the High Line

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City Parks by Catie Marron

Berlin Wall, crony capitalism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, the High Line, urban sprawl

Without real or imagined traces of time, without the inflection of memory, or of something that borrows the circuits of memory, and passes for memory, but may not be memory at all, we’ll never see, much less understand, what lies before us. It is time that confers meaning to the High Line; time is the film we bring to everything we wish to see when we hope to amplify what our eyes are seeing. Time dilates the senses. Time is about the footprint, not the foot; the luster, not the light; the resonance, not the sound, the trace, not the thing. Time is how we fantasize, privatize, and ultimately seize and understand the beauty of what lies around us. Then and now. When you lean against the High Line’s railing and stare at the view from what was the trellised old El, it is about time that you want to think. I walked under the High Line exactly twenty years ago after leaving a dinner party on Horatio Street. The High Line was a defunctive, rat-infested, overgrown rail yard on its way to extinction.

Amid this changing scene is the constant presence of the Tiergarten. High Line, New York | ANDRÉ ACIMAN For Annapaola Cancogni THEN AND NOW THERE IS A MOMENT—and it seldom lasts more than that—when the High Line wears two seemingly incompatible faces: old face and new face. One needs to catch the fleeting alignment of the two, but there is never a guarantee that it will happen, and hoping that it might, or even trying to make it happen, could easily ruin the spell. But unless that alliance does happen, the High Line remains either a leafy, new promenade frequently overlooking the Hudson, or a refurbished elevated rail track that was once destined for demolition. The very neighborhood around the High Line, which recently bounced from grubby blue-collar to high-end gold coast, reflects the tale of this Janus-faced fusion, where a once-rotting, 1.45-mile-long, elevated eyesore, built eighty years ago over Tenth Avenue, can within seconds morph into a suspended high-tech, new-age, eco-friendly, cutting-edge green park where all of us must, each in our own way, eventually confront the insoluble enigma of then and now.

Today, the long, improbable hanging park that starts on Gansevoort Street and slithers all the way to West Thirty-Fourth Street still grazes the same tenements, the same old warehouses, rooftops, storage facilities, garages, and abandoned but refurbished factories that have mostly turned into affluent lofts. It still tunnels its way through the same buildings, unabashedly spying into private windows and offering stunning if sporadic vistas of the Hudson. The High Line bears all the features of urban art: part urban chic, part urban preservation, and part urban reconquista. The High Line has restored what seemed totally lost and foregone, and in the process brought out something totally unprecedented. The glam factor of the structure grows out of the exquisite symbiosis of grit with glitz. You can almost touch the mingling of the two, for the High Line makes no secret of its inner-city origins. Indeed, it proclaims its rough, in-your-face, hardscrabble provenance like a child who was born in nineteenth-century working-class squalor but has finally risen to the top without ever caring for damask or table manners.


Pocket New York City Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, East Village, Frank Gehry, G4S, ghettoisation, Saturday Night Live, starchitect, the High Line, urban renewal, walking around money

Top Tips › Start early at 30th St, wander south and exit at 14th St for a bite at Chelsea Market before exploring the West Village. If your tummy’s grumbling, tackle The High Line in the reverse direction, gelato in hand. › If you want to contribute financially to The High Line, become a member on the website. Members receive discounts at neighborhood establishments, such as Diane von Furstenberg’s boutique and Amy’s Bread in Chelsea Market. Take a Break The High Line invites gastronomic establishments from around the city to set up vending carts and stalls for to-go items. Expect a showing of the finest coffee and ice cream establishments during the warmer months. A cache of eateries is stashed within the brick walls of Chelsea Market (Click here) at the 14th St exit of The High Line. Local Life Chelsea Galleries The High Line may be the big-ticket item in this part of town, but there’s plenty going on underneath the strand of green.

For detailed information about the public art on display at the time of your visit, check out www.thehighline.org/about/public-art. Secret Staffers As you walk along the High Line, you’ll find dedicated staffers wearing shirts with the signature double-H logo who can point you in the right direction or offer you additional information about the converted rails. Group tours for children can be organized on a variety of topics, from the plant life of the high-rise park to the area’s history. The Industrial Past It’s hard to believe that The High Line – a shining example of brilliant urban renewal – was once a dingy rail line that anchored a rather unsavory district of thugs, trannies and slaughterhouses. The tracks that would one day become the High Line were commissioned in the 1930s when the municipal government decided to raise the street-level tracks after years of accidents that gave Tenth Ave the nickname ‘Death Avenue.’

The eclectic mix of objects on display includes Fabergé eggs, toy boats, early versions of Monopoly and over 10,000 toy soldiers. ( 212-206-5548; www.forbesgalleries.com; 62 Fifth Ave at 12th St; admission free; 10am-4pm Tue-Sat; L, N/Q/R/W, 4/5/6 to 14th St-Union Sq) 11 Downtown Boathouse Kayaking Offline map Google map New York’s most active public boathouse offers free walk-up 20-minute kayaking (including equipment) in the protected embayment in the Hudson River on weekends and some weekday evenings. ( 646-613-0740; www.downtownboathouse.org; Pier 40, near Houston St; tours free; 9am-6pm Sat & Sun mid-May–mid-Oct, some weekday evenings mid-Jun–mid-Sep; 1 to Houston St) New York Trapeze School Sports Offline map Google map Fulfill your circus dreams, like Carrie did on Sex and the City, flying trapeze to trapeze in this open-air tent by the river near Downtown Boathouse (see 11 ; D5). It’s open from May to September, on Pier 40. The school also has an indoor facility open year-round. Check the website for daily class times. (www.newyork.trapezeschool.com; Pier 40 at West Side Hwy; classes $47-65, 5-week course $270; 1 to Houston St) Local Life Robert Hammond on The High Line Co-founder and executive director of Friends of The High Line Robert Hammond shares his High Line (Click here) highlights: ‘What I love most about The High Line are its hidden moments, like at the Tenth Ave cut-out near 17th St, most people sit on the bleachers, but if you turn the other way, you can see the Statue of Liberty far away in the harbor. Architecture buffs will love looking down 18th St, and up on 30th is my favorite moment – a steel cut-out where you can see the cars underneath.’


pages: 385 words: 118,314

Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis by Leo Hollis

Airbnb, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

11 A Place Called Home Epilogue Notes Bibliography Acknowledgements A Note on the Author By the Same Author Preface On The High Line I start at street level and the elevator raises me at a steady pace into the air. I begin to see the city from a new perspective as the pavement recedes below me. There is something thrilling about being able to look down on the city, no longer part of the throng, above the bustle and fug of the traffic, even if only from this height. Manhattan is a place that has been transformed by verticality; one feels it even going the small distance from the ground at West 14th Street up to the High Line, 25 feet above the Meatpacking District. As the elevator door opens, one leaves the underworld of the everyday city and enters another urban realm. The High Line Park was first imagined in 1999 when two local residents, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, dreamed of transforming the derelict elevated railway line that ran through their neighbourhood in west-side Manhattan.

Thus for an economist it is a money machine; for a geographer, it is a social, topographical ecosystem; for an urban planner, it is a problem that needs to be rationalised; for a politician, an intermeshed weave of power; for an architect, it is the place where flesh meets stone; for an immigrant it is the hope of home and getting one foot on the ladder; for a banker it is a node within a vast network of global trading markets; for a free runner it is an assault course to be conquered. The city is too complicated for a solitary definition, and perhaps it is one of our greatest mistakes to think of it as a singular, measurable quality. Rather than looking for a single explanation, or a unique function, we must consider it as the interaction of different, albeit defined, parts. Walking on the High Line It is places like the High Line that allow us to think again about the city and how it can make us happy. Throughout history, critics have warned against the city’s destructive power. The atomising effect of urban life has been a charge levelled by naysayers since the time of the very first city. Out of the ruins of ancient Babylon, an excavated tablet reveals what is perhaps the first anti-urban rebuke: The city dweller, though he be a prince, can never eat enough He is despised and slandered in the talk of his own people How is he to match his strength with him who takes the field?

Visiting the offices of James Corner Field Operations, situated just north of the High Line, which was also designed by Corner, one is immediately struck by the atmosphere of a successful architectural practice: there is complete silence as rows of young people look intently into their Apple screens, and yet there is a sense of furious activity and concentration. Meeting Tatiana Choulik, who has been working on Fresh Kills since the beginning, highlighted the fact that the role of the landscape architect was to do more than encourage the land to return to some perceived idea of wilderness. She explained that Corner’s aim is to create a certain kind of landscape that promises more than wasteland: a place, like the High Line, that offers those rare moments in the city where one is allowed to be in contact with something natural.


