Saturday, June 11, 2011

Annals of Flânerie: The High Line, Section 2

On Thursday, after leaving the library, I headed west to the High Line Park to walk the new section and take some pictures, which I'm posting below.  The new section awed me as much as the initial one did, though it's different--or feels so--in several ways. It's narrower; it cuts through more buildings and offers more views of shaftways; it's lined with more trees, particularly cherry trees and junipers; it has a catwalk, with several overlooks, the Falcone Flyover, that rises 8 feet above the already elevated walkway, giving you an almost vertiginous feeling of aerial suspension; and it presses into the heart of Chelsea, especially from 18th Street on, curving west onto 10th Avenue, so that you are floating above the heart of New York's art world.  The High Line park highlights what all New Yorkers instinctively feel and what's intrinsic about the city: the radical juxtapositions of everything, the social, historical, cultural, physical, geographical.  In just 500 feet I noted buildings (from tenements to the newest condos) indexing 150+ years of New York's various histories and subhistories. It is the perfect place for a kind of heightened flânerie. Along the line I could see all kinds of people as well, every race and ethnicity, age, social class, and so on. The High Line remains one of the finest attractions in contemporary New York, a marvelous repurposing of what had been a relic of an earlier era, but also a public site, funded by a combination of federal, state, local and private monies, for all New Yorkers and visitors, not just multimillionaires, the well-connected and socialites, to enjoy.  It's the kind of site far more cities and suburbs ought to consider.

Entering the High Line's new section, @ 23rd St.
Entering the High Line's new section, at 23rd Street and 10th Avenue
At the High Line's second section, @ 23rd St.
At the 23rd St. section
Jason*, making cut outs/stencils
An artist (he said his name was Jason), cutting stencils of the flowers
Buildings everywhere you look
A ribbon of wood and flora between the buildings
Chelsea's busy streets below (looking west, towards the Hudson and New Jersey)
Flowers and buildings
Flowers and the buildings of Chelsea just beyond (looking east)
Fascinating fence
A fascinating fence on a condo abutting the High Line park
Duo taking in the scenery
The lower walkway
The lower walkway, beneath the Flyover
Window to _____
Open window on unfinished building, or a doorway to _______
People chatting on one of the rest areas
The Falcone Flyover
Falcone Flyover
One of the overlook frames
The frame of the observatory deck
The old train tracks
The old train tracks
People chatting and chilling
Chatting and chilling
Roofscapes, with the omniprescent Empire State Building in the background
Ribbon of wood
Ribbon of wood
A digsite
A building site, looking west from the High Line to New Jersey
Looking north towards Midtown
Looking north, towards Midtown and the Upper West Side (the Time Warner Center towers are visible in the background)
A children's carnival below
A children's carnival being erected below
1 of the overlooks along High Line's new section
At the overlook
Bird feeder/sculpture
One of the bird feeder/nester/sculptures
The exquisite wooden bleachers
The lawn and West St. and the Hudson in the distance
The elevated lawn
High Line's new section
Near the end of the new section
Only in New York
Only in New York
High Line's new section
Above the line
Cross street to the west, High Line's new section
Near one of Chelsea's cross streets
The car forest next to the High Line
A car forest east of the High Line
Oranges on the bird feeding station
Oranges on one of the bird feeders
The Episcopal Seminary from the High Line
The Episcopal Seminary (I think that's it) from the High Line
A stretch of the High Line's new section, with buildings abutting it
Buildings closely abutting the elevated park

The marvelous curving bench
The marvelous curving bench!
A passerby
Unfinished section, looking north
An unfinished spur, looking north

At the end of the (section 2) line
The end of the (section 2) line

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are beautiful. It is amazing to see the transformation in that area. I used to work on 15th and 10th avenue in the late 80s, early 90s. Very different place then. Thank you for this!