Since Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon on June 8, 2009 to mark the opening of Section 1, the High Line has been the darling destination of New York City. Section 2 opened in June of 2011 to great fanfare, and Gothamites eagerly await the final stretch beginning at 30th street, curving toward the Hudson River, over the rail yards and ending across from the Javitz Center at 34th Street. The land deal has been brokered and the design approved, but the work has not yet begun.
Day 2 of Open House New York (OHNY) gave those who were quick on the Advanced Reservations trigger the unique chance to meander through Section 3 of the High Line. Before James Corner Field Operations tames this wild elevated garden and while it is still just an abandoned freight line, we were allowed the privilege of wandering through the garden that Mother Nature let spring forth during the past few decades when no one was looking.
Small flowering weeds and grasses reminiscent of Midwestern prairies proudly burst forth from between the rusted rail lines. Thorny bushes with berries and even trees currently thrive on this unlikely urban wilderness where there is no hiding from the harsh winds off the Hudson.
For those of you keeping track, the coveted High Line Section 3 “Challenge Tour” reservation I had was for 2 p.m. on the second and final day of OHNY. The DreamYard Art Center, the last of the nine OHNY 2011 roof offerings, is located in the Bronx, and I have to confess, I did not have the time to ride up there. But I have done some research on DreamYard, and if it’s good enough for Carolyn Kennedy, it is good enough for Looking up with Leslie. I will explore that for you soon – and fill you in on the Kennedy-DreamYard connection.
So the final tally for the 2011Open House New York weekend: We had the opportunity to LOOK UP at 5 roofs in 2 boroughs in 2 days, with 3 previously seen and blogged about and 1 remaining yet to be explored. That was such fun I can hardly wait until next year!
Photos by Ari Burling.