary Maintenance & Operations facility has been moved down to the southern entrance of the High Line, at street level. In order to get ready for the joining of Section 1 to Section 2 – (still under construction) – the M&O trailers (where our gardeners, maintenance workers, and Rangers house equipment and offices) were moved 10 blocks south, just west of the Gansevoort Stairway.
The trailers and containers were crane-lifted off the High Line and loaded onto flatbed trucks that transported everything to their new southern location, where they will rest until construction for the new Whitney Museum begins at Gansevoort and Washington Street, adjacent to the High Line.
If you haven’t already caught glimpses of the High Line dressed in white, check out the snow-strewn photos that our Maintenance & Operations staff took this weekend.
In order to clear the snow, the crew used various tools and equipment including: a Bobcat mini-tracker with spinning broom, power brooms, push brooms, snow-blowers, shovels, and eco-friendly ice melt. Brooms (and power brooms) are the best way to remove snow safely and efficiently from the concrete planking and pathways.
Because of the High Line’s narrow pathways and relatively long distances, it can take a member of our maintenance and operations team 30 minutes to walk from the trailers at 20th Street, down to the Gansevoort end, and back. To save time and help with heavy loads, we’ve just added two High Line operations trikes, from Brooklyn-based Worksman (America’s oldest bicycle manufacturer), to our arsenal of operations tools. Pedal power will be a quick and environmentally friendly way to get from Point A to Point B — especially when Section 2 opens and doubles the length of the High Line.
The “Goings on About Town” photo in this week’s New Yorker featured a familiar sight to anyone who’s strolled the High Line on a hot day. The Sundeck’s lounge chairs — both rolling and stationary — have become a veritable Mecca for sunbathers.
For those who remember the early iterations of the High Line’s design, the photo also reminds us of something…
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!
[Peter Brown, Author/Illustrator, demonstrates his technique at a reading for elementary school students]
This Sunday’s New York Times Book Review featured a review of its current #2 best-selling children’s book: The Curious Garden, a lushly illustrated tale of a boy who finds an expanse of flowers and plants growing in the most unlikely of places: an abandoned elevated rail line.
In last week’s Book Review podcast, author and illustrator Peter Brown talks about his inspiration for the story: the High Line, “this lush, wild garden area that was taking care of itself. It was really this pretty miraculous site. And so when I discovered that place, when I first moved to New York, I decided that I wanted to make a book about nature living in the city in sort of an unlikely way.”
In his annual State of the City Address, Mayor Bloomberg focused mainly on his strategy for stabilizing the city’s economy and pulling it out of recession. The plan he outlined in today’s address at Brooklyn College focused on three main areas: job growth, quality of life, and making city agencies more efficient. According to a draft prepared for today’s delivery [PDF, via the New York Times], the first point of the nine-point plan focuses on creating jobs by investing in infrastructure— including, in the Mayor’s own words, “opening the first section of the world’s most innovative park, the High Line in Lower Manhattan.”
The High Line is only one of the infrastructure projects the Mayor referenced that have created “25,000 construction-related jobs” this fiscal year.
Other points in the Mayor’s job creation plan include helping small businesses by launching more Business Improvement Districts, and creating “green” jobs by improving energy efficiency in City buildings.
The Mayor also emphasized the importance of improving quality of life in New York City, pointing out that 300 new acres of parkland have been created in the city over the last seven years, and pledging to protect the park system, “a precious asset that belongs to all New Yorkers.”