No Longer Empty


Last night brought the opening of an art exhibition inspired, in part, by the High Line.

“Reflecting Transformations” features artworks that address the idea of transformation and celebrate “the regeneration of the area and the transformative nature that art can have on a community.”  This eclectic show is installed in a vacant storefront on 16th Street in the Caledonia building, mere steps from the 16th Street entrance to the High Line.  The show was organized by “No Longer Empty,” a collective of curators and artists who are devoted to temporarily transforming vacant storefronts into venues for contemporary art.  A welcome project, especially in these tough times.  The exhibition runs through September 26.

Peter Obletz: The High Line’s Original Friend

Peter Obletz

Obletz outside his home in 1983

The High Line in 2009 is a story of success. After ten years of arguing, working, raising money, convincing, and building, the High Line finally opened as the civic marvel that many had dreamed it could become during its decades of disuse. However, this story of success began with a much earlier fight back in the 1970s , when a man named Peter Obletz first walked the High Line- what he referred to as a “mile and a half long cocktail sausage on toothpicks.” Though Obletz ultimately failed to convince the city to reuse the High Line, his initial fight paved the way for the successes of the future.

Obletz, a former dance-company manager and train enthusiast, lived in a concrete block railroad building next door to two antique rail cars he had painstakingly restored in the late 1970s. Obletz took his first trip up to the High Line during this time and fell in love immediately. The subsequent story has been recounted many times since, from his purchase of the line from Conrail for $10, to his long and draining fight to preserve it both for commercial and public use, to his untimely death in 1996. Continue reading

Hannock and Halfsteak at Craftsteak


From Grub Street

Today’s Guest post is by FHL Co-Founder Robert Hammond on one of his favorite places to eat in the neighborhood:

“A few weeks ago I walked into Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Craftsteak to show some friends Stephen Hannock’s amazing painting Chelsea Winter with Elevated Park; New York High Line.  Stephen painted the High Line in 2006, right before construction began, using a rooftop perspective and collaged images from Friends of the High Line. It’s really something to see up close if you haven’t, and a good excuse to swing by this great restaurant.
I had been meaning to make it to Tom’s  recently launched Halfsteak – a  more casual  restaurant in the  front dining room of Craftsteak that opened a few months ago. We ended up having dinner there and it did not cost much more than good take-out food. The burger is $11.50 and it comes with delicious fries. You can also order any items off of the main dining room menu if you have your heart set on any of their seasonal side dishes or steaks.

The restaurant is a stone’s throw from our 14th and 16th Street entrances to the High Line and is a perfect place to watch the sun set across the Hudson River, so after a walk on the High Line this summer, stop in for a “Half Pint” and a “Halfsteak.”

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NYT Most-emailed: The High Line’s “small town in the air”

New York Times: July 22, 2009

Today, a new accolade! For the first time, an article about the High Line made it to the “most-emailed” list on the New York Times web site.

The article, called “The High Line: A Railway Out of Manhattan”, captures the special atmosphere up on the line– “almost a small town in the air… It even inspires crusty New Yorkers to behave as if they were strolling down Main Street.”

As a park visitor explained in the article:  “Here people tend to be more friendly… Those same people, you might see them someplace else and, you know,” she broke off, raising her eyebrows, “they’re kind of stressed.”

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Target High Line Street Festival Recap


A big thanks to the thousands of people who came to the Target High Line Street Festival on Sunday!

We estimate that more than 25,000 people joined us at the Street Festival and up on the High Line. We are so grateful to Target, the Parks Department and other City partners, and all of our fabulous Festival organizers, performers, artists and partners for making this one-of-a-kind event possible.

Many more photos (courtesy Lou Rocca), after the jump.

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Bill Cunningham: Elevated Fashion


What happens when adorable Sunday Styles mainstay Bill Cunningham turns his enthusiastic lens and microphone to the High Line?

We don’t want to attempt to describe this gem of an audio slide show in mere words, so you’d better just see for yourself. Let’s just say he thinks these kids and their elevated park are just mah-velous.

This Sunday: Target High Line Street Festival!


Don’t miss the Target High Line Street Festival, our free celebration of the High Line’s opening season, taking place this Sunday and generously sponsored by Target.

From 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM, we’ll take over Gansevoort Street between Ninth Avenue and Washington Street, in the Meatpacking District.

Come marvel at the World’s Largest Lemonade Stand – in a 1,300 gallon custom-built Rosenwach water tank. The event will also feature inflatable sculptures, a reincarnation of the West Side Cowboy from the Federation of Black Cowboys, body painting, and performances by the Hungry March Band, Zona Del Barrio, and Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, among many others.

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