Photography

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Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photos by Melissa MansurThis GIF shows the High Line at West 20th Street at three points during the spring season: before Spring Cutback, after Spring Cutback, and later in spring as new growth takes over the planting beds. Photos by Melissa Mansur
 

After the winter that we’ve had, tomorrow’s 50° F (or 10° C) will feel almost balmy. Regardless of the temperature, the spirit of spring has already begun to infuse the city and our staff with fond thoughts of the season ahead. Behind the scenes here, High Line Gardeners are prepping their buckets, shears, and wheelbarrows for the beginning of our largest horticultural task of the year, Spring Cutback, which kicks off next week.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Phil VachonVerdant tufts of grass fight their way through a melting layer of snow at the 23rd Street Lawn. Photo by Phil Vachon
 

This inspiring image by High Line Photographer Phil Vachon offers a good reminder – especially on cold days like today – of the pleasures of the warmer season ahead. By summer, the park’s 23rd Street Lawn will be carpeted with lush grass and playing host to High Line Kids programs, leisurely picnics, first dates, and even urban sunbathers.

While the grass is most certainly greener on the other side of winter, this time of slow transition offers emerging hints and signs of the coming season. At the High Line, excitement is building among our gardeners and volunteers for Spring Cutback, and around the city, residents dream of picnics and strolls to be enjoyed. Spring is just around the corner (we promise)!

Learn more about how winter affects the High Line’s plants in a recent post by Director of Horticulture, Thomas Smarr.

Author: 
Clay Grable
Photo by Friends of the High LineMichael Vitiello examines a book of old West Side Line (a.k.a. the High Line) advertisements in the Williamson Library. Photo by Friends of the High Line
 

On the wall of Michael Vitiello’s office, hidden in the upper levels of Grand Central Terminal, hangs a bronzed fedora. It belonged to Paul "Tick Tock" Kugler, the last clock master of Grand Central, who wore it to work there every day of his 47-year career. Michael, Grand Central's supervisor of building maintenance, is the last person Tick Tock trained to service the station’s old self-winding clocks before he retired at age 70. The sole survivor of these “master clocks” also hangs in Michael’s office, a space that feels less like a workplace than a peek into an era that has slipped away.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Mike TschappatAn American robin caught on camera mid-feast, on the High Line at West 23rd Street. Photo by Mike Tschappat
 

This past week, visitors were treated to a surprising sight: a large flock of robins had descended upon the Eastern red cedar trees on the High Line, bouncing back and forth between the branches and feasting on the trees’ bright blue berries. At times, a nearby mockingbird could be seen attempting to defend his buffet of berries, with little luck.

Author: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Gene DalyHigh Line Photographer Gene Daly captured this image of a side street off of our park.
 

Photographer Gene Daly has a talent for photographing quiet city moments. His black-and-white images catch the subtle layers and rich textures of street scenes. In this photograph, he turns the usually unattractive netting of construction scaffolding into a frame, directing his viewer's attention to a Chelsea street in soft focus.

The High Line is an excellent perch from which to view the city. At 30 feet above the street, our park allows visitors to take in Manhattan's West Side from a unique vantage point. On your next visit, why not spend a moment enjoying the beauty of the quieter side streets from our park in the sky?

Author: 
Erika Harvey
 

In celebration of the High Line Calendar, we’re exploring each month’s featured image to bring you more of the behind-the-scenes details. Visit the web shop to pick up your own copy – they’re on sale now for 50% off!

In this month’s serene image by photographer Cristina Macaya, dried spindly stalks and seed heads of coneflowers reach toward the winter sky, the memory of summer long behind them. In a season when many of us long for the vivid colors and lush foliage of summer, this photo exemplifies why we should take a closer look at natural beauty of the winter garden and appreciate this season in a new light. After all, that is what High Line planting designer Piet Oudolf intended.

Author: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Timothy SchenckHigh Line staff worked tirelessly early this week to remove snow from the park entrance at West 14th Street. Photo by Timothy Schenck

This winter has had its share of snow, and it looks like we may be seeing more before spring's arrival. After a storm, staff and volunteers arrive early to clear paths so visitors can safely enjoy a stroll through the magical winter scenery. (Learn more about how you can help us remove snow.)

We use several different methods for snow removal. The tools in our arsenal include power brooms, snow-throwers and – of course – old-fashioned shovels, however, we avoid utilizing rock salt and chemical ice-melt because of the damage these products cause to our plants.

We're incredibly grateful to the staff and volunteers who remove dangerous ice and snow from our park. Clearing the stairs is a particularly time-consuming task, as the steps are shoveled completely by hand. And keeping the walkways free of ice is a particularly difficult job because the High Line is exposed, much like a bridge, making surface temperatures drop quickly.

The safety of our visitors is our top priority. We block off sections of walkway that have become slippery, and – as a last resort – close areas of the park when walking has become dangerous. If you are ever wondering what conditions are like in the park, follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Photo by Timothy SchenckHigh Line staff member utilizes a power broom to push heavy, accumulated snow off the walkway near the 10th Avenue Square. Photo by Timothy Schenck

With wet snow, damage to the plants is a concern. Our gardeners work to minimize the negative impact that heavy snow and ice have on the trees, grasses, and perennials. To avoid breakage of woody plants, gardeners will gently shake trees or knock heavy snow off of tree limbs. Snow banks can flatten perennials, although "sleeping" perennials are actually protected by the insulation offered by snow cover. Overall, the plants on the High Line are hearty and can withstand tricky weather.

Photo by Timothy SchenckThe branches of the High Line's Eastern red cedar trees, Juniperus virginiana, bend under the weight of heavy snow. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Have an interest in being in the outdoors, meeting your neighbors, and having fun with park staff while getting a great workout? Come join us as a snow volunteer! Drop by after a winter storm or sign up to receive notifications when we put out a call for extra hands.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Gigi AltarejosDried grasses, bare branches, and a light blanket of snow epitomize winter beauty in the High Line’s gardens. Photo by Gigi Altarejos

It may only be the end of January, but many New Yorkers are already looking for signs that the icy grip of winter is loosening. While some in the nation will be celebrating the beginning of Chinese New Year and rooting for their favorite teams, others of us will be watching attentively as Punxsutawney Phil, the country’s most famous weather-prognosticating groundhog, makes his prediction about the coming of spring.

Author: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Mike TschappatHigh Line Photographer Mike Tschappat captured an interesting view of the High Line with visitors and Chelsea Piers in the background, silhouetted against a warm end-of-the-day sky.

Author: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Timothy SchenckOur newest High Line Billboard, Shelf Still Life by Jonas Wood, photographed by Timothy Schenck

High Line Photographer Timothy Schenck perfectly captured our latest High Line Billboard, Shelf Still Life by Jonas Wood in an aerial image, allowing us to see how this monumental work of art appears at a distance. The lofty viewpoint showcases the scale of the billboard in relation to the High Line, as well as how the work's bright colors interact with the muted shades of the winter landscape. Schenck has taken photographs of High Line Art's projects for years, and his documentation of the program's sculptures, billboards, and other works of art allows us to appreciate them in a whole new way.

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