Student-Run Farmers Market at PS 11 in Chelsea

[Cabbages grow at Stoneledge Farm in upstate New York]

There’s a new farmer’s market in the neighborhood– and it’s run entirely by students. Starting next week, you can stop by Wednesday mornings for some fresh seasonal veggies!

PS 11, an elementary school, is partnering with the Chelsea CSA to sell local, organic produce at affordable prices from Stoneledge Farm in upstate New York, part of an initiative at the school on healthy eating. There will be cooking demonstrations, recipes and tips to help families learn about the food and discover new ways to enjoy healthy, local, and seasonal produce. Next week, learn how to make Southwestern Slaw with bok choy and napa cabbage.

PS 11 Farm Market
Wednesdays, 8:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
June 18 – November 28
320 W. 21st Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
In front of the school

Stop and Smell the Roses

Friends of the High Line moved offices last month, and our new West Chelsea digs are a bit further from the subway. I’ve been using my morning and evening commute to get to know our new neighborhood.

Our new office is just west of the Chelsea Historic District [PDF], where the beautiful Greek Revival townhouses of Cushman Row encourage pedestrians to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Or in this case, the literal ones.

This photo, taken yesterday, shows the roses that are now blooming along the gates of the General Theological Seminary on 20th Street. The gothic-looking Seminary, built on land donated by Clement Clarke Moore, is a beautiful oasis of greenery, and a great place to check out if you’re in the neighborhood.

Reminder: On Wednesday, Follow “Chalk Shoes to the High Line”

How do you get to the High Line?

Tomorrow, a group of eighth-grade students from the Lab School will be leading the way… in brightly-colored “chalk shoes.” Brooklyn-based artist Julia Mandle will lead student performers through the streets of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, in a performance commissioned by Friends of the High Line. As the students shuffle through the neighborhood on their platform-height “chalk shoes,” they will leave a green path on the sidewalks that will lead to the High Line’s future access points.
The weather promises to be gorgeous, so stop by the neighborhood between 12:30 and 1:30 pm, and check out the performance. Or, come to the Leo Kesting Gallery, where the Chalk Shoes will be on display with a video of the performance. The exhibition will be on display from May 15th-21st, during Meatpacking District Design Week.

Update: Photos are here!

Gansevoort Plaza Bollards

New (and for some, suggestively shaped) concrete bollards are being installed on Ninth Avenue between Little West 12th and West 13th Street, as part of an ongoing new measure to calm traffic and make the streets of the Meatpacking District friendlier to pedestrians. The intersection has long been a kind of car-and-pedestrian free-for-all.

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Chelsea: 1986.

[West 17th Street at 10th Avenue, looking west.]

In some ways, Chelsea in 1986 in not so different from what it is today. Sure, the neighborhood has changed and evolved in many ways, but it has also remained a diverse community of people, activities, and uses. The preservation and reuse of High Line adds another interesting element to the rich history of Chelsea and when Section 1 of the High Line opens later this year, the neighborhood will evolve yet again. Photos courtesy Department of City Planning.

[9th Avenue, looking north.] Click to see more photos. Continue reading

Breaking: MTA Selects Tishman Speyer as Rail Yards Developer

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The MTA announced today that it has selected Tishman Speyer as the developer for the West Side Rail Yards. This announcement ends a 6-month bidding process, which originally involved 5 competing developers. Tishman Speyer outbid the only other remaining contender– a joint venture between the Durst Organization and Vornado Realty Trust– by $112 million, offering to pay $1.004 billion for the rights to develop the 26-acre site.

Read the Mayor’s Press Release

Tishman Speyer Wins Hudson Yards Bid  [Crain's New York Business]

Tishman Speyer’s initial bid plan for the rail yards can be seen here. The developer is working with architect Helmut Jahn, landscape architect Peter Walker, and master planner Cooper Robertson. They plan to build 10 million square feet of commercial space, 3 million square feet of residential and leave 13 acres of open space.

Given the sudden change in gubernatorial administration, many thought the rail yards bid process would be delayed, so the MTA’s announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise. Tishman Speyer’s anchor tenant, Morgan Stanley, reportedly dropped out of the deal earlier this month.

Tishman Speyer’s plan preserves most of the High Line, but proposes to demolish the spur over Tenth Avenue, and part of the section along 30th Street.

Statement regarding the MTA’s selection of Tishman Speyer as the developer for the West Side Rail Yards

Friends of the High Line commends the MTA’s, Governor Paterson’s, and Tishman Speyer’s commitment to preserving the majority of the historic High Line structure at the rail yards, and we look forward to working with all parties to ensure that the remaining sections– the spur over Tenth Avenue and the full section along 30th Street– are preserved as well.

