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The Kitchen & HighLine

September 27, 2009

I ventured out to Chelsea yesterday afternoon for an audio assignment. Thanks to Time Out: New York, I found an event called “The Kitchen” block party to cover which seemed like it would be fun. I was right.

When I arrived there were booths set up advertising free fun for all: face painting, jewelry making, cookie baking, hula hooping… Everything that would revert even the most senile back to memories of sweet childhood.

After taking in the scene and snapping more than a few photos (I remembered my camera this time!), the first person I spoke with was Coconut Rob. He was setting up to make tropical smoothies and was extremely friendly. We chatted for a bit and I complimented his accent (I’m noticing a trend of british accents in guys who serve drinks) while recording his interview.

In between scouting for my next victim interviewee I took in the sounds of two men banging their hearts on drums. The rhythm made the crowd bounce and sway and provided me with great ambient sound to record. 
I stuck around for a bit, taking in the perfect sunny autumn day. Before leaving I interviewed a woman braiding another woman’s hair as part of an exhibition piece. The braid was to be joined together with another, forming a long double-dutch rope that people would actually jump in. The artist (the woman braiding the hair) told me that jumping rope symbolized unity across different cultures and that to many African-American woman long hair symbolized beauty. It was truly amazing.

On my way back to the subway I came across The High Line, a park/promenade created from an above-ground 1930s freight train track. I had heard of this place and had been looking for it since I came to New York but could never remember the name. Finding it was a serendipitous surprise so I went up to take a quick peek. 

It was just how I imagined: peaceful, creative… it was like an escape from city life, especially since it is literally located above it all.

I plan to go back, because in addition to a nice Sunday afternoon stroll, I’m sure I will be needing a place to breathe and get away from it all.

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