Lonely Planet's Best of USA by Lonely Planet

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, mass immigration, obamacare, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, Works Progress Administration

MoMA PS1 A smaller, hipper relative of MoMA, MoMA PS1 (%718-784-2084; www.momaps1.org; 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City; suggested donation adult/child $10/free, admission free with MoMA ticket; hnoon-6pm Thu-Mon; bE/M to 23rd St-Court Sq, G/7 Court Sq) is a master at hunting down fresh, bold contemporary art and serving it up in a Berlin-esque, ex-school locale. Forget about pretty lily ponds in gilded frames. Here you’ll be peering at videos through floorboards and debating the meaning of nonstatic structures while staring through a hole in the wall. TOP EXPERIENCE The High Line A resounding triumph of urban renewal, the High Line is a remarkable linear public park built along a disused elevated rail line. This aerial greenway attracts millions of visitors each year. CHRIS TOBIN / GETTY IMAGES © Great For… y Don’t Miss The third and final part of the High Line, which opened in 2014 and bends by the Hudson River at 34th St. 8 Need to Know Map; %212-206-9922; www.thehighline.org; Gansevoort St; h7am-11pm Jun-Sep, to 10pm Apr, May, Oct & Nov, to 7pm Dec-Mar; gM11 to Washington St, M11, M14 to 9th Ave, M23, M34 to 10th Ave, bL, A/C/E to 14th St-8th Ave, C/E to 23rd St-8th Ave; F 5 Take a Break A cache of eateries, from sushi joints to creperies, is stashed within Chelsea Market at the 14th St exit.

History It’s hard to believe that the High Line was once a disused railway that anchored a rather unsavory district of ramshackle domestic dwellings and slaughterhouses. The tracks were commissioned in the 1930s when the municipal government decided to raise the street-level tracks after years of deadly accidents. By the 1980s, the rails became obsolete (thanks to a rise in truck transportation). Petitions were signed by local residents to remove the eyesores, but in 1999 a committee called the Friends of the High Line was formed to save the tracks and to transform them into a public open space. Community support grew and, on June 9, 2009, part one of the celebrated project – full of blooming flowers and broad-leaved trees – opened with much ado. Along the Way The main things to do on the High Line are stroll, sit and picnic in a park 30ft above the city.

Along the park’s length you’ll encounter stunning vistas of the Hudson River, public art installations, fat lounge chairs for soaking up some sun, willowy stretches of native-inspired landscaping and a thoroughly unique perspective on the neighborhood streets below – especially at the cool Gansevoort Overlook, where bleacher-like seating faces a huge pane of glass that allows you to view the traffic, buildings and pedestrians beyond as living works of urban art. Info, Tours, Events & Eats As you walk along the High Line you’ll find staffers wearing shirts with the signature double-H logo who can point you in the right direction or offer you additional information about the converted rails. Staffers also organize public art exhibitions and activity sessions, including warm-weather family events such as story time, science and craft projects, fun with food and more. Free tours take place on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm in warmer months. Sign up near the 14th St entrance and arrive early to get a spot. Other special tours and events explore a variety of topics: history, horticulture, design, art and food. Check the event schedule on the website for the latest details. The High Line also invites various gastronomic establishments to set up vending carts and stalls so that strollers can enjoy to-go items on the green.


Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett

Buckminster Fuller, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, creative destruction, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Downton Abbey, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, housing crisis, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, open borders, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Florida, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

In sum, the sociable ethic entails a suspension of reality; theatre does the suspending. The High Line is one modern parallel to the landscape work Olmsted and Vaux did in Central Park. If you were homeless in the 1960s, you climbed up a set of disused railroad tracks on the west side of Manhattan to sleep rough; if you were gay, you went there for anonymous sex; day and night the railway tracks served as a drugs bazaar. ‘Everyone’ knew the High Line would have to come down; a few people who were not included in ‘everyone’, notably the architect Elizabeth Diller, thought differently. She noted that interesting weeds sprouted in the crevices of the railway tracks. With the innovative landscapers James Corner and Piet Oudolf, she imagined that railroad tracks + interesting weeds = a new kind of urban promenade. This proposition proved a great success. The High Line now attracts large numbers of natives out for a stroll as well as tourists drawn to the novelty of the place.

The landscaping combines ruderals, which are fast-growing plants that tend to die young, that is, most weeds, but also annual flowers; competitors which tend to crowd others out, but commit floral suicide by exhausting nutrients in the soil, as many grasses do; and stress tolerators like sea kale which need protection to get going, but once established do well in low-nutrient environments. The planting scheme in the High Line, using a system of tray-shaped enclosures, keeps the three going all at once, producing an illusion of ‘natural’ biodiversity for the visitor.27 In New York and other big cities, parks and playgrounds can be built in other unlikely places, again following Olmsted’s tie between artificial and sociable space. I was involved in one such project in the 1980s – a park built over a sewage treatment plant on the west side of Manhattan in Harlem, along the Hudson River.

Rebuild by Design was meant to counter the scaremongering which warned that millions of people will have to abandon coastal cities like New York in the coming century, or the sci-fi pessimism, beloved of Hollywood movies, that we are at the end of civilization.12 The mitigation approach is best represented by the ‘Dryline’ berm proposed for the southern rim of Manhattan by the firm of Bjarke Ingels, elsewhere encountered in these pages as the designers of a Googleplex insulating that ‘creative innovation hub’ from the city. The Dryline, invoking the High Line pleasure park made out of a disused elevated railway track, would be essentially a ten-mile long berm, a built-up edge along the southern Manhattan tip, made of infilled sand and earth created just beyond the existing waterfront, on top of which and behind which there are constructed pleasure gardens, urban trails and the like. The Dryline thus promises pleasure in its place-making at the same time as the berm serves as a defence against storm surges.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Alternatively, our planner could look up and notice that an abandoned elevated railway running from the Meatpacking District to Chelsea has been colonized by wild plants, creating what looks like a linear park in the sky. That’s exactly what Joshua David and Robert Hammond noticed before they founded Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit dedicated to the railway’s preservation and reuse as a public park. Upon opening, the High Line was an instant phenomenon, and today it attracts more than five million visitors a year. In an unexpected twist, the buildings and real estate around the park, previously an eyesore, have now skyrocketed in value. The areas along the High Line are among the most desirable in the city. All because someone started with what was (almost) there. The history of human innovation is a story of happy accidents. Airbnb didn’t happen because of a vision to change travel and hospitality forever.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, starchitect, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Soon after, the freeway-demolishing mayor was elected president of his country. Underperforming or unused transportation infrastructures are fine terrain for biophilic retrofits. The High Line, the decommissioned elevated rail line converted into a nineteen-block linear park on Manhattan’s West Side, is most famous for the bird’s-eye glimpses it offers into offices, private living rooms, and down to the street from viewing platforms that turn evening traffic into rivers of light. But much closer are hundreds of species of flora, from chokecherries and willows to creeping raspberries and autumn moor grass, much of which had already begun to colonize the abandoned platform before its conversion. The High Line’s natural caress draws visitors into a playful intimacy. On one warm day I joined a group of strangers who had removed their shoes and splashed in a toe-deep pond amid the wispy moor grass.

Since this park opened, urbanists in every city have clamored for their own High Line, but every city is unique, and so are the opportunities. The City of Los Angeles, for example, is working to turn thirty-two miles of the desolate, concrete-lined Los Angeles River into an “emerald necklace” of parks and paths. Cities have more room for nature than we might think. The architecture firm partly responsible for the High Line, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, demonstrated this again a few dozen blocks north, in their renovation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where they created a green hillside by adding a new restaurant building to the Lincoln campus. A sloping, off-kilter roof (hyperbolic paraboloid is the technical name for the form) planted with green grass rears up from the plaza, inviting passersby to collapse on its vertical meadow.