The treatment of the High Line in Tishman Speyer’s bid shows considerable progress from the days when it was presumed the site could not be developed without its demolition. We applaud the MTA, Governor Paterson, and Tishman Speyer for their recognition of the High Line as an asset. We are encouraged that they now share our vision of a continuous walkway, connecting the new residential, commercial and open space at the rail yards with the gallery district of West Chelsea and south to Gansevoort Street, that will be the next great city public park for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

We look forward to working with Tishman Speyer and the MTA to ensure full preservation of the entire historic High Line structure, including the spur over Tenth Avenue– almost 1/3 of the rail yards section. Additionally, we hope to work with the leadership of the Javits Center to ensure that a pedestrian easement is preserved on the 33/34 block, north of the rail yards site, so that the High Line may extend to connect with the Javits Center and the planned #7 extension.

We owe a great deal of our success so far in this process to the tireless support of our elected officials: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David Paterson, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Borough President Scott Stringer, and State Senator Tom Duane, as well as the advocacy efforts of Manhattan Community Board 4, and our Friends of the High Line volunteers and supporters. Our rail yards advocacy would not be possible without the generous financial support of the A.G. Foundation, the Greenacre Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, John and Wendy Neu, and Wendy Keys and Donald Pels.

  

Check it out at PULSE

Searching for a downtown alternative to the Armory show this weekend? Look no further than Pier 40, which will house the PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, exhibiting works in all media from over 70 international galleries.

When you’re there, check out the Artware Editions (Booth F-5). Artware is a gallery in the West Village that specializes in functional objects and furniture designed by artists. We are excited to be working with Artware to create artist-designed objects inspired (and some made with actual artifacts from) the High Line. Stay tuned for more info on those. Below, one of their pieces for the fair entitled Twin Table by Richard Roth.

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Chalk Shoes to the High Line

Chalk ShoesFriends of the High Line is set to kick off our spring programming season, and we’ll be starting off with a bang.  We’ve commissioned Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist Julia Mandle to work with a group of 60 students from the Lab School in Chelsea to mount a performance and exhibition this April and May. 

The kids, all 8th-grade art students, will be wearing chalk shoes during the performance, scuffing their feet along the sidewalks of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.  In the end, they will create a giant urban chalk drawing ending at the future access points of the High Line.  The idea is to mark the future paths that people will take to the High Line, and generate excitement about the park’s opening later this year.  More details after the jump!
[Photo by Ronald Cowie (2008)]
 

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Florent: “Don’t Cry for Me”

restflorent.jpg 

An update on the imminent closing of beloved Meatpacking District institution Florent, which will soon lose its lease after 22 years on Gansevoort Street: According to the Villager‘s resident news-cat Scoopy, restauranteur Florent Morellet is not looking for another space, but is excited to pursue other projects, including writing his memoir and devoting more time to his art: drawing maps of imaginary cities.

Florent is planning a five-week going-away bash, from Memorial Day to Gay Pride on June 29. In a final display of irreverence, he’s theming each week around one of the five stages of grieving: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

He told us he’s gotten an outpouring of sympathy from restaurant fans for closing. “Don’t cry for me,” he says, pointing out that the end of his restaurant chapter is just the beginning of another great adventure.

We wish him luck on what’s sure to be a brilliant career in memoir-writing, mapmaking, rabble-rousing, landmarking, theatrics, editorializing, farce, pyrotechnics, airport entertainment, Bastille-storming, and championing of great causes small and large.

Florent Moves [Scoopy's Notebook]

Florent Goes to Court! [High Line Blog]

Florent Watch: Restaurant Officially Being Shopped for $700K/Yr [Eater]

Neil Denari’s HL23

hl-233.jpghl231.jpg

Another addition to the burgeoning architectural wonderland that is West Chelsea.

This one is HL23, designed by Neil Denari, a new residential condo building for developer Alf Naman. It’s right next door to another far-out new condo, Lindy Roy’s High Line 519. Site work on the project began a few months ago, but construction is officially beginning this month.

The 14-story building bends and folds in response to the High Line, widening as it rises. Although now based in LA, Denari used to live in the neighborhood, and first became interested in the High Line after seeing Stephen Holl’s “Bridge of Houses” proposal back in the ’80s for houses on the High Line.

It’s also raising the bar for green buildings in the area, with LEED Gold certification and 100 percent green energy use planned.

The building will also be the subject of a special exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. It’s called “New York Fast Forward: Neil Denari Builds on the High Line,” and it’s running from June 10 to September 14. More news on that later.

hl-232.jpg

The building has also gotten a lot of press, both bloggy and papery.

Gentlemen, Start Your Spaceships: HL23 Listings Hit Web [Curbed]

HL23 – Condos at 515 West 23rd Street [Triplemint]

Eye-catching building highlights High Line rebirth [AM New York]

Neil Denari Architects, HL23 [Arcspace]

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