Tag Archives: The High Line

HOUSE Magazine: The High Line.

House Magazine,
Issue #11, Winter 2009
Bodies and Structures:
The High Line.

WHEN YOU’VE BEEN IN NEW YORK long enough, the city tends to become a constant of police sirens and spray paint and flimsy umbrellas and weird smells and men hawking coupons and taxi cabs that drive too fast and pedestrians that walk too slow and errant pieces of bubble gum that get stuck to your shoes. The city spends its weeks in offices, returns to its too small apartments at night, and then clogs its highways on weekends, just to get out, for a tree, a lawn, a bit of space and fresh air. For this and other reasons, New York has become divinely sensitive to its landscapes and monuments – sometimes, even when the objects in question aren’t monuments to begin with. Talk about realigning an old fountain, and you’ve got citizen-led action committees handing out petitions, holding protests and chaining themselves to park benches. Such were my initial thoughts when I first heard about the High Line, a string of abandoned railway stretching through the city’s west that, over the past several years, has been turned into a park.   Continue reading

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Notes on the High Line.

The High Line

When the Empire State Building was under construction, the governor wanted the top spire to be used as a zeppelin docking station, despite the fact that passengers would have to disembark a quarter of a mile above the ground, and wind shears at that height could slam the hydrogen-filled airships into any number of nearby buildings. In 1890, drug manufacturer Eugene Schieffelin thought New York should be home to all of Shakespeare’s songbirds, and so, smuggled 40 starlings from England and released them into the night sky. Today, the North American starling population numbers close to 200 million. This is to say that New York is a city historically filled with crazy ideas, though none tend to be as quixotic as those we have for our parks.

In the next few days, I’ll be posting an article I wrote with some extended thoughts on the High Line and its historical context within New York City’s park system.

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