The High Line (New York), June 2009 – 24

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The High Line (New York), June 2009 – 24
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Image by Ed Yourdon
Note: this photo was published in a Jun 25,2009 Italian blog titled "Una linea verde passa su Manhattan e nasce l’agritettura." It was also published in a Jun 26, 2009 blog titled "High Line, un parque en una antigua vía de tren elevada." It was also referenced (via a URL) in a Jul 13, 2009 Time/CNN blog article about The High Line Park titled "Above It All." And it was published in a Jul 16, 2009 blog titled "Will We Repair Our Green Infrastructure?" More recently, it was published in an Aug 7, 2009 blog titled "On the High Line and Various Lights." And it was published as an illustration in a Sep 2009 Mahalo blog titled "High Line," at www-dot-mahalo-dot-com-slash-High-dashLine. It was also published in an Oct 14, 200 blog titled "GOOD Events: New York City’s High Line Park: A Walking Tour GOOD Events: New York City’s High Line Park: A Walking Tour." More recently, it was published in an Oct 20, 2009 blog titled "High Line West Side Line, New York City."

Moving into 2010, the photo was published in a Feb 19, 2010 Los Angeles Times blog titled "High Line designer wins park job in Santa Monica." It was also published in an undated (Aug 2010) blog titled " Quick Tips for the First Time Jersey Home Buyer."

Note: for another look at the High Line, about a month after this set was photographed, and also when the weather was somewhat more interesting, see my Flickr set Return to the High Line – Jul 2009.

Note: this photo was published in an undated (early Jan 2011) blog titled "Exercising Tips To Grow Tall." And it was published in an undated (late Apr 2011) blog titled "Home Fitness Tips That Really Work." It was also published in a Jun 9, 2011 blog titled "The Morning Dig: New Phase of NYC’s High Line Opens." And it was published in a Sep 4, 2011 blog titled "The Economic Advantages of the Greenway."

Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Jan 8, 2012 Fitness Websites blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page.

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A recent Wikipedia article informs us that "the High Line is an abandoned 1.45-mile (2.33-km) section of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line, along the lower west side of … Manhattan between 34th Street … and Gansevoort Street in the West Village. The High Line was built in the early 1930s by the New York Central and has been unused as a rail line since 1980. Part of it reopened as a city park on June 8, 2009."

Since its opening a few days ago, the High Line park has gotten quite a lot of publicity including a June 10, 2009 Huffington Post blog/article titled "Story of Reusing the City: Welcome to High Line," and a June 15-22, 2009 New York magazine article titled "The Twin Pleasures of the High Line: A Petite New Park, and a District of Lively Architecture" (the online version of which seems to be much more sparsely illustrated than the hard-copy version, though I’ve just been alerted to the existence of a PDF image of the photos from that New Yorker article, which you can find here).

So I ventured down to the West Village today, along with a gazillion other New Yorkers, tourists, and visitors, to see what it looked like. Photographing the crowds along the walkway was probably a worthwhile exercise, because it serves as a reminder of how many people a park like this must serve, in a city the size of New York. On the other hand, there’s no question that I’ll want to come back in a few months, after the novelty has worn off, to see what it looks like when it’s essentially empty (showing up at 7 AM when the park opens, instead of noon, would probably help too!).

It was a gray, leaden day when I strolled through the park, with sprinkles of rain as I reached the northern end of the park at 20th Street — and that probably didn’t do much to help the pictures. I’ll come back on a sunny day, sometime, and I may well wait until late afternoon or early evening, in order to catch the sunset glow in the western New Jersey skyline…

But for now, the pictures do offer a view of a very different kind of park than most people envision; instead of vast, open, grassy fields and views that try to deny the very existence of the surrounding city, this park is woven right into the abandoned train tracks, the surrounding buildings, and the abandoned piers along the Hudson River. And it has obviously inspired a wave of innovative architecture in the new hotels and office buildings that have sprouted up along the way; where possible, I’ve tried to identify the buildings, too, so you can draw your own conclusion about whether all of this is beautiful, inviting, or just a little bizarre.

