Save the Spur Video and Rally Recap!

The turn-out of High Line supporters for Monday’s Eastern Rail Yards Public Forum was great: more than 200 people rallied at Midtown’s Red Cross in favor of preserving the entire High Line, including the Spur over 10th Avenue. Supporters wore red “Save the Spur” T-shirts and held signs during a presentation by The Related Companies, the designated developer at the rail yards.

The Spur, a portion of the High Line that crosses 10th Avenue at 30th Street, is still clearly under threat of demolition. Almost every speaker voiced strong support for preserving the entire High Line at the rail yards, including elected leaders US Representative Jerrold Nadler and New York State Assemblymember Dick Gottfried. Related gave no concrete answer as to why the spur would need to be torn down, only that the spur is “large and dark.”

On a promising note, the building on the Western Rail Yards that was previously shown blocking the High Line’s western views was not in the plans shown on Monday night.

With your help, we will continue to put pressure on the developer, the City, the MTA, and Governor Paterson. Please stay tuned to our E-mail Newsletter for updates on what you can do to help us Save the Spur.

Thanks to everyone who came out on Monday night to show that the Spur, like the rest of the historic High Line structure, must be preserved and integrated into the rail yards development.

Art of Noise: Musical Destruction on the High Line

Trains stopped running on the High Line in 1980, but it turns out the party was far from over. We direct you to the amazing Art of Noise video for the 1984 single “Close (To the Edit).”

Marvel as a mulleted demon child and team of highwater-wearing accomplices deconstruct and set fire to a grand piano and other instruments. The elevated loading dock of the former Cudahy Meatpacking Plant makes an ideal dystopia for avant-garde showboating.

Best of the High Line Blog

The High Line is well on its way to becoming New York’s first park in the sky, with plants taking root in late summer and the first section on schedule to open by the end of 2008. Keep up to date with the High Line’s progress here on the Blog, written by Friends of the High Line’s staff members:

Design!

Our new Design Video, produced by Brooklyn Digital Foundry, and made possible by the Trust for Architectural Easements.

Slide show of Sections 1 and 2 Design

Designing the High Line, our brand new design publication is now for sale on Amazon.com

Construction!

Site Photography: Planking Installation

Action-Packed Construction Update

Photo of the Week: Peel-Up Benches

History!

History Video, Narrated by Ethan Hawke

Chelsea: 1986

Westbeth High Line Section

Community News!

Chalk Shoes to the High Line

Florent: Don’t Cry for Me

Field Ops to Design the Country’s Largest Urban Park

Student-Run Farmer’s Market at PS 11 in Chelsea

And last but not least, the High Line’s favorite compatriot:

David Beckham!

David Beckham Bears All for the High Line, “Parts” 1 and 2

History Video, Narrated by Ethan Hawke

A good concise history of the High Line, from the days of Death Avenue to Friends of the High Line’s preservation efforts. Ethan Hawke narrated this video for us, and Matt Wolf produced it.

Upcoming: Matt Wolf’s “Wild Combination” at the Kitchen

Our friend Matt Wolf, a talented filmmaker who’s produced several short videos about the High Line, makes the New York debut of his first feature-length film, “Wild Combination“, at the Kitchen on May 15. Matt’s film was an Official Selection at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

The film will show as part of a series of film and music celebrating avant-garde musician Arthur Russell, a first-generation Kitchen artist. This one is not to be missed. Tickets are now available for two screenings. [www.ticketweb.com]

Visit the film’s site for more info, stills and clips.

From the synopsis:

WILD COMBINATION is director Matt Wolf’s visually absorbing portrait of the seminal avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell. Before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Arthur prolifically created music that spanned both pop and the transcendent possibilities of abstract art. Now, over fifteen years since his passing, Arthur’s work is finally finding its audience. Wolf incorporates rare archival footage and commentary from Arthur’s family, friends, and closest collaborators—including Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg—to tell this poignant and important story.

Some of Matt’s High Line shorts are on YouTube, including the 2007 High Line Portrait Project, and the 2007 Summer Benefit.

Matt’s now at work on a video about the High Line’s history, narrated by Ethan Hawke. Stay tuned.

Robert on Crain’s 40 Under 40

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Crain’s came out with their annual 40 Under 40 list  yesterday, and the High Line’s own Robert Hammond made the cut.

He’s profiled on the site  with a quick video (and enough studio photos to turn heads over at the Daily Intelligencer.)

Robert Hammond, 38 [Crain's 40 Under 40]

Chapter One: He Adored the High Line

In one of the greatest movie openings of all time, Woody Allen’s Manhattan features shots of his noble but down-at-the-heels city unfolding to the swooping score of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Allen’s own signature writerly futzing.

The whole thing is worth watching, of course, but pay special attention to seconds 22 through 26.

The shadowy High Line looms large, helping set the tone for a 1979 Manhattan “that existed only in black and white.” Seems like the High Line was a bit of a character actor, playing grit the best a rusted bitch knows how. See earlier: Pat Benatar Rocks the Line.

Pat Benatar Rocks the Line

In what is an eerily near-perfect re-telling of my own coming-to-New York story, Pat Benatar’s Love Is A Battlefield video tells the story of a runaway from small-town America, who, against all odds, fights her way through the grime-ridden dive bars of New York’s oily, leather-clad underbelly, to end up dancing in the streets (where else?) under the High Line!

In the final scenes of the video, Our Lady of Rock and her gang of lycra-clad she-beasts tear up West 33rd Street as the sun sets on the High Line behind them. (The West Side Rail Yards is a battlefield too.)

Please take 5 minutes and 17 seconds out of your day to marvel at the awesomeness that is Pat Benatar:

High Line Video on Open House NYC

The NBC real estate show Open House NYC covered the High Line’s transformation in a segment on its Sunday morning broadcast. It features co-Founder Robert Hammond and City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden. (A 15-second ad plays before the video.)

Crain’s Video: Rail Yards Developers at REBNY Gala

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Crain’s caught up with four of the five Rail Yards developers at the 112th annual Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) gala.

Ric Clark from Brookfield, Stephen Ross from Related, Douglas Durst from Durst/Vornado, and Jerry Speyer from Tishman Speyer all make the case for why their development plan was the best.

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