High Line Blog

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Author: 
Erika Harvey
A honeybee enjoys the High Line. Photo by Steven SeveringhausA honeybee enjoys a visit to the High Line. Photo by Steven Severinghaus

In anticipation of High Line Honey Day on July 30, we’re exploring the world of honeybees. We invited Dan Carr, Assistant Livestock Manager at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, to introduce our readers to this industrious little insect. Stone Barns Center is a non-profit farm and education center located in Westchester County, New York. In addition to caring for honeybees, Dan and the Livestock Staff members oversee sheep, pigs, chickens, and other animals.

Author: 
Marek Pundzak
Sea lavender (Limonium platyphyllum) in bloom on the High Line. Photo by Friends of the High LineThe lovely sea lavender (Limonium platyphyllum) is in bloom on the High Line. 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 one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Supermoon over the High Line. Photo by Mike TschappatOn Friday evening and early Saturday morning this past week, New Yorkers were treated to a larger-than-life moon, or “supermoon.” Photo by Mike Tschappat

High Line Photographer Mike Tschappat captured this striking photo of a “supermoon” last Friday, while perched on the High Line with his long lens and tripod. A supermoon is exactly what it sounds like: a larger-than-life appearance of a full moon. This celestial event – which has the unfortunate and un-catchy scientific designation of “perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system” – happens when a full moon coincides with the moment in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to the earth. This results in a noticeably larger-than-normal appearance of the moon in the night’s sky. Happily, we have two more supermoons to look forward to this summer – one on August 10 and another on September 9.

Author: 
Emily Pinkowitz
2014 Teen Arts Council. Photo by Friends of the High LineThe Teen Arts Council: Our group is small; our vision is big – taking Friends of the High Line into the future! Photo by Friends of the High Line

This blog post was written by Teen Arts Council members William Natal, Eva Polanco, and Pedro Hidalgo.

The Teen Arts Council, or TAC, is a group of teenagers who are seasonally employed by Friends of the High Line. While working at the High Line, TAC plans, organizes, and creates two teen nights each July and August in the the park's 14th Street Passage. Come meet us at our first event, 90s in NYC, on Thursday, July 17. Read more about us after the jump!

Author: 
Andi Pettis
EnlargeGraceful Cattail. Photo by Gene Daly

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 one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

EnlargeSeeds of the graceful cattail. Photo by Friends of the High Line

Swaying over the children splashing in the water feature, across from the visitors reveling in the sun on the deck chairs, the graceful cattails are blooming on the High Line. A marginal wetland species native to Europe and Asia, Typha laxmanii is monoecious, meaning both male and female reproductive parts are present on each individual plant. There are actually two sets of tiny, densely packed flowers on each stem. The yellow-brown flowers near the top of the stem are the male flowers, one or two inches below these are the yellow-green female flowers. Once the pollen has fallen from the male flowers onto the female flowers, the male flowers shrivel and fall away from the stem. The female flowers are left to mature into the familiar fuzzy brown cattails, which are actually the seed-bearing fruits of the plant.

Typha laxmanii is known as the graceful cattail for its small stature and fine texture. Other species of cattail can grow up to 10 feet tall – very impressive for plants growing at the edge of a majestic lake, but rather unwieldy for the High Line’s small wetland planting or an urban garden. Typha laxmanii grows only to 3 feet, making it a graceful choice indeed for backyard ponds or rain gardens. These cattails will thrive in any sunny spot where the soil is regularly saturated and never quite dries out – perfect for the poorly drained areas that are usually a problem spot in gardens.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Timothy SchenckIsabelle Cornaro's artwork stands amid a canopy of trees and cheery hedgenettle. Photo by Timothy Schenck

The presence of High Line Art’s group exhibition Archeo changes with the seasons. In summer, as lush foliage reaches up, encircles, and even obscures parts of the artworks, the visitor’s experience is almost that of a treasure hunt. Rather than seeing an artwork from a block away, sometimes a pause or slower walking pace is necessary to notice a piece peeking out from the back of a planting bed.