Vancouverism: “Vancouverism is characterized by tall, but widely separated, slender towers interspersed with low-rise buildings, public spaces, small parks and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes and facades to minimize the impact of a high density population.” From Chamberlain, Lisa, “Trying to Build the Grand Central of the West,” New York Times, December 28, 2005, www.nytimes.com/2005/12/28/realestate/28transbay.html (accessed January 24, 2011). Cheonggyecheon River: Vidal, John, “Heart and Soul of the City,” The Guardian, November 1, 2006. High Line: High Line and Friends of the High Line, “High Line: Planting,” www.thehighline.org/design/planting (accessed September 15, 2012). bacteria found naturally in soil boosts seratonin: “Can Bacteria Make You Smarter?” Science Daily, May 24, 2010, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100524143416.htm (accessed March 3, 2012). One study in Alameda: Pillemer, K., T. E. Fuller-Rowell, M. C. Reid, and N. M. Wells, “Environmental Volunteering and Health Outcomes over a Twenty-Year Period,” The Gerontologist, 2010: 594–602.


pages: 428 words: 134,832

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, edge city, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, indoor plumbing, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pension reform, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional, Zipcar

After talking to Sadik-Khan, I strolled over to the Meatpacking District, and climbed several flights of stairs to the High Line, a disused New York Central rail line that has been turned into a gorgeous elevated promenade. Among rail spurs that curved into bricked-up warehouses, sumac, smokebush, and other native plants emerged from the joints between precast concrete planks; office workers with loosened ties and unbuttoned blouses lolled on benches, catching some sun. The absence of traffic brought to mind sociologist Paul Goodman’s plan to ban private cars from Manhattan, leaving avenues open for electric buses and taxis. “It can easily be a place as leisurely as Venice,” he wrote in a 1961 manifesto, “a lovely pedestrian city.” And it was hard not to read the High Line as a pointed commentary on car culture: after piercing the modernist slab of the Standard Hotel, it detours into tiers of benches facing a glass wall that seems to be suspended over Tenth Avenue.

And it was hard not to read the High Line as a pointed commentary on car culture: after piercing the modernist slab of the Standard Hotel, it detours into tiers of benches facing a glass wall that seems to be suspended over Tenth Avenue. The glass makes the roadway a piece of framed kinetic art, contrasting the very human scene of mothers with strollers with the vista of taillights of taxis and trucks rushing uptown. About halfway along the High Line’s three-mile course, I came across one of those automated parking garages where cars are stacked in an open steel framework five high, like so many battery hens in wire-mesh cages. With their wheels suspended in the air, the immobile Lexuses and Mercedes looked faintly ridiculous—like relics of primitive urbanity, on display in some future museum of otiose technology. Tepper Is a Straphanger As I rode the number 1 train downtown to the West Village one afternoon, sharing a bench with some excited Spanish tourists laden with Bloomingdale’s bags and a street performer dressed as Spiderman, I remembered how, when I was a teenager, I thought New York’s subway was the scariest place on earth.

All in all, though, the service was better than he could remember it ever being. “Really, in New York, it’s just dumb not to take the subway.” If I lived in New York, I’d be a full-time straphanger, too. When I was in my thirties, I toyed with the idea of relocating, and Erin and I still talk about spending a year or two in Manhattan—an idea that gets more appealing as more streets get pedestrianized, the network of bike paths grows, and parks like the High Line open. The reality is we’d probably end up in more affordable Brooklyn, where some of our friends now live. In the meantime, we get to visit, and our first order of business almost always involves ducking into a subway station, to charge up our MetroCards. After all these visits, the subway is still revealing its secrets to me. This time around, I took an almost bucolic excursion to Far Rockaway, riding along the causeway past wood-framed boathouses, where wading herons speared frogs on rocky beaches.


pages: 441 words: 96,534

Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan

autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, business cycle, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Hyperloop, Induced demand, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, New Urbanism, place-making, self-driving car, sharing economy, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

Staffed by former senior officials from Bloomberg’s administration, the group is managed by George Fertitta, the marketing mastermind who nearly doubled the city’s already intense tourism numbers. Many cities are looking to replicate protected bike paths and pocket parks and plazas, adapting infrastructure to reproduce what the High Line has done or how Citi Bike has fundamentally transformed the basic metabolism of New York’s streets. New York City has proved that a new road order is possible. New York today is a renewed and renewing city, one changed in ways that even a decade ago would never have been predicted. Young people today grow up knowing New York as a bikeable big city, where bright blue bikes line the streets and where they can marvel at the city from the High Line, Governors Island, and other creatively adapted spaces. Millions walk annually in Times Square unaware of the former roadway. Waterfronts that once were glimpsed only from cars on highways or solely by longshoremen are reborn as public parks from Brooklyn and Long Island City to the Hudson River, and increasingly on Manhattan’s East Side.

In Manhattan, we quickly proved that this intervention was no fluke by replicating our results at Ninth Avenue and 14th Street. The complex and traffic-choked street was left over from the mid-twentieth century when the area was filled with meatpackers and old-world industry. By 2007, the neighborhood was alive with new office space, the Chelsea Market retail complex, and nightlife. Preparations were under way for the High Line, near Ninth Avenue, guided by the leadership of New York’s planning commissioner, Amanda Burden, and it was becoming clear that the area would soon resemble the nearby upscale Greenwich Village, abandoning its bleak past as an after-hours drug-scoring, cruising strip. We reversed two uptown lanes on Ninth Avenue between 14th and 16th streets to downtown only. By doing so, we no longer needed three downtown lanes in the center of the street near 14th, so we cordoned off the triangle of suddenly in-demand new space with thermoplastic paint and texturized gravel.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zipcar

In 2010 the number rose to 48.8 million, with 9.7 million, or 20 percent, of them international visitors. Both figures were records, and that’s a 46 percent increase in foreign visitors in five years. On December 21, 2011, New York City chose Craig and Lucy Johnson, a couple from England, as the honorary fifty-millionth visitors to the city. They had come to get married at the observation deck atop the General Electric building in Rockefeller Center. Walk the length of the High Line, the once-derelict elevated railroad track turned chichi promenade in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, and you’ll scarcely hear a word of English spoken.4 When an Indian technology executive visits New York and spends money at the Gap and the Marriott, that’s calculated in the national accounts as an export. When an American spends money at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, that’s an import.

The extension of the 7 line one station west in Manhattan, at a cost of $2.1 billion, is helping to encourage billions of dollars of investment in the Hudson Yards development zone, a warren of unused railroads. The Second Avenue subway line, a $17 billion project several decades in the making and scheduled for completion in 2017, will be likely to have a similar effect. Even infrastructure that doesn’t really go anywhere can pay dividends. Build something new, something interesting, something useful, and it invites others to do the same. Take the High Line. The elevated freight rail line on the West Side of Manhattan was unused and in disrepair until a group of arty visionaries had the idea of turning it into a park. It has become a platform for billions of dollars of investment in stores and restaurants, condominiums, offices, and hotels. Not every place is New York, but many regions and many cities could benefit from the sort of network effects that New York enjoys.

Don’t wait for the approval of gigantic solar farms; start attaching solar panels to telephone and utility poles, as New Jersey has done. Don’t wait for an infrastructure bank; scrape up some funds and start building and rebuilding commercial infrastructure on your own. In today’s economy the simple act of building something can send important signals, inspire action, and turn economic liabilities into assets. This dynamic can be seen in the High Line, the elevated railroad whose transformation from defunct rail bed to elevated park has in turn transformed the Manhattan neighborhood it runs through. Eighty miles north of Manhattan, another defunct elevated railway performed a similar function for a town that has been starved of capital. Since a fire in 1974, the railroad bridge that spanned the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie stood as an unused, rusting piece of infrastructure.


pages: 425 words: 117,334

City on the Verge by Mark Pendergrast

big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, crowdsourcing, desegregation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, global village, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jitney, liberation theology, mass incarceration, McMansion, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, Richard Florida, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, young professional

Gravel summarized his grand plan for the BeltLine’s streetcar project: “Much the same way an infrastructure of highways led to suburban expansion and inner city depopulation in the second half of this century, an expansion of mass transit infrastructure will lead to both the revival of the inner city and the protection of our natural ecology and agricultural resources.” His vision was revolutionary in scope. Other cities had converted abandoned railroad corridors into streetcar lines or trails, but none proposed to connect disparate rails in a loop within two or three miles of a major urban center. In 1999, Friends of the High Line was just forming, though construction on this mile-and-a-half elevated length in New York City would not begin until 2006, and the High Line would offer no transportation benefit, just an unusual, relaxing tourist attraction. The Atlanta BeltLine that Gravel envisioned would knit the city together again. Randal Roark was so impressed with his advisee’s thesis that he assembled key Atlanta figures to hear Gravel present it, just before Christmas in 1999, on the cusp of a new millennium.