If you’re interested in finding out more, the afore-mentioned Wikipedia article has a number of links to articles and other resources about the past, the present, and the future of the High Line…

NYC – Metropolitan Museum of Art – Sackler Wing – Temple of Dendur
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Image by wallyg
The Temple of Dendur, Roman period, ca. 15 B.C.
Egyptian; Dendur, Nubia
Sandstone; L. from gate to rear of temple 82 ft. (24 m 60 cm)

The Temple of Dendur, a Nubian Temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, the gods Harpocrates and Osiris, as well as two deified sons of a local Nubian chieftain, Pedesi ("he whom Isis has given") and Pihor ("he who belongs to Horus"), was comissioned by Emperor Augustus of Rome around 15 BC. In 577, the temple was converted into a Christian church. The conversion is documented by a Coptic inscription. In the 19th century, graffiti was left on the temple walls by visitors from Europe.

The temple was dismantled and removed from its original site (modern name: Dendur, ancient name: Tutzis, about 80jm south of the town of Aswan) in 1963 in order to save it from being submerged by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. In recognition of the American assistance in saving various other monuments threatened by the dam’s construction, the temple was given to the United States of America by Egypt in 1965. The stone blocks of the temple weighed more than 800 tons in total with the largest pieces weighing more than 6.5 tons. They were packed in 661 crates and transported to the United States by the freighter S.S. Concordia Star. In the United States, several institutions made bids for housing the temple, in a competition which was nicknamed the "Dendur Derby" by the press. Alternative plans proposed re-erecting the temple on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. or on the Charles River in Boston. However, these suggestions were dismissed because it was feared that the temple’s sandstone would have suffered from the outdoor conditions. On April 27, 1967, the temple was awarded to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it was installed in the Sackler Wing in 1978. Inside the Sackler Wing, designed by the architects Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo, and associates, a reflecting pool in front of the temple and a sloping wall behind it, represent the Nile and the cliffs of the original location. The glass on the ceiling and north wall of the Sackler is stippled in order to diffuse the light and mimic the lighting in Nubia.

The temple is constructed from sandstone and measures 25 meters from the gate to the rear as well as 8 meters from the bottom to the highest point. It is decorated with reliefs, the coloring of which has perished: The temple base is decorated with carvings of papyrus and lotus plants growing out of the water of the Nile, which is symbolized by depictions of the god Hapy. Over the temple gate as well as over the entrance to the temple proper, depictions of the sun disk and the wings of the sky god Horus represent the sky. This motif is repeated by the vultures depicted on the ceiling of the entrance porch. On the outer walls, Emperor Augustus is depicted as a pharaoh making offerings to the deities Isis, Osiris, and their son Horus. The subject is repeated in the first room of the temple, where Augustus is shown praying and making offerings. The middle room, which was used for offerings, and the sanctuary of Isis at the rear of the temple are undecorated but for reliefs on the door frame and backwall of the sanctuary. The latter shows Pihor and Pedesi as young gods worshiping Isis and Osiris respectively.

(68.154)

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s permanent collection contains more than two million works of art from around the world. It opened its doors on February 20, 1872, housed in a building located at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Under their guidance of John Taylor Johnston and George Palmer Putnam, the Met’s holdings, initially consisting of a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 mostly European paintings, quickly outgrew the available space. In 1873, occasioned by the Met’s purchase of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriot antiquities, the museum decamped from Fifth Avenue and took up residence at the Douglas Mansion on West 14th Street. However, these new accommodations were temporary; after negotiations with the city of New York, the Met acquired land on the east side of Central Park, where it built its permanent home, a red-brick Gothic Revival stone "mausoleum" designed by American architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mold. As of 2006, the Met measures almost a quarter mile long and occupies more than two million square feet, more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building.

In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was ranked #17 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1967. The interior was designated in 1977.

National Historic Register #86003556

Blue Rise, New York, NY
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Image by Grufnik
This view of Frank Gehry’s building for IAC (InterActiveCorp) reminded me somewhat of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, emerging in a remote location on the West Side Highway.

IAC Corporation found this photo on Flickr, and contacted me about it. They wanted to have the rights to use the photo along with some others of the building in their advertising materials. I asked that the money they were going to pay me be donated to a charity instead. They agreed and matched the payment as well. The charity selected was CharityIs, and you can check them out here: www.charityis.org/.

This photo looks best large and on a black background. For a very complete look at the building and its design, visit: iacbuilding.com/interactive/content.html

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