Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

My cousin T and I were curious, like much of the country, about the Occupy Wall Street movement.  We headed down to Zuccotti Park last weekend and spent over an hour walking through the village that has been created.  We both came away unexpectedly moved by what we witnessed.

It was crowded:

Media was everywhere:

Persons of Note were there as well (Economist Jeffrey Sachs, known for his work to find solutions to poverty):

The encampment is organized into different areas.  Food is available to anyone who is hungry, and is prepared on site and in a nearby soup kitchen.  Donations have been pouring in from all over the country (world?), and upstate NY farms have been providing produce :

Lunch looked delicious:

Medical care and supplies are available for free:

An area designed for the tired:

Artists at work:

Make your own sign:

Protestors lined the perimeter of the park and shared their thoughts with the world:

And my favorite sign of all....

Art walk in Brooklyn

I recently visited my friend M in Williamsburg, a hipster neighborhood in Brooklyn.  I took a different route than usual to get to her place, and was amazed at the art, intentional and unintentional, that appeared in just a twenty minute stretch. Walk with me...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The High Line, a view from above

The High Line, an elevated park on the western side of Manhattan, is one of the most extraordinary walks in the city.  The former railroad track was originally built in the 1930s to allow safe passage for freight trains, as there had been so many fatal collisions between street trains and cars.  It operated for decades, but eventually fell out of use, and the last cargo was three cars of frozen turkeys in 1980.

There was a movement to tear down the structure, which was countered by an effort to restore it and put it to public use.  The latter won, and the track was donated to the city by CSX Transportation, Inc.

The southern most entry way is on Gansevoort Street, in the Meatpacking District.  The park stretches for a mile and a half, and ends on 30th.  It is beautifully designed, with modern architecture, prairie-like plantings, and unique features such as stadium seating gazing onto a busy street and a sculpture housing multiple birdhouses.

Take a walk with me...

The view from the first block

The park's pathway

Elements of the railroad are built into the design

A bit surreal to see Manhattan through prairie grasses

Living room or park? You decide.

Sidewalk fountain, happy feet on a hot day
Walking alongside the 'stained glass' of an industrial building
Fashion shoot on a patio just below the walkway
The walk is admittedly less relaxing when crowds grow and the path narrows

Other areas are more tranquil
There are vendors with gourmet treats along the way
A roller rink with those who still have energy at the end
And a beer garden for those who don't

Postscript... a second walk, this time in the evening, brings a very different experience: