Looking for something unique to do with your date or a group of friends? On August 16, skip the overpriced restaurant and join us for Stargazing Date Night on the High Line.
Thanks to the Amateur Astronomers Association, visitors can join us weekly to stargaze during their stroll in the park--but this Tuesday will be even more special as we add music by local jazz artists Tocino Trio and wine from Terrior to the experience.
While you might assume that stargazing would be nearly impossible in a bright city like New York, stargazing participants are pleasantly surprised each week as they spot planets and other celestial bodies. Amateur Astronomers Association Vice President Rori Baldari has been stargazing on the High Line for several years now. And while light pollution certainly limits what's visible, Rori stresses that there are still a number of sights to be observed and visitors shouldn't be discouraged by the city lights.
"At this time, there are several planets visible during our evening sessions. We are able to show people Jupiter and its four largest moons, Saturn's rings, Mars, and even Venus and Mercury low on the western horizon early in the evening, near the setting sun," Rori explained.
On Tuesday, August 16 in particular, date night guests can look forward to seeing multiple planets. "Jupiter can be seen at the start of our observing session, but by 9 PM it will fall below the horizon," Rori shared. "Saturn and Mars will be visible for the entire evening, along with the moon, which will be nearly full and should provide the perfect setting for a romantic evening."
The planets aren't the only romantic sight that Rori has seen during stargazing events on the High Line. Last year, she witnessed a young man propose to his girlfriend right next to her telescope. "They had come to one of our stargazing events the summer before," she told us. "It was such an enjoyable experience for them that he decided to come back with her to pop the question. Very romantic."
Park visitors will also enjoy the dreamy sounds of the High Line's very own park ranger John Speck and his band Tocino Trio as they add more romance through their jazz performance. Unlike other jazz groups, Tocino Trio puts a spin on traditional jazz, drawing inspiration from Afro Latin and Caribbean rhythms giving them a flavorfully unique sound. "It's great because I can focus on my love for jazz, but I'm able to update that with Latin rhythms," John said. "It's a lot of fun. You'll be able to hear songs like 'Stella by Starlight'–but in a different way than you might be used to and with different rhythms."
John's dual role as both a ranger and a performer on the High Line has allowed him to see the park in contrasting contexts. "It's a rare privilege I have, performing on the High Line, one that I don't take lightly," he said.
Both Rori and John are sure of one thing: there is nothing like the High Line at night. "It's great because it really settles down," John added. "The day is beautiful too, but by the time evening comes along you'll see more of the local residents rather than the temporary visitors. It's a great place to be in the evening as it quiets down and the crickets come out."
The evening setting on the High Line is half of the magic of the event and if there's one night to experience it, this would be it. Don't miss it out! Join us Tuesday, August 16 from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM on the Diller - von Furstenberg Sundeck on the High Line at West 14th Street.
Photos by Liz Ligon
Stargazing at the High Line is presented by Friends of the High Line in partnership with the Amateur Astronomers Association.
Public Programs on the High Line are supported by Altman Foundation. These programs are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.