Recently I had the opportunity to draw the Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side from a bird’s eye view. The yards is the rail yards – where the MTA houses subway trains when they’re not in use. So the MTA has leased the air space over the Hudson Yards and it’s going to become a huge luxury apartment – shopping – theater hub in the next years. Holy camoley! Manhattan is growing and changing all over the place. There are cranes everywhere in the city. I’m not sure how I’m liking all of this change. Yes, the nature of this city is to constantly grow, but there is so much character and history that has a tendency to be swept away in the midst of all the changes. Sometimes I walk through neighborhoods I’ve hung out in all my life, and wonder where they went! It’s like missing your five year old niece when she’s standing right in front of you…at the age of 10. And the west side of Manhattan has been changing the most. The Hudson Yards project is the tip of the iceberg – the Highline along the Hudson river has transformed Chelsea and the Meat Packing District from the land of seedy dives, meat processing plants, and street walkers to the land of Gucci and Prada. Walking along the Highline after making the drawing above, it was impossible to escape the construction going on everywhere:
Now I’m not saying that I miss meat processing plants and streetwalkers – far from it – but I do hope that Manhattan never loses that little bit of urban wilderness that makes it so special and unique. In the meantime, I’m happy to document all of this as it happens – so that when I go to these neighborhoods five years from now, I’ll have a record of what I loved about them so much. And hopefully will have new things to love about them in their future incarnation.