High Line Blog

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Author: 
Christian Barclay
Photo by Joel Sternfeld Joel Sternfeld, Fallen Billboard, November 2000. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York.

"As soon as Joel saw it, he took me aside and said, 'I want to do this. Don’t let anyone else up here for a year. I will give you beautiful photos.'" – High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond, High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky

Author: 
Emily Pinkowitz
Photo by Rowa Lee High Line Educator Karen Lew Biney-Amissah makes history fun for a group of students. Photo by Rowa Lee

Long before the High Line was a forgone conclusion, Friends of the High Line staff learned a valuable lesson about the power of programming from our very first landlords. In 2002, Josh David and Robert Hammond opened the first Friends of the High Line offices in the Hudson Guild. Offering a combination of cultural and educational programming and social services, the Guild is a vital hub for local residents, and builds lasting relationships throughout their lives.

EnlargeThese girls are among the 14,388 people who have participated in High Line Education programs since 2009. Photo by Beverly Israely

Over the years, the Guild has served as a teacher and partner in responsive programming that welcomes local residents and serves their needs and interests. In 2006, Friends of the High Line's former Special Projects Manager, Meredith Taylor, created our first after-school program with children from the Guild. In 2009, former Director of Public Programs, Education & Community Engagement, Danya Sherman, worked with the Guild to hire teens from their PowerUP program as our first Youth Corps staff. And in 2010, Danya’s collaboration with Guild staff led to the creation of ¡Arriba!, a live Latin music night that has attracted more than 6,500 people over the last four years.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Categories: 
Melt Bakery by Armando Rafael PhotographyJulian Plyter of Melt Bakery talks with High Line visitors. Photo by Armando Rafael Photography

Melt Bakery was one of the first vendors selected for the High Line Food program, and Melt's decadent, locally sourced ice-cream sandwiches have become park staples. As part of our High Line anniversary celebrations, we sat down with Melt chef Julian Plyter and asked him to share some memories from his years in the park.

You've witnessed a lot of interesting things on the High Line during your time here. Tell us one of your favorite stories.

I love how many newly married couples have eaten a Melt sandwich on the High Line as their first food shared as a married couple. Such an honor and so much fun! I've shared a few photos as evidence.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Beverly IsraelyThe wild legacy of the High Line's landscape is on full display in the summer, when the planting beds are a frenzy of green . Photo by Beverly Israely

The High Line was made by nature when the trains stopped running, and designer Piet Oudolf and the landscape architects of James Corner Field Operations paid tribute to that self-seeded landscape in one of their original design tenets for the High Line: keep it wild.

The plantings on the High Line are meant to change. They mimic the dynamics of a wild landscape. Plants out-compete one another, spread or diminish in number. They drift in the environment to where they can best fill their niches, and their individual seasonal cycles become part of a whole picture. Over the last five years, the work of the High Line gardeners has been to facilitate and enhance the natural processes of growth, change, and movement in the landscape, and at the same time maintain the integrity of the original design by Oudolf and James Corner Field Operations.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Categories: 
Photo by Jonathan FlaumHigh Line B&W 15, November 2001, by Jonathan Flaum

This year the High Line celebrates three important milestones: the 15th anniversary of the founding of Friends of the High Line, the fifth anniversary of the opening of the first section of the park, and the opening of the third and northernmost section of the historic railway. The High Line’s transformation from a derelict structure to one of New York City’s beloved public spaces is due to the tireless and dedicated work of thousands of supporters, donors, volunteers, staff members, and elected officials. The following is a snapshot of some of the more memorable highlights on the incredible journey Friends of the High Line began nearly 15 years ago.

Author: 
Joshua David
Photo by Patrick McMullanElected officials, supporters, and students from P.S. 11 joined in a ribbon-cutting to mark the opening of Section 1 of the High Line in 2009. Photo by Patrick McMullan
 

June 9, 2009 – five years ago – was a magical day for anyone involved with the High Line.

From the time that Robert Hammond and I founded Friends of the High Line, our goal had been to open the High Line to the public, so that our neighbors and fellow New Yorkers could enjoy the transformative experience of walking a mile-and-a-half, 30 feet in the air, through the centers of 22 city blocks, in a landscape that looked like it had sprung to life from a dream.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LinePrairie sundrop (Oenothera pilosella) are a cheerful presence 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: 
Christian Barclay
Photo by Juan ValentinVisitors enjoying the water feature on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck. Photo by Juan Valentin
 

Take a break from pounding the pavement by visiting the water feature on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck. Rising temperatures make this spot a great place to seek cool comfort, and the closed-circulation system adds sustainable function to sleek form. Located near the West 14th Street entrance, it’s the perfect place to rest and re-energize before a stroll through the park.

Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Friends of the High LineAllium atropurureum is the gothic beauty rising above the bright and cheerful blooms in the Chelsea Grasslands of 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: 
Ashley Tickle
Photo by Timothy SchenckPhoto by Timothy Schenck
 

There are only a few days left to see artist’s Faith Ringgold’s fun and colorful High Line Billboard, Groovin High, next to the High Line at West 18th Street.

Faith Ringgold is a painter, writer, speaker, mixed media sculptor, and performance artist working in Englewood, New Jersey. Since the early 1960s, Ringgold has been known since for her story quilts, politically charged paintings and prints, and illustrated children’s books. She has eloquently articulated a critical perspective on American identity through the lenses of the feminist and civil rights movements. Her boldly colorful geometric compositions point to influences from early American and European Modernism, dhakas – richly brocaded Tibetan paintings – and African masks. Her choice of the quilt as her primary medium in later years reflects a fundamental connection to practicality and her ancestors' feminine crafts.

For the High Line, Ringgold revisited her colorful and paradigmatic story quilt Groovin High (1986), one of the many story quilts Ringgold created that inspired a revival of the medium in the late 1970s. Depicting a crowded dance hall bordered by quilted hand-dyed fabrics, Groovin High is evocative of Ringgold’s memories of Sunday afternoon dances at the Savoy and her connection to the African American communities of her native Harlem. Her style reflects formal treatments of shape, color, and perspective reminiscent of many painters whose styles defined the Harlem Renaissance, an immensely productive and creative cultural movement of the 1920s that erupted out of the African American community living in the eponymous New York neighborhood.

Groovin High will be on view through June 2 and is located within the Edison ParkFast parking lot next to the High Line at West 18th Street and 10th Avenue.

You can also visit Ringgold’s mosaic Flying Home: Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown) at the 125th Street 2/ 3 subway station.

See more photographs of Groovin High below.

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