Daily News from New York, New York on July 20, 2003 · 85
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Daily News from New York, New York · 85

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New York, New York
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Sunday, July 20, 2003
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85
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lli H t (i ii H a. t -ti I! " i" l - - , - " : - ' 'MiMJi 1 1 r i : O f l 1 i1 i a i t:J II . 5 (IS, Fostering aid A program to mend city families broken by drug addiction has received a boost of nearly half a million dollars. Starting in October, The Abandoned Infants Project of Leake and Watts Services will receive a $449,900 grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services to aid foster families that take in the children of drug abusers and to help those parents beat their habits. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx, Westchester, Rockland) announced. Among its services, the program offers counseling for foster parents to help deal with children from broken homes and support groups for parents who have been stripped of custody of their children. Now in its third year, the Abandoned Infants Project has helped an estimated 175 city kids, mostly from the Bronx. Free fun classes The City Council is giving new meaning to carefree summers for Bronx kids. Through the City Council Sports & Arts Summer Camps & Clinics program, the Council and Council Speaker Gifford Miller are providing free sports and arts classes, including tennis, soccer, field hockey, music, dancing and chess for all city boys and girls. The program, now in its seventh year, runs through mid-August. Call (718) 786-7110, ext. 120. Summer concerts Bronx Arts Ensemble kicks off its Summermusic 2003 concert series today. The ensemble will perform a "Romantic Winds" program for large wind instruments at 2 p.m. at Rockwood Drive Circle in Van Cortlandt Park, near Broadway and Mosholu Ave., and again at 4 p.m. at McGirv ley Student Center at Fordham University. For information, call (718) 601-7399 or go to www.bronxartsensembie.org. ' Rooftop view of freight to west side of Manhattan, may be developed Into an 18 - High line ASSOCIATED PRESS In a city where real estate is king, seven acres of open space is considered precious even if it's 18 feet off the ground. The space is called the High Line, a 1.5-mile elevated steel railroad spur built 70 years ago to carry freight trains into the far west side of Manhattan. Last used in 1SS0, it is now covered with knee-high grass, wildflowers and rust and offers panoramic views of the city. Originally 13 miles long, the route lost traffic as the rise of trucking in the 1950s led to a drop in rail freight. Major portions of the route were torn down in the 1960s and 1993. The remaining section begins in the railyards of 34th St., skims the Hudson River, turns east for two blocks and then swoops south through the neighborhood of Chelsea, ending on Gansevoort St. in the Meatpacking District. Some property owners underneath the High Line consider it a blight and have sought for years ll ". ".'5' 1.5-mile High Line. Fans hope abandoned elevated railroad spur, sa M fFr M cuaDsf 'park in sky' gets a to have it demolished. But a number of neighbors, civic groups and politicians are pushing to have the High Line turned into parkland as part of the successful federal "Rails-to-Trails" program. "It was built to move in eggs and butter to factories in New York City. Now it can be used to move people in and out of the galleries, restaurants, apartments and offices that those warehouses have become," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit group dedicated to its preservation and reuse. The group sponsored a competition to gather ideas for the structure's future that attracted 720 entries from 38 countries. Many of the proposals are on exhibit through Saturday at Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall. 102 w foot - high, 7-acre park with fabulous views. The entries range from the practical (a sculpture garden), to the unlikely (one very long lap pool), to the whimsical (an amusement park featuring a campground and the "Big Apple roller coaster"). Reed Kroloff , an adviser to the competition, said the number of designs the jury received shows how much interest the "idea of a park in the sky" generates. "You can't quite see on the High Line when you're on it, what's holding you up," said Kroloff. "You just know you're floating above this incredibly busy machine that is New York City. Talk about romantic." Delightful surprises "Walking the High Line," a book by photographer Joel Stemfeld, documents it through the seasons. In the midst of rusted buckets and other debris, the High Line has sprouted some delightful surprises, such as white and yellow wildflowers, and a mini-oasis of daisies and sunflowers tended by a gardener from a third-floor apartment Si CI- BEBETO MATTHEWS built 70 years ago to carry hearing window reached by a plank. The Art Deco viaduct a city, state and New York Central Railroad venture was built between 1929 and 1934 to elevate dangerous and clogged railroad traffic above city streets, including Tenth Ave. nicknamed "Death Avenue" because of the accidents caused by the mix of rail traffic, cars and pedestrians. The Friends of the High Line group estimates it would cost $40 million to $60 million to renovate it, including adding stairs and other access points. The High Line's future will be the subject of a hearing Thursday in Manhattan convened by the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation. While former Mayor Rudy Giuliani supported demolishing the High Line, Mayor Bloomberg in December requested from the board a "certificate of interim trail use," which would allow the city to negotiate an agreement with the railroad to allow it to be used as a public space. O ro 8

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