Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
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This weekend I was finally able to sample The Standard Hotel in Chelsea. While I am usually very good at resisting the temptations of the mini-bar, this one was too well-stocked and organized to resist. Anything my heart desired was in there. While I was able to resist the Smartwater, Absolut, and all the recipes for delicious cocktails. I gave in for apple juice and chocolate chip cookies. What am I, five years old? Bravo Standard – this was too fabulous.
In other news, as I continue on my organizing journey, I found a rolling rattan chest of drawers in the back of a deep coat closet. One of the drawers was weighed down by all of my soundtrack CDs that I didn’t have room for in my case logic binders. Today I’ll be tackling the alphabetizing and inserting. I know with all of the iPod technology out there these days I probably don’t even need the actual CDs anymore, but getting rid of my jewel cases was traumatic enough. Seeing as how I still have a stack of albums and no turntable, I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of the CDs for at least another decade, though during my last move I did part with all of my cassette tapes. I hope some lucky dog out there is enjoying my Echo and the Bunnymen and my Scritti Politti music.
P.S. That Office Space soundtrack is awesome. I still picture them destroying the printer with a baseball bat whenever I hear the Geto Boys.
Monday, June 7th, 2010
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Ah, The High Line. After years of following this project, from the fight to save it to the competition to the completion of part one, I FINALLY got to set foot on it! I’m so happy. This design is so genius, it might just be my favorite landscape architecture project of all time. In fact, at the moment, I can’t even remember what my old favorite was, isn’t that terrible?
What’s so great about The High Line? Where to begin? I loved looking down on it from the 16th floor of The Standard. I loved seeing it from the street and thinking “I have GOT to get up there pronto!” I loved experiencing the city from that level, at eye-level with billboards, elevated cars, seeing building facades from a different height. I loved that at first glance one might be fooled into thinking the plantings were wild, but then upon seeing them seeing that they were carefully curated and that unseen maintenance was occurring. I loved all the different options for seating – some amphitheater style, some bistro tables, some lovely benches, some in the middle of a small grove.
I loved the mix of materials and the overall railroad industrial aesthetic, and I especially loved the metal tracks that remained and reminded visitors what the history of this place was all about – better yet, I loved where the tracks veered off on little side exits into brick walls, which reminded me of the entire industrial system that used to exist – the rail cargo having a direct entrance into the factory buildings. When we all try to be greener, we should think of this true door-to-door delivery where a product could go from the source to the destination in one trip.
Another thing that’s so interesting is that at one point in urban planning, skywalks were installed everywhere. This move was later blamed for the demise of street life in these areas. Conversely, the elevated public space of The High Line has made the neighborhood even more desirable and drawn even more business down at the street level on up. I’m nuts for this project. If you are too, you should become a friend of The High Line.