It's been a while since I lived in NYC & not a day goes by (ok, maybe every few days) that I don't miss the amazing, exciting, buzzy uniqueness of life in New York City. There really is no place on earth like it. And reading about the High Line - a fabulously reinvented elevated garden space, created along a disused railway line running from the Meatpacking District (always an obsession of mine) to Hell's Kitchen - well, it just about brings tears to my eyes.
I passionately love the transformation of urban space into garden refuge, however manicured or wild, big or small. The mix of barren cement & triumphant plantlife, the inherent human need to return to nature despite our love of fast, modern cities. From this very blog's name & a good chunk of its content, you can see how proud I am of my own (very) small contribution toward greening up our concrete world.
As the idea of the city garden has not only become central to my life, but also a hot topic amongst my friends, the High Line has really hit home for me. It seems to me to be the ultimate community garden. OK, so maybe it's not a neighborhood veggie patch (yet) and true, my precious Sauce Box wouldn't allowed to prance around & poo in it (yet), but it is an astounding use of what once was urban decay & creating a really beautiful & unexpected reinterpretation of mother nature, elegantly elevated above Manhattan's West Side.
I could go on & on about the park's fantastic origins (a live railway line until the 1980s, the discovery by self-proclaimed "urban explorers" of rugged wildgrasses & sturdy trees popping up amongst abandoned steel tracks, the community's coming together to overrule Giuliani's demolition orders & succeeding to get millions of dollars to realize their green dreams). To me, it's just heavenly & I hope I can visit it someday soon. Imagine strolling along meandering grassy paths, amidst the concrete & steel and dirty whirl of city activity below, the sparkling view of the Hudson one way & skyscrapers all around, sipping peach berry lemonade on a New York summer's day. (A few weekends ago, they were handing out free iced coffee from Crop to Cup!)I really think it's time for me to return to NYC. But could something as wild as this happen in Dublin?
*Photos courtesy of the High Line blog & Flickr pool*