Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The High Line - and Other News

Good day! It's June 15 and time to record what's up with this town. After all, one week ago today the second part of the High Line (and believe me when I admit that I almost wrote "the second half" of the High Line!) opened. And a very curious interval it is.

Not quite as breathtaking as the first part, I must aver, but still a compelling addition to a revolutionary beginning.

First, this rainy warm spring has created a virtual bath of luxurious green up there - and what are these conical flowers? A friend of mine recently asked what they were doing there - "aren't they native to South Africa?" I don't know, although there is a list - the June Blooming List - that can tell any curious flower lover all the names, in Latin and English, of all that's blooming.

I was walking there on Sunday (after spotting David Byrne riding his bike down Ninth Avenue - helmetless! - but with a smile and sitting comfortably behind his basket) with a couple of visitors from London, England. I had to point out flowers to the English!

But there are also the birds. And here, as my visitor saw, were some interesting contraptions - bird feeders, they were. In fact, you can spot a small golden chunk of - sweet potatoe? Very curious!

Some, as we saw, were content to ruminate on other things, and rest upon the benches so gently placed at the edge of a wonderfully green and soft-looking lawn. The lawn was off limits that day, however. As I learned later, it was closed off to walkers (and liers, rollers and somersaulters) for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday because of its wetness. The High Liners are most anxious that their new lawn gets the rest it needs to weather the enjoyment of thousands the rest of the summer long. Very thoughtful, don't you think?

The High Line was quite popular Sunday, too. Everyone wanted to see what would be the nature of the extension to what had become in its first two years perhaps the most popular park in the City (after Central Park, I would suggest - but it would be close in a certain demographic).

A lot of people!

But the High Line on this stage of its progress has an interesting feature: the Flyover. Check it out:

After walking onto it, I looked back, and down - and it almost seemed as if I were walking over the "original" High Line - when it was abandoned, and the tracks were barely visible through the grass ("weeds"?), and small trees were surviving above all the city grime. But, now, we were above that. Very nice touch. Worth spending time just contemplating change and adaptation ... and many other things, perhaps - but when it's less crowded!

We did reach the end, and did talk to some New Yorkers (down from their high-rises for a walk, no doubt), but the very end isn't quite what it will be. The Related Companies have a grand project for Hudson Yards (as the tracks are called), which will become visible within the next two or three years.

But perhaps the potentially most memorable moment wasn't ours after all, but to see it was charming nonetheless:

You can't make it out? Let's make it a little easier:

I hope she said yes!