The High Line

Went to New York on Sunday, largely to see the High Line, which just opened. Sitting in a park, especially a well-desigened, peaceful park, like walking through it, is a wonderful feeling. Perhaps not usually what one goes to the city for, but I would posit that a quiet environment within a quiet environment cannot match the feeling of islandness, where traffic noice and a wind over the Hudson mouth become the same background vibration, where one has the feeling of being within a beating heart, amidst people, yet on some level alone, somewhat removed.

It's like the feeling, in a way, of being alone in a crowd. That alienation in The Scream, in some Hopper paintings. It's a feeling that is supposed to be a rude shock, a physical manifestation of the alienation of modern life, of a city where neither fellow humans nor god have any relation to us at all.

To me, it is a wonderful feeling. It makes me feel alive, vibrant, part of something, in a way that mere companionship, wonderful as it is, cannot. Alone in a crowd, one is a cell in the city's meta-organism.

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