Amazing what a fishbowl can do!
When good-natured prankster Jeff Greenspan noticed that a statue of a woman on the High Line seemed incredibly lifelike, he decided to test the boundaries of her believability. By placing a fishbowl filled with a few dollars in front of the statue, he was able to convince crowds–at least Read More
Best Laid Plans
Parks: what’s there not to dislike?
A group of parks activists in Queens have been pushing “QueensWay,” a linear park that would be built atop the old Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road in the central and southern parts of the borough. As New York Times opinion writer Eleanor Randolph put it in her pro-QueensWay piece, it “has no celebrity patrons, no Diane von Furstenberg, no Barry Diller, no big-name donors to give enough seed money to turn the park into a fashion statement.”
But with a High Line-like makeover, she wrote, “QueensWay would offer both a walkway and a bike path. There could be small shops or stands featuring cheese guava buns, dim sum dumplings, pani puri or yam fufu.”
Gettin' High Line
“Nobody on Park Avenue walks,” Michael Shvo said last month, standing near the back of the Drill Hall inside the Park Avenue Armory.
The Fund for Park Avenue was hosting a private cocktail reception to honor donors to its annual holiday tree-lighting drive, a signature project that dates back to 1949.
Mr. Shvo, the 40-year-old retired real estate glitz guru, was among the few dozen guests at the reception. Wearing a white dress shirt with black top-stitching unbuttoned past his clavicle, he was talking about a recent art transaction with a fellow developer when The Observer interrupted them to ask about the future of Park Avenue. Maybe there was room on it for a pedestrian pathway down the middle, so we could all enjoy the malls?
High Line Living
The expansion of the Chelsea Market has drawn skepticism from some of the city’s most pro-development quarters, most notably City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, who considers the neighboring High Line one of her hallmark achievements, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, caught between the concerns of her constituents and her boosters in the business community. Both have very powerful sway over the 500,00-square-foot project through the city’s public land-use review process, currently underway.
As for the rest of New York? They seem to like the plan, at least according to a new poll commissioned by supporters of the expansion.
Of the 600 New Yorkers surveyed in all five boroughs on behalf of the Chelsea Market Coalition, roughly half supported the project, with that number growing to 8 out of 10 when given a short description of the expansion, which includes roughly 300,000 square feet within two additions to the popular office and retail hub. What is most surprising about the results is that support among Manhattanites, including those living on the West Side of the island, paralleled or even outpaced support from the rest of the city.
Gettin' High Line
Modesty has never been New York’s strong suit, but some residents are so dismissive of the so-called virtue that they’ve purchased apartments in the new buildings along the High Line simply for the thrill of seeing and being seen.
While some of the residents of older buildings along the park were unhappy to find their daily routines become a spectacle, The New York Times reports that new buildings like HL23, Ten23 and 245 Tenth attract people who enjoy being on display.
Gettin' High Line
A proposed expansion of the Chelsea Market is as big as some of its neighbors. Does that make it acceptable?
Jamestown Properties wants to add an eight-story addition onto the western end of the former Nabisco factory, which already is seven stories tall and encircles the High Line. Jamestown argues it should be allowed to match its taller neighbors, sating demand for techie office space. Locals counter that to do so would rob the High Line of the light and air and views that help make it more than a glorified Midtown sidewalk.
Borough President Scott Stringer has decided to side with them, voting against Jamestown’s proposal to expand. Among the recommendations he made yesterday to the City Planning Commission is that the bulk of the project should be shifted to the Ninth Avenue section of the building, where Jamestown has already proposed adding a hotel above Buddakkan—another feature Mr. Stringer wants eliminated.
One of the chief complaints against the Chelsea Market expansion explored in this week’s Observer is that the project held no benefits for the community, only the High Line, which was receiving $19 million toward a long-term improvement fund.
It is only the latest sign of the park’s pull in the neighborhood and in the city, but here is another: DNAinfo dug into the city budget and found that the High Line is getting $5 million toward the creation of its third section. That is many times what neighboring amenities are getting, such as Hudson River Park, which is in much more dire shape.
Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer, was on his best behavior last night at the Friends of the High Line spring benefit, as the Lloyd Blankfein heir apparent (or not) was seated behind the lectern at center stage, and had his image projected onto the out-sized screens throughout the evening’s Read More
Gettin' High Line
Efforts to raise money for the Delancey Underground–also known as the Low Line–have taken off, thanks to private fundraising on the website Kickstarter.com. Back in September, when we talked to the founders of the project, ex-NASA scientist James Ramsey and RAAD partner Dan Barasch, they had low expectations about raising any money from the city.
It’s predecessor, the West Side High Line, had gotten some public money, but was built in a different era, Mr. Ramsey told us. “The recession hadn’t hit, and it was right after 9/11, when the city was looking to put money in an urban renewal project.”
The High Line is turning into the new Park Avenue. On the northern end are luxe apartment buildings, some of the finest in the city, and to the south, cutting edge office towers. While it is not quite Seagrams or Lever House, 837 Washington and the High Line Building are nothing to sneeze at. Now Read More