Just two hours before the deadline, they got the application in, and the BeltLine appeared in Mobility 2030, slotted for $150 million over multiple years. The money was completely hypothetical, but now the BeltLine had at least made it into the requisite official document. In February 2004, Cathy Woolard and Ryan Gravel incorporated a nonprofit called Friends of the Belt Line, modeled after a similar grassroots organization in New York City that was promoting the High Line. Actress Jane Fonda, who lived in a loft condo near the defunct Atlanta rail corridor, narrated a promotional video for the BeltLine. Shortly before Gravel issued the first newsletter for the new organization, dated April 26, 2004, Woolard resigned from the city council in order to run for the US Congress, hoping to find more funding for the Atlanta transit loop in Washington. “At that point, the BeltLine had moved past what a city council president could possibly do,” Woolard recognized.


Girl Walks Into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch

Burning Man, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, East Village, Haight Ashbury, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, the High Line

Actually, I’m betting cavewomen were the original “co-sleepers” so the baby was right there anyway, not off in some “cave nursery” with little furniture and choo-choo trains on the walls. What I’m saying is, I don’t think cavewomen Ferberized. Of course, they also lived to age thirty and didn’t brush their teeth. But still. Over Theeeere! Over Theeeere! My father has absconded with the baby again. We are walking down the High Line in Chelsea. My dad loves manning the stroller. He is so into manning the stroller and gazing at his grandson that sometimes he breaks into a rapid pace, forgetting his surroundings and the surrounding party of people who are also there to bask in the light of the Glorious Manchild. These fugitive runs tend to coincide with cases of extreme temperature. Right now, it is nearing ninety with bright sun.

My brother looks at John and just shrugs, rolling his eyes as if to say, “What can ya do?” My dad grudgingly hands Eli over. Eli’s hands get warmed up. They come back to the house—where I’ve been waiting—blustering in from the cold. “Ahhhhh, I love this little guy! We had so much fun!” Eli got a good dose of the Icelandic Plan for Good Baby Health that day, courtesy of Paul Dratch. Now, at the High Line, in the summer heat, we have to chase my dad down the path, but he’s way ahead of us. He disappeared from sight long ago. We catch up to him finally and he brightly reports, “We’re having a blast! Aw, look at him. He’s my little buddy!” He’s oblivious to the fact that once again, he’s been hogging the baby. My parents not only came around to the idea of the pregnancy and grandchild, they have been reborn.


pages: 212 words: 69,846

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World by Rahm Emanuel

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, blockchain, carbon footprint, clean water, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Filter Bubble, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Lyft, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

* * * Our green spaces and recreational areas are not just confined to the waterfront, of course. Having open areas within the city, away from the water, is also vitally important. For decades the residents of the neighborhoods of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park expressed their desire to transform the old, abandoned elevated Bloomingdale rail line into a walking park, something similar to the High Line in New York City. So we made it happen. The 2.7-mile pedestrian walkway, known now as the 606 (for Chicago’s zip code), was started in 2013 and completed just two years later. We accessed something known as the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, which is part of the Federal Highway Administration, to pay for nearly half of the 606’s $95 million cost. I then leveraged that to get some money from local and state sources and again put on my dancing shoes and went and raised $20 million from corporate and private donations.

We replicated part of this program in Chicago and then went a step further, enacting a tax on Airbnb rentals that raised $3 million for housing for the homeless. (We later put another tax on these rentals to raise money for 150 beds for domestic violence shelters.) We drew inspiration from San Antonio’s Paseo del Rio and Hidalgo’s work on the Seine for the Riverwalk. The 606 was modeled after the High Line in New York City, just as the idea for our tech center came from Bloomberg’s Roosevelt Island center. Replacing all of the streetlights in Chicago with LED lights was an idea I stole from former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. I stole it because it was a very smart idea. Other ideas have risen nearly simultaneously. Our idea for the Star Scholarship came just as Tennessee was implementing something similar.


pages: 230 words: 71,834

Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality by Melissa Bruntlett, Chris Bruntlett

active transport: walking or cycling, autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, car-free, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, intermodal, Jones Act, Loma Prieta earthquake, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, starchitect, the built environment, the High Line, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

It’s a lot better just not to have built it in the first place.” Many of Gehl’s clients in smaller US cities such as Akron, Ohio, are now trying to figure out what to do with the interstate highways bisecting their city centers, and, unfortunately, Risom has no easy answer for them. “They think, ‘Oh, we’ll make the High Line,” says Rison, referring to a popular reclamation of an elevated freight rail line in Manhattan. “‘Or we’ll do this or that.’ But we have to tell them, ‘No you won’t, because this is eighteen times the scale of the High Line, in an area with one-twentieth the population density.’ We’ve got to be really careful with that. It’s romantic and it’s interesting. But I think it’s way more challenging than we imagine.” Whether it’s Market Street or the Embarcadero, San Francisco is well on its way to building more-inclusive streets, but Risom fears that cultural inertia may be too difficult to overcome.


pages: 281 words: 83,505

Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, assortative mating, basic income, big-box store, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Filter Bubble, ghettoisation, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, universal basic income, urban planning, young professional

Younger people get addicted to drugs and become more vulnerable to lethal overdoses. Distrust rises and civic participation wanes. * * * Robust social infrastructure doesn’t just protect our democracy; it contributes to economic growth. One of the most influential trends in urban and regional planning involves converting old hard infrastructure, like discontinued rail lines and shipping docks, into vibrant social infrastructures for pedestrian activities. The High Line, which has driven billions of dollars of real estate and commercial development in Lower Manhattan, generated explosive social activity—and, alas, fueled runaway gentrification and displacement—is the most prominent model of this emerging urban form. But many other recent or current projects are reviving dead infrastructure with social infrastructure networks that attract residents, tourists, and businesses.

The designer, Doepel Strijkers, engineered a system that uses industrial waste to heat buildings along rails, dramatically reducing their carbon emissions and making the air that pedestrians breathe a little cleaner. Across the planet, projects like these evince the value of social infrastructure, and the rising demand for it as well. Not long ago, Jane Jacobs and other prominent advocates for improving urban life argued that entrepreneurs, not governments, should build the spaces that support our social interactions. But places like the High Line have not emerged from the free market. They required thoughtful design, careful planning, and, crucially, enlightened leadership from the public sector. Often they advanced through partnerships, with nonprofit organizations and civic coalitions supporting initiatives that cities and states couldn’t undertake on their own. Today, the United States, like most other nations, is primed to make a historic investment in infrastructure, the kind we haven’t made in generations.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

But then artists and other creative people, many of them gays and lesbians, moved in to take advantage of its cheap lofts and apartments. Nightclubs, galleries, and restaurants followed. As the neighborhood became less dangerous and more desirable, more affluent people came in, along with higher-end shops, restaurants, and even hotels. Some of the same old industrial spaces that had once housed artists’ lofts and studios were taken over by startups and tech companies. Then the High Line opened up and the neighborhood hit a tipping point, becoming an area of concentrated luxury development for an even wealthier group of people. Creatives accurately see their adversaries in today’s urban land wars as people who are far richer than they are. But even though the vast majority of creatives are not truly wealthy (Byrne, Smith, and Moby excepted), they are relatively advantaged by the standards of most urbanites and most Americans.

This system would provide greater incentives to put land in high-priced urban centers to its most efficient and productive use, increasing density and clustering.10 Furthermore, under the current property tax system, landlords and property owners not only have disincentives to add density and further develop their properties, but they are able to reap extraordinary rewards, or rents, by simply profiting from the increase in property values that is created by neighborhood upgrading and the ongoing appreciation of real estate values. The High Line Park in New York, for instance, created a huge increase in the land value of surrounding property, which generated windfalls for real estate developers, but little if any of those gains were returned to the park or the broader community. The same is true on a smaller scale in virtually every urban neighborhood that is seeing an influx of new residents, new restaurants and cafés, new and better schools, or reductions in crime.


