Wednesday, May 29, 2013

High Line's new curling sheet to keep park users cool during summer heat

Manhattan--When the plan to install several above-ground pools on the popular High Line elevated park fizzled out in the fall after strong opposition from park users, politicians, and, well, pretty much every one else, officials for the one-mile-long greenway--often teeming with crowds--scrambled to come up with an alternative project. The pools were intended to provide a way for people to keep cool during the sometimes scorching New York humid summers. "We were ready to just scrap any sort of plan for this summer when one of the interns mentioned curling. She said, 'Hey, what about installing a curling court on the lawn to help keep things cool?'" said Elaine Trumwell, president of Friends of Friends of the High Line (a subsidiary of Friends of the High Line). The curling sheet--not a court--was installed over the course of three weeks in late April and early May and has been very well received thus far. Every Thursday and Friday evening from May through August, Friends of Friends of the High Line sponsors prominent curling match-ups between the sport's most talented stone sliders. "On hot days I can read a book while sitting on the curling sheet, and two nights a week I can catch some of the world's best athletes compete right on the High Line," said Dennis Chalmers, 52, of Chelsea. Others were upset about the cold, new neighbor and how it  transforms a tranquil segment of the park into a meeting place for rowdy curling fans. "The lawn was supposed to be a place to gather and just relax," said Karen Andersen, 39, of Hoboken, NJ. "Do we really need curling competitions on the High Line? I mean, seriously?"

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