04 June 2010

On a high

Once I was done with the MoMA I realized that I have just about enough time to make one more stop before I had to dash back to the airport. I headed west to the meat-packing district to see yet another garden, a completely different sort of urban garden.
Like with any other cultural product (art, literature, architecture etc.) landscape too is a constantly changing field and with time it is possible to identify one exemplary example - which best expresses - the aspirations of an era.In a lot of ways the High-line park designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DSRNY) is 'the perfect garden' of our times!
It quiet literally is a path breaking project at multiple levels :-)
The design was the winner of an open competition that contemplated how the abandon elevated railway line running thru the meat packing district could be reused to benefit NYC. DSRNY designed the entire length of the High-line as a series of simple landscapes strips that bring back the joy of walking thru wild flowers to the heart of Manhattan.
The garden weaves it's way between/thru and above a series of buildings creating pockets for different programmes but above all creates an opportunity for new yorkers to de-congest.This is one of those amazing and rare projects which has be meticulously detailed yet it doesn't lose focus of the larger picture.
It really makes me wonder why every urban walkway couldn't be like this? Imagine the monstrous sky-walks being built around the world (like THIS one in Mumbai) were treated with this sort of passion, overgrown with greenery waiting for the garden lizards and butterflies to recapture their cities wouldn't that be amazing!?!
While I stroll on the high-line pondering about all this a rude alarm on my phone reminds me of my flight back to India!Thanks Nini for showing me your favorite garden - I think it mine too now..
Till soon - ciao New York!

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