The Rough Guide to New York City by Martin Dunford

Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, buttonwood tree, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Thorp, Exxon Valdez, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, market bubble, Norman Mailer, paper trading, post-work, Saturday Night Live, sustainable-tourism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, Yogi Berra, young professional

Meatpacking District Creating a buffer between the West Village and Chelsea proper, the Meatpacking District between Gansevoort Street and West 15th Street, west of Ninth Avenue, has seen the majority of its working slaughterhouses converted to French bistros, after-hours clubs, wine bars, and fancy galleries.Though a few wholesale meat companies remain, the area is now very much designer territory, with Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen among the fashion boutiques The High Line 112 One of New York’s most ambitious urban regeneration projects, the High Line (Wwww.thehighline.org) should be open by 2009 as a unique city park, slicing through the high-rises on a former elevated rail line. Constructed between 1929 and 1934, the line was effectively abandoned in 1980, and has been a rusting eyesore ever since. In 1999, a group of local business-owners joined together to press for the High Line’s preservation, and with the city finally on board, construction began in 2006. The first section will run from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, with phase two eventually extending 1.5 miles up to West 33rd Street in midtown.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is planning a new museum at the southern entrance, to be designed by Renzo Piano (most famous for the Pompidou Center in Paris), while the plush Standard Hotel will straddle the park at Little West 12th Street. lining the cobblestone streets. In a telling confirmation of the district’s dramatic transformation (or deterioration into an “urban theme park,” according to some critics), the writers of TV series Sex and the City had Kim Catrall’s character move into a fictional apartment on Gansevoort Street in Season 3 (2000). The opening of the High Line (see box opposite) should only add to the area’s appeal, providing a tranquil greenway right into the heart of Chelsea. | Ninth and Tenth avenues As you head north up Ninth Avenue, the red-brick Chelsea Market fills an entire block between 15th and 16th streets. This high-class food temple is housed in the old National Biscuit Company (aka “Nabisco”) factory, where legend has it the Oreo cookie was created.


pages: 482 words: 106,041

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

British Empire, carbon-based life, conceptual framework, coronavirus, invention of radio, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, out of africa, Ray Kurzweil, the High Line, trade route, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche

In some places, the track emerges from the second stories of warehouses it once serviced into elevated lanes of wild crocuses, irises, evening primrose, asters, and Queen Anne’s lace. So many New Yorkers, glancing down from windows in Chelsea’s art district, were moved by the sight of this untended, flowering green ribbon, prophetically and swiftly laying claim to a dead slice of their city, that it was dubbed the High Line and officially designated a park. In the first few years with no heat, pipes burst all over town, the freeze-thaw cycle moves indoors, and things start to seriously deteriorate. Buildings groan as their innards expand and contract; joints between walls and rooflines separate. Where they do, rain leaks in, bolts rust, and facing pops off, exposing insulation. If the city hasn’t burned yet, it will now.

“Longitudinal Neurocognitive Assessments of Ukranians Exposed to Ionizing Radiation After the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident.” Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, vol. 20, 2005, 81–93. Gao, F., et al. “Origin of HIV-1 in the Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes troglodytes? Nature vol. 397, February 4, 1999, 436–41. Gochfeld, Michael. “Dioxin in Vietnam—the Ongoing Saga of Exposure.” Journal of Occupational Medicine, vol. 43, no. 5, May 1, 2001, 433–34. Gopnik, Adam. “A Walk on the High Line.” The New Yorker, May 21, 2001, 44–49. Graham-Rowe, Duncan. “Illegal CFCs Imperil the Ozone Layer.” New Scientist, December 17,2005, 16. Grayson, Donald K, and David J. Meltzer. “Clovis Hunting and Large Mammal Extinction: A Critical Review of the Evidence.” Journal of World Prehistory, vol. 16, no. 4, December 2002, 313–59. Greeves, Tom. “The Dartmoor Tin Industry—Some Aspects of Its Field Remains.”


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

I enjoyed their brief honking companionship, and learned something about geese I didn’t know: what clamorous watchdogs they make. A different stripe of oasis growing in popularity is the High Line on Manhattan’s West Side, a surprising sprawl of undulating benches, nests, perches, and lookouts, giving New York City yet another bridge—this one between the urban and the rural. An old elevated freight spur, little more than a rusty eyesore on the Hudson, it’s metamorphosed into a tapestry of self-seeding wildflowers and domestic blooms. It isn’t the first raised park (there’s the Promenade Plantée in Paris, and remember the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?), but the High Line is the loveliest city rail trail I know. Picturesque, with many scenic views, it’s also richly detailed and alive, allowing you to feel elevated in spirit, floating in a garden in space where butterflies, birds, humans, and other organisms mingle.


Eastern USA by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, jitney, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mason jar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Top Five Scenic Drives »Catskills, New York – Rte 23A to 214 to 28 : This takes you past forested hills, rushing rivers and spectacular falls. »North Central, Pennsylvania – Rte 6 : A drive through this rugged stretch of mountains and woodlands includes gushing creeks, wildlife and state forests. »Lake Cayuga, New York – Rte 80 : Head north from Ithaca above the lake past dozens of wineries. »Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey – Old Mine Rd : One of the oldest roads in the US past beautiful vistas of the Delaware River and rural countryside. »Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania – Rte 100, 52 and 163 : Only 25 miles through rolling horse country and lovely farmland. THE HIGH LINE Originally built in the 1930s to lift freight trains off Manhattan’s streets, the High Line is now a brilliantly designed elevated park that embraces the natural and industrial, from the Meatpacking District to Chelsea. Fast Facts »Hub cities: New York City (population 8,175,000), Philadelphia (population 1,526,000) »New York to Philadelphia: 97 miles »New York to Niagara Falls: 408 miles »Time zone: Eastern Standard »Number of politicians resigned or jailed after scandal: enough to fill the legislature Did You Know?

High Line PARK (www.thehighline.org; 7am-10pm) With the completion of the High Line, a 30ft-high abandoned stretch of elevated railroad track transformed into a long ribbon of parkland (from Gansevoort St to W 34th St; entrances are at Gansevoort, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th and 30th Sts; elevator access at all but 18th St), there’s finally some greenery amid the asphalt jungle. Only three stories above the streetscape, this thoughtfully and carefully designed mix of contemporary, industrial and natural elements is nevertheless a refuge and escape from the ordinary. A glass-front amphitheater with bleacher-like seating sits just above 10th Ave – bring some food and join local workers on their lunch break. Rising on concrete stilts over the High Line, the Standard is one of the celebrated destinations of the moment, with two choice drinking spots and a grill (plus hotel rooms where high-paying guests sometimes expose themselves in front of their floor-to-ceiling windows in a towel – or less).

Walk the Freedom Trail past Paul Revere’s house and the Revolutionary War’s first battleground. Hang out in Harvard Square’s cafes and bookshops, and chow down in North End trattorias and oyster houses. Then catch the train to New York City. With four days, you can indulge in iconic Manhattan and beyond. Stroll Central Park, walk the canyons of Wall Street, go bohemian in Greenwich Village and catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. For a more local scene, join residents on the High Line, in NoLita’s stylish shops and in Brooklyn’s cool cafes. Next hop a train to Philadelphia, which is practically down the block from NYC. Philly was the birthplace of American independence, and has the Liberty Bell and Declaration artifacts to prove it. Spend a few days touring the historic sites and indulging in foodie neighborhoods like Manayunk. Now you can’t leave the northeast without spending a few days in Washington, DC, a quick trip by bus or train.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

Part of the beguiling beauty of urban gardens, such as Russell Square, is the illusion that you are entering a rural idyll. You know you are in the city centre and yet by a willing suspension of disbelief you convince yourself that you are in the countryside. The High Line cleverly exploits this sense of being simultaneously in the city and in nature. Although visitors appear to be walking on a country path, surrounded by wild flowers and grasses, they are in fact three storeys above the busy urban traffic. Their route takes them through canyons of tall buildings, before eventually arriving in the heart of the city. The High Line has been so successful that new buildings have been commissioned beside it and other cities, such as Rotterdam, are considering similar schemes. Recent scientific evidence also suggests that parks are good for people’s health.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

The models he used were so complex, and relied on so many assumptions fed into them, that he didn’t feel they were comprehensible; he also wasn’t convinced his work had any impact. As he produced thick, turgid reports, he started feeling like he was living in a Dilbert cartoon. “You do get disillusioned, working in the corporate world, because it’s all bullshit,” Michael told me bluntly, when we met on a cool spring morning, walking along the High Line, an elevated railway park in Manhattan. “I’d work for two weeks on a paper, and it’s, like, ‘No one’s ever going to read this. I know no one’s going to read this!’ ” He’d learned the basics of coding in college, and done a bit of it in his job. But he decided to go in deeper, so in his spare time he started programming more and more. He discovered that he loved the feeling of making software.

