The High Line park, ten years in the making, officially opened yesterday. What’s striking on the High Line, apart from its delightfully uneven poured walkways (the arguments and code-wrangling there must have been!) and benches on wheels, is what you can see not on but from the narrow strip of railway. It presents an idealized, bizarre version of New York City, a west side skyline you haven’t seen before. Disorienting! Where are we?
It’s like one of those movies set in New York City but clearly filmed in Canada, except this is better than Canada. Also, donating millions of dollars to the park was the smartest thing Barry Diller ever did, because the High Line is the only vantage point onto his Frank Gehry-designed headquarters building that makes it look actually exciting.
There were no poor people there yet. There were many homosexuals.
Here’s what you can see: the personal trainer teaching a man boxing in the Equinox; lots of New Jersey; luxury construction both in progress and abandoned; billboards; the General Theological Seminary; the Andy Warhols and Tom Wesselmans inside Phillips auction house; double-tiered parking structures; the exercise yard atop the womens’ prison on 20th Street.