Friday, July 3, 2009

The High Line

The Highline, an elevated railway that has been turned into a park, opened a few weeks ago to much fanfare. The park itself is quite beautiful, lined with wildflowers which sweeten the air. The traffic sounds fade, the sky opens up. I didn't take many pictures of the park itself since it is very well documented. The Gothamist has such fine pictures that I had nothing to add. However the view from the park was something else.

There was space. The buildings were not shadowing so much. The views were similar to driving down the West Side Highway, but without the cars.

Frank Gehry's IAC building made me grieve for what the Nets stadium might have been.

Looking down on the street, there almost seems to be a visible force around the truck level, a sort of dusty darkness. Higher up the cloudy bright light is dissolving the buildings.

I did photograph this part of the high line; the window over Tenth Avenue.

The street is a stage, the amphitheater is another stage. I really love this place.

Up here things are not so neat and tidy. There are more signs of the chaotic New York that I loved to photograph, with streaks of rust and green copper leaching from pipes.

Lady Liberty is in the lower left corner in honor of Independence Day.

I became wistful around the traces of graffiti and broken glass. I know people feel safer in a bright clean city. I just really miss the rubble.

I also miss the occasional transformation like how this unfinished wall becomes a weathered ziggurat.

And the razor wire.

I love razor wire, the way the light glints off its points, how it catches shreds of translucent plastic. But it is one of those things (like religious symbols and the swastika) that cannot be separated from symbolic meaning. So a cross will always imply Jesus and razor wire will always bring up violence, crime, war. The light can do nothing to distract.

Still, I thought it looked so pretty up on the High Line. Maybe I will go back when it is cold and windy with the late afternoon sun quickly sinking and see what things look like. Maybe I will bring color film instead of digital.

1 comment:

Miche said...

A friend of mine just got back from a trip to New York and was all excited about this elevated park. Thanks for bringing it to life.