Erika Harvey's blog

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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: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargeLongtime High Line Photographer Marcin Wichary chanced upon this poetic early morning scene in the winter of 2010.

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.

This month’s image comes from longtime High Line Photographer Marcin Wichary. Marcin may call San Francisco home, but the course of his development as a photographer can be charted via almost-yearly visits to the High Line. Beginning in 2007 with a newly purchased DSLR and continuing through the present, Marcin has developed his photo skills while focusing his lens on the development and growth of the park.

It was during a short stint in New York in the winter of 2010 that Marcin captured this month’s mesmerizing image. Awaking in the morning to find fluffy snowflakes falling along the mile-long park was a welcome change of scenery for Marcin. As he was rushing to get out the door to document the snowfall, he spotted this scene almost serendipitously.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
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Photo by Barry MungerA beautiful winter landscape. Photo by Barry Munger

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.

This month’s image comes from photographer Barry Munger. Barry has been lending his talents to Friends of the High Line since long before our 2009 opening. With his over-sized film camera set-up, immeasurable patience, and a keen eye, Barry has coaxed some of the most poetic photos out of what can sometimes be an unwieldy landscape. You may remember another iconic shot by Barry that we featured as our September calendar image .

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto by Barry Munger

Co-Founder Robert Hammond will be stepping down at the end of 2013 after nearly fifteen years of leadership at Friends of the High Line. He leaves behind a legacy that extends far beyond the mile-and-a-half of the High Line. Robert’s creative vision, entrepreneurial spirit, and irreverent approach will live on in the work we do each day, to maintain and operate the High Line.

We asked Robert to share a few favorite memories from his years at the High Line. Follow us after the jump for photos and reflections in Robert's own words.

To hear more of Robert's memories, join us on Thursday, December 5, for a special farewell talk.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
The new design concept for the High Line at the Rail Yards includes an immersive bowl-shaped structure on the Spur, a wide section of the High Line that extends over 10th Avenue at West 30th Street. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York

Tonight we unveiled the latest design concept for the Spur, a unique area within the third section of the High Line at the Rail Yards, at a public presentation at the School of Visual Arts Theatre.

Neighbors, supporters, members, and friends gathered for a presentation of renderings of the Spur by the High Line Design Team’s James Corner of James Corner Field Operations and Ric Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, as well as an update on the progress on construction and the project timeline by Friends of the High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond.

Join us after the jump for the just-released renderings of the Spur.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
This image from earlier this season shows the exposed steel framework of the High Line at the Rail Yards. Since then, this area, known as the Spur, has been filled in with a new concrete decking. New design renderings for this space will be unveiled during a program this upcoming Monday. Photo by Timothy Schenck

It is an exciting moment in the construction timeline for the High Line at the Rail Yards. The first phase of the rail yards is taking shape and this upcoming Monday, November 11, designs will be unveiled for the Spur, pictured above, a section of the High Line at the Rail Yards that extends over 10th Avenue at West 30th Street.

For this week’s Photo of the Week we’re featuring two of our recent favorites of the Spur from photographer Timothy Schenck who has been expertly documenting the progress of construction at the High Line since before our first section was underway in the spring of 2006.

Read more after the jump.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargeWest Side Improvement Project

In celebration of our new 18-month High Line Calendar, we’re exploring each month’s featured image to bring you more of the behind-the-scenes details.

In 1934, the initial stage of the West Side Improvement Project was completed: a shining new elevated viaduct was unveiled, connecting New York Central Railroad’s freight line with Manhattan’s West Side. This great engineering achievement eliminated 105 street-level railroad crossings and allowed manufacturing and food processing buildings flanking the railway to connect directly with its train cars to load and unload freight.

At the southern terminus of the High Line was a new St. John’s Park Freight Terminal at Spring Street. This massive new building allowed for 150 standing train cars, a leap ahead to support increasing manufacturing demands on the neighborhood’s businesses.

This month’s photo, at right, appeared in a 1934 promotional brochure detailing the West Side Improvement Project. Looking north along the new – and to-date unused – tracks of the High Line, anticipation was building for the debut of the new elevated railways. New York Central Railroad wrote about the project in their brochure:

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Two visitors enjoy a morning stroll despite the rain. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Photographer Timothy Schenck captured this vibrant autumn photo this morning as a light rain fell on the Chelsea neighborhood. Peering out from between the trees in the 10th Avenue Square, on the High Line at West 17th Street, Tim’s photo captures a north-facing view of the park’s fall foliage and our newest High Line Billboard at West 18th Street.

Contrasting with the overcast day, Thomas Demand’s new High Line Billboard installation, High Line, offers an unwavering bright patch of blue sky next to the park. This seemingly simple poetic image of an empty clothesline is actually a photograph of a meticulously constructed paper and cardboard replica of these everyday objects.

The large billboard format, which High Line Art Curator & Director Cecilia Alemani has used to augment the presence and impact of artworks, creates an interesting interaction with park goers and sparks the imagination. Clotheslines are both familiar and exotic – in the sense that they are recognizable, but don’t quite fit into our 21st-century city-dwelling existence. (Maybe a more Manhattan-centric version could involve quarter slots or a drop-off laundry reference?)

However you choose to interpret and enjoy the new High Line Billboard, it’s not a bad thing to be reminded of a summer breeze on an idyllic countryside, especially on rainy days like today. Stop by soon – this High Line Billboard will be on view until Monday, December 2, 2013.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Northern Spur PreserveHigh Line Gardeners working to apply beneficial nematodes on the Northern Spur Preserve earlier this season. Photo by Timothy Schenck

To the untrained – a category most of us citygoers fall into – gardens look pretty inert. However, beyond the beautiful blooms and verdant leaves of your common garden, a whole ecosystem of life is orbiting around the plants.

A sparrow here, and a mockingbird there. Then there are the large beneficial bugs: worms aerating the soil, and spiders, lady beetles, and praying mantises munching on some of plants’ worst pests. Soil itself is packed with minerals, organic matter, and very importantly, a whole host of tiny and even microscopic organisms. A teaspoon of soil may contain up to a billion bacteria, many of which are beneficial to the garden ecosystem. All these critters together help support healthy soil and healthy plants, making plants more resistent to diseases and pests.

Learn more about how High Line Gardeners keep the park healthy after the jump.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto of the High Line by Steven Severinghaus

In celebration of our new 18-month High Line Calendar, we’re exploring each month’s featured image to bring you more of the behind-the-scenes details.

October’s calendar image is a vibrant autumn landscape shot by High Line Photographer Steven Severinghaus. This image was taken during one of our seasonal photo walks, informal meet-ups Friends of the High Line leads with our volunteer photographers. On that early morning in October last year, a small group of us met up at the south end of the High Line at the top of the Gansevoort Stair and set out into the park with our cameras. The weather was brisk and fall foliage was in full-swing. Steven’s photo beautifully captures a short section of park between West 19th and West 20th Streets. In the foreground, the light purple blooms of Raydon’s Favorite asters contrast against the yellowing wispy strands of threadleaf bluestar and red-tinged Shennendoah switchgrass.

Steven is one of a small, dedicated group of photographer volunteers who lend their talents to the High Line, turning their lenses to a variety of subjects in the park. He has an impressive talent for discovering subtle details and textures that easily go unseen to most people. Browsing his Flickr Photostream is guaranteed to brighten your day. There you’ll find hummingbirds alighting delicate branches, poetically composed portraits of seasonal blooms, and a variety of the teeniest fauna you’ll ever find in New York City’s natural spaces.

We are endlessly impressed by and delighted with Steven’s work, and we’re sure you will be too. Join us after the jump to get to know him better.

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