The three sculptures of God Box (column) by French artist Isabelle Cornaro – one of which is pictured here – are both alien and familiar, and both at home and foreign within the High Line’s landscape. One can imagine they are monuments of a futuristic society or that they were dropped here by visitors from another planet. After all, that was High Line Art Curator Cecilia Alemani’s intention.

“On the High Line – where freight trains used to run 30 feet above the street, in a landscape worthy of the futuristic machinations of a science fiction movie – the sculptures presented in Archeo punctuate the landscape in unusual ways, creating a gallery of artifacts from a futuristic past,” Cecilia said at Archeo’s installation earlier this spring.

Download the current High Line Art Map to learn more about all of High Line Art’s current artworks on view.

Author: 
Rebecca Hughes
Brisket sandwich by Smokeline. Photo by Rebecca HughesThe recipe for Smokeline's delectable brisket sandwich has its origins in central Texas. Photo by Rebecca Hughes

If you’ve been on the High Line since spring of 2013, you’ve undoubtedly seen (and smelled) SmokeLine. Delaney BBQ’s first Manhattan venture is nestled in the middle of the High Line Food vendors in Chelsea Market Passage at West 15th Street, boasting an elegantly rustic wooden exterior and an incredible smoked-brisket aroma. Dan Delaney, the meat mastermind behind Williamsburg’s BrisketTown, knew as soon as he heard about the High Line that he wanted in. He hadn’t planned on expanding his smoked meat empire to Manhattan quite yet, but, Dan says, “I just loved the idea of serving food in a beautiful space to beautiful people.”

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Gene DalyBeautiful variations in color, from pale pink to bright violet, have appeared among the High Line’s Hummelo hedgenettle (Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’). Photo by Gene Daly

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 one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
EnlargePhoto by Eddie Crimmins

There are an amazing variety of beautiful grasses growing on the High Line. Little bluestem is an unexpected, cooling blue-green in midsummer. The flowers of purple love grass explode into airy fireworks, and then break away and float down the High Line like tumbleweeds in late summer. Switchgrass – with its autumnal burgundies and mauves – gives depth of color and texture to the late fall and winter landscape. These are just a few examples of the dazzling range of colors, textures, and forms that the grasses lend to the park’s landscape. However, there are two species of grass on the High Line in particular that hardly ever get acknowledged. Lolium perenne, perennial ryegrass, and Festuca arundinacea, tall fescue, are the hardworking turf grasses that make up the High Line’s 23rd Street Lawn, and this week we give them their due.

Turf grasses are plants that are specially bred to optimize each species’s natural qualities. Most lawns contain a mix of these species in order to get the benefits of each one. For instance, the Lawn on the High Line is made up of a blend of approximately 20% perennial ryegrass plants and 80% tall fescue plants. Each of these species serves its own purpose in helping to keep the Lawn green and lush in the particular conditions of the park’s environment.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto by Mike Tschappat

The beauty of the High Line’s gardens is that the planting beds are an ever-changing palette of textures and colors. This time of year, as plants soak up the summer sun, their foliage seems to grow thicker and thicker each day, sometimes even reaching out into the pathway or over the railings. Summer blooms add fresh pops of color here and there: pink, white, and pale yellow coneflowers, vibrant copper-colored foxtail lilies, bright orange pollen dusting leadplant and purple prairie clover blooms, and so much more.

High Line Photographer Mike Tschappat posted a batch of recent photos capturing nearly all of this season’s blooms and it was incredibly difficult to choose just one to be our Photo of the Week. We chose this one, because it features two of our visitors’ favorite blooms of the season: foxtail lilies, Eremurus stenophyllus, and Vintage Wine coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea ‘Vintage Wine.’

Want more reasons to visit the High Line right now? See the rest of Mike’s photos on his Flickr page, and download our monthly bloom list to learn more about this season’s floral highlights.

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