The most delightful thing in town right now has to be FriendsWithYou’s Rainbow City. The candy striped land of inflatable friends is located at the very tip of the new section of the High Line. A couple weekends ago, I visited on a sunny afternoon.
My favorite friend in Rainbow City was this striped snowman-like creature.
Both adults and children were enjoying the Rainbow City, even if a disgruntled couple was trying to get one of the Rainbow City workers to tell them WHY it was there. (Well, I guess the “why” is mostly due to AOL’s sponsorship… but “why” in the search-for-meaning sense is probably more difficult if you’ve never impulse bought a Kidrobot toy, purchased sheets with sharks on them, or been seized by wonder in an exhibit of miniatures. Yes, I’ve done those things. Childlike wonder, people!)
According to their site, the Rainbow City has previously brought joy and wonder to Toronto and Art Basel Miami. This is the first time for FriendsWithYou to have a big installation in NYC, and it’s only up until July 5, so go soon!
From the Rainbow City, I climbed up to the new Section 2 of the High Line. The elevated park that transformed an abandoned railroad track into an urban oasis opened its second section on June 8. It was quite crowded during my visit, as everyone, residents and tourists alike, was eager to see the new park.
The landscaping was dense and beautiful, with rare (in NYC) wildflowers dotting the sections of grass. The new section of the High Line stretches 10 blocks, from 20th Street to 30th, and they managed to create a lot of diversity in its terrain.
I really enjoyed the new lawn, although it was closed to recover from heavy traffic when I was there. It borders up against this stadium seating. The whole High Line seems to be about watching. You can sit here and gaze at an endless parade of people, or even turn to either side and see right into people’s windows. Another seating area is lowered and has a glass window facing the street, where you can monitor traffic and Chelsea.
One part of the High Line has a corridor that is lush enough to be mistaken for a forest.
Yet like Section 1 of the High Line, Section 2 never really makes you forget you are in the city. Rather, it seems to embrace it, by framing views of skyscrapers and streets with plant life and crisp architecture.
When I reached the end of Section 2, I found myself exhausted by the heat and crowds and retreated into Chelsea Market for an iced coffee.