Moving right along with playing catch-up with this journal and my compulsion to document everything, let's go further downtown this time.
In September of 2009, made a visit to the new High Line park, walked along the Westside Highway and discovered that the Frying Pan was still in use begging to be explored.
The new High Line elevated park is a reuse and transformation of an abandoned industrial structure into a verdant public park 30 feet above the ground. The Frying Pan is a boat that spent 3 years under water, was salvaged and now exists in all its decayed glory off the West Side Highway.
Highlights before I completely cover this post with tons of photos (because really the subject matter was just too juicy):
The day was absolutely stunning. It was a late August day. Hot but with beautiful blue skies lacking the normally oppressive humidity that makes NYC summers so distasteful.
Depending on who you talk to in NYC, the High Line park is either seen as a total travesty or as the most amazing thing to happen to the abandoned elevated train tracks that ran/run through the Meatpacking District. Yelp (as usual) has a good mix of both sides of the equation as far as critiques are concerned, found here.
It's hard for me to give a complete review of it since I visited it back in August of 2009 and only the first part was actually complete. I would love to see how it eventually looks once it is completed. I do love that the space was re-purposed into something new that can be enjoyed by the public. Is the design perfect? That remains to be seen. Is it often crowded? Yes. It offers really beautiful views of the lower West Side and due to its newness, it is usually jam packed with tourists and NYers. Could they have done a better job with the benches and greenery? Maybe.
However, once again, it's gorgeous and nice to see a birth of a new space out of a space that was going to waste for so many years.
After enjoying the views and having just about enough of the crowds for one day, headed over to the West Side Highway with just a vague idea of sitting by the water (I love the water).
At that point, I kept seeing tons of people walking towards the middle of the docks but there were no signs, only a bodyguard. I asked where they were all going and he told me there was a restaurant named the Frying Pan on a boat. I had heard of the Frying Pan many times since it was used for many club nights in the early 2000s (Contempt being one of them) but I didn't realize it had been re-purposed as a restaurant.
And so I headed down the dock in the direction of the Frying Pan. The sun was about an hour from setting and low in the sky which made for some glorious lighting.
The Frying Pan is indeed a restaurant now which is a bit strange. People sit on the deck and order overpriced food while enjoying the views of the Hudson (and the rocking of the boat). What's really odd about the whole thing is it is a historical site so the public is allowed to wander the premises and walk all around the interior of the boat which has been left in stages of beautiful decay but to get to the interior of the boat you literally have to walk through all the tables full of dining tourists and semi-wealthy NYers enjoying brunch/dinner/copious drinks. It's an awkward walk but slightly amusing.
The boat is stunning. In late summer I was still using the iPhone as my main camera so it was admittedly hard to capture some of the finer detail of the darker areas of the boat but I couldn't stop snapping away because literally every turn of the corner provided an eerie and spectacular shot. It's a visual orgasm of abandonment and decay.
More over the next week or so while I play catch-up with myself and this poor, neglected journal.