Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hidden High Line

A High Line Emblem
After a short hiatus from blog updates I wanted to return with a follow up to my Central Park visit- but this time I found myself in an unprecedented urban park which I wanted to share with you.

With a mass of unfinished work to my left and right you would think time is scarce and that I would not have enough of it to blog regularly. But the reason I am able to carry out this undertaking at the High Line Park is because my professor is ‘outta town’ today (although I have been given a fair amount of reading) so I have taken full advantage of his virtual absence.

It is Tuesday 8th November 2010. The air is fresh and polluted- surely these don’t correspond with each other? And yet they do.  Once again the horizon is without mountains of cloud, just the glorious rays beating on our backs and burning our faces. The cold is now becoming a minor blip in light of these favourable conditions. And so the new discovery begins…

As part of New York’s urban development many obsolete and dilapidated buildings are undergoing a gentrification process (yallah Hoblanders!). The High-Line Park is a revolutionary spin on what is deemed a traditional park. It is more of a concept than a park. I thought it would be fitting to show you a contrast between Central Park and this cutting-edge park. Whilst Central Park encompasses a vast capacity of Manhattan (it’s a real focal point) the High-Line occupies a modest space in the Chelsea district- a district that is home to the plush and the Projects.
A Gorgeous Tree-Lined Street

So, The High Line was originally built in the 1930s as a rail line structure, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan's street. Because the park site is featured on a rail track it is of course an elevated park. This is what I meant when I mentioned that New York is old vs. new, the well-executed urban landscape is integrated within the original 1930s parameters. The beauty of its location is that you get a 360 degree scenic vista of Manhattan and New Jersey. And a real treat is getting a sliver of Liberty Island alongside the panoramic Hudson River against Jersey, if you stand at the right angle… 
From Here The Park Blends In With The Industry

 It isn’t especially big or extensive- just a long winding strip set against an industrial backdrop. That is what’s so great about this experience because you feel like you are engulfed in a modern locale but the retention of the 1930s charm adds a nostalgic touch to an epoch that is ever present.

Steel Steps To Unconventional Serenity

The Walkways Are Flanked With High Grass


With Regular Spurts Of Flowerbeds

'The Epitome of Relaxation' isn't a phrase that would typically be attached to an urban park, but the very essence of the experience is based upon the city's madness.The sleek lounge chairs and benches provide a momentary slump for you to savor in the flickering traffic lights and absorb the city's acoustic range.

Whilst I observed here and there I noticed a seemingly chilled out woman lying down with her legs untangled, taking the shape of the lounge chair design. The wind took her cascading hair over the edge of the chair. Her face's natural creases were accentuated with her subtle smile. She was loving it.

The Chair's Ramp Is A Welcoming Decline After A Hectic Morning
My personal favorite part is the 'Viewing Spur' which acts as a kind of urban theatre for the masses to allow the kinetic energy of the city to go by under their feet. A tad confused at this concept? 
The Amphitheater Style Seating

An Urban Experience

The steel framed glass 'windows' provide with a clear, clean and visceral image of 10th Avenue's action.  I've sat here during the day/night to see the difference and neither failed to hypnotize me. The constant motion sends you to a trance like state- then a drill sounding horn pops the bubble! And also, at night there are soft white and green lights that emanate from under the plants. It's such a peaceful aura.

Because this park is part of a new wave of modern concepts there are certain features which support an urban ideology. Placed in the middle of the park, is a standing canvas with random cut outs. 
As Demonstrated Here, You Have To Look Through A Small Rectangular Slit To See A Fragmented View Of The City

This Is My Camera's Shot- Conclude What You Will With This Perception....
 If you ever visit this park you need to come equipped with an open mind. It is not a lush and green park that will transport you to another realm like Central Park does but it is still an inviting respite from the daily high speed pace.  In fact it actually reinforces the West Village’s ‘look’- a ‘look’ that is now being reborn with the accumulative renewal efforts. And I hasten to add that this is still a working progress, as an extension is in the works.This really is a gem hidden from the city’s commercial spots. If you want an artistic experience, GO.  www.thehighline.org

Even Though This Is An Abstract Park, There Is No Law Against Carrying Out Traditional Past times!

                        Oh and I thought I'd show you what New York's current colour palet is:
Festive Spirits Loom!

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