Erika Harvey's blog

highlighted mobile

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Hummingbird moth. Photo by Steven SeveringhausA snowberry clearwing moth, commonly known as a hummingbird moth, sips nectar from a prairie sage bloom on the High Line. Photo by Steven Severinghaus

The High Line’s gardens aren’t just visited and appreciated by people, there are also a host of six- and eight-legged bugs who drop by. You’ll find the beloved honeybee, innocuous milkweed bugs and corn spiders, lesser-liked oriental beetles, a variety of beautiful butterflies, and even beneficial bugs like ladybug and lacewings that our gardeners purposefully release in order to combat pests. One of the rarer sights, a hummingbird moth, Hemaris diffinis, was captured earlier this month by High Line Photographer – and documenter of all things winged – Steven Severinghaus.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
The High Line at night. Photo by Timothy SchenckA view looking out across the High Line, 10th Avenue, and the New York City skyline. Photo by Timothy Schenck

New York City is a city at its most enchanting after dark. The glow of neon signs, the patchwork of lit windows in tall buildings, and the jagged twinkling skyline of buildings in the distance bring new life to familiar forms. And, if it’s not obvious, we love, love, love night on the High Line.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
The High Line's Northern Spur Preserve in different seasons. Photo by Steven SeveringhausSeasonal flora on the Northern Spur Preserve. Photo by Steven Severinghaus

We are so often delighted by High Line Photographer Steven Severinghaus 's ability to capture the changing seasons in the park’s gardens. There’s no better vantage point from which to observe the transitions of the foliage and blooms than from the perch above the Northern Spur Preserve, a sentiment Steven no doubt shares. This quadriptych that Steven created shows the Northern Spur Preserve, located on the High Line at West 16th Street, through a reverse of seasons – winter through summer.

See more photosof the park at its peak in the summer season.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Joshua David and Robert Hammond at the Rail YardsFriends of the High Line Co-founders Joshua David (left) and Robert Hammond (right) on the Rail Yards section of the High Line in 2001. Photo by Joel Sternfeld, courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

On this day 15 years ago, an article on the High Line ran in the New York Times. In it, a new idea was proposed for the elevated rail, which was slated for demolition at the time. CSX Transportation Inc., which had just acquired the derelict railway, hoped that it might be converted into public space via the federal “Rail to Trails” program.

In what would be a turning point for the historic structure, two men who didn’t know one another at the time – Joshua David and Robert Hammond – read the article and felt moved to change the High Line’s fate. In a sense, today marks the true 15th birthday of Friends of the High Line.

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: 
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: 
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: 
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.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargePhoto by Phil Vachon

If you’ve walked to the High Line’s southernmost tip, you’ve likely noticed the abrupt – yet visually captivating – way the park ends. Long ago, during the years that freight trains still chugged along these elevated tracks, the High Line cut a straight path all the way down to St. John’s Park Terminal, which occupied four riverfront blocks between Clarkson and Spring Streets. Between the 1960s and the 1990s, the portion of the High Line below Gansevoort Street was demolished a few stretches at a time, leaving us with the length you see today.

To this day, a remnant of the High Line’s southern portion still adorns the Westbeth Artists’ Housing building, on Washington Street between Bethune and Bank Streets. In this striking recent photo of Westbeth by High Line Photographer Phil Vachon, wild plants can be seen peeking through the fencing along this stranded stretch of railway that almost floats above the city streets.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Liz LigonPhoto by Liz Ligon
 

During this time of year, as plants almost rush to spring forth from the soil, the High Line's gardeners are working hard to keep the planting beds in tip-top shape.

Throughout the season, our gardeners are weeding, introducing new plants, pruning, adding beneficial insects, watering, and doing so much more. If it weren't for their steadfast attention to detail and care for the gardens, the High Line wouldn't be as beautiful. We'd like to take this opportunity to recognize them for the work that they do keep the High Line an amazing place to visit. Thank you!

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Erika Harvey's blog