Thursday, September 5, 2013

J. Crew for High Line

The High Line now has a capsule collection by J. Crew. All proceeds from sales go to the High Line. Think they'll do a Flushing Meadow collection next? Doubtful, though that park actually needs the money.

From City & State:

"The organization that built and runs the park, Friends of the High Line, is dominated by a wealthy and politically connected coterie of real estate developers and property owners, which has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars, directly and as intermediaries, into Christine Quinn’s mayoral election campaign. Friends of the High Line, formed in 1999 as a tiny nonprofit by two civic-minded fans of urban decrepitude, has quickly become the richest park conservancy in the city, after the Central Park Conservancy. Friends of the High Line raises double the revenue of the Prospect Park Alliance, for instance, and takes in more than 20 times as much as the Friends of Hudson River Park.

...The City Council, first under Gifford Miller and then Christine Quinn, has doused the High Line with cash. Estimates of city funding for the High Line before it even opened range between $130 and $170 million...

The real question is, why give money to the FoHL at all? They don’t need it. The organization is awash in cash from its board and corporate sponsors. The High Line floats in the center of billions of dollars of residential real estate that was built specifically around it. One of the highest paid staffers for the FoHL is a person listed officially as 'Director of Food,' who makes more than $100,000 per year."

So how about a capsule collection for the Director of Food?


Anonymous said...

I agree with much of this blog's views, but lambasting the High Line -- no! It's a FREE resource for all and any New Yorkers! No admission charge!! The High Line is the least of our worries -- re-use of a dead space, added greenery to the city (ever see how many birds and butterflies and BEES are enjoying the park, as well? A mini nature preserve!), a nice respite -- no you can't toss a frisbee or bike there, but not every park needs to meet every need. Being outdoors looking at nature is a neat thing. (And, better that than bloody slaughterhouse streets, IMHVO!) ;)

79rigid said...

Is it April 1st already?

James C. Taylor said...


D. Berrios said...

The High Line Park is one of the best new parks and public attractions in New York and the USA. People across the US and the globe want a park like it. Other boroughs like Queens are considering a similar park. Chicago is trying to create a similar park. But it is a public park, not a private one. Why is the High Line and any fundraising effort to support it bad?

Gifford Miller, Christine Quinn, and Mayor Mike Bloomberg did the right thing by supporting this beautiful public park space. It is not private. Anyone can visit it. It is not just for rich people. When you go there you see all kinds of people enjoying it. The projects people who live nearby go there too. Poor Christine Quinn probably won't finish second in the Democrat primary so no one needs to attack her any more. She did everything she could to improve the city beautiful and safe, and she's being made to pay for it.

I don't understand why you do not like this public park. Can you explain?


Maybe it's time for a line of anti-gentrification T-Shirts ?
Here are a few ideas:

Save New York now (before it's too late) !
Fuck the highline !
Where's my bodega ?
Bring my Odessa back !
Leave my East Village alone !

GA _ New York in the 1990's photo archives: (

Anonymous said...

For you High Line lovers, first of all, it has become a clogged tourist trap, with hundreds of waddling, pleated-short wearing Nebraskans blocking the way. But even if it has become a beautiful, butterfly-laden park (minus the tourists), it has wiped out the working class (and somehow more interesting) neighborhood around it. Gone are any of the affordable apartments, the gas stations, the bodegas, the gay bars. The Folsom Fair is in danger or maybe has already been eliminated due to the suburban/Midwestern sensibilities of the foilks who have moved into the luxury condo's surrounding the "park." Basically, the area is turning into one big mid-western tourist attraction and the residents have become snotty, yupified, entitled c*nts who really don't want to mix with anyone from any other walk of life. Yoga pants and strollers for everyone! And that's why the High Line sucks.

Anonymous said...

I think the concept of the park is a good one.

I think the park in reality is filled with the last people on the face of the planet I want to spend even one minute with.

From the waves upon waves of clueless tourists to the silly fashionistas to the soulless suburban yuppies who occupy the ridiculous condos that the highline has given birth to in place of an authentic urban landscape.

I avoid that place like the plague.

Anonymous said...

The High Line itself is not the source of the negative reaction from alot of New Yorkers, it's what's happening to that part of the city as a result that is the cause of aggravation. Sure it's a nice park and a nice idea, it's free, it's public. But many of the people and businesses in the neighborhood are being driven out to make room for much wealthier enterprise because of it. If a city builds a nice new park in your neighborhood that you are supposedly welcome to enjoy...but you have to leave the neighborhood because you can't afford it any longer, what enjoyment is their in that? I mean who's kidding who here?

There's nothing beneficial or attractive about pushing aside middle and working income families and businesses to make room for those with more money. Time and time again that's what were seeing in the city right now. Churches, hospitals, mom and pop businesses mowed down. You have money, great! You don''re on your own and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Space Pope said...

I'm not going to critique other people's comments. Lord knows I'm trying REEAAAL hard not to. They have their opinions, and I have mine and never the twain shall meet.

