The High Line Curse (the Ghost of the High Line)

This weekend Angela and I made it over to the High Line park - a brand new park built on the old high line tracks high above the ground. The park runs right now from Gansevoort Street & Washington to 20th street & 10th Avenue, but it will eventually run all of the way up to the end of the tracks on 34th Street. The history of the park is pretty cool:
The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.
Even on a rainy day the High Line was filled, and like everyone else I'm pretty excited about it. People were lounging in the chairs built right out of the rails and the overlook that hangs right out over 10th avenue. The view out onto Hudson River is nice as well.

BUT, we may never get to enjoy the park without grey clouds and rain, because it turns out the High Line is cursed. According to Train Jotting blog, the ghost of the West Side Cowboy, who himself died falling from the Train tracks in 1934, came to visit the pioneers of the High Line 2 years ago in a dream threatening that "he’d make it rain every day if the place of his death was trampled upon by the masses." Pretty much every day since the park has opened there has been rain, and the forecast for as far as the weather forecast goes says there will be rain as well. As long as people are happily climbing their way up to the park in the sky, will we ever have sunny skies?

(by the way, how much more am I impressed with the legendary West Side Cowboy from the 1930's than I am of the Naked Cowboy that romes Times Square today?)

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Where are you Living and Learning Online?

Lately I've been somewhat overwhelmed with how many place there are to consume content now online. On a given day I make my way to Google Reader, Twitter, Friendfeed, Tumblr, Facebook, and Yammer all just to read content. Some of it is news, some of it is editorial, some of it is friend content (pictures, videos, etc), some of it is recommended links, etc. And, yeah, there is a lot of overlapping content in all of those places, but there is also a great deal that is unique to the environment. There are hyper-users (I'm one) who post content everywhere, and I'll probably be reading their stuff several times on each stop, but a lot of people have their spot and they stick to it. Also, more interestingly, each place has its own culture and voice. Jump over to Tumblr, for example, and it's mostly people sharing interesting pictures and music a few times a day. Friendfeed, on the other hand, is all about comments and conversation.

I usually find something great in each community that I wouldn't have found anywhere else every time I visit, so I can't stop.

The other half of it is also interesting. I syndicate my blog, my Google Reader items, and my Flickr photos all over the place, and I share some links in each of these communities. But for my specific group of friends, most of the time when I share content the only place I see a reaction/response (comments) is on Facebook. On the other hand, most articles I write here or at UsableClicks receive a majority of their traffic leads from Twitter.

So where are you spending time, where are you getting your information, where are you experiencing true community?
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