Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on October 21, 2009
As someone who’s lived in Hell’s Kitchen, worked in the fashion district and spent every Sunday in Central Park, I understand the need to see grass whenever possible… but in New York’s lower Westside or on top of some rundown railroad tracks? No way. I’ve walked to the Piers a million times, but never in a million years would I have believed there was a field of grass growing 20 feet above my head that will soon be turned into a luscious green park. Then again, I’d walked all over the Meat Packing District as it transitioned from loading docks to the latest NYC hot spot for art, fashion, and food, so anything’s possible.
For decades, the grass and wildflowers have been collecting dust while sucking carbon dioxide out of the dirty air and spewing out oxygen as a waste product. The idea of developing a park in the lower Westside is much needed, perfectly located and environmentally viable. Planting more trees and adding more plants will only help convert more carbon dioxide to oxygen, not to mention bring friends and families together to see a little bit of history on the tracks.
Two-thirds of the High Line are currently secure and under construction, ready to open to the public by fall 2008. This untouched hidden treasure of an eco-system is soon to be turned into an elevated landscaper’s dream – lined with booming commercial businesses and residential high-rises. Several buildings will have access right out onto the High Line, so some lucky residents will have their very own back yards. There’s even a Standard Hotel being built on the tracks.
However, there’s a snag. As of October 11, 2007, the Rail Yard, which includes the top four blocks of the High Line, is again in question. The Rail Yard was appraised at $1.5 billion and bidders are not required to take the environmental advantages of the High Line into account. Parts of it may be demolished, partially demolished, or fully preserved. It will be months before the MTA and the city make any decisions. Not unlike the Sustainable South Bronx Park Project, for which Majora Carter had to put up a fight against the city to develop what is now a multi-billion dollar project to create a much needed public park in the Bronx. Now Joshua David, Co-founder of the “Friends of the High Line”, residents, celebrities, and Mayor Mike Bloomberg all still have some work cut out for them to save the grassy concrete structure with great hopes of keeping the whole thing intact.
And, I have to admit, that I’m already looking forward to one of my future trips to New York so I can go shopping in the Meat Packing District and picnic on the High Line before heading to the Pier for dancing to live music by the water at sunset.
The New York City High Line Park Constructions Begins (Watch The Video)