But to stay on post, why does the Friends of the Cultural Lawnmower need more money? They don't wanna give up the private helicopter to Fire Island or whatever bacchanalian private locale of hedonism that is popular with the moneyed elite for a day? Tell them to open their own damn wallets and support the devil baby they brought forth on their own. You know, like they enjoy telling the working poor single moms to do?

Pat said...

I have often wondered what it is about the High Line that makes it so unsatisfying. I don't know much about feng shui, but maybe because the rail line was built to move freight in one direction shotgun, that it makes for a rather peculiar park in its next incarnation. People typically meander and stroll through a park, choosing this curved path or that, and one cannot do that on the High Line. So, clever as it is, there is something that falls short about it.

Jeremiah Moss said...

of course there's no admission charge. it's a public park. though it does feel private, as if there ought to be an admission charge. maybe that's some of its appeal--you feel like you're accessing something private for free.

Jeremiah Moss said...

D. Berrios, most of what i think of the HL can be found here:

Grand St. said...

"The projects people who live nearby go there too."

Sure. That's why the FoHL employs a Community Engagement Manager to "establish lines of communication between the High Line and its most immediate neighbors." (their website)

D. Berrios, have you considered that the 'park' and the attendant rezoning/development of West Chelsea have left 'the projects people' and other locals with fewer places to buy affordable goods and services? And that it's a raw deal to lose barbershops and bodegas and get millions of tourists in exchange. Maybe that's why it's not so popular in it's own backyard.

Sinestra said...

It's nice to think of the High Line as a "nature preserve" except for the fact that it is literally being surrounded and dwarfed by searing glass condos everywhere with any sort of view, sunlight or fresh air becoming more and more scarce. Soon it will be an alleyway with looming buildings on all sides- not very "natural".
On a side note, have you guys heard about these new glass buildings literally burning and melting things with their reflections and blinding people with sunglare- it is a ridiculous architectural fad that I hope will soon be obsolete- not green-friendly and their "side effects" are very unpleasant.
I liked the high line most when it was a hidden strip of nature in the city- they could have stayed with that vibe instead of making it luxe.

Brendan said...

Amazingly, I've still never been to the High Line. I tried to go right after it opened, but there was a line just to get up so I told myself I'd check it out when the novelty wore off and it got less crowded. Still waiting.

Making a PARK into a tourist attraction is idiotic. A park is an AMENITY for the residents of the city. A really famous park like Central Park will attract tourists incidentally, but it's big enough. The High Line was marketed as a tourist attraction from Day 1, ensuring that it would NEVER function as an actual city park.

Jason said...

1. The highline was more fun amd better looking when you had to trespass to see it.

2. The highline is not the sole reason for gentrification of the neighborhood. A part of it? Absolutely, but not the only evil.

3. To call any neighborhood in Manhattan (especially below 125th) working class now or in the recent past is just silly. Sure, there are people in rent control apartments eeking out a living but Manhattan has been a place for the wealthy and the poor for quite a while without much of a middle class at all.

Anonymous said...

The High Line sounded good on paper but it was a scam as part of the plot by real estate bigwigs to drive out anyone less than rich from Manhattan Island.

Also it's an architectural failure.

Anonymous said...

Jason there are millions In manhattan who either bought their apartment 20 plus years ago or are rent stabilized who are solidly middle class. From proffessors and teachers to small business owners to proffesionals with middle management salaries.

Not "eeking" out a living.

Unfortunately once this generation dies off thats it.

Thank god I experienced a socioeconomically diverse manhattan because no on ever will again

D. Berrios said...


Thank you for posting the link to your op-ed piece.

I take your points. Every major park in Manhattan except the ones in Manhattan's far northern corner are surrounded by wealthy neighborhoods. This is happening in the other boroughs too. That is how capitalism and development work. People want to live near greenery and will pay a premium to be near beautiful green spaces. Look at Central Park. Washington Square Park. Tompkins Square Park. Battery Park. Yes now Prospect Park. Fort Green Park. Forest Park in Queens.

There are projects near the High Line. No one is knocking those down. Our tax dollars allow people to live at a low cost in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city. Our tax dollars allow people to live at a low cost near Central Park and the other parks. There was no way that the High Line Park was not going to change the neighborhood. But it is not private. It is not locked up so that only rich people can use it.

To the people that say parks are only for locals, that is not true. They are for locals and visitors. It has always been that way. People traveling to New York have always wanted to see Central Park or Washington Square Park since they were created. They are New York landmarks. But there are Manhattan parks that locals use more than tourists. Bryant Park. Riverside Park. The beautiful Hudson River Park that Mayor Giuliani created primarily is used by locals.

