The glass and steel condo buildings along the High Line give visitors just as much to look at as the park itself, but how do the tenants of these buildings feel about having thousands of strangers peer into their lives every day? Enter, the Times and Steven Kurutz, who tracked down residents of HL23, Ten23, 245 Tenth, the Spears Building, and the Marais to see how they feel about living in a fishbowl. Here now, 10 highlights from the 2,500-word piece:
1) A couple living in HL23 is "taking a performance-art-like approach to decorating," hanging a white and gold chandelier above their elm-wood dining table. "They can definitely see us if they look. Why not try to give our apartment character?" As for backlighting their art: "If we can show an artist to four million people, why not?"
2) "It's like having a backyard, but we don't have to mow the High Line."
3) A duo in 245 Tenth pretty much loves being on display: "We're not afraid." His pregnant girlfriend added, "Neither of us is very modest."
4) On the "human parade" of people on the High Line: "I wouldn't call it a parade. It's more like a stream of water."
5) In the Spears Building at 525 West 22nd Street, one man embraced his vantage over the High Line, placing a desk in a window that perches over the park so "on some evenings, parkgoers can watch him typing."
6) For a 25-year-old guy in Ten23, the idea that people can see in has made him tidier. "Whenever I have my blinds open, I make sure my apartment looks pristine."
7) For a couple at 245 Tenth, a 2-year old gets the best views in her corner bedroom. "My daughter looks out the window and waves to everyone," said her dad. He also added, "If I'm watching TV on a random Saturday, I don't want a tourist looking in."
8) One lady compared the High Line to the town houses in the West Village. "You can't help but look inside, because they're so pretty. You know you're infringing on someone's privacy, though you don't mean to."
9) In the Marais at 520 West 23rd Street, one guy actually gets ignored by park goers who are too busy peeking into his yard. "I've been out there reading, and people on the High Line will lean over and look down on that backyard. They're six feet from me and don't look at me. It's almost like they don't perceive that I'm there."
10) On Mother's Day, the same invisible Marias resident saw a couple having sex on the High Line lawn. "I said to my girlfriend, 'These people are having sex.' She says, 'No, you're crazy.' The wind blows off their blanket, the woman isn't wearing pants and, yes, in fact, these people are having sex."
· Close Quarters on the High Line [NYT]