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The Crowds Should Fall Into Disrepair

The missus and I finally got to the High Line this weekend. For those of you who don’t know, the High Line is an elevated rail track that runs from the meatpacking district in the West Village to about 34th Street in West Midtown. The history is pretty interesting, and you should read about it on their website.

So now it’s a park. Or a kind of park. It’s a walk way with benches, native grasses, and lovely architectural details.

The railroad used to go right into that building!

They’ve done a tremendous job with it. The plant life is beautiful and the design of the whole thing is very tastefully done. There’s even a seating area, if you want to watch the traffic fly up 10th Avenue!

It really does feel like an urban oasis.

Only one problem: people. I accept some responsibility for choosing to go to the High Line on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. But I’m not even talking about the massive throngs of people, so much as the type of person.

It was scene-y. People were there to look good and be seen. The obvious money on these people was palpable. It was kind of a turnoff. And it reminded me why I so love Queens and so don’t love Manhattan.

I wonder if it’s a top-down problem. The High Line recently had some “Are you fucking kidding me?” type of press, when word got out that the Executive Director of the Friends of the High Line gets paid a quarter of a million dollars. That’s really a lot for a nonprofit job.

Obviously, an investment in talent can be a good investment for nonprofits, so I’m not going to bad-mouth the High Line on his salary alone. But you better believe that small donors don’t necessarily want to think that their $25 is just going to pay some rich bastard his salary. I need that $25 worse than the High Line’s E.D.

Anyway, I wonder if there’s a connection between the outlandish salary of the High Line E.D. and the hipster, monied crowd of the High Line itself.

But there were some funny people, too. I enjoyed watching this woman direct her husband on taking photos of the details of this particular bench.

So yeah… Great urban park… Too bad about the fashionistas.

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