Renegade Cabaret comes to High Line Park off Neighbor's Fire Escape Above

by cathryn on June 25, 2009

Great story in today’s New York Times about Chelsea resident Patty Heffley who has lived for 31 years above the High Line before it was a park (she even witnessed a train going by a few times in the early days!).  Her fire escape looks right onto the end of  (what is now) High Line Park at 20th Street and, in addition to viewing her laundry (which for years she has hung off that fire escape), park goers can now listen to and watch the “Renegade Cabaret” she presents there.

Lighting installed by contractors to brighten stairs of the High Line Park also beam a very artificial light onto her fire escape and into her living room so Ms. Heffley has turned something that could be perceived as a negative into a positive and added a bit of a wild element to the otherwise manicured park.

From the article: 

At 10 p.m., closing time for the park and the cabaret, Ms. Heffley and Ms. Soychak bid the audience goodnight. “If you see the party patio lanterns lit,” Ms. Heffley told them, “you’ll know something is going to go on when it gets dark.”

Robert Hammond, a founder of the Friends of the High Line and a member of the audience, remarked, “This is what we wanted,” referring to the cabaret. “It is going to keep it wild more than that will,” he continued, pointing to a patch of wildflowers.

As for the lights that shine like kliegs into Ms. Heffley’s windows, he said ruefully, “We screwed up on those.” But he brightened when told that she had said they were good for a stage. The Renegade Cabaret, he said, “is born of a mistake, just like the park.”

The full story is here.

 

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