Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The High Line on a summer afternoon

It felt like the crowds at Grand Central Station and Penn Station had been beamed over to the High Line when Seth and I met good friends from Portland (Hi Lara and Scott!)there a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon. It was hot-as-you-know-what and hard to see anything except people, people and more people. So I didn't get any pictures that day. These photos were taken in early summer on a weekday afternoon when my good friend from Seattle (Hi Tina!) was in town.

In full bloom, these urban grasslands and woodlands put on quite a show, splashing the New York skyline with brilliant pops of color:

Here's a peek at the section that just opened in early June:

It's distinctly different from the rest of the High Line, and I love it. Some of the highlights include this old mural painted on the side of the building, People's Pops for coconut popsicles, the 23rd Street Lawn (an expansive stretch of grass for naps and picnics), and... elevated section with gardens growing under the pathway. Here's a bird's eye view of a small section of garden on the lower tier:

The new section is pretty close to where I work, so it's been nice to be able to stroll the High Line on my lunch hour. (It seems to be much less crowded on weekdays and in the winter.) 

The other day I mentioned to Seth that the ornamental grass and giant puffball-shaped flowers that make up the High Line landscape reminded me of a favorite gardening book by Piet Oudolf. Turns out, he's the High Line's planting designer. Guess I need to brush up on my High Line history. At any rate, check out his Web site to see before-and-after photos. Here's the 34th Avenue stretch. It hasn't been renovated yet and it's not open to the public:
And finally, a close-up of the showy foxtail lily. If I ever have my own home, it's going to be one of the first things I plant in the yard! (Wonder how much Oudolf charges to design a private garden. This would be nice.)

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