Monday, June 13, 2011
Other neighborhoods need parks too
From the Politicker:
Whether the High Line’s pristine restoration has ruined its allure as one of the city’s last wild escapes remains a matter of some dispute. But as the city opened the second section this week, the celebrated rail trellis has come to be seen by some critics as a symbol of the new New York for the Bloomberg era, a place that privileges high-end enchantments and requires steady dollops of fashion, celebrity and financial philanthropy for anything to move the municipal bureaucracy.
“The biggest blockbuster opening of the summer isn’t The Hangover Part II—it is the High Line Part 2,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a ceremonial groundbreaking this week, where he announced a $5 million gift to the park from the Tiffany Foundation and a matching gift from the philanthropists Donald Pels and Wendy Keys. “And when I say blockbuster I mean every block from 20th to 30th Street!”
“All the High Line really proves is that wealthy, connected people simply have better access to government and are able to do this kind of thing,” said Geoffrey Croft, executive director of New York City Park Advocates. “I give everyone a lot of credit for seeing this through, but let’s be honest—I’ve been working for years and years to get a tiny piece of park land out in Maspeth, and these guys are able to get a $100 million park in a very short period of time.”