09 July 2009

the City with new eyes

weekend of liberty.

i promised reem we would go together to nyc, and finding that this past weekend was the only time when we'd both be around together, we figured it would be a good moment. and hey, july 4th in the City is fun :D

and so we went!

the partner in crime, who introduced me to the joy of color filters (thanks, also, to canon).
who loves nyc at first sight?

alice's teacup was our first official stop for tea + scones.

other fooding included:
spitzer's corner (ludlow + rivington, lower east side) : tuscan omelet
gregory's coffee (park ave. + 24th st.) : sandwich in a tube!, cappuccino

along the way we came across allen and reem's friend, dasum, and discovered our namesakes in the form of signs (too bad, no "reem road").
[ note : confetti, i had the first photo taken for you! ]

a beautiful sun setting sky from pier 54, seen with lovely college friends and visitors
as we waited for the evening's light display.

happy 4th!

and then, the long-awaited highline!

it's been years since i first heard about the project back in college, and now it finally opened its doors for the first time just a few weeks ago. (thanks to juliet for reminding me!) although i was excited to see in person what diller scofidio + renfro (ds+r, the architects) and field operations (the landscape architects) did with the project, i also was bracing myself for some sort of hipster tourist trap, after hearing about the park's overcrowding.

we grabbed sandwiches from amy's bread in chelsea market and headed up to the old converted railline. thankfully, it was well populated but not stifling, and we had a chance to sit in the 10th ave. square (@ 17th st. and very akin to the ica's mediatheque) and munch away. reem was completely in awe of the park, after having heard about it for the first time just before our trip to the city. i was also impressed with how both urban and wild the highline could be. sure, there were flocks of people with cameras stuck to their faces (my camera actually ran out of batteries after those few opening shots - thankfully so, actually, so i got to do a bit of sketching), but you could still sense both the openness and narrowness of the space. the careful selection of flora. the transitions from concrete plank to well-worn wood and back again. even the water fountain drained elegantly into grates on the ground!

i'm looking forward to the day when the highline is no longer an architectural darling or celebrity spectacle, but instead becomes truly integrated into the surrounding urban fabric. then, i think the park will reach its potential as a city icon. until then, be prepared to fight the crowd.

for a (perhaps) more "official" review of the highline, see the nytimes article.

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