[Mayor Bloomberg, Christine Quinn, Diane von Furstenberg and others cut the ribbon, opening High Line. All photos by NEIL RASMUS by PMc]
If trees grow in Brooklyn, what's sprouting in Manhattan? Nature lovers have a new place to spend their lazy Sundays now that the High Line is officially open. Well, kind of open. But still, it's a park lover's dream come true especially one living in the concrete jungle. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined by architects, local officials, and the fabulous Diane von Furstenberg, cut the ribbon yesterday, opening Section 1 of the elevated park that runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, near the Hudson River.
The High Line project...started with a couple of guys who met at a community board meeting in 1999 — Joshua David, a writer, and Robert Hammond, a painter — and discovered they shared a fervent interest in saving the abandoned railroad trestle, which had been out of commission since 1980 and was slated for demolition during the Giuliani administration. That began a decade-long endeavor that involved rescuing the structure and enlisting the Bloomberg administration in its preservation and renovation.
And, while the park will only be open daily from 7am to 10pm, there are still a lot of restrictions -- no biking, flower-picking, walking on the railroad tracks or gravel paths, and feeding the animals. Hey, you have to give a little to get some in return, right? Completion for High Line won't happen anytime soon, but the city officials expect to finish section 2 of the three-section park in 2010.
Diane von Furstenberg, Barry Diller
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Philip Falcone, Lisa Maria Falcone
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Christine Quinn, Jerry Nadler, Diane von Furstenberg
Pat Hammond, Robert Hammond, Hall Hammond, Mills Walter