Oh, I went walking Friday. Ever done it? I mean, just go walking ... with a general goal, but you've got time, the weather's good - even your friends are with you on the phone but hundreds of miles away - just walking. A beautiful day ....
I was walking up Waverly Place, then over to West 4th Street, then along Hudson Street - then I saw this:
Yes! I said to myself - life is good!
So, I walked on. Maybe I'll walk through the Meatpacking neighborhood. After all, I was heading up to the Circle Line offices to talk with Mike Duffy, their Port Captain, so that was on the way. But, as often happens, a young lady stopped in front of me, looking at a map. "You know where high line is?" She asked.
Yes! I do!
We walked along W. 13th Street then together. She is from Brooklyn, and was going to meet some of her friends at the "main entrance" to the High Line; I said "Sure! Follow me!" as if I knew where it was ... but I did know where it was, just I have never been there - "You know, this will be my first time too!"
The Meatpacking district has changed so that it is far more attractive than many could have imagined, and the High Line is the grace note that flies over it and takes it to, well, sorry, I can't help it: another level!
We arrived, and my friend took to the steps.
Wow, I thought, this is really nicely done ... I wonder what it will look like above, on the - track bed?
I may be a tour guide, but the element of my life that is excited by guiding is, I think it's called, the explorer gene! I just love finding new places. Even if I'm not the first one there - it's the first for me, so that's exciting.
Just look! It seemed that the new "bed" evoked the past with its rail-like separations. But it was a stylized evocation. Do you see the rising "rail" in the center of the picture on the left? That's a bench! And there are many of them all along the High Line, graceful notes of reminders that afford a peaceful perch for contemplation. The Park Rangers are there too, as if it's another opening day (which was June 9, 2009). And it's not raining.
There is a hotel, already, built over the High Line, but there is much to see as we walk along.
But as I approach the hotel ... do I see a ... model? In the center of this picture to your right ....
Yes! I get closer and I see a long legged beauty posing for a fashion shoot, no doubt, her hair being positioned just so.
But, there's more to see, so rather than wait for her to turn around and wave at me, I walk on! (Ever your intrepid, dedicated blogger ....)
For, I discover, there's another work of art being composed just near by. Let's look.
See? I can get an attractive model willing to pose for me too! This is his first day on the High Line, and everything he's wearing is brand new! Fresh as a new flower, our Park Ranger is, and happy to be here too. In fact, the next day he will be at the pool on E. 77th Street - right next to where I live!
Let's walk on. There is more, and another work of art to be completed ... just up the trail from here ....
A painter applies the extra daubs of paint to make his picture more complete, more evocative of his feelings and perceptions from the high line.
I asked him, of course, if I could take his picture, and he shrugged OK. I understand.
As I walked on, I saw what he was painting, and it was W. 14th Street, right below him. Still, maybe not the Meatpacking district any more, but still busy with business. And, business is good. See?
And I think I'll finish my High Line blog about now with a little meeting I had with more visitors to this new attraction.
I didn't get their names - sorry! - but they were a happy couple, life-long Brooklyn residents, who had come here years ago only for the Homestead Steak restaurant. They now spend their winters in Florida, but ... maybe now ... they'll have more reason to come back to Manhattan! Here they are:
I think they'll be back to the High Line, don't you? After all, it's all good!