My very own Covfefe!  Fwenvy is my made-up word for First World Envy.  I experience it whenever we hit well appointed, beautiful public parks and libraries which we have a dearth of in Third World nations. People pay taxes for these and the government (despite Covfefe) works for the people, probably more than its own citizens appreciate.  The grass is always greener elsewhere.

I feel fwenvy, oh so fwenvy when I went to the Highline.  My New Yorker cousin doesn’t find anything special about it but I salivate at the details of its urban design and the revitalization of otherwise leftover and forgotten spaces.  This is my wish.  This is my other fantasy – to buy out all the empty lots in Metro Manila and transform them into parks.  Plus allocate a decent amount of land to affordable housing that is NOT an SM shoebox!

The Highline, has probably gotten too popular for its own good.  It looks as if it has jacked up property prices around it which may be good or bad depending on who is concerned.   It is a narrow park better enjoyed with less people but during holidays, people unfortunately get the same bright idea so try to visit this at odd hours and not on special days.  The original design intent probably can’t remain pure because there is more pedestrian traffic than expected and portions of the grass have to be cordoned off making it less than aesthetic.

I snuck out a solo tryst with the Highline and as Gambel said, I’m so lucky that I don’t have to think twice leaving the kids with Jason and going off on my own to explore parts of the city that won’t be too convenient if I brought the brood by bus and subway.   This is one of the things I wanted to see before leaving New York because Mew Yee gave me a book about it some years ago.  The story of how one man started a crusade to save an abandoned raised railway is inspiring and encouraging.  How it has expanded as a branded experience probably takes a bit away from its humble beginnings but that is part and parcel of New York’s dynamic evolution and constant re-invention.


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