First there was the High Line, an elevated park that brought new life to a rusty, unused-for-decades elevated subway rail on Manhattan’s west side. Well now there’s an idea floating around that would turn the whole concept upside down, literally. A subterranean park created from the long-abandoned Williamsburg Trolley Terminal, on Delancey Street in NYC’s Lower East Side. The station hasn’t been in service, or even used, since 1948.
The brain child of Dan Barasch and James Ramsey, this park—the Lowline—would be the first of its kind, and one of the very few green spaces on the LES. The first reaction people have, aside from fascination, is the more rational, “But how the heck are you gonna get plants to grow underground, away from the rays of the sun.”
Actually—and without even mentioning the established international success of the Lee Ufans and Nam June Paiks of the world—it’s been a banner few weeks for art in South Korea: First this guy assembled a functional satellite, for the equivalent of $500, basically in his basement, and will be launching it into space in the name of Achieving One’s Artistic Dreams. Then underground hip-hop artist PSY released what is, seriously, the best summer video. Ever. Now, septuagenarian businessman-turned-amateur-photographer Ahae is doing his bit for the Land of the Morning Calm. Having previously soothed viewers in New York, London, and Prague, his one-man show, Through My Window, has alighted in a purpose-built pavilion in the Tuileries Gardens, adjacent to the Louvre—the first such structure ever allowed there—where it will be on view through August 26th.
Dust off your hiking boots—Wales recently introduced an 870-mile walking path that winds along its salty coasts, from Chester to Chepstow. Along the way, you’ll see Flint Castle (built by King Edward I and surrounded by Dee Estuary), waterfalls (near Dyserth), and towering coniferforests that jut into the sea. Personally, I'm dying to get to St. Cwyfan’s Church, built on a tiny island in the 12th century and only accessible at low tide; the Boathouse at Laugharne (where Dylan Thomas spent the last four years of his life); and Cardigan Bay, known for the UK’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins. The most exciting part? Knowing I’ll get there on my own two feet.
Skip guidebooks and Google searches, and grab your snorkeling gear and hiking boots—there are new ways to learn about, and explore, Puerto Rico.
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Oceans Future Society, an organization dedicated to preserving the environment, is opening a Puerto Rican branch of their award-winning environmental education and adventure program, Ambassadors of the Environment.
Located on the Ritz-Carlton Dorado Beach Reserve, the program will weave knowledge with experience. Participants will learn about Puerto Rico’s coral reefs, wildlife, wetlands, and Taino culture via snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, archaeological exploration, and other activities.
It all started with a goat, roasted over a fire and served to friends last July at the organic Beetlebung Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Since then, bold-faced names including Saturday Night Live cast members have been spotted at chef Chris Fischer’s greenhouse dinners, where everyone sits on bales of hay as he cooks island-only ingredients on camp stoves. As SNL’s Seth Meyers puts it, “You spend the entire meal pretending to listen to the person next to you while anticipating what the next course is going to be.”
Opening May 16th, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s new entrance along Washington Avenue is no garden-variety visitors center. Nestled into a hillside in the northeast corner, the 20,000-square-foot building aims to be a seamless extension of the 52-acre landscape, which could have amounted to an empty promise in the hands of a lesser firm. But the New York–based husband-wife team of Weiss/Manfredi delivers.
The farm unfolds over 24 acres in the fertile Lualualei Valley, within the relatively remote community of Waianae (“WIE-a-nie”). The variety of MA’O’s bounty is impressive enough, ranging from kale, beets, and fennel to bananas, mangoes, and papaya (there’s also an experimental blueberry patch). All this is sold at Oahu farmer’s markets, and also to a handful of groceries and restaurants around the island. (As I mentioned in my article, MA’O’s ethereal salad greens play a starring role at Town restaurant in Honolulu.)
This month’s T+L includes an eight-page feature on Hawaii’s new food scene, where we spotlight some of the young chefs, upstart farmers, pop-up restaurateurs, and food-truck vendors who are taking Hawaiian cuisine to the next level.
Had we more space in the print magazine, we would’ve devoted another eight pages to Madre Chocolate, a terrific new bean-to-bar chocolate operation (Oahu’s first) based in Kailua. (A tony suburb just 20 minutes from Honolulu, Kailua is where President Obama and family have stayed during their Hawaiian vacations.)
When I had the chance to take a bucket list trip to explore the pristine beauty of the Arctic Circle I jumped at the chance (after cobbling together frequent flier miles). First stop: the world famous IceHotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, where the walls, tables, beds, and everything else are made of ice and snow.
While spending a night on ice in 23° F degrees is a big part of the IceHotel’s draw, a thrilling daytime excursion by snowmobile (booked through the hotel) was the main event for me.
Associated Press | After more than two decades of drilling in Antarctica, Russian scientists have reached the surface of a gigantic freshwater lake hidden under miles of ice for some 20 million years—a lake that may hold life from the distant past and clues to the search for life on other planets.
Reaching Lake Vostok is a major discovery avidly anticipated by scientists around the world hoping that it may allow a glimpse into microbial life forms, not visible to the naked eye, that existed before the Ice Age. (...)
"It's like exploring another planet, except this one is ours," Columbia University glaciologist Robin Bell told The Associated Press by email. (...) "There is no other place on Earth that has been in isolation for more than 20 million years," said Lev Savatyugin, a researcher with the AARI. "It's a meeting with the unknown."