“It gets addictive,” he said, as we climbed the stairs to his apartment in the West Village, where he tossed his dark coat onto the couch and sat down at his MacBook, beneath two large, lovely, and nerdy pieces of artwork: pictures composed of tiny blue typed-up words from MobyDick and War and Peace. “It turns out I love solving problems for people! Having this impact—you get an idea, and boom, it’s there, it’s working, it’s helping someone out.” Over the next few hours, he sipped a coffee and puzzled away at the code for his app of that day. It would be a Twitterbot that would recognize whenever someone tweeted a photo of sculptures in the High Line park, and then tweet back info about the artist. He trained an AI image-classifier on photos of the sculptures; he plinked out code to check Twitter for #highline tagged pictures. By the time he finally got things working, he’d been hunched over his keyboard for twelve hours, and his back was aching. The hours could be far longer than at his previous job. But coding had one pleasure his old job didn’t: a sense of clarity, of proof that his work actually was valid.


pages: 195 words: 58,462

City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World by Catie Marron

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, urban planning

They mean the world to me. I wish I could enjoy a meal with each of you in the public square in Van Gogh’s Arles! VINCENT VAN GOGH, Café-Terrace at Night, 1888. Photo by Erich Lessing/Art Resource ABOUT THE AUTHORS CATIE MARRON With a career that has encompassed investment banking, magazine journalism, and public service, Marron is currently chairman of the board of directors of Friends of the High Line; a trustee of the New York Public Library, where she was chairman of the board for seven years; and a contributing editor to Vogue. Also the editor of City Parks, she lives in New York City with her family. DAVID ADJAYE, OBE David Adjaye is the founder and principal architect of Adjaye Associates. He is the 2015 recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. Currently the John C.


pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

Indeed it was an oft-expressed cliché that the city had been improved by the flood. The long stretch of skyscrapers looked like the spine of a dragon. The foreshortening effect as they got closer made the buildings look shorter than they really were, but their verticality was unmistakable and striking. A forest of dolmens! Swan got off the ferry at the Thirtieth Street Pier and walked on the broad catwalk between buildings to the High Line extension, where people filled the long plazas stretching north and south. Manhattan on foot: workers pushing narrow handcarts on crowded skyways, connecting island neighborhoods suspended between skyscrapers at differing heights. The rooftops were garnished with greenery, but the city was mostly a thing of steel and concrete and glass—and water. Boats burbled about on the water below the catwalks, in the streets that were now crowded canals.

Some of the submerged docks now held aquaculture pens, and Swan’s old partner Zasha apparently now ran a pharm on one of these piers, growing various piscean drugs and bioceramics while also doing things for the Mercury House—and for Alex. Swan had called ahead, and Zasha appeared at the fence that cut a floating dock off from the big plaza complex west of Gansevoort Street, at the south end of the High Line. After a brief hug, Z led her to the end of the dock and then out on the Hudson River in a boat, a smooth little hummer that soon had them midriver. Everything on the water moved at a watery pace, including the water itself. The Hudson River here was wide; the entire city of Terminator would have fit in New York Harbor. Bridges were visible all over the place, including one on the distant southern horizon.


pages: 219 words: 67,173

Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts

accounting loophole / creative accounting, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, Marshall McLuhan, New Urbanism, the High Line, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, Y2K

But constructing a riprap river wall and leveling the flinty rock surface to lay gradeless track was an engineering challenge, not an operating one, and within two years the trains were running north past Peekskill from a terminal at West 32nd Street and Ninth Avenue (a route that would extend downtown to Chambers Street on Ninth Avenue, paralleling in some places the former elevated freight tracks that were transformed into what is now the High Line park). By midcentury, the Harlem was facing fierce competition from what one of its advertisements warned were the “dangers and disasters incident to a road running on the margin of a deep river”—namely, the new Hudson River Railroad. The railroad’s route proved to be a testament to the inevitable political ascendancy of rail over river. In a sense, though, it was less a matter of ascendancy than a case of meeting the enemy and discovering he is us.


pages: 206 words: 9,776

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

See also Paris Hardin, Garrett, 68, 6 9 , 7 0 , 7 5 , 7 9 , 80, Freddie Mac, 39, 45, 5 1 French Communist Party, 1 35-36 Common wealth, 1 52 Harlem, New York City, 1 09 Gapasin, Fernando, 1 34-35, 140 Haussman, Georges- Eugene, 7- 1 2 1 73n2 Hardt, Michael, 36, 67, 72, 78, 1 46-47; Haug, Wolfgang, 93 Gaudi, Antoni, 1 04 passim, 1 6, 42, 1 1 7, 1 30 Gehry, Frank, 1 04 Hezbollah, 1 1 7 Genoa, 1 1 6 the High Line, New York City, 75 H itler, Adolf, 1 07 George, Hen ry, 1 70n4 Georgia, 3 1 Germany, 1 5, 3 1 , 57, 1 08, 1 70n8. See also Berlin; Hamburg Gill, Leslie, 1 44, 145 Hittorf, Jacques Ignace, 7 Holland. See Netherlands Holl}"vood Ten, 1 34 Hong Kong, 1 2, 102 Giuliani, Rudolph, 1 05 Godard, Jean-Luc, x India, 1 4 , 1 5, 1 9, 2 1 , 22, 6 1 , 86, 1 1 9. Goetzmann, William, 32, 39, 45 Goldman Sachs, 12 Indonesia, 1 9 Gottlieb, Robert, 42, 44 International Monetary Fund ( I MF), Governing the Commons ( Ostrom), 68-69, 7 1 -72 Graeber, David, 1 26 Great Britain, I I , 1 3, 3 1 , 44, 85, 1 32, 1 56; bill i onaires, I S; brewing industry, 95; construction, 1 70n8; land enclosures, 68; See also Mumbai 62, 1 1 9 Iraq, 53, 1 1 6, 1 1 7 Ireland, I I , 3 1 , 44 Isaacs, William, 30 Israel, 1 1 7 Italy, 7 1 .


USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Top Five Scenic Drives » Catskills, New York – Rte 23A to 214 to 28 : This takes you past forested hills, rushing rivers and spectacular falls. » North Central, Pennsylvania – Rte 6 : A drive through this rugged stretch of mountains and woodlands includes gushing creeks, wildlife and state forests. » Lake Cayuga, New York – Rte 80 : Head north from Ithaca above the lake past dozens of wineries. » Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey – Old Mine Rd : One of the oldest roads in the US past beautiful vistas of the Delaware River and rural countryside. » Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania – Rte 100, 52 and 163 : Only 25 miles through rolling horse country and lovely farmland. THE HIGH LINE Originally built in the 1930s to lift freight trains off Manhattan’s streets, the High Line is now a brilliantly designed elevated park that embraces the natural and industrial, from the Meatpacking District to Chelsea. Fast Facts » Hub cities: New York City (population 8,175,000), Philadelphia (population 1,526,000) » New York to Philadelphia: 97 miles » New York to Niagara Falls: 408 miles » Time zone: Eastern Standard » Number of politicians resigned or jailed after scandal: enough to fill the legislature Did You Know?

High Line PARK Offline map Google map ( www.thehighline.org; 7am-10pm) With the completion of the High Line, a 30ft-high abandoned stretch of elevated railroad track transformed into a long ribbon of parkland (from Gansevoort St to W 34th St; entrances are at Gansevoort, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th and 30th Sts; elevator access at all but 18th St), there’s finally some greenery amid the asphalt jungle. Only three stories above the streetscape, this thoughtfully and carefully designed mix of contemporary, industrial and natural elements is nevertheless a refuge and escape from the ordinary. A glass-front amphitheater with bleacher-like seating sits just above 10th Ave – bring some food and join local workers on their lunch break. Rising on concrete stilts over the High Line, the Standard is one of the celebrated destinations of the moment, with two choice drinking spots and a grill (plus hotel rooms where high-paying guests sometimes expose themselves in front of their floor-to-ceiling windows in a towel – or less).

