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Madeline Berg
The West Side Cowboy rides up 10th Avenue at 26th StreetNot just an urban legend, West Side Cowboys rode in front of trains to warn pedestrians and traffic of the oncoming rail. Photo courtesy of Kalmbach Publishing Company.

It’s hard to imagine that beneath the calm refuge that is now the High Line there once laid a street so chaotic that it was less-than-fondly known as Death Avenue. For almost one hundred years, the High Line’s predecessor—the New York Central freight line—dangerously plowed up and down 10th and 11th Avenues, leaving people, carriages and cars in its wake.

The need for a freight train to serve the factories and warehouses on the West Side was addressed in 1846 but the street-level tracks were not among the city’s best plans. The block-long trains ran through cross streets and traffic, killing and maiming hundreds of people.

Jennette Mullaney

Our friends at Google are hosting the Geek Street Fair at Hudson River Park on Wednesday, July 31. Stop by the 14th Street Park from noon to 6:00 PM for some good, geeky fun:

The Geek Street Fair hosted by Google is a public event to highlight the City’s technology community and inspire New Yorkers of all ages to take interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Think a traditional street fair, but replace funnel cakes and tube socks with virtual games, robotics and electronic tinkering. Manning fun booths will be the New York Hall of Science, Museum of Math, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Maya Lin Studios and other local organizations.

Open to the general public. Treats will be provided.

Ana Nicole Rodriguez
Butterfly Weed Tee

The latest apparel and accessories from J.Crew look beautiful—and are helping to keep the High Line gorgeous too.

We are pleased to present a new collection of apparel and accessories designed by J.Crew to benefit the High Line. The collection—which debuts today at the High Line Shop and launches J.Crew’s Garments for Good charitable program—is free-spirited, playful, and fun, with special products that make perfect gifts for the High Line fan in your life.

Follow us after the jump for a look at the tees, totes, bracelets, and more.

Ana Nicole Rodriguez
Chase Emmons, managing partner & apiary director of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, stands next to a colorful beehive. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm.

In anticipation of next week’s High Line Honey Day, we sat down with one of our favorite beekeepers to talk about honey (what else?). We invite you to join us on Wednesday, July 31, for a fun afternoon with artisanal beekeepers and special honey-infused offerings from the High Line’ s food vendors. Until then, Chase Emmons, managing partner & apiary director at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, tells us the “buzz” about urban beekeeping. He shares how he shed his corporate suit—preferring jeans and a tee—to spend his days beekeeping.

Amelia Krales
Citi BikeLate-day light floods the passageway underneath the High Line at 16th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues. There are six Citi Bike stations along the High Line between Gansevoort and 28th Streets. Photo by Juan Valentin

Earlier this week you may have seen the New York Times piece “High Line’s Best-Kept Secret: It’s a Fast Commute,” which points out how many local residents use the High Line as a means to get to work. One of our favorite ways to get up and down the West Side of Manhattan—other than walking the High Line, of course—is on two wheels along the city’s great bike lanes.

If you don’t have your own bike, you no longer have an excuse. Citi Bike, New York City’s new bike-sharing program, has stations all over the city to pick up or drop off a bike, including six stations directly under the High Line, and many more in the neighborhood. The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that biking in the city is at an all-time high, even re-tweeting Citi Bike’s recent report of 100,000 rides within three days!

Get biking this summer with these handy resources:
2013 New York City Bike Map
Citi Bike station locations
High Line bike rack locations

Ana Nicole Rodriguez

From her early days of cooking in college to working abroad in a gourmet restaurant, Georgia Flaum of Terroir at the Porch has mastered the art of making people happy through delicious food and friendly service. In this series of Faces Behind the Food, we sit down with Georgia to hear why she loves her work on the High Line. For hours and locations of all of our vendors, see High Line Food.

Tell us about yourself and your passion for food and drink, including any fun or unusual facts that we might not know. Any secret talents, perhaps?

I come from a big foodie family, but I didn't become interested in cooking until I had my own kitchen junior year of college. That year, I started a food blog and decided I’d travel as much as possible to experience new cuisines. When I studied abroad in Israel later in the year, I participated in an internship program in central Jerusalem where I worked in the kitchen of a gourmet restaurant called Eucalyptus. I didn't get paid, and I didn't speak Hebrew (hardly anyone spoke English), but I did learn a lot about the flow of a restaurant.

When I graduated from Wesleyan University two years ago, I knew I wanted to move to New York City and work in the food industry. But I had no idea where to start. I was intimidated to work in a restaurant kitchen with little experience and formal training, so I started as a busser at Hearth—Terroir's flagship restaurant—to experience the city’s restaurant scene. I worked my way up in various customer-facing roles. Now I run Terroir at the Porch on the High Line as general manager.

Jennette Mullaney

On June 24, Paul Levy of Center City District and Leah Murphy of Interface Studio and Friends of the Rail Park came to the High Line to discuss the future of Philadelphia’s Reading Viaduct. To discover what’s in store for this former city rail line, view our full-length video of the event.

For more information on the Viaduct, see “Atop Its Predecessor, Laying Out Future Options for Philly’s Reading Viaduct” by our media partner Next City.

“Beyond the High Line: Transforming Philadelphia” is part of an ongoing series of free talks to educate and inspire conversation about the transformation of the country's out-of-use industrial infrastructure into public open space. Join us on Monday, September 23, for a discussion on Staten Island’s Fresh Kills—a former landfill that is being redesigned as a public park.

Erika Harvey
On hot summer days, visitors are thankful for the shade provided by the park's trees, like the Whitespire gray birch. Photo by Friends of the High Line

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees — each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.

Kat Widing
The artist (bottom center) installing her High Line Commission Untitled. Photo by Friends of the High Line.

With less than a month left to see Virginia Overton’s beloved pickup truck before it says its goodbyes, we thought this was a perfect time to spotlight Overton’s High Line Commission in relation to her prolific career.

Read more after the break.

Amelia Krales
Photo by Eddie Crimmins A dedicated group of photographers braved a rainy night for a fun photo walk on the High line. Photo by Eddie Crimmins

Four High Line Volunteer Photographers joined us for an evening photo walk last Friday, July 12, to document Manhattanhenge, scheduled to occur that night. Mother Nature had other plans as thick gray clouds gathered over the city that afternoon and a steady rain drenched the park. Undeterred by the weather, we walked down the High Line – all trying to keep our cameras and ourselves dry – capturing some fun, unexpected pictures along the way. High Line contributing photographer, Eddie Crimmins caught this intimate conversation between two visitors equally undiscouraged by summer rain in the Tenth Avenue Square, on the High Line at West 17th Street. Too see more photos from the evening visit the High Line Flickr Pool.

Learn more about all of the High Line’s volunteer opportunities.