Monday, November 22, 2010

Glimpse & Gander: Empire State of Mind

The best cure for jet lag is to hit the ground running and never look back.  Our first NYC destination has been on our must-see list for a while, as Phase 1 was still under construction during our last visit in '08.  The Highline phase 1 is a 9-block long elevated public park offering sweeping views of Chelsea and the Hudson. The design reveals a true nod to the structure's past role as a freight rail line, and has preserved what could have been a true loss to the city.  This is one of the best examples of adaptive re-use I've seen, and I hope it serves as a model for other cities facing industrial change.

Nature softens industrial remnants and modern interventions

The success of this project is magnified by the sheer number of people using the space.  It's a beautiful, safe place that allows users a respite from the concrete jungle below. Many used the reclining lounges to finish up work on their laptops, while others were simply taking the opportunity to bask in November's mild warmth.

After spending almost an hour in the park, we headed down to the Chelsea Market to pickup some Oregon wine from the Wine Vault (a favorite I discovered while studying at Parson's) and grab a quick bite at the market's crepe stand.  We made our way back to our home base for the week and relished in the fact that we still had six days left to explore and eat our way through the city.