FOOD TRUCK CITY 1 No longer the domain of hot dogs and soggy pretzels, food trucks are taking America by storm. You’ll find incredibly diverse gourmet fare – dumplings, free-range herb-roasted chicken, lobster rolls, thin-crust pizzas, banh mi, BBQ, Colombian arepas, creme brulee and much much more. Find the best variety of trucks in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Austin and Portland. You can track down the action on twitter. THE HIGH LINE 2 NYC’s much loved new greenway, the Highline (Click here), has opened stage two, meaning you can now walk for almost a mile peacefully above the traffic following the former railroad tracks. ART-LOVING BOSTON 3 Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (Click here) opened a spectacular new multimillion-dollar Art of the Americas wing with over 50 galleries of American art, covering everything from pre-Columbian to contemporary American works.


pages: 288 words: 83,690

How to Kill a City: The Real Story of Gentrification by Peter Moskowitz

affirmative action, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, drive until you qualify, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, starchitect, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

There were originally 70,000 rental apartments available through the program; that’s now down to 35,000. A little farther north is the meatpacking district, which was, quite literally, where they packed meat. I remember seeing bloody cow carcasses hanging from hooks and men in white smocks smoking outside the one diner there when I was a kid (the diner, inexplicably, has managed to stay open even as everything around it has closed). The High Line, once an abandoned elevated railway, has been turned into a park partially funded by the city but managed by a private group. It’s closed at night. It would be a nice space to hang out in were it not a conveyer belt for tourists who start in Midtown, walk briskly down the extensively policed High Line, and end up on the streets of my neighborhood. Beyond the meatpacking district is West Chelsea, which used to be mostly industrial as well.


pages: 306 words: 85,836

When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, global pandemic, information asymmetry, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Pareto efficiency, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, Sam Peltzman, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, US Airways Flight 1549

” ■ ■ ■ I never set out to be anti-penny, but somehow it happened, and I now publicly rant whenever possible that the penny should be eliminated. While I stand by my belief that the penny is lousy as currency, someone has finally come up with a use for pennies that has made me reconsider my extinction argument: make a floor out of them! The penny floor can be found at the Standard Grill at the new Standard Hotel in New York, the one straddling the High Line. The Standard tells us that it used 250 pennies per square foot, or 480,000 pennies in all. For those of you thinking about a home renovation, that’s $2.50 per square foot in flooring materials. That stacks up pretty well against glass tile ($25), polished marble ($12), porcelain ($4), or even prefinished walnut ($5). It tells you something about the penny’s uselessness as a currency that, even though it is actual money, it is still cheaper than all these other materials to make a floor out of.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

They told me that it was a bad time and to check back after the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a big tradeshow in Las Vegas. I did so; they didn’t get back to me. Waymo said on its website that it isn’t accepting press requests. Finally, to see the state of the art from a consumer perspective, I booked a test drive in a Tesla. On a bright, sunny, crisp winter morning, my family went to the Tesla dealer in Manhattan. The showroom is in the Meatpacking District, under the High Line, on West Twenty-Fifth Street. It’s surrounded by art galleries that used to be auto body shops. Across the street was a wrought-iron outline of a woman. Someone had yarn-bombed it, covering the metal. A peach-colored crochet bikini hung limply on the frame. We walked in and saw a red Model S sedan. Next to it on the floor was a miniature version, in the identical deep crimson. It was a Radio Flyer version of a Tesla Model S.


pages: 342 words: 90,734

Mysteries of the Mall: And Other Essays by Witold Rybczynski

additive manufacturing, airport security, Buckminster Fuller, City Beautiful movement, edge city, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jane Jacobs, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, new economy, New Urbanism, out of africa, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Eisenman, rent control, Silicon Valley, the High Line, urban renewal, young professional

Today’s fun cities will have to learn to balance new demands; their inhabitants will have to adapt to their new roles. In any case, they have no choice—we’re all Venetians now. The recreational role of cities is demonstrated in what one might call tourist urbanism, of which New York City’s High Line is the most prominent example. Like Vienna’s early Ringstrasse and Paris’s more recent Promenade Plantée—old urban infrastructure transformed—the High Line is an example of McLuhan’s Law of Technological Second Lives. Downtown “The almighty downtown of the past is gone—and gone for good,” writes Robert Fogelson in Downtown, his stimulating new history of a long-neglected subject. “And it has been gone much longer than most Americans realize,” he continues. The provocative second part of this statement encapsulates his thesis: that long before the failures of urban renewal, the intrusions of urban interstate highways, and the competition of suburban shopping malls and office parks, the primacy of downtown was on the wane.


pages: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

Finally, he landed the Ford job, overseeing a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio. In keeping with his official position and his own joyous magnetism, his careful irreverence, his attention to everyone in a room, he soared into the upper echelons of New York society. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was on the boards of the city’s ballet, of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, of Friends of the High Line. He began to be first-name-dropped. You know, Darren was saying the other day…Darren and I were on a panel, and…One day he would be at a White House state dinner for the Chinese president; another day he would be in Silicon Valley helping Mark Zuckerberg reflect on his giving. Even as he was establishing himself in big philanthropy, there were constant reminders of what his and his colleagues’ efforts were persistently failing to change.


pages: 550 words: 89,316

The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

assortative mating, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discrete time, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, income inequality, iterative process, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, Mason jar, means of production, NetJets, new economy, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, post-industrial society, profit maximization, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, Tony Hsieh, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Veblen good, women in the workforce

Rather than conspicuous consumption, today many goods attain their status from their conspicuous production. This particular story starts with the coffee shop Intelligentsia. Intelligentsia, born out of Chicago in the late 1990s, is one of the first post-Starbucks success stories. Unlike Starbucks, which has 13,000 stores nationwide, Intelligentsia only has nine—a few in Chicago, one in San Francisco, two in Los Angeles, and a newly opened branch in Manhattan, near the High Line in Chelsea. The important thing to keep in mind when talking to anyone who works for Intelligentsia is that it is nothing like Starbucks, barring the fact that both companies have convinced consumers to spend five dollars on a cup of coffee. However, where Starbucks adds a dollop of caramel and a cup or two of milk to make the consumer’s money worth it and essentially creates a liquid dessert, Intelligentsia has managed to get consumers to spend the same amount for a plain cup of coffee, dairy and syrup not included.


pages: 296 words: 94,948

Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny by Nile Rodgers

Bob Geldof, delayed gratification, East Village, haute couture, Live Aid, nuclear winter, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Stephen Hawking, the High Line, urban renewal

Many people in the building often smelled of linseed oil and turpentine; the girls wore their hair up in buns and walked with their toes turned out, radiating grace even when they were dumping the garbage. You could look into the windows of your neighbors and see and hear composers writing show and jazz tunes at their pianos, like something out of Hitchcock’s Rear Window. From the south corner of our block looking right was the Bell Telephone Laboratory, with an elevated railroad track that ran right through the middle of the building. Today it’s part of the High Line Park, but back then, to my eyes, it was a world within a world, complete with a private transportation system. Standing in the lobby of my building and looking across narrow, Victorian-sized Greenwich Street, I’d see slaughtered livestock being moved onto loading docks, the meat swinging from large hooks. Anyone who’s seen Rocky knows what these huge dangling headless bodies look like, but on celluloid they have no scent.


pages: 941 words: 237,152

USA's Best Trips by Sara Benson

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, if you build it, they will come, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, McMansion, mega-rich, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, the High Line, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Sip your drink while admiring the Maxfield Parrish mural that gives the bar its name. * * * Across town, the Meatpacking District, once a bastion of seedy leather bars, cow carcasses and prostitutes, has been aggressively gentrified over the past decade. It is now home to chic eateries, even chicer boutiques, and perhaps the most popular new attraction in the city: The High Line. Inspired by the Promenade Plantee in Paris, this is the first elevated park in New York. A wonder of urban reinvention, the High Line was an abandoned railway that ran from the meatpacking plants to the Westside rail yard. Locals banded to turn the tracks into much-needed public space in this section of Manhattan. It runs north from Gansevoort St to West 20th and is marvelous in every way. You’ll get great and unexpected views of the city as you wind through the quarter-mile stretch that’s stuffed with lovely gardens of meadow plants and birch trees.


pages: 385 words: 101,761

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

Try disconnecting for a bit of the day, especially in the morning. Take a walk. Walking alone is an excellent strategy for freeing your mind up so that you’re better able to bring together different areas of knowledge. You can keep a particular challenge in mind as you walk, or you can just look around and see what other inspirations strike you. Steve Jobs was a walker. Mark Zuckerberg is a walker. IDEO cofounder Bill Moggridge talked about walking the High Line in New York to find clarity and creative inspiration. Walking to a local park (or nearby beach, if you’re lucky) or even just around your neighborhood can give you the space you need to start mining the knowledge you’ve accumulated and connecting dots. And finding that neighborhood coffee shop to hang out and just think is important too. The late Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and professor Donald Murray once wrote, “My writing day begins about eleven-thirty in the morning when I turn off my computer and go out to lunch.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

