Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Street Festival celebrating the HIGH LINE, Manhattan's Elevated Public Park

Last Sunday, the Target High Line Street Festival was held to celebrate the opening of the first section of the HIGH LINE (new public park on the elevated steel structure built in the 1930's to carry freight trains) in the Meatpacking District. The occasion also marked the 10th Anniversary of Friends of the High Line and the 75th Anniversary of the High Line itself. The festival featured internationally-acclaimed artists, inflatable sculptures, cowboys, story-tellers, marching bands, swing bands, salsa bands (some on a roof-top stage), and an exciting array of hands-on activities for kids of all ages. Quite prominent were some of JASON HACKENWERTH'S whimsical balloon sculptures. I first saw these balloon sculptures called "Megamites" during the reopening of the Museum of Arts and Design in September 2008. The festival also highlighted some of the healthiest and tastiest foods for a special greenmarket, and a large Lemonade Stand, with well over a thousand gallons of fresh lemonade blended inside a specially-designed rooftop water tank.
The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.

Location: The High Line is located on the West Side of Manhattan. The first section runs from Gansevoort Street, in the Meatpacking District, to West 20th Street, in Chelsea, between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.

Getting There by Subway or Bus: A/C/E/L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue; M14 bus to 14th Street and 9th Avenue.

Access: Access to the High Line is now possible via any of the access points listed below. In the event the High Line becomes too crowded, you may be asked to enter via the Gansevoort Street stairs (or 16th Street elevator if you need elevator service) only, to ensure public safety and the safety of the park itself.

* Gansevoort Street
* 14th Street (Elevator access will be available beginning in July.)
* 16th Street (elevator access)
* 18th Street
* 20th Street

1 comment:

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Oh, so that was the fun I missed the day after I visited it *sigh* Really interesting inflatable sculptures I must say. It's just too crowded though - as you've said, there was a long line.