Day 316

Frank and I took a wrong turn on our way to the tennis courts yesterday and ended up at 10th Street in Manhattan. Naturally when you are in your blue tennis skirt in NYC with no tennis courts in sight the only thing to do is to walk the High Line. In case I haven’t said this before, IMPROVISING is one of the keys to happiness, n’est pas? If one door doesn’t open, look for a window — or in this case, a staircase — and follow it. Up.

We found ourselves on a landscaped, elevated platform above 10th Avenue, on part 1 of what is to be a 1.5-mile walk along a redesigned 1930s freight car line. The High Line is planted with indigenous shrubbery, grasses, and trees that are designed to be regenerative while also requiring little maintenance. But the best thing about the walk, for me, was the art.

High Line art is integrated into the landscape and plays with your senses. Stephen Vitiello’s “A Bell for Every Minute” at the 14th Street Passage is an auditory piece of public art — something I don’t recall ever seeing (or hearing) in my many urban wanderings. He’s literally recorded the sound of 59 different bells from all around the city — from bicycle bells to cathedral bells to dinner bells — and replays them, one a minute, throughout each hour.

The art — like Richard Galpin’s “Viewing Station” brass plate that reframes the horizon — invites you to interact and merge with the landscape in new ways. Which is what our shadows are doing, here.

You can visit the High Line any day, or take a walking tour of the line with the landscape gardeners on the first Tuesday of every month, or stargaze every Tuesday evening at dusk with the a group of amateur astronomers — they even provide the telescopes!

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