New York is a Very Strange Place December 2, 2009
Last week I had the pleasure of being in New York City for some events associated with the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA). New York City has plenty of waterfront; most of it is on islands, and it occupies the entirety of two islands, Staten and Manhattan. And in the middle of Manhattan they had the foresight to set aside a large swath of land, called Central Park. But the strange part is, the edge of the southern part of Central Park became the effective
beach front, or what have you, of the city, whereas the shorelines of Manhattan were surrendered to first commerce and industry and then expressways. One’s mind boggles at the thought of developing an island, by definition entirely surrounded by waterfront, in such a way that everything faces inward, away from the water. An idea for a fantasy contest I have had is to pretend that the five boroughs of New York City were vacant land under a single owner, like the Irvine Company, and have a contest with various Orange County developers, including the Irvine Company, as to how they would develop it. I bet it would be quite different from what is there now!
More recently, however, the expressway on the southwest side of the island was removed, and the latest thing is that an old railroad line has been converted to a walkway, the High Line, in an imitation of Paris’s Promenade Plantee. I had a couple of free hours to walk around there and take a few pictures:
A portion of the High Line. On the Promenade Plantee in Paris they don’t have lounge chairs:
And views from the High Line:
The tallest building in the city is the home of Kings College.
And I also noticed a few things down on the ground. Two rather ethnically confused beer signs;
And a sign that I appreciated, being of a generation that does not age gracefully!
Would you like more posts? More pictures?