Thursday, July 2, 2009

High Line Park

in New York that extends from Gansevoort
Street north to West 34th St. At one time
a locomotive passed a couple of times a
week, until that became obsolete.
Now it has become a park, known as the High Line.
It's been planted and
paved, as far north as 20th Street, the rest
to be completed soon. A gate stops people
from walking any farther now.

There is lighting along the path meant to glow on the walkway. But the lights on top of the stairway exit shine a very bright light into some apartments. One such belongs to Patty Heffley, a former punk-rock photographer. She found that her fourth floor living room was flooded with light, and her fire escape, more or less, became a stage. Being handed a lemon, she made lemonade.

So on June 17th, Ms. Heffley invited a friend, a jazz singer, Elizabeth Soychak, to perform on the fire escape. Colored lanterns were strung and a mike was handed to Ms. Soychak, who wore a flowing chiffon dress. She was introduced and sang an a cappella version of Johnny Mercer's "Early Autumn ." She performed several sets, to a very receptive audience, who called out to encourage her. Strollers stopped and listened from the park benches. One man sang along.
So was born the High Line Park Renegade Cabaret. The Cabaret now has a Facebook page. Soon its own Webpage. In New York, everything is location, location, location.
Ms. Heffley says, "If you see the patio lights lit, you'll know something is going to go on when it gets dark."
I for one, can hardly wait! It seems "the show will... go on!"
Fire escape: Jessica Dimmock for The NYTimes


A Cuban In London said...

I loved this. The fact that she was able to transform what could only be considered an accident into an arts event. Everytime I hear or read stories like this my little heart gallops with a happier stride. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Lyn said...

Greetings to A Cuban-
Thank you! I totally agree..this is true creativity! Curious to see where this goes...

Unknown said...

Fantastic use of barren, unused space!

You know I'm from Savannah and so is Johnny Mercer; he was a fabulous songwriter and this is one of my favorites of his.


Lyn said...

Hi Gaston-
Thank you..I can't wait until I get over there..still nuturing my eye..
Johnny Mercer was one of the greats! Prolific.."I Remember You"..for his beloved Judy Garland!
But that's another story..

Jeane Myers said...

the High Line sounds fabulous, but this was a brilliant idea! it just makes me smile :))))))))))))))

Lyn said...

Hi Jeane-
It's been getting raves from those who've gone..such a unique space..and the whole stage thing seems a blast!

Unknown said...

Hi Lyn,

Clever idea! More, seemingly spontaneous, public performances of music are taking place around the world. It is fortunate that Ms Heffley could start the ball rolling! I hope you are able to get along there soon.

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
It's interesting that similar music events are taking place.. synchronicity!
I will get there soon.. expect it to be very crowded.. But you're still welcome!

Tess Kincaid said...

What a fabulous story. I love this. Bloom where you're planted, right?

Lyn said...

Hi Willow-
Right! I'm sure that this original idea has room for expansion! Thank you...


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