Monday, October 5, 2009

Day Tripper

Pack your bags. I thought I would officially start calling our little vay-cay's Day Tripper- so that you know we are in for a mini stay-away. No jet lag, no lost luggage, no family squabbles, you don't have to board your dog, heck, you don't even need to leave your chair! Today we are going to a new (opened in June of this year) garden in NYC and as a special treat, I've booked us a hotel room here- at the Standard Hotel. Why the Standard you ask? Because our garden runs (literally) right underneath it! Meet me in the lounge for a quick cocktail and we'll get going down to the park called the High Line.

The High Line was a rail way that ran to the meat-packing district from 1934-1980. Since its closing in 1980, Mother Nature had come back to claim what was hers. Neglected, forgotten and an overgrown (ha) eyesore, the idea to convert the tracks into a public garden was born. There is a similar product that has been completed in Paris- the Promenade Plantee- and from what I've read- Chicago is also in the process of converting el tracks (!) I will report when I find out where. Lets stroll, shall we?

The landscaper who designed the High Line, Piet Oudolf, (who also designed the Lurie Garden at Milleunium Park here in Chicago) focused on using plants native to New York (the tracks were already growing their own grasses) in the extensive renovation. They added more variety- over 210 species were used. The rail had to be stripped down to the studs- then built back up again. In addition to the plants and other organic matter, irrigation was installed and also fantastic architectural elements- like these loungers. (The chairs I mean, not the people.)

They also used different materials like concrete and wood to play off of the idea of tracks- or at least that is how I interpret them- I like in this picture that you can see old track amidst the plantings.

What an amazing use of something that seemingly had no use left in it. Giving a nod to both the old industrial purpose and to the new green realization. This is just phase one of two- the next leg will have space for picnicking in the grass. It is scheduled to open in 2010. (Spooky- that's next year...2010, 2010, 2010... nope, no matter how many times I say it, it just doesn't sound right-or real for that matter.)

Well, I don't know about you, but I feel more optimistic about it just being Monday...don't you? Now about that drink....

Read more about the High Line.
Click here, here, here, here, or here for more pictures of the park.


  1. When are we booking our trip??

  2. Let's go right now...doesn't it sound good?



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