Posts tagged with "Parks":

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Yankees Do Over Dandy

This weekend, a lot of New Yorkers were fixated on Yankee Stadium, though for far different reasons than the Times, which paid the House That Ruth Didn't Build some overdue (or undue, if you're a Steinbrenner) attention. The biggest and most alarming story was that the vaunted stadium—the most expensive ever built in the U.S., in part thanks to questionable public financingwas cracking, particularly in the ramps, a troubling spot given all the foot traffic. It was revealed over a year ago that a faulty concrete tester was employed on the project, along with hundreds of others in the city, though it also turns out the mob was involved in pouring all that concrete. The Times' description is so matter of fact as to be breathtaking:
The ramps were built by a company accused of having links to the mob, and the concrete mix was designed and tested by a company under indictment on charges that it failed to perform some tests and falsified the results of others. But it is unclear whether work performed by either firm contributed to the deteriorating conditions of the ramps.
Turns out the ramps are safe, according to a Department of Buildings inspection, but given recent revelations about the mob's infiltration of that city agency, we're glad we're Pittsburgh Pirates fans. Then again, maybe not. Elsewhere, About New York columnist Jim Dwyer took the team to task for not yet making good on its promise to replace the city park on which the new stadium sits with one on the site of the old one, forcing local Little Leaguers to travel as far as Staten Island for "home" games. Then again, part of the reason the Bronx Bombers could be dragging their heals is that preservationists are still fighting to keep part of the old Yankee Stadium intact at that new park, a facadist reminder to what once was. Or maybe all the mob contractors were too busy with other projects to get started on this one.

Lights, Camera, High Line!

Sundance Channel recently launched a new online video series titled “High Line Stories,” profiling activists, artists, architects, landscape architects, City officials, and celebrities involved in turning the abandoned elevated railroad track into a park paradise.

Including commentary by Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker, Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, New York City Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Amanda Burden, Chair, New York City Planning Commission, James Corner, landscape architect for the High Line, and Piet Oudolf, planting designer for the High Line, Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer, Ric Scofidio and Liz Diller, High Line architects, Ethan Hawke, Joel Sternfeld, photographer, Robert Hammond and Joshua David, Co-Founders, Friends of the High Line, and Kevin Bacon, the ten featured episodes explore the profiled individuals relationship to the High Line as well as the structure's impact on the city. Even without the commentary, these breathtaking panoramic video shots are sure to get you excited for the park’s official opening next month.

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PARK(ing) Spaces

  Always one to take our own advice, AN headed out for a stroll along Sixth Avenue at lunch today to check out a few of the PARK(ing) spaces that had been set up there by enterprising designers. The first stop was the Yahoo! Purple Bike Park, granted not designed by anyone we know, but it was the closest to the 14th Street 2/3 Station--part of the reason AN is such a fan of PARK(ing) Day is because AN never drives. Because there were no big plots of grass around (more on that later), we failed to find the Yahoo! park on first pass. On to Cook + Fox. Located on a harrowing stretch of the Avenue of the Americas--then again, what stretch isn't at midday--the renowned green architects had created an entirely reusable park. Instead of grass, the firm laid down green interface carpeting that can be used in the offices above, along with some plants from the Greenmarket. "We've already got spots picked out for each one," Sarah Caylor said. The centerpiece, though, had to be the green "roof." When Cook + Fox moved into its new space a year ago, they created one of the greenest offices in Manhattan, complete with a green roof. Because the landlord wouldn't allow them to build on the roof, they needed to create a less invasive system, which is comprised of one-square-foot soil bags planted with seedums. This allowed the firm to cannibalize a few dozen bags and "plant" them in the park. "We decided to use PARK(ing) Day as an opportunity to make people more aware of the potential for green spaces on the rooves of their buildings," Caylor said. "And the response has been great. Lots of people stop and stare, some pick up brochures, and quite a few have even sat down and hung out for a while." She said about 8-15 people stop by per hour, though none while we waited--granted it was lunch and the benches were already pretty full will employees on their lunch break. Up the block at the even busier intersection of Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street, a number of people stopped by during AN's visit, even though a dozen people were already crammed onto the 8'x12' sodden "park." "I saw it from my apartment window and just had to come down," Carl Zekaria said. "I'll definitely be telling my friends about it this weekend." Ensoo Shimas Park--Japanese for "I am going to perform"--was a co-production of Yoshihara McKee Architects and Artec, a performing arts design consultancy. Building on the "expertise" of the latter, the team set up, in addition to their lawn, which was provided by Transporation Alternatives, and a Tuscan Red beach umbrella, was a stage. Geoff Zink, who coordinated Artec's work and has been doing a similar project in Park Slope for three years, admitted that none of his friends who were meant to play had shown up. A bango sat next to him untouched as ambulances and taxis screamed by. "Nonetheless, we've created a park space and it's been used all day," Zink said. "And it still achieves our goal, which is to get people to start thinking differently about how street space, how public space in general is allocated. Then they'll become advocates and all this will become mainstream."