I don't mean this for Jeremiah but some people say they want to go back to the bad old days of New York. The projects people don't want that. Their lives were hell then. Middle class people don't want that kind of dysfunction and danger. Poor people don't want that because homelessness and drugs were far far worse. Things were very bad under Democrat mayors Beame, Koch, and Dinkins. Very bad. Especially for middle class people, working people, the poor, and the minorities. Rapes, wildings, drug shootings were all higher. The schools were terrible. Far worse than now. Children were abducted. This drove families to Long Island and New Jersey. Or Connecticut or up the Hudson. New York was ungovernable until Giuliani showed he could do it. Why would anyone want those days to come back?

The city works now. It's the difference between night and day.

Caleo said...

Although I agreed with certain points D.Berrios made in another thread, it seems he has been so scarred by the violence of the 70's and 80's that he can't reflect on all the obvious negatives that luxurification brings. new York could have/should have reached a balance in the very early 2000's. But Bloomberg isn't interested in balance, or real, mixed use cities with a range of income levels. That is what New York always had, and has lost at a catastrophic rate in the past decade. New York was once a city that anyone could move to. No longer. The arts, and the lifestyle necessary to produce it, have been gutted. A new demographic has swarmed into the city, and yes, they don't commit crime, but they don't appreciate the city and it's glorious history either. Young professionals and parent funded hipsters now make up the majority in many Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods, and these homogenized, deracinated urbanites have driven out the original, ethnic communities that made this city truly unique.
Am I being judgmental ? You bet I am.
The Highline is a microcosm of what has happened to the rest of Manhattan. Catering to hordes of tourists and millionaires does not a healthy city make.

G.R. said...

D. Berrios,
From reading a few of your posts, I see you are very fond of using the word "wilding" to describe the supposed "bad old days" of New York under Dinkins and the first term of Giuliani. Are you not aware the term was originally coined in order to describe the youths accused of raping the "Central Park Jogger"? And that those same youths--now grown men, having spent a large portion of their lives in prison--were recently exonerated by DNA evidence? So I ask you please to not use that word "wilding" anymore with the meaning you are ascribing to it, as it is offensive. Thank you.

D. Berrios said...

Dear "G. R.",

Please read my posts. I never ever say that "wildings" happened under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He cleaned New York up and drove crime down. It reached its lowest levels in decades under Giuliani and Mayor Mike Bloomberg. NYC crime reached its worst extremes in 1990 under Dinkins. Wildings are a thing of a past.

You may not know this, but the young men who were wrongly convicted of the Central Park rape invented the term "wilding." They "coined" it. That is the inventiveness of young people not the media. It did not just appear out of thin air. This truth is not PC but someone has to tell it. They were wrongly convicted.

But gangs of roving young people did attack in the past. Perhaps you did not live in New York at the time. People being shot by groups of kids. People being stabbed with knives or hypodermic needles. Remember Yusuf Hawkins who was black and attacked by a white mob? Remember Utahan Brian Watkins who was stabbed in the subway station by a black mob of kids in 1990? Remember the Crown Heights Riots? The Central Park Five case was a miscarriage of justice. Giuliani took care of the crime problem.

Caleo, yes, I remember how bad the crime was. I remember the violence. The romantic picture of New York that some paint does not capture how horrible it was. Imagine being pistol whipped on the street. Mugged. It is terrible to lose beloved institutions. But how can you stop the march of capitalism? People keep coming to New York because it works. The same is true for Silicon Valley. We lived through eras where cities and the government did not work at all. They were hardest on the middle class and the poor. New York works now. It is not a bad thing.

Thank you for letting me respond.

Jennifer said...

As someone who has to travel to the far west side (bet 11/12th ave) for work on a daily basis, I really wish the High Line was used for trains again.

Anonymous said...

"Wildings" better known as "gang assaults" DO still occur; just spend some time in the Grand Jury Room at 60 Centre St. and you will hear about plenty of them. Nowadays they often take place against latino immigrants, and are not on the front page of the papers as the Jogger's assault was (or any assault of a young, white woman).

The origins of the word are far from certain, by the way. The only thing known for sure is that, whoever thought of it first, the NY Post ran with it and turned it into a code word for black-on-white violence.

This is not the right forum for an in-depth dissection of Giuliani's warped character, so suffice it to say, in the (paraphrased) words of Rev. Sharpton, "If the Virgin Mary had lived in NYC, Giuliani would have arrested her and handed Baby Jesus over to Child Protective Services."

vzabuser said...

DBerios "The city works now. It's the difference between night and day."... Well we know your income bracket now!
I would contest that with the response: Now the city only works for the super rich after the financially caused down-turn (depression). These projects are the mechanics by which rich remove the poor people from under their heels. Rent Control has been removed from most New York tenants and the percent of controlled apts. will dip below 1% soon if you look it up- As of 2008, there were only 39,901 rent controlled apartments in NYC, or 1.9 percent of the housing stock!

John K said...

@vzabuser, I heard a woman today on WNYC saying essentially what D Berros keeps repeating, which is that the city is so safe that she can walk anywhere, and not have to worry about the dangers of the past. She sounded like she was auditioning for a Lhota ad.