Wednesday, July 2, 2008

When Good Things Happen to Old, Abandoned Railways

One of the things I miss about having left New York in 2006 is that I won't get to witness the transformation of the High Line, the elevated railway that's being turned into a 20 block walking park. I've been able to see the High Line-saving process from a couple differnt angles since a former roommate of mine was a fulltime staff member of Friends of the Highline. I worked odd jobs for them from time to time, (mailings, reception, etc) and even spent about six months sporting a "Save the High Line" fake tattoo (our apartment owned about 100 of these tattoss since they were the "ticket" to the 2004 gala, and I still have like 40).

I love adaptive resuse and space transformation in general, and add to that my love of history, railorads, rust, wheatfields and New York City, and you've pretty much got my fantasy hang out location. It's due to open it's first section by the end of this year. The High Line is pretty much under the radar now, but once completed, will mark the greatest change is New York City's landscape since Central Park in 1873. It's appeared on odd music videos throughout the years, and was most recently featured in "I Am Legend" (there's a great Mobil Gas Station built right under the structure, which happens to be where Will Smith spends a long time trying to catch a "thing". I flipped out watching it thinking "I have bought so many Dr. Pepper's from that gas station and now there's CGI monsters growling at it!"

So here's some sweet design footage that was just released. The design video doesn't have sound, but you can see where the High Line is and how it'll be changing and growing over the next few years. Also below is a nice little feature on the High Line that talks about the history and really shows how a railroad became a forest wonderland in the middle of NY's Meat Packing District.

Also, there's the Ed Norton factor (as you'll see in the video above). Besides the fact that Rick and I are friends, went to undergrad together and lived in the same small apartment, I always felt that what truly linked us was the fact that at the same time we were both working at non-profits where Ed Norton was on the Board of Trustees: Friends of the High Line and Signature Theatre Company. Here's Rick with Monkey the Dog, in part of the High Line's Portrait Project. I heart the High Line.

1 comment:

Derrick Fudge said...

Absolutely fantastic idea those new yorkers came up with. I am so inspired