Best New Public Space - 2009
Embrace the hype, people. Like the Second Avenue subway and the Brooklyn Whole Foods, the High Line always struck us as something that would never actually happen. So just the fact that they got 'er done ("they" = Friends of the High Line; landscape architects James Corner Field Operations; architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro; a whole bunch of horticulturalists; and, yes, you the taxpayer) is worthy of praise. But, man, have you been up there? It's quite possibly the most relaxing spot in the city. Opened in June of this year, the stretch from 14th to 20th streets is particularly cathartic. We're curious to see how it evolves as the temperatures dip, but for next summer, we highly recommend that you go in the early evening (once all the bikini girls have cleared out), grab a lounge chair on the sundeck—even on a summer Saturday night, there's always plenty of room—and chill. You'll quickly realize that this—William Whyte meets the Meatpacking District!—is much more New York than any Whole Foods could ever be. PS: More line, from 20th to 30th streets, opens in 2010.