Thomas de Monchaux writes of “the taste for order” that prevails when public parks, for example, come to be funded by private interests. It is natural to suppose this is driven by liability concerns, but the taste for order tends to slip the bonds of any such calculation and become a kind of murky moralism: not something openly avowed but rather taken for granted, hard to grab hold of, and therefore hard to contest. Monchaux writes about the High Line in New York City, a wonderful park created with private financing out of an elevated railway that had long been out of service. He gives the park its proper due, but then notes that “its defining detail is the prim arrangement of metal pins and ropes that enforce the border between paving and planting. They seem to say: Do not wander, do not play, do not fool around.” Perhaps such features have a legitimate safety rationale to them (stepping off the deck and into the flower beds, a distance of some six inches, could cause you to twist an ankle).


pages: 391 words: 123,597

Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, the High Line, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, young professional

And Trump advisers Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rudy Giuliani, and Roger Stone, and Senator Jeff Sessions somberly drank their cocktails. The earliest projections came in at around 7:00 p.m. No surprises there. Trump took Indiana and Kentucky, and Hillary took Vermont. I thought longingly of what was going on at the Javits Center, that cavernous place filled with Hillary supporters. I thought of how, later that night, the indoor celebrations would spill out into the streets, into Hell’s Kitchen and along the High Line; and how in Times Square, people would be drunk; and how in Central Park there would be fireworks. As precinct by precinct, county by county, numbers from all around the country rolled in, I became transfixed by the screens. Just as our data scientists had noted, the numbers in the swing states favored Trump. I turned to my colleagues, remarking with pride that Cambridge had done a fine job, given the circumstances, and I must have said so loud enough that others heard me.


pages: 570 words: 151,259

Broken Angels by Richard Morgan

friendly fire, gravity well, Lao Tzu, the High Line, urban sprawl

I caught a glimpse of it represented on a series of helix-based transmission visuals, and then it faded, swallowed behind the wall of corporate data security systems and presumably beyond the tracking capacity of the promoter’s much-vaunted software. The green digit counters whirled into frantic, blurred eights. “Told you,” said the promoter, shaking his head judiciously. “High-line screening systems like that, would have cost them a year’s profits just for the installation. And cutting the high line costs, my friends.” “Evidently.” I watched our credit decay like an unprotected antimatter core and quelled a sudden desire to remove the promoter’s throat with my bare hands. It wasn’t really the money; we had plenty of that. Six million saft might have been a poor price for a Wu Morrison shuttle, but it was going to be enough for us to live like kings for the duration of our stay in Landfall.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

After a year she was promoted to the microwave research group, in the former Nabisco building—the “cracker factory”—across West Street from the main building. The group designed tubes on the second floor and built them on the first floor and every so often Claude wandered over to visit. He and Betty began dating in 1948 and married early in 1949. Just then he was the scientist everyone was talking about. THE WEST STREET HEADQUARTERS OF BELL LABORATORIES, WITH TRAINS OF THE HIGH LINE RUNNING THROUGH Few libraries carried The Bell System Technical Journal, so researchers heard about “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” the traditional way, by word of mouth, and obtained copies the traditional way, by writing directly to the author for an offprint. Many scientists used preprinted postcards for such requests, and these arrived in growing volume over the next year. Not everyone understood the paper.


pages: 1,007 words: 181,911

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Golden Gate Park, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, microbiome, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Pepto Bismol, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Skype, spaced repetition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the High Line, Y Combinator

So I had us clock in our “after” weights, a step I’d forgotten. Roman’s “before” weight was 195.2 lbs. After: 199.5 lbs, for a repulsive 4.3-lb gain. I had weighed in at 166.4 lbs “before.” Now, I shot up to 172 lbs, for a 5.6-lb gain after vomiting! That meant the Vermonsters weren’t the same size! I had eaten more!!! I spent the next four hours strolling through NYC with Roman, walking the High Line, discussing life, and working off calories. The very next morning, I girded my loins for a food marathon (#3 in our trifecta), and the day after that, I measured my body fat percentage with ultrasound. It was 12.7%, a full 3.8 points less than my pre-Vermonster 16.5%. If you play your cards as described in “Damage Control”, cheat day doesn’t have to be guilt day. THE TURBACON: SIN AGAINST NATURE OR MEAT-GLUE MASTERPIECE?


pages: 613 words: 181,605

Circle of Greed: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees by Patrick Dillon, Carl M. Cannon

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, collective bargaining, Columbine, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, desegregation, energy security, estate planning, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, index fund, John Markoff, mandatory minimum, margin call, Maui Hawaii, money market fund, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, the High Line, the market place, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

I loved him then. I love him now.” Perhaps the most moving tribute was provided by Patrick Coughlin, who spoke for all 190 of Meyerhoff’s law firm colleagues when he joked that often he, as managing partner, would be the last to know that Big Al had filed a costly case, almost always to right a social wrong, sometimes committing the firm to perform pro bono. In his short speech Coughlin focused this day on the high line of Meyerhoff’s accomplishments and the firm’s great cases—Lincoln, Enron, WorldCom, the Holocaust reparations, Big Tobacco—as well as those that were ongoing. The firm’s lawyers, Coughlin said at Meyerhoff’s memorial service, had dedicated themselves to fighting fraud, with, and now, without Bill Lerach, and remained very much in the fray. Left unsaid was a fascinating footnote. The partners missed Lerach; they also missed John Torkelsen.


Lonely Planet Eastern Europe by Lonely Planet, Mark Baker, Tamara Sheward, Anita Isalska, Hugh McNaughtan, Lorna Parkes, Greg Bloom, Marc Di Duca, Peter Dragicevich, Tom Masters, Leonid Ragozin, Tim Richards, Simon Richmond

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, Defenestration of Prague, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, low cost airline, mass immigration, pre–internet, Steve Jobs, the High Line, Transnistria, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl

The site stood abandoned for years as oligarchs fought for the city's most desired patch of land, until Vladimir Putin intervened, telling everyone that he wanted it to become a park. No one was willing to argue, so now the area is being transformed into a 21st-century nature-meets-culture recreational space in a $10 billion project led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, a US design bureau which oversaw the conversion of an old railroad into The High Line park in New York City. Due to be partially open in 2017, the new Zaryadye will be divided into four sectors, each showcasing one of Russia's typical landscapes – birch and fir tree forests, flood plain meadows and tundra. Towering above all that vegetation, a new building of Moscow Philharmonics is set to become yet another first-class musical venue in a city that admittedly already has no shortage of these.


pages: 734 words: 244,010

The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, complexity theory, delayed gratification, double helix, Drosophila, Haight Ashbury, invention of writing, lateral thinking, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, nuclear winter, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steven Pinker, the High Line, urban sprawl

But in 1896 the Illinois State Agricultural Laboratory started breeding for oil content in maize seeds. A 'high line' was selected for increased oil content, and a low line simultaneously selected for decreased oil. Fortunately this experiment has been continued far longer than the research career of any normal scientist, and it is possible to see, over 90 or so generations, an approximately linear increase in oil content in the high line. The low line has decreased its oil content less rapidly, but that is presumably because it is hitting the floor of the graph: you can't have less oil than zero. This experiment, like the Drosophila one and like many others of the same type, brings home the potential power of selection to drive evolutionary change very fast indeed. Translate 90 generations of maize, or 20 generations of Drosophila, even 20 elephant generations, into real time, and you have something that is still negligible on the geological scale.


pages: 1,797 words: 390,698

Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn

affirmative action, airport security, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, estate planning, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, informal economy, intermodal, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, place-making, rent control, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, the High Line, time value of money, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional

The determination to rebuild and recover after 9/11, not only to assure the city’s own position in the global economy but as a statement of national resilience, was resolutely embedded in its public officials, business interests, and citizens. The city’s constant efforts to revive from whatever economic or social depression it was suffering often found expression in economic development projects, real estate visions of economic growth through the rebuilding of city districts: the original World Trade Center complex, Battery Park City, Times Square, Chelsea and the High Line, Hudson Yards on the West Side of midtown Manhattan, all are examples of district transformation. Although these projects reflect a heavy focus on Manhattan, under the Edward I. Koch administration in the 1980s the city adopted an “Other Borough” strategy aimed at stimulating the development of downtown business centers in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. That policy initiative relied on an array of financial incentives (tax abatements, moving allowances, and cut-rate electricity) to make development in these boroughs more competitive, especially with Jersey City, Stamford, Connecticut, and other nearby office centers courting banks, securities firms, and other Manhattan companies.