The Last Piece of the Puzzle
After a decade as one of New York City’s most popular outdoor attractions, the High Line is now complete. The mile-and-a-half-long elevated park, built atop old train tracks that went defunct in the ’80s, got 420 feet longer when its final stretch opened on June 5. Jutting out along 30th St. and over 10th Avenue and dotted with plantings, benches, and one big sculpture, the Spur is a modest but undeniably cool capstone to the ambitious High Line project. We went over to check it out on opening day, and here’s what we liked about it.
An absolutely massive sculpture dominates the end of the Spur. The first piece in a planned rotation of contemporary art, Simone Leigh’s Brick House stands 16 feet tall and weighs, like, 900 tons probably. (Probably not.) Depicting a young black woman who happens to be staring down 10th Ave., the bronze bust references West Africa and the American South.
The woman in Brick House might not stop traffic—hard to do in Midtown Manhattan—but her looming presence is arresting all the same. She’s also an indication of the ambitious art we can look forward to here.
Surrounding Brick House is the largest, most wide-open space in the entire park. Without the steady stream of tourists (and, yes, New Yorkers) tromping up and down the rest of the High Line, this promises to be a relatively chill place to sit and enjoy your lunch or break out your Kindle.
In less than ideal weather, a long stretch of the Spur is safely tucked under an adjacent highrise. So you can still hang out outdoors without getting rained on.
Much of the High Line’s appeal lies in the views it affords, and the Spur doesn’t disappoint. The large open space at the end features views directly up and down 10th Ave., and of the shiny new skyscrapers of Hudson Yards next door. Near the base of the spur, where it juts out from the High Line’s main drag, you can catch a glimpse of The Vessel, the much-ballyhooed monument to doing it for the Gram.