Fred and I went to see part of the Highline from 34th Street to 28th street last winter and we were just wowed. Two guys, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, met at a Community Board meeting (the first they have ever been to) and got to work. The meeting is about getting rid of the Highline. Both of them were hoping that someone at this meeting would be proactive about keeping the Highline but nobody there seemed to care. Joshua and Robert decided it would be there mission to turn the Highline into something spectacular. Their journey has been difficult but the creation of their dream seems to be almost complete.
Last night we went to a fund raiser for the Highline. They have raised public and private funds and are getting closer to the money needed to make the Highline into a park. Take an old raised train track that was used from 1920-1980 to bring merchandise into Manhattan and bring it back to life in a different form. It has not been used in years and is just growing weeds. Ressurrecting an old piece of New York history by turning it into a community park which will be run by the Parks Department is brilliant. Old tracks are being repaired to be laid down among the grass, trees, seating and kiosks. Being above New York in a beautiful park with no cars around is a treat but seeing New York from a complete different vantage point is magnificent. Being up there, one can only imagine how beautiful this small slice of New York will be. The best part is that we are not only building something for future generations we are creating something that can be used in a year.
Last night’s event was a sold out success. New Yorkers from all over the city giving to the Highline. The event took place at Craft Steak which is a beautiful restaurant. Mario Batali from Del Posto, Ralf Kuettel from Trestle on Tenth, Alex Raij from Tia Pol, Jimmy Bradley from Red Cat, Mark Meyer from Cookshop and Morimoto from Masaharu Morimoto collaborated on a menu and cooked for the event. Everyone donated their time and energies as their restaurants are right under the Highline. A real community event.
Congratulations to Joshua and Robert. Who would have thought that a chance encounter would change the landscape of downtown New York. Bravo!