Great News for the High Line at the Rail Yards

Photo courtesy Alex S. MacLean/Landslides Aerial Photography.

We’re pleased to bring you news of another major milestone towards the full preservation of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards. The Department of City Planning announced today that it has certified the City’s application for approval of future acquisition of the High Line above 30th Street.

Read the full Press Release [PDF]

This certification kicks off the seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), during which there will be several opportunities for public input. Along the way, we hope you will come out and show your support for the High Line’s preservation, as you have so many times before. We will push for the City to take ownership of the High Line and ensure that its future is determined by the public.

Though today’s announcement does not guarantee preservation of the High Line, the City’s move toward High Line acquisition is a major positive step towards achieving our ultimate goals: full preservation of the historic structure north of 30th Street, including the 10th Avenue Spur, and completion of the High Line project all the way to 34th Street.

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Fire Escape Music

If you visited the High Line this past summer, you may have been pleasantly surprised by the High Line Renegade Cabaret, a free show of Jazz singing played from a fire escape on 20th Street. Justin Sullivan, a musically-inclined downstairs neighbor, put on some shows of his own, recruiting local musician Mac Gollehon to play to an audience on the High Line and on the street.

Justin sent in this video montage of his shows, accompanied by music he’s been producing with Mac for a full length album inspired by these impromptu concerts, coming out this May. We can’t wait to see what Summer 2010 will bring!

2009 in Pictures

Dear Friends,

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

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Join Your Local Community Board!

The Manhattan Borough President’s office is currently accepting applications for community board membership! Community boards are charged with representing community interests on crucial issues of development, land use, zoning, and city service delivery. Serving on a board is an incredible opportunity to make changes in your community, advise your elected officials on the issues you care about, and be at the forefront of sound community-based planning decisions.

Please join Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for an information meeting to learn about the roles and responsibilities of community board members.

Two community board information sessions will be held:

Thursday, Dec. 17th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, 163 West 125th Street, Room 8A

Monday, Jan. 11th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, 711 West 168th Street

To RSVP for an information session, please call (212) 669-4374 or email RSVP@manhattanbp.org and specify which session you plan to attend.

To find out more about Manhattan’s community boards, learn how to apply for membership, or download an application, visit http://www.mbpo.org. Applications are due by January 15th, 2010.

High Line Regular Tommy Flamer

Friends of the High Line staff have known neighborhood resident Tommy Flamer for a long time. Before Section 1 opened, Tommy was a fixture at all of our Rail Yards hearings, community meetings, and public programs. We would often spot him walking underneath the High Line, looking up.  Always curious and ready to chat, his excitement and friendly demeanor led to quick friendships with many of us on staff. Since the park opened, Tommy sightings on the High Line have been commonplace.

When I finally got to sit down with Tommy on a brisk December evening to ask him some questions, I found an untapped treasure chest of historical information on the High Line and the surrounding neighborhood. Tommy has lived in Chelsea since 1968, and has lived in his current home on 18th Street since 1979. As a young man he worked as a stock boy at the now defunct Valley Drugs, a pharmacy on 14th Street and 7th Avenue, and then as an elevator operator in London Terrace and at the Leo House.

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Holiday Singing with NYC Lab School, December 17

Are you as excited as we are for another beautiful winter in New York City? Then come help us celebrate the season with the New York City Lab School Chorus and Craft Sweets for a performance of winter songs and a feast of some sweet treats on the High Line.

The NYC Lab School High School Chorus will give a free outdoor concert on the High Line on Thursday, December 17. The chorus will perform two half-hour sets, at 5:30 and 6:00 PM, on the High Line in the Chelsea Market Passage, near 15th Street. The closest entrances are the stairs and elevator located at 14th and 16th Streets.

This program is completely free and open to the public. Hot cocoa and gingerbread by Tom Colicchio’s Craft Sweets will be available for purchase at the event for $3. We hope to see you there!

Three Days Only: Baby Buggy Gear Drive at the Caledonia

Today through Saturday, Baby Buggy is holding a drive at the Caledonia near the 16th Street entrance to the High Line.  They’re collecting new and gently used strollers, high chairs, front carriers, and bassinets for needy New York City families.  These items are essentials for families with small children.

Stop by:

Thursday, December from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Friday, December 4th from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Saturday, December 5th from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

As an added bonus, families who bring their children on Saturday can make a card for a recipient and enjoy some cookies from Eleni’s.