A year at the Highline

I have been sitting on the board of the High Line for more than a handful of years.  I love the High Line.  The park has been one of the most incredible public properties developed in the city over the past 50 years if not more.  It has changed the entire west side of NYC from development and traffic flow to the community aspects, the arts, the events to the greenery…..it is just an incredible oasis.

Robert Hammond, who is the Executive Director sent out his highlights of the year.  I asked to share them on my blog.

I took this photo yesterday of the Dawn Bodnant Viburnum blooming early due to the warm weather. But don’t worry, our gardeners say the plant is completely healthy. It usually blooms in January or February so it’s only a few weeks early and it will still thrive next year.

unnamed-1This shot is from our office yesterday. One of the benefits of the warmer weather this season is that more people get to visit the High Line. I might have already told you, but as of Thanksgiving, over seven million people visited the High Line this year. Most importantly, over two million of them were New Yorkers.

unnamed-2My all-time favorite photo of the year because it just looks so fun. At our “No Filter” Teen Night, nearly 800 teens from the community came together for a night of performances, food, screen printing, a DJ, and hands-on activities focused on self-expression.

unnamed-3Close runner-up for favorite photo because it was amazing to have two tons of LEGOs on the High Line as part of Olafur Eliasson’s The collectivity project.

unnamed-4A perfect moment on the High Line—our smoke bushes with Blocks by Rashid Johnson and our new neighbor the Whitney in the background.
unnamed-5Santina, which opened underneath the High Line this past January, was recently tapped as a Top New York Restaurant by the New York Times. Its success has helped us further diversify our revenue streams.

unnamed-6This fall, Phaidon released The High Line, a new book featuring a first-hand, behind-the-scenes account from James Corner Field Operations and Diller, Scofidio and Renfro. The book captures the spirit of the project. This page shows one eighth of the plant species on the High Line.

unnamed-7Kerry James Marshall’s Above the Line mural being painted over Ed Ruscha’s Honey, I Twisted Through More Damn Traffic Today as part of our High Line Art program. Marshall’s piece is a large-scale, hand-painted mural adapted specifically for the High Line. Titled Above the Line, the mural is an extension of his Dailies series, an epic narrative of the struggle between tradition and modernity within the Afro-diasporic worldview. The works address the lack of black superheroes found in American comics, and raise historical and philosophical questions in black vernacular English. This particular comic painting, Above the Line, imagines the redevelopment of rooftop water tanks as luxury homes and condominiums. Kerry James Marshall will be the featured artist in the inaugural exhibitions at The Met Breuer.
unnamed-8One of our most popular Facebook and Instagram photos this year was from Manhattanhedge, when the setting sun aligns with Manhattan’s east-west street grid every May and July.

The High Line exists because of private funding.  Many people think that it is funded by the city, it is not.  The future is all about private/public funding from the start with private funding taking over 100% at the next stage.  Every dollar helps.  You will see a whole new ecommerce piece in the next year that I am really excited about.  Getting the High Line into the 21st Century in regards to social media, ecommerce etc is high on my list.  It has been a great start-up that is becoming more mature but as everything grows it always needs some tweaking.