Thu, 22 March 2012
Welcome to the unofficial High Line audio walking tour! In our last podcast, we gave you a history of the High Line, the one-mile linear park situated atop a stretch of abandoned elevated railroad tracks along the West Side. This time, I'll take you on a tour along the High Line itself. This will incorportate some history of the elevated line itself, but it's geared towards describing the history of the surrounding neighborhoods.
This is intended to be listened to as you walk along the High Line, beginning at the park's southern entrance at Washington Street and Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District. We'll end at 30th Street.
This tour will last a little over an hour or so -- depending on what speed you choose to enjoy the High Line. But take your time! Along the way, I'll share tales from almost 200 years of history, from the early days of Fort Gansevoort during the War of 1812 to the underground club life of the 1990s.
Featuring New York stories of the Titanic, the Lusitania and the Manhattan Project. And starring a wild array of people who have influenced these neighborhoods, including Abraham Lincoln, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Drew Barrymore, REVS, Cass Gilbert, a feisty lady named Tillie Hart, and a whole lotta people dressed like Stevie Nicks.
Also: you might want a handful of Oreos after you're done.
CORRECTION: I meant to say that the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center was 2.2 MILLION square feet, not 2.2 square feet. That's a sizeable difference!
Thu, 8 March 2012
The High Line, which snakes up New York's west side, is an ambitious park project refitting abandoned elevated train lines into a breathtaking contemporary park. This is the remnant of a raised freight-delivery track system that supported New York's thriving meat, produce and refrigeration industries that have defined the city's western edges.
You can trace the footprints of this area back almost 200 years, to the introduction of the Hudson River Railroad and Cornelius Vanderbilt, who transformed the streets along the Hudson River into 'the lifeline of New York', filled with warehouses, marketplaces and abattoirs. And, of course, lots of traffic, turning 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue into 'death avenues', requiring New York's first 'urban cowboys'.
The West Side Elevated Freight Railroad was meant to relieve some of trauma on the street. That's not exactly how it worked out. We'll tell you about its downfall, its transformation during the 70s as a haven for counter-culture, and its reinterpretation as an innovative urban playground.